Population status

American Oystercatcher
(Haematopus palliatus)

The American Oystercatcher is a very rare breeder in Canada, first confirmed breeding in 1997 on Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia (Mawhinney et al. 1999). No American Oystercatchers were recorded in the first Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas (1986-1990), but birds were recorded in 6 squares during the second Atlas (2006-2010; Abbott 2015). This suggests a northward range expansion, as has also been suggested in the Atlantic coastal states (New Jersey to Maine; American Oystercatcher Working Group et al. 2012). Populations are thought to be increasing in some areas, while declining in others (American Oystercatcher Working Group et al. 2012). However, it is difficult to determine whether recently reported increases are due to changes in monitoring techniques rather than true population change (American Oystercatcher Working Group et al. 2012). Although the American Oystercatcher undoubtedly remains rare in Canada, the current status of the population in Canada relative to 1970 is unclear. Because of the lack of information, a national population goal for the Boreal Owl has not yet been determined.


Population goal and acceptable levels of variation

Species/groupGoalLower levelUpper level
American OystercatcherTo be determinedTo be determinedNot applicable