MSc Candidate (2018-present)
Many endangered species are limited by suitable breeding habitat, mainly due to human interactions and interventions. This is especially true for species that are habitat specialists, such as the Kirtland’s warbler, that depend on young jack pine stands to breed. Knowledge of what are believed to be the habitat requirements for breeding has lead to the development of expensive and intensive conservation management projects focusing on monoculture jack pine plantations to increase the population size. However, in rare instances, Kirtland’s warblers have been noted to nest and breed in red pine stands.
For my MSc, I will characterize the habitat of occupied and unoccupied red pine dominant breeding sites of Kirtland’s warblers in Ontario. The primary objective of this project is to examine whether the currently unoccupied red pine plantations can be restored to provide suitable breeding habitat for this endangered species, and therefore expand their restricted breeding range.