Importance: An important component of the park ecosystem
Birds intrigue and excite visitors, having become an important part of park interpretive programs. Beyond the pleasure that birds provide, they are a significant component of park ecosystems. Their high metabolism and position in the food web make them indicators of change in an ecosystem – the canary in the coal mine, so to speak. Preserving habitat for the wellbeing of bird populations preserves entire ecosystems for the benefit of all species.
Long Term Monitoring: Assessing change
The Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network monitors change in bird community composition and bird abundance to determine the health of bird communities. They accomplish this by surveying seasonal and year round resident birds in the park during the breeding season. These data and an evaluation of habitat structure and composition contribute to assessing responses of bird communities to changes in their habitat, and contribute to assessing habitat integrity. Changes in populations of certain species in decline (species of concern) across the bird conservation region the park is located in, contribute to assessing the influence of park habitat on the bird community. Since 2005, surveys provide data on populations and breeding habitat of birds in the park.