Alberta Map
Alberta Map

Introduction

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.

Habitat & Human Footprint Associations

The Western Wood-Pewee is typically associated with open woodlands, forest edges and riparian areas but will live in prairie woodlots and windbreaks. It nests in trees, preferring Trembling Aspen in some areas, to escape nest predators.

Species-habitat Associations in the Forested Region

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 cutblocks of various ages. Vertical lines represent 90% confidence intervals.

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is highest in very young forests of all types in the forested region, especially mixedwood, pine and white spruce stands.
  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is lower in young harvested stands compared to young naturally disturbed forest stands in the forested region.

Species-habitat Associations in the Prairie Region

Non-Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Non-Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Prairie Region - Species Habitat Association Graph: Predicted species relative abundance (bars) in each soil type and human footprint type in the prairie region. Vertical lines indicate 90% confidence intervals. The presence/absence of trees greatly affects the presence and abundance of many species; therefore, separate figures are presented for treed and non-treed sites in the prairie region.

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is greater at treed compared to non-treed sites in the prairie region.
  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is similar across soil and human footprint types in the prairie region.

Relationship to Linear Footprint


Relationship to Linear Footprint in the Forested Region



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.

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to have a slight negative relationship with hard linear footprint and no relationship with soft linear footprint in the forested region.

Relationship to Linear Footprint in the Prairie Region



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.

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to have a positive relationship with hard linear footprint and soft linear footprint in the prairie region.

Impacts of Human Footprint

The Western Wood-Pewee is adapted to young forests, preferring open canopies, forest openings and edges but little has been published regarding its response to forest harvest or oil and gas development. The Western Wood-Pewee can be adversely affected by agricultural practices in prairie regions that reduce woody cover in riparian zones.

Human Footprint Effects in the Forested Region

Under-footprint Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Forested Region

Figure: Under-footprint Effects. Percentage change in Western Wood-pewee relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector in the forested region. Dot above bar indicates change in abundance is greater than 100%. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated under-footprint effect.

To understand how the Western Wood-pewee is impacted by specific development activities, the under-footprint figure shows how Western Wood-pewee relative abundance is predicted to change within each sector's footprint compared to the habitat it replaced (Figure: Under-footprint Effects).

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to be lower than expected in all human footprint types, except forestry footprint, compared to the habitat each footprint replaces in the forested region.

Regional Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Sector Effects. Percentage change in Western Wood-pewee relative abundance throughout the forested region due to the respective footprints of each sector. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated regional effect.

The Regional Sector Effects graph shows the predicted change in the total relative abundance of the Western Wood-pewee across the forested region due to each sector's footprint, considering the: area of the footprint in the region, under-footprint effect, and habitat types impacted by a particular sector (Figure: Regional Sector Effects).

  • Overall, at the regional scale, Western Wood-Pewee total population effects for all industrial sectors are small in the forested region.

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Under-footprint Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Under-footprint Effects. Percentage change in Western Wood-pewee relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector in the prairie region. Dot above bar indicates change in abundance is greater than 100%. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated under-footprint effect.

To understand how the Western Wood-pewee is impacted by specific development activities, the under-footprint figure shows how Western Wood-pewee relative abundance is predicted to change within each sector's footprint compared to the habitat it replaced (Figure: Under-footprint Effects).

  • In the prairie region, the relative abundance of Western Wood-Pewee is predicted to be slightly higher in transportation, energy and forestry footprints compared to the habitat each footprint replaces.
  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to be lower in agriculture and rural/urban footprints compared to the habitat each footprint replaces.

Regional Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Sector Effects. Percentage change in Western Wood-pewee relative abundance throughout the prairie region due to the respective footprints of each sector. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated regional effect.

The Regional Sector Effects graph shows the predicted change in the total relative abundance of the Western Wood-pewee across the prairie region due to each sector's footprint, considering the: area of the footprint in the region, under-footprint effect, and habitat types impacted by a particular sector (Figure: Regional Sector Effects).

  • Agriculture footprint has the strongest negative population effect in the prairie region, resulting in a lower predicted relative abundance of Western Wood-Pewee at the regional scale.
  • The remaining industrial sectors have very small population effects on the Western Wood-Pewee at the regional scale.

Predicted Relative Abundance

The Western Wood-Pewee is found throughout Alberta, but is most common in the Boreal Forest and Foothills Natural Regions.

Reference Conditions

  • The reference condition shows the predicted relative abundance of the Western Wood-pewee after all human footprint had been backfilled based on native vegetation in the surrounding area.

Current Conditions

  • The current condition is the predicted relative abundance of the Western Wood-pewee taking current human footprint (circa 2016) into account.

Difference Conditions

  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to be lower under current conditions compared to reference conditions throughout the Parkland Natural Region and in parts of the Boreal Forest Natural Region.
  • Western Wood-Pewee relative abundance is predicted to be higher under current conditions compared to reference conditions in much of the Foothills Natural Region, and parts of the Boreal Forest Natural Region.

References & Credits

References & Credits

Bemis, C., and J.D. Rising. 1999. Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus). In: The Birds of North America, ed. P.G. Rodewald. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/wewpew. Accessed November 14, 2016.

Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007. The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta: A Second Look. Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Edmonton, AB.

Page, J.L., N. Dodd, T.O. Osborne, and J.A. Carson. 1978. The influence of livestock grazing on non-game wildlife. pp. 159-173 In: Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Vol 14.

Richardson, T.W., and S.B. Vander Wall. 2007. Yellow Pine Chipmunks cannot climb Quaking Aspens: implications for avian nest site selection. Western North American Naturalist 67(2):251-257.

Data Sources

Information from ABMI bird point counts was combined with information from other organizations and individuals:

  • Environment Canada (North American Breeding Bird Survey and Joint Oil Sands Monitoring programs)
  • Ecological Monitoring Committee for the Lower Athabasca (EMCLA)
  • Dr. Erin Bayne (University of Alberta)

Photo Credits

Photos: TBD

Recommended Citation

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Boreal Avian Modelling Project. 2019. Western Wood-pewee (Contopus sordidulus). ABMI Website: abmi.ca/home/data-analytics/biobrowser-home/species-profile?tsn=99002628.

Additional ABMI Resources

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.

View ABMI Collaborations.

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for testing profile: [{QALog=

Niki Wilson Feb-1-2017

John Wilmshurst Writing on November-14-2016
John Wilmshurst Submitted November-14-2016

John Wilmshurst Published on November-15-2018

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The Western Wood-Pewee, a small gray flycatcher, is a summer resident of Alberta that prefers riparian habitats. It is found in all natural regions, from the wooded coulees of the Grassland and Foothills Natural Regions to the wetlands of the Canadian Shield Natural Region.

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The Western Wood-Pewee is typically associated with open woodlands, forest edges and riparian areas but will live in prairie woodlots and windbreaks. It nests in trees, preferring Trembling Aspen in some areas, to escape nest predators.

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The Western Wood-Pewee is adapted to young forests, preferring open canopies, forest openings and edges but little has been published regarding its response to forest harvest or oil and gas development. The Western Wood-Pewee can be adversely affected by agricultural practices in prairie regions that reduce woody cover in riparian zones.

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The Western Wood-Pewee is found throughout Alberta, but is most common in the Boreal Forest and Foothills Natural Regions.

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Bemis, C., and J.D. Rising. 1999. Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus). In: The Birds of North America, ed. P.G. Rodewald. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/wewpew. Accessed November 14, 2016.

Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007. The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta: A Second Look. Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Edmonton, AB.

Page, J.L., N. Dodd, T.O. Osborne, and J.A. Carson. 1978. The influence of livestock grazing on non-game wildlife. pp. 159-173 In: Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Vol 14.

Richardson, T.W., and S.B. Vander Wall. 2007. Yellow Pine Chipmunks cannot climb Quaking Aspens: implications for avian nest site selection. Western North American Naturalist 67(2):251-257.

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JW Nov 2016 BB and NL written using Sep 2016 templates and science centre analyses.  NL readability = 6.2.

JW reviewed March 2017

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