National Park Service

Northeast Temperate Network (NETN)

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  • Track the status and trends of breeding landbirds within the dominant matrix forest habitat

NETN has developed a volunteer-based, long-term monitoring program for forest breeding bird populations in Network parks. Grassland bird monitoring is also taking place at parks where this is a significant habitat (currently Saratoga NHP and Minute Man NHP).Birds are an important component of park ecosystems, and their high body temperature, rapid metabolism, and prominent position in most food webs make them a good indicator of local and regional ecosystem change. It has been suggested that management activities aimed at preserving habitat for bird populations, such as for neo-tropical migrants, can have the added benefit of preserving entire ecosystems and their attendant ecosystem services. Birds are also very popular among park visitors, and many parks provide information on the status and trends of their avian community through interpretive materials and programs.

NETN has partnered with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring Program, a regional landbird monitoring project. This will allow data from some Network parks to be combined with data from the VCE's 28 Vermont study sites for more powerful estimates of population trends, thus providing an opportunity to make inferences related to changes beyond park boundaries.

Appalachian Trail Bird Monitoring

As with most monitoring programs, the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) provides uniques challenges becasue of its length, multitude of different management groups, and ecological diversity. Mountain birds, a specific category of breeding birds, are a primary interest of A.T. resource managers. Mountain birds are dependent upon montane spruce-fir forests, an uncommon habitat type in northern New England. Though rare in the region, it is the dominant forest type along approximately 225 kilometers (140 miles) of the trail in Vermont, New Hampshire,and Maine. Partnering with existing forest, mountain, and other bird monitoring programs provides an opportunity to make inferences about A.T. resources from beyond the trail corridor. This is critically important for A.T. because activities and actions that happen on adjacent lands exert a greater influence on the relatively narrow ribbon of land that comprises the trail than might be the case for parks with greater land area to perimeter ratios. An example of a regional monitoring effort that combines A.T. interests with those on adjacent lands is the partnership with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies to implement a mountain bird monitoring protocol to help guide management decisions affecting mountain bird populations and other natural resources. The protocol follows NPS I&M protocol development guidelines. Time and resources permitting, the A.T. EMP will look for opportunities to partner with other organizations, universities or agencies to interpret existing data from BBS, eBird, and other programs.


NETN Breeding Landbird Monitoring Materials

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NETN Breeding Landbird Monitoring Sites

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Northeast Temperate Network Staff Contacts for Breeding Landbird Monitoring

Name Title/Position Phone Number Email Address
Aaron Weed Program Manager 802-457-3368
ex. 237
aaron_weed@nps.gov
Fred Dieffenbach Environmental Monitoring Coordinator - Appalachian NST 802-457-3368 ex 236 fred_dieffenbach@nps.gov
Steve Faccio Conservation Biologist at VCE and Project Lead Scientist 802-649-1431 ex 3 sfaccio@vtecostudies.org
Adam Kozlowski Data Manager 802-457-3368 ex 240 adam_kozlowski@nps.gov
Ed Sharron Science Communication Specialist 802-457-3368 ex 223 ed_sharron@nps.gov
Last Updated: October 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster