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(Calidris alpina pacifica)

(Studied by graduated PhD students Pippa Shepherd, and Lesley Evans Ogden, and Post-doctoral fellow Yuri Zharikov.

Habitat use currently of interest to MSc student Rachel Gardiner; anti-predator behavior studied by Ron Ydenberg, Dick Dekker, and others) .

We are engaged in research on overwintering Dunlin and other shorebirds in suburban Vancouver.

The Fraser River Delta in suburban Vancouver supports the most northerly large overwintering population of Pacific Dunlin, and is the largest concentration of wintering shorebirds in Canada, including approximately 30,000 Pacific Dunlin, 5,000 Black-bellied Plover, and 400 killdeer. Work on this population was carried out by graduated doctoral students Pippa Shepherd, who radio-tracked individual birds during the winter, and doctoral student Lesley J. Evans Ogden, who focused on the dietary importance of agricultural land use by overwintering Dunlin.

Both studies have direct applications to conservation and local foreshore and land use issues, particularly with respect to open-soil agricultural practices in coastal areas of suburban Vancouver.

Post-doctoral fellow Yuri Zharikov modeled use of mudflats by dunlin with respect to physical and predator landscapes, applicable to issues of Port of Metro Vancouver usage and potential expansion..

 List of shorebird publications by CWE researchers

Left: Dunlin and Black bellied plover in a flooded farm field in Delta. Photo: L.J. Evans Ogden

Right: Dunlin flock flying from mudflats to fields at high tide. Dunlin both roost and feed in agricultural fields, and farmland provides important winter habitat for this species.

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CWE web site created by Lesley Evans Ogden. Last updated on 3 March 2009. Contact CWE webmaster.