The Institute for Bird Populations pursues avian research
and conservation through 7 major programs:
- The MAPS Program - Monitoring
avian productivity and survivorship throughout N. America at over
500 banding stations.
- IBP's Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory
- efforts to study, monitor, and conserve bird populations in California's
Sierra Nevada mountain range.
- Avian Inventory Program
- collecting baseline information on avian diversity, distribution,
and abundance on public lands.
- The MoSI program -
A network of mist-netting stations operated during the non-breeding
season in Mexico and Central America to identify and understand landbirds'
habitat needs during the winter.
- Tropical MAPS (TMAPS) -
Monitoring vital rates of resident birds in the tropics.
- Burrowing Owl research
and conservation - providing the scientific basis for development
of a conservation strategy for this declining species in California.
- Bird Populations Journal
- a peer-reviewed annual journal of global avian research and monitoring.
Each of these projects is briefly outlined on this
page; you can also click on the project name above to read about them
Created in 1989 and coordinated by The Institute for
Bird Populations, MAPS is a cooperative effort among public agencies,
private organizations, and individual bird banders across North America
to operate a continent-wide network of now over 500 constant-effort
mist netting stations for the long-term monitoring of the vital rates
of more than 100 landbird species. These critical data are being used
in conjunction with avian population trend data, station-specific and
landscape-level habitat data, and spatially explicit weather data to
formulate management actions and conservation strategies to reverse
population declines in both year-round resident and migratory landbirds.
IBP's Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory comprises an array
of projects that focus on studying, monitoring, and conserving birds
throughout the Sierra Nevada region, often in partnership with government
agencies such as the US Forest Service and the National Park Service.
Particular areas of emphasis include determining the effects of land
management practices on Sierra bird populations and community dynamics,
identifying management practices most compatible with maintaining viable
bird populations and diverse bird communities, and understanding and
mitigating the effects of climate change.
Gathering baseline information on existing biological
resources is a critical step in the formulation of long-term monitoring
strategies. To help decide how to best allocate scarce resouces to avian
monitoring efforts, land managers often require detailed information
about the current diversity, distribution, and abundance of birds that
depend on the lands they manage. Accordingly, IBP has established its
Avian Inventory Program, which assists biologists and land managers
overseeing national parks and other public lands by designing and implementing
scientifcally sound avian inventory and monitoring projects.
Analyses of IBP's MAPS data suggest that population
declines in some species of Neotropical migratory landbirds may be caused
more by low survival on their wintering grounds or during migration
than by low productivity. Further results indicate that even their productivity
is driven more by weather on their wintering grounds prior to spring
migration than by weather on their breeding grounds. Broad-scale, long-term
data on habitat-specific annual and overwintering survival rates and
late winter physical condition of migratory and resident Neotropical
birds are needed to formulate effective management strategies for reversing
population declines and maintaining stable populations. To address these
needs, IBP and partners across the northern Neotropics established the
MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal)
Program, a cooperative network of banding stations operated using standardized
protocols during the winter months.
In addition to the MoSI Program, IBP facilitates the
implementation of a TMAPS (Tropical Monitoring Avian Productivity and
Survivorship) Program in tropical regions. Because of extended and non-synchronous
breeding seasons for many species in the tropics, protocols are likely
to differ from the standardized MAPS protocol in use in the United States
and Canada. Experimental TMAPS stations are currently being operated
on Saipan and Puerto Rico. The impetus for both MoSI and TMAPS arose
from an IBP project on Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from 1998
to 2002 aimed at studying vital rates of resident and migratory birds
in 3 major habitat types on the installation.
Established in 1996 in response to The Institute's
1991-1993 survey of breeding Burrowing Owls in California, this project
aims to provide a scientific basis for the development of a state-wide
conservation strategy for this declining species. Objectives include
determining habitat-specific productivity, adult survival rates and
population density from nest-monitoring and mark-resighting studies;
estimating home range size and post-fledging survival and dispersal
rates from radio-telemetry; determining contaminant loads from toxicological
sampling; and involving the public in outreach activities to foster
support and appreciation for the species and for conservation efforts
First published in 1993, Bird Populations fills a
major gap in the scientific literature, as no other technical publication
is dedicated to the study of dynamic avian demography and biogeography
from a global perspective. This annual publication carries peer-reviewed
papers of original research, reports from major avian monitoring projects
around the world, and review, synthesis and commentary articles.