National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

Landbird Monitoring

Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor) in Dry Tortugas National Park. Photo credit- Judd Patterson
Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor) in Dry Tortugas National Park. Photo credit- Judd Patterson.

Protocol

The SFCN landbird monitoring protocol is deferred due to insufficient funding.

Resource Briefs, Reports, and Data

There are currently no additional SFCN resource briefs, reports, or data concerning this monitoring topic.

Importance/Issues

Birds are good indicators of ecosystem health and integrity and are early responders to change across the landscape, responding quickly in foraging and nesting patterns to both habitat degradation and to habitat improvement and restoration. The USVI and South Florida hold a variety of native species and are important migratory stop-overs for many non-native bird species, providing over-wintering habitats. Two habitats deserve special mention: SFCN Parks (coupled with State Parks and 10000 Islands NWR) contain some of the largest, intact tracts of mangrove forest left in North America. However, little is known about the ecology of mangrove ecosystems and especially mangrove landbirds, of which several are thought to be at risk of becoming endangered (e.g.,White-crowned pigeon and Florida Prairie Warbler). Pine rocklands, an important upland habitat and a globally imperiled ecosystem, are almost entirely found within EVER and the southeast corner of BICY (with some remnants in the Bahamas). Habitat loss, and altered fire and hydrologic regimes have contributed to the extirpation of seven breeding bird species within pine rocklands in EVER, of which five are cavitynesting species. Efforts are underway to re-establish two of these species (eastern bluebird and brown-headed nuthatch) with hopes of later re-establishing others. Monitoring fecundity and nestling survival would provide an early indicator of habitat quality and causes of change.

Monitoring Objectives

  • What are the status and trends in the abundance and distribution of land birds (residential and migratory) overall and in specific habitats (e.g., pine rocklands, mangroves)?
  • In specific habitats (e.g., pine rocklands), what are the status and trends in fecundity and nestling survivorship?

Approach

Unfortunately this vital sign has been deferred due to insufficient funds and staff time.

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Last Updated: March 28, 2017 Contact Webmaster