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Monitoring - Wildlife

Raptor Survey

Rationale

Golden eagle nest at Cache Lake.
Golden eagle nest at Cache Lake.
© Parks Canada

Raptors, especially peregrine falcons, can be used as indicators of ecosystem health. Surveying raptors when they are in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks to breed provides an indicator of the health of their populations and the condition of the ecosystem throughout their range. These surveys coincide with the Canadian Peregrine Falcon Survey, a national effort to monitor the status of peregrine falcon populations in North America every five years.

Objectives

  • To document the number of peregrine falcons and other species of raptors breeding in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks.
  • To provide information about peregrine falcon populations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks to the Canadian Peregrine Falcon Survey.

Methods and Information Collected

  • The raptor survey is conducted every 5 years. The next survey will be conducted in 2005. Incidental observations of raptors are recorded annually.

2000 Raptor Survey

Aulavik National Park

  • Two surveys were conducted along the Thomsen River from Green Cabin to the Muskox River. One hiking patrol surveyed 30 km of the Muskox River. Two hiking patrols surveyed areas east and south of Mercy Bay. A helicopter survey was conducted south and east of Nangmagvik Lake.
Ivvavik National Park
  • The survey was conducted by helicopter on the Yukon North Slope. The survey area included the lower reaches of the Firth, Malcolm and Babbage rivers, and Herschel Island.
Tuktut Nogait National Park
  • The Hornaday River was surveyed on foot and by boat. The canyon section was hiked and the upper Hornaday River was surveyed by canoe. The Roscoe River was surveyed on foot.

2001-2002 Raptor Survey

  • Raptor observations and nest sites were recorded in Ivvavik, Aulavik and Tuktut Nogait during regular park patrols throughout the summer.

Results

2000 Raptor Survey

Aulavik National Park
  • A total of 91 active raptor nests were located in the park: 10 peregrine falcon, 63 rough-legged hawk, 16 snowy owl and two short-eared owl.
  • The two short-eared owl nests were the first recorded for Banks Island.
Ivvavik National Park
  • Sixteen known peregrine falcon territories on the Yukon North Slope were visited and four new territories were found. In total, nine occupied territories were found in 2000. Seven of these were productive.
  • These results indicate an increase in the number of peregrine falcons on the Yukon North Slope since 1995. However, a larger area was surveyed in 2000 than in the past.
Tuktut Nogait National Park
  • The 2000 survey found 13 productive territories, 1 territorial pair and 1 territorial adult male in 15 of 19 known peregrine falcon territories along the Hornaday River. Four new territories with productive pairs were also found.
  • The size of the peregrine falcon population on the Hornaday River has, at least, been stable from 1988 to 2000. The four new peregrine falcon territories found in 2000 indicate a positive, but unconfirmed, trend.

2003 Raptor Survey

  • A raptor survey was conducted around Cache Lake in Tuktut Nogait National Park from July 25-28, 2003. Two peregrine falcon nests, 1 rough-legged hawk nest and 1 golden eagle nest were found.

Years of Data

Aulavik National Park

Peregrine falcon nest at Cache Lake.
Peregrine falcon nest at Cache Lake.
© Parks Canada
  • Historic data as far back as 1952.
  • Parks Canada raptor survey 2000.

Ivvavik National Park

  • Peregrine falcon surveys on the Yukon North Slope since 1972.
  • Parks Canada raptor survey 2000.

Tuktut Nogait National Park

  • Raptor surveys along the Brock and Hornaday Rivers - 1988, 1990, 1991.
  • Parks Canada raptor survey 2000 and 2003 (Cache Lake survey only).

Funding

  • Parks Canada
  • Government of Yukon
  • Polar Continental Shelf Project

Data Location

  • Parks Canada, Inuvik

Contacts

Ian McDonald
Conservation Biologist
Parks Canada Agency
P.O. Box 1840
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0
Phone: (867) 777-8807
Fax: (867) 777-8820
Ian.McDonald@pc.gc.ca