MODELING, AND MANAGEMENT OF LANDBIRD POPULATIONS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
- The objective of this project provides a landscape-scale
adaptive approach to managing landbird populations of Pacific Northwest
forests through a suite of management decision-support tools
resulting from modeling avian demographic monitoring
1993). This approach is consistent with Forest Service Tier 3
monitoring and emphasized in "Opportunities
for Improving Avian Monitoring" released by the U.S. North
American Bird Conservation Initiative Monitoring Subcommittee (2007).
RESULTS- Since 1992, the Institute for Bird Populations
(IBP), through the continent-wide Monitoring Avian Productivity and
Survivorship (MAPS) program,
and funded by USFS Region Six, has collected demographic monitoring
data on >100 landbird species breeding six national forests in
USFS Pacific Northwest Region 6,
hereto know as the the PNW MAPS dataset. Analyses of these data suggest
that these forests are of regional importance in supporting long-lived,
healthy, and productive populations of forest-dwelling Neotropical
migrants, and other species of conservation concern. Furthermore,
three of the six national forests (in bold below) are listed by the
Wilderness Society among the top ten carbon sinks in North America
Click on a national forest to view results.
APPROACH - We constructed species-landscape models
et al. 2005) developed from the regional landbird demographic
data collected through the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship
(MAPS) program. Since 1992, six stations have been operated on each
of six national forests in Washington and Oregon tabulated
below (also see station map or
Monitoring stopped at Umatilla National Forest in 2008 but the other
stations are still running (2010).
TOOLS - We provide land managers with tools
that focus on multiple species of regional conservation concern and
allow managers to a) estimate the expected health of populations in
a given forested area, and b) assess the impact of proposed management
upon those populations. The advantages of demographic monitoring are
outlined in a document titled "Demographic
Landbird Monitoring: A Precision Tool for Land Stewards".
maintain or create quality breeding habitat at landscape scales but
bird populations also respond strongly to variation in environmental
conditions that are driven by climate and weather patterns. To accurately
assess the efficacy of management these reposnes must be quantified
and taken into consideration. Pacific Northwest MAPS demographic monitoring
data have already revealed important influences of climate-driven
weather systems on a) the wintering habitats of Neotropical migrants
that breed in Pacific Northwest forests, and b) the pest dynamics
of breeding habitats in those forests (Nott
et al. 2002, website
materials). These influences must be given careful consideration
in formulating management goals and assessing success. This research
was critically acclaimed by Beatrice van Horne (then Wildlife Research
Program Leader, USDA-FS-R&D) in a ScienceNow article (08/08/2002).
(read text version here)
- The decision-support tools require GIS
support to spatially analyze a "pre-management" forested landscape
which quantifies a set of relevant landscape parameters (e.g. forest
cover percent). The values derived from the spatial analysis are plugged
into multi-species management models to provide predictions of current
population demographics, such as abundance, trend in abundance, and
reproductive success. The proposed management is then simulated in
a GIS system to provide "post-management" parameter values
for the multi-species models. Managers may then compare and contrast
the pre- and post-management predictions of population demographics.
In addition, the models can be applied over the entire forest to identify
areas of high landbird diversity and productivity. However, some "effectiveness
monitoring" must be conducted within the managed area in order
to validate the model predictions.
management action can benefit one or more species, but negatively
impact others. These decision-support tools provide the ability to
assess the impact of management upon the following 13 species of Pacific
Northwest regional concern, including 8 Neotropical migrants.
Coniferous and Mixed Forest
Coniferous and Mixed Forest
- The Institute for Bird Populations, through
its Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program
(1992-2001), effectively monitored 21 landbird species on six national
forests within USDA Forest Service Region Six (see
map). Of these 21 species, we identified 13 species of regional
conservation concern whose demographics could be modeled and that
were also included in federal, regional, or state conservation plans.
They combined MAPS banding data for these 13 species with five regional
spatial datasets: USGS National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD 1992, 2001),
USFS Region Six canopy cover, USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED),
Streamnet, and USFS Forest Health Protection Aerial Survey. From these
we constructed landscape-scale (1000’s of hectares) management
models which can be used to assess the impacts of land management
on landbirds of regional conservation concern. An adaptive monitoring,
modeling and management approach was followed:
1. Monitor annual numbers of adults and young by banding.
2. Quantify demographic parameters (survival and productivity) consistent
Forest Service Level 3 monitoring requirements.
3. Quantify population changes and identify target species.
4. Model species-landscape relationships for target species.
5. Plan management action (or define alternate management scenarios).
6. Assess management impacts on multiple species
using species-landscape models.
