Landbirds are of high interest to park managers because of the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value they provide to the park. A species-rich group, landbirds can reflect changes in habitat structure, climate, food supply, nest predation, and landscape characteristics. In addition, Northern Great Plains Network parks can serve as reference sites for helping interpret regional trends in abundance for species of concern and other birds. Of the 100 landbird species in Canada and the U.S. on the Partners in Flight Watch List, about one third occur in Northern Great Plains Network parks. These species are included in the Watch List because of threats to their habitat, declining populations, small population size, or limited distributions.
In 2013, the Northern Great Plains, the Southern Plains, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the Sonoran Desert Inventory and Monitoring Networks developed a joint landbird monitoring protocol in collaboration with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory).
- Estimate the proportion of sites occupied (occupancy estimates) for most breeding bird species at most of the Network parks.
- Determine changes over time in community dynamics such as species richness and avian composition.
- Estimate changes in the density when feasible for the most common breeding landbirds at most of the Network parks.
- Incorporate changes in land cover, vegetation and associated parameters into the assessment of bird population trends.
Last updated: September 27, 2022