Volunteers Needed for New MiBCI Bird Surveys
The Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative (MiBCI) has begun a volunteer-based effort to expand marsh and nocturnal bird monitoring in Michigan. Concern has been growing about possible declines of marsh and nocturnal bird species, and information about these species is lacking because they are not adequately surveyed by the North American Breeding Bird Survey. While reliable data are scarce for these bird groups, there is evidence that some species, such as King Rail and Whip-poor-will, have declined in the U.S. Conservation plans at the continental, regional, and state levels have identified several marsh and nocturnal bird species as priorities for conservation. More data is needed to better track population trends over time, target conservation efforts, and evaluate the success of conservation actions.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently approved a three-year grant to support MiBCI's program. We are working closely with many partners at the State, regional, and National levels and will be using standardized protocols to ensure the data further bird monitoring at several scales. We will start surveys for marsh birds and nightjars in 2010 and owls in 2011. We are soliciting the help of citizen scientists to conduct surveys, so please contact Michael Monfils (email@example.com) or David Cuthrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in helping. Training workshops for volunteers will be held at the Michigan Ornithological Congress in Petoskey (April 7-10, 2010). These surveys are an important step toward long-term bird conservation and will not be successful without dedicated volunteers, so please consider participating in this effort. Stay tuned to the MiBCI website for more details about the bird surveys and training workshops.