Survey of Newfoundland completed – habitat excellent

Written by John Bidwell
Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Photo of John Bidwell.We have now completed our survey of Newfoundland, and have only one day left to finish up Labrador. We are pleased to report that overall conditions are classified as good or excellent in 2009. Winter temperatures were below average in both provinces, and Newfoundland had well below average snowfall, particularly in the central highlands. Newfoundland also experienced mild temperatures in late April and early May, creating early nesting conditions. Overall, Newfoundland’s habitat conditions were considered excellent. In Labrador, colder temperatures persisted throughout early spring with lakes still frozen at the end of May and snow still dominating the higher elevations. Waterfowl concentrated on available habitat at lower elevations, but breeding social groups were still evident; we anticipate these pairs will move into habitat as soon as it opens up in early June. Overall, we rated Labrador habitat conditions as good. Timing of the survey was a bit late for black ducks in Labrador and Newfoundland – we observed only occasional groups – but was ideal for Canada geese, which were predominately recorded as pairs and singles.

Central highlands of Newfoundland were open and available for nesting waterfowl.  (Credit:  D. Forsell, USFWS)

Mid-elevation habitat in central Newfoundland was open for waterfowl.  (Credit:  D. Forsell, USFWS)

Tundra habitat west of St. Anthony, Newfoundland.  (Credit:  D. Forsell, USFWS)

Highlands of the Gros Morne National Park.  (Credit:  D. Forsell, USFWS)

Forest buffers east of Deer Lake, Newfoundland.  (Credit:  D. Forsell, USFWS)