Project Dashboard

Long-term changes in bird populations near Cambridge Bay based on lake sediment records (149257)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Jules Blais
Company: University of Ottawa
Start Date: 2020-06-22
End Date: 2022-07-10
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
Project title: Long-term changes in bird populations near Cambridge Bay based on lake sediment records Objectives: Our short term objective is to show how bird populations around Cambridge Bay and the Ahiak Migratory Bird Sanctuary have changed over time using lake sediments as a natural archive. Long term, we will integrate bird population histories with recent research and indigenous knowledge to investigate the stability of migratory bird populations and their reliability as a food source in the North. Rationale: Sediment is a natural archive because it slowly accumulates at the bottom of lakes and it contains animal and plant material from the time it was deposited. Thus sediment is a record of environmental changes. When birds colonize the area, they fertilize the water, and these changes are recorded in the chemical and biological composition of the lake sediment layers, which can be used to show the history of bird populations. Progress to date: We are developing new and increasingly sensitive methods to detect how birds alter the environment where they nest over time (i.e. decades to centuries). This information allows detailed historical interpretations of how and when bird populations increased or collapsed in the past based on lake sediment profiles. We recently used lake sediment to show how common eider populations in Hudson Strait declined. We contacted Jennie Rausch in Cambridge Bay, Vice-Chair of the Ahiak Area Co-Management Committee. She offered to help us design our study and to liaise with community stakeholders. We also contacted Dr. Ray Alisauskas from the Canadian Wildlife Service in Saskatoon who has an extensive history researching in the Ahiak Sanctuary. We have also contacted the Ahiak Migratory Bird Sanctuary Management Board to help us arrange field logistics. Methodology: We propose to track long-term changes in several bird populations including (but not restricted to): (1) geese (snow geese and Ross’s geese) in the Ahiak Migratory Bird sanctuary, the Anderson Bay colony, the Icebreaker colony, and (2) Common eiders on coastal islands and within Nayak Lake in the southwest of the Kent Peninsula. Our field collections will involve collecting lake sediment cores adjacent to bird colonies. Jules Blais and colleagues have 30 years of experience collecting sediment cores, many of which were from Canada’s Arctic regions. Methods for sediment analysis to reconstruct past histories in bird populations are well established in the Blais laboratory at the University of Ottawa. Sediment samples will be analyzed for different fats (lipids) that we have shown to be effective in tracking bird populations. Also, sediment DNA may give us new information about the species of birds that were present and when. Data management: All data produced by this research will be made available on a publically accessible data repository. Research outputs: Research will be published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, in graduate theses, conference presentations, and an annual newsletter translated to Inuktitut.
Persons: 4
Days: 18
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
5932 polygon Ahiak Migratory Bird Sanctuary
5935 polygon Icebreaker Colony
5936 polygon Cambridge Bay and region
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Inuit Owned Surface Lands
Extablished National or Territorial Park
Settlement Area
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
NRI: Scientific Research Licence
CWS: Migratory Bird Sanctuary permit under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations
KivIA: 0
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Aircraft 1 20' x 8' A helicopter to ferry passengers and equipment to field sites
Sediment coring device 1 3' x 1' A sediment coring device to collect lake sediment samples
All terratin vehicle 3 6' x 4' All terrain vehicles for accessing field sites near Cambridge Bay
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Aviation fuel 3 200 Liters Fuel for helicopter
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
No environmental impacts anticipated
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
No data found.
Category: Application form attachment - License/ Authorization
Recieved: 2019-11-25
Originator: Jules Blais
Public Registry ID: 17041
Document Size: 664.73 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - License/ Authorization
Recieved: 2019-11-25
Originator: Jules Blais
Public Registry ID: 17042
Document Size: 176.97 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2019-11-25
Originator: Jules Blais
Public Registry ID: 17040
Document Size: 169.49 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2020-01-11
Originator: Jules Blais
Public Registry ID: 17174
Document Size: 34.86 Kb
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2020-01-20
Originator: Peter Scholz
Public Registry ID: 17223
Document Size: 433.14 Kb
2019-11-27 15:21:52, from: Jules Blais
 This application was sent back to me because I was told it is incomplete, but I do not see what is missing, or what I need to do to fix the problem. Can someone please communicate with me by email ( or phone (613-562-5800 Ext. 6650)? Many thanks, JB