Louis Moisan

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
At the end of the summer, tundra birds leave the tundra and often travel thousands of kilometers to reach diverse habitats such as the grasslands of South America, the shorelines of the Atlantic coast and the upwelling zones in West Africa. Habitats used as stopover sites and overwintering areas by Arctic species face multiple anthropogenic and environmental stressors. To adequately anticipate the effects of global change on Arctic biodiversity, it is therefore essential to consider the location and the type of habitats used by migratory species during their entire annual cycle. Our objective is to define a method to characterize a global migration network of a high Arctic tundra community, focusing on the Bylot Island tundra (Nunavut, Canada) as a case study. We consider 35 species, of which 28 are migratory bird species. Data come from species distribution maps (BirdLife International), birdwatching (Ebird), banding recoveries and tracking devices deployed at the study site on various species. By gathering these data, we locate terrestrial and marine ecoregions of the globe visited by migratory species during winter. We link bylot food web with visited ecoregions to define a global migration network. This method presents the number, the type and the distribution of ecoregions that an Arctic ecosystem is connected to. The network properties are used to locate regions across the globe with a high conservation value for Arctic biodiversity. Representing Bylot Island migration network is a first step in assessing Arctic ecosystems sensitivity to environmental changes happening to distant, but connected locations.