A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2019
Hudsonian Godwits were recently assessed as “Threatened” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
At its April meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada assessed the status of 19 species, including Hudsonian Godwits, and found that Hudsonian Godwits are “Threatened” and likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to the species’ population decline, which was recently described as a 44 percent population decline in a report by Dr. Marcel Gahbauer.
Dr. Gahbauer wrote that Hudsonian Godwits are monitored most effectively on their wintering range, where recent surveys suggest an overall 44 percent population decline, with the most recent population estimate at approximately 41,000 adults. He added that Hudsonian Godwits face threats at all stages of their annual cycle, including climate change and overgrazing of tundra habitat by geese in the Arctic; loss of wetland habitat at migration staging sites in the United States and South America, and disturbance of wintering habitat by increasing levels of human development and other activities. In light of this information, Hudsonian Godwits were assessed as “Threatened” and likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to the species’ population decline.
There are three sub-populations of Hudsonian Godwits that nest in western Alaska, the Mackenzie River Delta in the Northwest Territories, and the Hudson Bay Lowlands of Manitoba and Ontario. Individuals from all these regions undertake long-distance migrations to wintering ranges in Argentina and Chile, and make important late summer feeding stopovers at key wetland areas in Saskatchewan and along James Bay in Ontario.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada is an independent advisory panel to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Canada that assesses the status of wildlife species and makes recommendations for the government to consider when determining which species receive legal protection under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.
Dr. Gahbauer’s report can be reviewed at https://www.birdscanada.org/news/hudsonian-godwit-faces-threats-throughout-its-life-cycle