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Monitoring Birds in Wisconsin An update on new surveys and how to get involved Ryan Brady and Andy Paulios (WI-DNR) October 25, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Monitoring Birds in Wisconsin An update on new surveys and how to get involved Ryan Brady and Andy Paulios (WI-DNR) October 25, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monitoring Birds in Wisconsin An update on new surveys and how to get involved Ryan Brady and Andy Paulios (WI-DNR) October 25, 2008

2 WBCI Approach to Bird Monitoring 1.Monitoring is integral to strategic conservation Strategic conservation – a structured way of thinking about what we do and why we do it Monitoring programs should address explicit questions aimed at improving conservation efforts for birds of concern Where we areWhere we want to be (Objective)

3 The Basic Framework is an Iterative, 5-Element Adaptive Process Priority Species Population Objectives Synthesis of science (models) Spatially-Explicit Models Habitat Objectives Program Priority Areas Population Impacts Build the scientific foundation for Management Program Accomplishments Net progress toward Population objectives Outcome-based Monitoring Biological Planning Conservation Design Assumption-based Research Conservation Delivery

4 WBCI Approach to Bird Monitoring 1.Monitoring is integral to strategic conservation Strategic conservation – a structured way of thinking about what we do and why we do it Monitoring programs should address explicit questions aimed at improving conservation efforts for birds of concern 2.Monitoring should be conducted in coordinated fashion across the biological range of a species or group of species Aligned objectives, standardized protocols, central databases etc. Statewide Coordinated Bird Monitoring Plan 3.Bird monitoring has benefitted from, and is dependent on, contributions from non-professionals Data generated by volunteers is used for conservation Communicating results WBCI training opportunities

5 Coordination in Action Early WBCI monitoring efforts have focused on filling gaps in statewide surveillance monitoring efforts = Identifying species at risk Priority Monitoring Gaps

6 Western Great Lakes Owl Monitoring Program Owls are poorly monitored – nocturnal, secretive, etc. Surveys initiated in 2005 in cooperation with HRBO Objectives: –Status –Distribution –Trends

7 Owl Monitoring - Methods Randomly-selected roadside survey routes statewide Surveyed once after dark from April stops per route, each 1 mile apart 5 minutes per stop No playback / broadcast Record owls and basic weather data Certified observers

8 Owl Monitoring – 2008 Results 84 of 92 routes run by 65+ volunteers

9 Eastern Screech Owl

10 Mean # owls per route in WI

11 How to Get Involved For more details, see: Contact Ryan Brady at or

12 Nightjar Survey Anecdotal evidence suggests declines BBS data is incomplete but also suggests significant nationwide declines (-2.1% per year for Whip-poor-wills) Atlas data from second Atlas efforts suggest systematic declines Wisconsin Species of Greatest Conservation Need

13 Nightjar Survey Started here in WI in 2007 Joint effort between NE CBM and SE PIF Goals = assess distribution, status, trends of CONI and WHIP Data will also be used for region- wide modeling efforts to assess conservation areas for species

14 Nightjar Survey - Methods Very similar to owls Sign up for pre-established roadside route in your area 10 stops per route, 6 minutes per stop Passively listen and record nightjars (and owls) Routes are run once in late May and June NEAR TIME OF FULL MOON (e.g. June 11-26)

15 Nightjar Survey – 2008 Results 71 of 92 routes run 45+ volunteers Total birds: –WHIP…..172 –CONI……9 –BDOW….36 –GHOW….12 –LEOW…..1

16 Distribution of Whip-poor-wills Many WHIPs: NW Sands NE Sands Central Sand Plains Northern Highland (lower) Some WHIPs: Central Sand Hills Western Coulee & Ridges Forest Transition North Central Forest Superior Coastal Plain Few to none: All the rest

17 What you can do! Participate in the survey Enter your nocturnal forays into eBird Enter historical observations into eBird

18 SECRETIVE MARSHBIRDS

19 Survey Objectives 1.Estimate population trends for marshbirds 2.Inform habitat management decisions 3.Provide status data for harvested species

20

21 Conway Protocol May/June Morning or evening 2-3 surveys per year PLAYBACK 5 minutes passive, then 1 minute per broadcast species Record target species

22 Marshbirds – 2008 Prelim Results Hybrid model – 3 field techs + ~30 birders and biologists Training workshop at Horicon Marsh ~325 points surveyed over ~55 routes statewide Most common: Sora, Virginia Rail, Amer Bittern Several King and Yellow Rails detected Data also collected on secondary target species

23 Volunteers Needed !!!

24 Ryan Brady,


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