Over its decade-plus of operations, the ABMI has generated a comprehensive dataset on Alberta’s species, their habitats, and the extent and type of human footprint across the province. With this information, the ABMI has developed analyses to predict species' relative abundances and examine species' responses to vegetation and soil types, as well as human footprint in Alberta. These methods have been applied to hundreds of species; this profile provides summary results for one.
In northern Alberta, the Black-capped Chickadee prefers stands with deciduous trees; in southern Alberta, it is likely to be found in wooded coulees and valleys as well as urban and rural areas. Old or dead decidous trees with softer wood are essential for cavity nest excavation.
Forested Region - Species Habitat Association Graph: Predicted species relative abundance (bars) as a function of vegetation and human footprint type in the forested region. Dots are added to forest types where harvesting occurs and show the predicted species abundance in harvested stands of various ages. Vertical lines represent 90% confidence intervals.
Linear Footprint Graph: Species relative abundance predicted for habitat with no human footprint compared to habitat in which 10% of the area is converted to either soft or hard linear footprint.
If it is not possible to create complex habitat association models for species, we present a coarse index of habitat use which represents the proportion of detections in each native vegetation, soil, and human footprint type in comparison to the proportional availability of the habitat types.
Use-availability index graph: Index of species habitat use based on the proportion of species detections in each native vegetation and human footprint type in comparison to the habitat availability. The index (bars) range from -1 (avoidance) to +1 (preference), given availability of a particular vegetation or human footprint type.
The Black-capped Chickadee is generally tolerant of human footprint; it is commonly observed in human-affected areas such as urban areas. It is also attracted to forest edge; however, forestry practices that eliminate preferred nesting locations such as old or dead deciduous trees or that result in excessive fragmentation can negatively affect nesting and winter travel.
Figure: Local Scale Effects. Predicted changes to Black-capped Chickadee relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector (human footprint type) compared to the habitat it replaced (modelled reference condition with no human footprint). Sector effect values less than 0% indicate habitat suitability is reduced (predicted related abundance is lower) compared to reference conditions, and values more than 0% indicate habitat suitability is improved (predicted relative abundance is higher) compared to reference conditions.
Figure: Regional Population Effects. Predicted change in the total regional population by industrial sector for Black-capped Chickadee. This incorporates the area of the footprint, the native habitats where the footprint occurs, and the species response to a particular footprint. Regional population effect values less than 0% indicate a predicted decrease in the regional population due to a particular sector’s footprint, and values greater than 0% indicate a predicted increase.
The Black-capped Chickadee is commonly found in all of Alberta's forested natural regions and is most common in the Parkland, Foothills, and Boreal Forest Natural Regions.
The current condition is the predicted relative abundance of Black-capped Chickadee taking current human footprint (circa 2018) into account.
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The reference condition shows the predicted relative abundance of Black-capped Chickadee after all human footprint had been backfilled based on native vegetation in the surrounding area.
The difference map shows areas where the current relative abundance of Black-capped Chickadee is predicted to be higher or lower compared to reference conditions. In other words, where habitat suitability is predicted to increase or decrease as a result of human footprint.
Boreal Avian Modelling Project. 2016. Black-capped Chickadee. http://www.borealbirds.ca/avian_db/accounts.php/Poecile+atricapillus. Accessed July 7, 2016.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2016. All About Birds: Black-capped Chickadee. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee . Accessed June 11, 2016.
Proppe, D.A., K.A. Byers, C.B. Sturdy, C.C. St. Clair. 2013. Physical condition of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in relation to road disturbance. Journal of Zoology 91(11): 842-845.
Sibley, D. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. Chanticleer Press, New York, NY.
St. Clair, C.C., M. Bélisle, A. Desrochers, and S. Hannon. 1998. Winter responses of forest birds to habitat corridors and gaps. Conservation Ecology 2(2):13.
Information from ABMI bird point counts was combined with information from other organizations and individuals:
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Boreal Avian Modelling Project. 2020. Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus). ABMI Website: abmi.ca/home/data-analytics/biobrowser-home/species-profile?tsn=554382.
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2016. ABMI Species Website Manual, Version: 2016-12-02. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2014. Manual for Species Modeling and Intactness, Version 2014-09-25. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2014. Terrestrial field data collection protocols (abridged version) 2016-05-18. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.
Download ABMI Species and Habitat Data.
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