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By Ian Fife (Ontario Forest Birds at Risk Program Coordinator) and Liz Purves (Director, Ontario), Bird Studies Canada
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Neotropical Migratory Birds Convention Act (NMBCA) grant program recently announced its gracious support for Bird Studies Canada’s efforts on behalf of Cerulean Warblers and their habitat. The NMBCA program addresses migratory bird populations on a continental scale and conserves birds throughout their life cycles.
Nearly 100% of the Canadian Cerulean Warbler population breeds in two unprotected regions of Ontario: the Frontenac Arch (about 500 pairs) and the Carolinian Forest (about 80 pairs). Habitat loss, fragmentation, and unhealthy harvesting practices that remove mature trees and forest cover has led this species’ population to decline by more than 50%. However, the outlook for Cerulean Warblers may improve with changes in harvesting practices.
The approved NMBCA funding will allow us, through Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario Forest Birds at Risk program, to monitor Cerulean Warbler populations and assess which habitat features are important for them. This will enable us to create region-specific Beneficial Management Practices with the aim of aiding in the species’ recovery. The NMBCA funding also provides us with an opportunity to work with and support landowners and partners to identify and diminish threats to Cerulean Warblers and to achieve landowner stewardship goals to help secure habitat for this Endangered species.
For more information about Cerulean Warblers and other priority forest species at risk, visit the Ontario Forest Birds at Risk program website or read the most recent program summary report.
Stay tuned to Bird Studies Canada’s enews for more updates on the Forest Birds at Risk program. To learn more about other approved NMBCA projects across the Americas, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. Other current program supporters include the Government of Canada.
You can also learn more about the remarkable Cerulean Warbler in this postcard infographic! A shout-out to Alexandre Nicole, who designed and illustrated this sharp-looking piece (among others we’ve produced).

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