Potential Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites in Canada: 2020 update
102 – 112
1 August 20
Ann E. McKellar, Yves Aubry, Mark C. Drever, Christian A. Friis, Cheri L. Gratto-Trevor, Julie Paquet, Cynthia Pekarik, Paul A. Smith
Ann E. McKellar
Environment and Climate Change Canada, 115 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 0X4, Canada
The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) is an international conservation initiative designed to protect the key habitats and resources used by shorebirds throughout their ranges. WHSRN is based on a simple yet powerful concept: many species of shorebirds depend on a chain of critically important sites to complete their annual cycles, and for conservation to be successful, all the links in the chain need to be preserved. WHSRN has an important role to play in delivering conservation initiatives especially in the light of declines in many North American shorebird populations. In Canada, an inventory of potentially qualifying sites under WHSRN was created in 1991 and updated in 1995, but has not been updated since. Here we compile and summarize information currently available on locations meeting the criteria for inclusion in the network, in order to provide an updated inventory of potential WHSRN sites in Canada. We identified 59 potentially qualifying sites of International or Regional Importance for migrating or wintering shorebirds in Canada, in addition to seven which have already been given WHSRN status. We further identified 12 important breeding sites for the endangered Piping Plover Charadrius melodus. We highlight gaps in survey coverage in both time and space, revealing sites and regions where up-to-date surveys are needed. Our synthesis will be useful for identifying areas where conservation actions for shorebirds, including consideration for future WHSRN nomination, are warranted.