Development of Avian Indicators and Measures for Monitoring Threats and Effectiveness of Conservation Actions in the Northeast

bird surveys, bird monitoring

With the completion of this project, Northeast regional monitoring procedures are now available for birds of grasslands, tidal marshes and mountain forests - habitats that span the northeastern landscape, contain a high percentage of vulnerable species, and encompass the region’s major management issues.   These coordinated bird monitoring programs can effectively measure threats and management effects at the regional level to target birds and habitats identified by State Wildlife Action Plans as those in greatest need of conservation. 

Northeastern wildlife and wildlife habitats are at risk from a variety of anthropogenic threats.  Monitoring these threats and the effectiveness of conservation actions is the key to optimizing allocation of limited resources.  Birds stand out among other wildlife taxa as particularly useful indicators, as they are widespread, observable, and sensitive to environmental change.  Techniques for monitoring birds are also relatively advanced, with new field and statistical methods promising to add value to decades of past surveys.

Products of this work include peer-reviewed survey design, protocol and standard operating procedures for each indicator group (grassland, tidal marsh and mountain forest birds) along with a regional database for each indicator group.  Support for this project accelerated implementation of "A Framework for Coordinated Bird Monitoring in the Northeast", "The Northeast Bird Monitoring Handbook" and initiated essential components of "The Northeast Monitoring and Performance Reporting Framework".

Please note that the mountain bird survey data was gathered as part of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies high-elevation bird monitoring program, Mountain Birdwatch and users of the data should consult the Mountain Birdwatch data policy.

Progress Reports

Project Leader

Name: Dan Lambert

Title: Northeast Bird Monitoring Coordinator, Chair of the Northeast Mountain Bird Working Group

Organization: American Bird Conservancy, not current


Address: 214 Brothers Road, Hartland, VT 05048

Phone: 802-436-4507

Other Principal Investigators

Name: David Adams

Title: Senior Wildlife Biologist, Chair of the Northeast Marsh Bird Working Group

Organization: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Name: Michael Morgan

Title: Wildlife Ecologist, Chair of the Northeast Grassland Bird Working Group

Organization: Audubon New York

Name: Greg Shriver

Title: Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Salt Marsh Bird Monitoring Project Leader

Organization: University of Delaware