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Monitoring Birds in a Regional Landscape: Lessons from the Nicolet National Forest Bird SurveyAuthor(s): Robert W. Howe; Amy T. Wolf; Tony Rinaldi
Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Sauer, John R.; Droege, Sam, technical editors. 1995. Monitoring bird populations by point counts. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-149. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 83-92
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (606 KB)
DescriptionThe Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey represents one of the first systematic bird monitoring programs in a USDA National Forest. Volunteers visit approximately 500 permanently marked points biennially (250 each year) during a single weekend of mid-June. Results from the first 6 years provide a general inventory of the Forest's avifauna, documentation of geographic gradients, and evidence of significant bird-habitat relationships. The point count method has been designed to accommodate flexibility in data analysis. Birds are recorded in 0- to 3-, 3- to 5-, and 5- to 10-minute intervals to permit adjustment of count duration. Two sets of samples have been established, one (approximately 300 points) representing major habitat categories, the other (200 points) consisting of randomly chosen points along roadsides. Mean counts from the two sampling schemes are statistically different from one another, whereas results from the same sets of sites during different years are not significantly different. Birds of localized habitats such as wet-lands are less abundant in the randomized samples. Our method departs most significantly from recommended standards by allowing several observers to participate in each point count. We recommend a modification of the original method to permit observations by only a single experienced observer during the formal point count.
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CitationHowe, Robert W.; Wolf, Amy T.; Rinaldi, Tony. 1995. Monitoring Birds in a Regional Landscape: Lessons from the Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey. In: Ralph, C. John; Sauer, John R.; Droege, Sam, technical editors. 1995. Monitoring bird populations by point counts. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-149. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 83-92
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