7. Implement a management plan consistent with local and regional
avian conservation goals.
8 . Monitor the effectiveness of management plan in achieving conservation
goals ("effectiveness monitoring") .
9 . Adjust or alter the management scenarios in an adaptive framework.
- In 1992, The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP)
established a network of 36 MAPS demographic monitoring stations (red
triangles) across six USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Region Six national forests in Oregon (4) and
Washington (2). IBP has since operated the monitoring network annually
during the breeding season. In 2001, however, the ten-year baseline
monitoring dataset was analyzed to determine a) the background values
of demographic parameters (e.g. birth and death rates) and b) species-habitat
relationships at landscape scales (1000’s of hectares). From
these relationships we developed decision-support tools for management
decisions regarding breeding landbird populations. Since 2004, six
stations in the USFS Region Six MAPS monitoring network have been
relocated to conduct effectiveness monitoring of management actions
and provide validation data.
- The USDA Forest Service Region Six has committed
to supporting the monitoring portion of this project until 2012 thereby
creating a 21-year long dataset. In the near future (2008) IBP is
funded by USDA Forest Service to produce management decision support
tools in the form of detailed species accounts (paper and electronic
format) which include species-landscape management models for 13 species
The research and reporting elements of the project
have not been continually funded such that the current species-landscape
models are based on only 10 years (1992-2001) of MAPS data for 36
stations. These models require updating with more years of data which
may show community shifts associated with succession of managed areas
in which some stations were placed.
Since the start of this project in 1992 the forests
have experienced extremely variable seasonal weather connected to
El Nino (e.g. 1992 and 1998) and La Nina (1999, 2008) winter conditions
as well as the influence of the recently highly variable Arctic Oscillation
during the winter months.
It is essential that this research and reporting be
funded to take advantage of an unique dataset that may help land stewards
manage to accommodate the rapidly shifting avian communities that
may result from global warming.
The project was coordinated at The Institute for Bird
- This project is a collaboration between IBP and the US Forest Service.
IBP: Phil Nott (email@example.com)
MAPS Co-program Director
P.O. Box 1346, 11435 State Route One, Suite 23
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956-1346.
Tel: (415) 663-1436 FAX: (415) 663-9482
USFS: Barb Bresson R6 USFS/BLM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Avian Program Manager
16400 Champion Way
Sandy, OR 97055
Tel: (503) 668-1414 FAX: 503/ 668-1423
- We wish to acknowledge
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Project No. 2002-0232-000).
Federal funds for this challenge grant were provided by the USDA Forest
Service. Non-federal matching challenge funds and in-kind donations
were provided by the Firedoll Foundation, ESRI, Symantec Corporation,
Adobe Systems Incorporated, and members and friends of The Institute
for Bird Populations, especially one very generous anonymous donor.
Funding for the 1992-2006 operation of six MAPS stations on each of
six national forests in Washington and Oregon, and for the computer
entry, verification, and management of the resulting MAPS data was
provided by USDA Forest Service Region Six; analogous funding for
the operation of six MAPS stations on the Flathead National Forest
in Montana was provided by USDA Forest Service Region One and the
Flathead National Forest. We thank Forest Health Protection of USDA
Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region, especially Julie Johnson,
for help in obtaining and preparing the aerial (pest) survey data.
We especially thank Jennifer
Taylor and Heather Chase of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
Lisa Norris, Grant Gunderson (ret.) and Barb Bresson of the USDA Forest
Service Region Six, Alan Christensen of USDA Forest Service Region
One, Ron Archuleta of the Washington Office of the USDA Forest Service,
and Sandor Straus of the Firedoll Foundation for their excellent support
and cooperation in making this work possible.
We thank various staff of
the participating forests for their excellent help and kind assistance
with the numerous logistical details that arise during field seasons
at Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie (Darrington Ranger District), Wenatchee NF,
Umatilla NF, Willamette NF, Siuslaw NF, and Fremont NF. Financial
support for this program was provided by the Pacific Northwest Region
(Region 6) of the USDA Forest Service; housing for the field biologist
interns was provided by the individual participating forests. We thank
the IBP supervising field biologists and the hundreds of volunteer
field biologist interns who operated the MAPS stations over the years
and collected the demographic data used in this report, and we thank
IBP staff biologists, especially Danielle Kaschube, who provided logistic
support to the field crews, and verified and managed the data. Finally
we thank the MAPS cooperators and their assistants who operated 148
additional stations in the Northwest MAPS Region and whose data served
in programs that allowed us to correct for missing effort.
Finally, we thank the Pacific
Joint Venture for funding to create this website and complete the