Loading…

Flash Player 9 (or above) is needed to view presentations.
We have detected that you do not have it on your computer. To install it, go here.

Like this presentation? Why not share!

Mmas 102808

on

  • 307 views

Brunswick, Maine Chimney Swift Roost Project

Brunswick, Maine Chimney Swift Roost Project

Statistics

Views

Total Views
307
Views on SlideShare
307
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Mmas 102808 Mmas 102808 Presentation Transcript

    • What lives downtown and eats 1,000 flying insects each day?
      • children less connected with nature
      • need for in-town pocket parks that re-connect people with nature
      • declining awareness that local actions can make a difference
      • few inexpensive opportunities to provide lasting benefits for declining species populations
      • capitalizing on nature based tourism trends in local approach to economic development
      Some Current Conservation Challenges in Brunswick:
    • A rare, and challenging opportunity to protect a publicly accessible natural phenomenon
    • Roosting vs. Nesting? Roosts are used by flocks often numbering in the hundreds during migration and are critical predator-free stop over sites. Have been shown to be a key limiting factor in species conservation. Nesting typically takes place in smaller residential chimneys. Usually only 1 or sometimes 2 pairs will nest together.
    • How rare is this opportunity?
      • In all of Maritime Provinces less than 10 roosts remain
      • In ME probably less than 40 roosts remain, none of this size (use) known, none are protected
      • For comparison
      • In ME there are 200+/- shorebird roosts, 81 that receive formal protection by MDEP
    • How challenging is this opportunity?
      • Most conservation $$$ for habitat protection buys acreage
      • Most conservation groups have little interest in built (urban) landscape
      • Plight of chimney swifts is not well known even by most conservation groups
      • Many people assume because birds spend time in developed areas, must be common, or at “unnaturally” high populations
      = a true conservation conundrum
    •  
    • A bird truly built for life on the wing. Only stop flying while on nest or at night roost.
    • Many adaptations to exploit a niche that is truly their own.
    • Swifts are monogamous returning to nest site year after year, typical clutch size = 4 eggs, on average 3 fledge per nest
      • Preferred nest and roost habitat:
      • Proximate to large water bodies
      • 95% w/in 1km of water; OBHS is 2,600 feet from river
      • Given mostly aerial habits hard to tie to any given habitat type other than where structures for roosting/nesting occur
      • Specific nesting site selection criteria:
      • Nesting chimneys/trees >12” interior diameter
      • Rough interior
      • Preferred chimneys pre-date 1960
      • In Canada, reported that most chimneys will not be suitable within 10 years
      • Specific roosting site selection criteria:
      • Chimneys/trees >24” interior diameter, larger the better
      • Rough interior
      • Preferred chimneys pre-date 1960
      • Best remaining in commercial and institutional buildings
      • In Canada >60% in religious institutions
    • Population trends: Many eastern US aerial insectivores have shown significant 30 year decline
    • Swifts have shown the fastest decline Since the 1960’s global chimney swift populations have declined 44%
    • In Maine only 4-6% of forest currently late successional stage (100-200 yrs) Most industrial forest managed on short rotation that does not favor old trees How is this happening? 1) Loss of natural habitat
    • 2) Switch to adopted habitat
      • First observed using chimneys 1672 in Maine
      • By 1812 Wilson noted nesting limited to chimneys in PA
      • By 1840 Audubon recorded most nests in chimneys in KY
      “ American Swallow” from Catesby’s 1771 Natural History
    • 3) Loss of adopted habitat Based on current chimney upgrade trends, few nesting chimneys, if any, will be present in Canada in 30 years
    • Have chimneys resulted in artificially high numbers of birds?
      • Surveys of late successional forests in NY show average of seven >20-inch diameter swift eligible snags per acre
      • Based on US census data and estimates of chimney distribution per acre, available artificial habitat is 2 orders of magnitude less
    • 4) Climate change
      • Possible factors for swifts:
      • Increase in hurricane activity
      • Increase in precipitation during breeding season
      • Likely shifts in prey abundance
      • Many folks upgrading heating systems
      • Best we may be able to do is to maintain functional habitat
    • 2007 Assessment and Status Report on the Chimney Swift
      • Nationwide population = 12,000
        • Quebec = 2,500 (Quebec City 553; Montreal 353)
        • Maritimes = 900
      • Population down 30% in last 3 generations (13.5 yrs)
      • Range has declined 1/3 over same period
      • Overall 7.8% decrease/yr 1968-2005 (95% drop over period)
    • Maine’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (Wildlife Action Plan) Identifies 213 Species of Greatest Conservation Need; Lists Chimney Swift as a Priority Species of Greatest Conservation Need in SWAP; Under MESA, Chimney Swift listed as a species of Special Concern eligible for threatened status due to 42% decline in 20 years Maine Birder Band
    • Why should we care? Chimney swifts commonly feed at dusk when mosquitoes are becoming most active. Chimney swifts eat 1/3 of their weight in flying insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies and termites every day. A nest of four nestlings will be fed as many as 12,000 insects daily.
    • OBHS roost site is the most active documented in Maine What we have locally
    • The challenge ahead
      • OBHS to be torn down starting Spring 2009
      • School Board Building Subcommittee working with PDT Architects on new school
      • MMAS members have been working to build support for maintaining a functional swift roost as part of plans
      • Funding and show of support needed
    • What are others doing? Preservation of existing sites preferred
    • What are others doing? Robie Tufts Nature Centre, Wolfville NS Preserved old dairy chimney Listed as #21 in the top 50 things to do in Nova Scotia 2007
    • What are others doing? Replacements:
      • Many examples out there
      • Specifications are key! Must extend above roof line +/- 20ft and have 36” x 36” interior minimum
      • Temperature shown to be a factor. Maintaining 55F key.
      • Have replacement roost ready upon birds’ spring return
      • Swifts don’t show any architectural style preference…
    • A Tremendous Educational Opportunity!
      • Many schools have incorporated A Swift Night Out and species ecology into curricula
      • Many schools have installed security cameras (<$500) in roosts for remote in-classroom observation
      • Swift roosts are well-visited tourist attractions from New Brunswick to New Caney, TX
      • Brunswick can lead the way for swift conservation in Maine!
    • MMAS efforts to date?
      • Roost monitoring and Swift Night Out coordinated during Summer 2008
      • To date we have presented to Town Council and received a unanimous vote of support to pursue funding;
      • We have presented to the School Board Building Committee to address concerns;
      • We received grant support from MOHF, and have submitted to Bowdoin College Common Good
      • Will need to rely on private fund raising if this project is to come to fruition
    •  
    •  
      • We encourage everyone to become part of this unique project.
      • Merrymeeting Audubon Society
      • PO Box 544
      • Bath, ME 04530.
    •