Identification of Tidal Marsh Bird Focal Areas in Bird Conservation Region 30

Ammodramus caudacutus

This project will determine state level responsibility for the conservation of tidal marsh bird species and provide the baseline for long-term monitoring of the entire tidal marsh bird community along the Atlantic coastline from Virginia to Maine (Bird Conservation Region 30). This unique biological community is important on a global scale, is under imminent threat of loss or severe degradation, and its unique characteristics present management challenges necessitating large-scale, collaborative conservation action. The eastern North American shoreline possesses the highest level of vertebrate biodiversity and endemism of any tidal marsh region worldwide. This project focuses on the tidal marshes from New Jersey to Virginia and complements existing and ongoing surveys and research being conducted from NY – ME. Tidal marshes are key habitat for Species of Greatest Conservation Need in State Wildlife Action Plans and surveys to identify focal areas within each state are a priority conservation need. To address these information needs, the primary objectives of this project are to identify regional population centers for tidal marsh birds within BCR 30 and provide all states in BCR 30 with a detailed description of their regional responsibility for tidal marsh bird species. This will require new tidal marsh bird surveys in areas that lack extensive survey work (NJ – VA) which will be combined with existing data from NY – ME to provide region-wide products that can be used to identify the relative importance of each state for the conservation of tidal marsh breeding birds.  For more information about tidal marsh bird research, visit the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

UPDATE (December 2014)

We have intiated the identification of tidal marsh bird focal areas by developing a pilot study. We are continuing to work with University of ME and the University of CT to coordinate surveys and data.  Our second annual report was completed and will be submitted to the USFWS and state partners in December. We are developing a decision support tool to assist in tidal marsh conservation planning. We are working with State and NGO partners to identify where the data from this project can inform coastal adaptation plans. We requested an extension to continue sampling during the 2013 season with a new end date of January 15, 2014 and final product due by December 31, 2014.  That would allow us to complete 3 seasons of data collection.

Progress Reports

Project Leader

Name: W. Gregory Shriver

Title: Assistant Professor

Organization: Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware


Address: 250 Townsend Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717

Phone: 302-831-1300

Fax: 302-831-8889

Other Principal Investigators

Name: David Curson

Title: Director of Bird Conservation

Organization: Audubon Maryland - D.C.


Address: 2437 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: 302-831-1300

Fax: 302-831-8889

Name: Chris S. Elphick

Title: Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organization: University of Connecticut


Address: 75 North Eagleville Road, U-43, Storrs, CT 06269

Phone: 860-486-4547

Fax: 860-486-6364

Name: Thomas P. Hodgman

Title: Senior Wildlife Biologist, Passerines

Organization: Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife


Address: 650 State Street, Bangor, ME 04401

Phone: 207-941-4482

Name: Brian J. Olsen

Title: Assistant Professor, School of Biology and Ecology

Organization: Climate Change Institute, University of Maine


Address: 5751 Murray Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469

Phone: 207-581-2542

Fax: 207-581-2537