Background & Aims


Climate change in the sub-Arctic 

Climate change poses a threat to the sub-arctic ecosystem, resulting in increased temperatures and precipitation, causing alterations in vegetation structure and the emergence of opportunistic species. For sub-Arctic breeding birds, these changes can have consequences on the quality of their current breeding range

To understand how species cope with changing habitat conditions, it is crucial to have comprehensive knowledge of what characterizes their habitat. 

Short-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus hendersoni

The Short-Billed Dowitcher (SBDO) is a species of shorebird, breeding in the North American sub-Arctic and wintering south to regions along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines of North and South America. This species is found in sub-Arctic Canada during its breeding period, a remote and inaccessible landscape. As a result, the species is poorly studied on its breeding ground and only a few breeding locations are known. 

One of its known breeding locations is Churchill, Manitoba. The SBDO subspecies nesting in Churchill is Limnodromus griseus hendersoni.

Nesting sites in the Churchill region are found in wet sedge meadows at edges of the treeline and in muskegs within the boreal forest. The typical arrival period in Churchill is from late May to early June and the hatching usually happens between the 23rd of June and the 12th of July. 

Location of Churchill on a map
Short-Billed Dowitcher on its breeding ground
Wet sedge meadow habitat in the Churchill region


1. Identifying the nesting habitat preferences of SBDO and visualizing the potential suitable nesting habitat at a local scale in the Churchill region.

2. Visualizing how future climate conditions could affect the breeding habitat distribution at a regional scale.