Saskatchewan is moving forward in efforts to monitor its upland game bird population.
The seven species to be monitored in the review are the gray partridge, ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, willow ptarmigan, rock ptarmigan, and Saskatchewan’s provincial bird, the sharp-tailed grouse.
There has been little research conducted on game bird populations in Saskatchewan during the past decade, aside from anecdotal reports.
“Upland game birds are an important part of the Saskatchewan ecosystem and it is time we understood more about their populations in order to make better-informed wildlife management decisions to ensure our environment is healthy and that our resources are protected for future generations,” Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said.
“The cornerstone of a science-based wildlife management model is comprehensive data,” Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation President David Pezderic said. “It begins with baseline and comparative information on species populations. The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation strongly supports these efforts and encourages all our members to participate in this program.”
Hunters, stock growers, landowners, birders, interested groups and individuals are invited to participate in the Saskatchewan Upland Game Bird Survey. Each time an individual or group of the specified birds is observed, participants are encouraged to fill out and submit the form that can be accessed at www.environment.gov.sk.ca/gamebirdsurvey.
“Monitoring is a valuable tool for assessing the impact of changes in weather, habitat and the normal fluctuations in species,” Cheveldayoff said. “This is a good example of our shift to a results-based approach that ensures that the ministry is able to balance environmental protection with sustainable use of natural resources.”
Ministry of Environment surveys can be seen at www.environment.gov.sk.ca/wildlife.