Expert: World Migratory Bird Day | May 9
"The impacts of climate warming are greatest in the Arctic. What does the changing ecology of seabirds tell us about arctic ecosystems? Information about the top predators such as sea birds integrates information over many scales, thus providing unique opportunities to assess ecosystem change. As food used by northern people, top predators also provide early warning signals for changes in human health. How does reduced ice affect marine wildlife? I also work with other researchers to study the at-sea distribution of seabirds. We use accelerometers, depth loggers and GPS units to follow thick-billed murres and other seabirds in the Arctic. Of particular interest are the colonies whose foraging range overlaps with the proposed shipping lanes for the immense Baffinlands mine. The ultimate goal is to provide a map of key biological hotspots in the Arctic to guide resource development in a changing North (shipping lanes, oil spill management, fisheries, national reserve design, etc.)."
Kyle Elliott studies birds traveling vast distances to and from the Arctic each year. He also works with the McGill Bird Observatory to track migrating birds from across eastern Canada that move through the Montreal region.