National Park Service

Mid-Atlantic Network (MIDN)

Parks in this Network

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Breeding Bird Monitoring

Eastern meadowlark at Eisenhower National Historic Site Eastern meadowlark at Eisenhower National Historic Site

Breeding Bird Resource Briefs

Breeding Bird Inventory Reports

Breeding Bird Monitoring Reports

This sampling protocol is currently under development.

For more information contact: Mark Johnson

Justification

Avian species in the mid-Atlantic region face numerous habitat threats including urbanization, conversion to agriculture, and fragmentation. National parks provide refuge from such threats, containing contiguous tracts of various habitat types such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands, that are suitable for breeding birds. Many of the network parks have bird species that are declining throughout their range, emphasizing the need for understanding their status and trends.

Monitoring birds will not only provide insights into the long-term trends of avian species composition and relative abundance, but will also provide a measure for assessing ecological integrity. Neotropical-migratory songbirds (i.e., warblers, tanagers, and vireos) are sensitive to habitat fragmentation and, hence, are excellent barometers of environmental change or degradation. Birds are good indicators of local and regional ecosystem changes because of their high body temperature, rapid metabolism, and prominent position in most food webs. Detecting early changes in bird population trends may help us identify stressors such as invasive species, fragmentation, and management practices that will help guide future management actions.

Monitoring Objectives

  1. Determine annual changes and long-term trends in species composition and relative abundance.
  2. Improve our understanding of the relationship between breeding birds, habitats, and park management.

Network Park Units Monitored

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster