The Influence of Energy Development on the Ecology of the Ferruginous Hawk in the Western Canadian Grassland Ecosystems

Erin Bayne
Cameron Nordell
Jesse Watson
Melynda Johnson
Adam Moltzahn
Janet Ng
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The Ferruginous Hawk (FEHA) has been listed as an Endangered Species under the Alberta Wildlife Act by the provincial government since 2006 (Alberta FEHA Recovery Team 2009); and were re-listed as a Threatened species under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (shorthand: SARA) by the federal government in 2010 (Government of Canada 2013).

Habitat loss and degradation is considered one of the most likely causes of their declines and is one of the highest priority corrective actions listed in the 2009-2014 Alberta Recovery Plan for FEHA. This document summarizes the status of FEHA in Alberta and reports on how the demographic consequences of FEHA living in prairie Canada may be related to energy sector development.

Overall, there is no one factor that is causing the decline of FEHA in prairie Canada. Loss of natural nest sites is occurring as trees age and extreme weather increases, resulting in damaged or fallen trees. Some individuals are being killed by traffic and vertical infrastructure. Whether this mortality is additive or compensatory to that caused by natural processes requires more investigation.