Breeding Birds of Pelee Island
PIBO has been surveying the number of species that breed on Pelee Island since 2004, when, with initial funding from the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Township of Pelee, we began the Breeding Birds of Pelee Island (BBPI) program. The number of breeding bird species on Pelee Island in 2011 was 52; it is now down to 35.
Every year throughout the breeding season—April to September—PIBO conducts surveys and censuses on more than 100 sites in five major breeding areas on the island, including marshland, cedar forests, and the Stone Road Alvar.
A “survey” provides a reliable estimate of the population size of a particular species in a given area. A complete count within a survey is called a “census.” “Monitoring” is a step beyond a survey: by undertaking repeat surveys, population trends of particular species can be monitored and estimated over time. In a survey, a census, and monitoring, consistency is crucial to measuring genuine population fluctuations—which is vital since these statistics determine which species are highest on the conservation priority list.