Bird Studies Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
Project name: Marsh Monitoring Program
The MMP functions to provide long-term monitoring of marsh-dependent bird and anuran (frog and toad) species in marsh habitats throughout the Great Lakes basin. Data collected by MMP volunteers is used to determine long-term trends in species diversity, occurrence and abundance, and to directly inform and guide conservation, restoration and management programs for marshes and their bird and amphibian inhabitants.
Status : Active
Year started :
Years (comments) :
1994 in Canada; 1995 in the United States
Geographic area covered :
Great Lakes basin, US and Canada
Type(s) of habitat :
Primary species covered :
Sampling Design :
Non-random, user selected wetlands, wetlands in Areas of Concern
Field methods :
Bird survey routes with 1-8 listening stations 250 m apart. Listening stations were 100 m fixed-distance point counts. Two visits, 10 days apart between 20 May and 5 July. Broadcast tapes used for 5 minutes followed by a 5 minute silent listening period
Data format :
Access data base
Data entry methods :
Volunteers fill scannable data forms and return them to BSC for processing using Teleform software. Online data entry will also be available in 2009.
Sample size :
Over 6000 stations since 1994 with approximately 650 stations surveyed each year.
Reports and publications are available on line at http://www.bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/glmmp/index.jsp.
Trends and time series availability :
Ducks Unlimited Canada. 2003 Are King Rails Hiding in Your Marsh? Ducks Unlimited Canada Fact Sheet. 2pp. BROCHURE
Timmermans, S 2002 Marsh bird and amphibian trends and Great Lakes water levels Wildlife Watchers 8:4. NP_PUBL
Tozer, D.C. 2002 Point count efficiency and nesting success in marsh-nesting birds. M.Sc. thesis, Trent University, Peterborough, ON. 162pp. MSTHESIS
Tozer, D. 2002 American Robin nest supported by cattails. Ontario Birds 20:95-97. NP_PUBL
Weeber, R.C., and M. Vallianatos (editors). 2000 The Marsh Monitoring Program 1995 - 1999: Monitoring Great Lakes Wetlands and Their Amphibian and Bird Inhabitants. Bird Studies Canada, Port Rowan, Ontario. 47 pp. TECHREPORT
Weeber, R.C., J.D. McCracken and C.M. Francis. 1999 The Marsh Monitoring Program of Bird Studies Canada (Long Point Bird Observatory). Proceedings of the Marsh Bird Monitoring Workshop, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, 26-28 April 1998. Pages 51-52. PROCEEDINGS
Francis, C.M. and R.C. Weeber 1999 Statistical issues related to monitoring marsh birds Pages 31-32 In: Proceedings of the Marsh Bird Monitoring Workshop, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, 26-28 April 1998. PROCEEDINGS
Weeber, R.C., J.D. McCracken and C.M. Francis 1999 The Marsh Monitoring Program of Bird Studies Canada (Long Point Bird Observatory) Pages 51-52 In: Proceedings of the Marsh Bird Monitoring Workshop, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, 26-28 April 1998. PROCEEDINGS
Kirk, D. A., M. Csizy, R. C. Weeber, C.M. Francis and J.D. McCracken. 1999. Habitat associations of marsh-nesting birds in the Great Lakes Basin: Implications for local conservation and management NP_PUBL
Funding sources :
Wildlife Habitat Canada, Environment Canada, US EPA
Applications for the data :
Local citizen groups are using MMP data to help understand and maintain wetlands in their neighbourhoods, regional governments and others are making use of MMP data for planning, and federal governments and others are making use of MMP data to help assess the health of Great Lakes wetlands and the bird communities at the scale of individual lake basins and for the region as a whole.
Users of the information :
Wetland researchers, conservation organizations
Environmental assessment :
The Marsh Monitoring Program data has been reported at State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conferences and the data collected are being used as indicators of Great Lake health.