National Park Service

Arctic Network

Parks in this Network

Arctic Network Map
Click to see Larger
Network Map
Find your park logo

Landbird Monitoring


All 5 park units are mandated under ANILCA to protect habitat for and various assemblages of avian species (U. S. Congress 1980). The enabling legislation of the parks specifies protection for bird habitats and populations for all 5 Arctic Network of Alaska Parklands (ARCN). Under ANILCA [Section 201(8)], protection of populations of and habitat for waterfowl, raptors and other species of birds is specifically mandated in NOAT. For BELA, ANILCA specifies that the preserve shall be managed to protect habitat for internationally significant populations of migratory birds. In GAAR, the NPS is directed to protect habitat for and populations of raptorial birds. Kobuk Valley National Park was established in part to protect the viability of subsistence resources including populations of waterfowl. Lastly, for CAKR, ANILCA mandates protections including habitat for and populations of birds. In addition, several international treaties, federal laws and initiatives provide protections for migratory birds and require action by NPS (Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act, North American Bird Conservation Initiative). The ecology of various species of birds is highly variable and the arctic parklands are massive. One methodology can not appropriately monitor all birds. The landbirds assemblage (passerines, near-passerines and galliformes) was chosen by the ARCN for long-term monitoring because it encompasses a great variety of species that spend the majority of their life in terrestrial environments. Landbirds are easily detected and are well studied. Standardized methods for monitoring landbirds are well-established and currently utilized by several networks. Landbirds are an important component of park ecosystems, and their high body temperature, rapid metabolism, and high ecological position in most food webs make them good indicators of the effects of local and regional changes in ecosystems (Fancy and Sauer 2000). Changes in landbird ecology and demography have been demonstrated to be indicators of global climate change (Sillett et al. 2000). In addition, passerine birds comprise more than 50% of the bird species in ARCN. Some passerine species represent the most commonly detected landbirds in ARCN because of their conspicuous nature and widespread distributions in arctic habitats. Within ARCN these species include the Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis (SAVS), White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys (WCSP), and American Tree Sparrow Spizella arborea (ATSP) (Guldager 2003, 2005; Tibbitts et al. 2006). A few relatively common passerine species in ARCN also have been identified as species of concern due to general lack of biological information, remote and/or limited distribution, and/or declines in numbers across North America. The landbird conservation plan for Alaska’s biogeographic regions developed recommendations for broad-scale monitoring of the Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus (GCTH), Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius (VATH) and Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotricha atricapilla (GCSP) in the Central, Western and Northern biogeographic regions of Alaska (Boreal Partners in Flight 1999).


Citation Year Type Access Holdings IRMA
Click to view holdings Mizel J. 2015. Landbird Datasets. National Park Service. Arctic Network; Inventory and Monitoring Program. Fairbanks, Alaska. (8 holdings) 2015 Tabular Dataset Restricted 8 Link to
Download NRDS_ARCN_Landbird_Monitoring_2010_JPL_nrss.pdf Degroot K and McMillan J. 2012. Landbird monitoring in the Arctic Network: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and Noatak National Preserve (2010 report). Natural Resource Data Series. NPS/ARCN/NRDS—2012/315. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado 2012 Published Report Public 1 Link to
Download Flamme M. 2007. Arctic Network Landbird Monitoring Protocol Development Summary 2007 Generic Document Public 1 Link to


Key words: bird, galliformes, landbirds, monitoring, near-passerines, passerines

Subject Category:

  • Ecological Framework: Biological Integrity | Focal Species or Communities | Birds

View this project 'Landbird Monitoring in the Arctic Network of National Parklands' on the IRMA Data Store | JSON | XML | Project reference last updated on 2017-12-14 09:43:40 by

Last Updated: July 14, 2017 Contact Webmaster