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By Dr. Laura Tranquilla, Director, Atlantic Region, Birds Canada

Breeding bird atlases map the distribution and abundance of birds and can be used for monitoring biological and environmental changes through time. Newfoundland and Labrador is the last province in Canada without a breeding bird atlas, making it difficult to assess the importance of the region for bird populations, and hindering efforts for comprehensive land-use planning and conservation planning in the province.

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Northern Gannets Photo: Catherine Dale

To address this gap, Birds Canada has begun a pilot project to assess the feasibility of developing the First Breeding Bird Atlas of Newfoundland. Dr. Catherine Dale has recently moved to St. John’s as our Atlas Coordinator, and is busy making connections on “the Rock,” fundraising, and building the volunteer base needed to support this massive project. Check out the blog “Dispatches from the Field” for Catherine’s honest and funny inside scoop about her first summer in Newfoundland.

Birds Canada is aiming to begin fieldwork for the Atlas in 2020, and Catherine will soon launch a volunteer drive to find keen birders willing to collect Atlas data on the island of Newfoundland. Importantly, we need substantial funding to get this project off the ground. We are happy to have early support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and from the Environment Damages Fund, but are looking for generous donations to keep this ambitious project running for five to seven years.

Do you want to help Newfoundland’s first breeding bird atlas get off the ground? Please contact Catherine at cdale@birdscanada.org for more information.

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