Pan American Shorebird Program

The Pan American Shorebird Program (PASP) was created in the mid-1980s as a standardized method for marking and identifying individual shorebirds in the field and to facilitate identification of the origin of banding. Prior to the PASP, it was extremely difficult to identify who had banded a shorebird and in which country it had been banded. The program has led to increased reporting of marked birds to researchers; as such, PASP has supported researchers to better understand shorebird movements and migration within the Western Hemisphere.

Photo de baguage d'oiseaux

Photo: © Lesley Howes, 2015
Semipalmated Sandpiper

Shorebird Marking Protocol

The PASP shorebird marking protocol is intended to be a flexible framework for the coordination of shorebird marking throughout the Western Hemisphere while promoting standards and best practices for marking, resighting and reporting.

It is based on a regional assignment of engraved colour flags and optional plain colour bands that allows for an adaptive one-flag system to be used across the Western Hemisphere. Smaller countries are grouped together into regions, sharing a unique flag colour while having the option to distinguish themselves by using an assigned colour band. Regional flags are engraved using a specific set of characters to ensure that they can be easily read in the field.

The protocol also promotes a standardized collaborative approach by providing recommendations for resightings and reporting of resighting data that allows researchers to maximize their banding and resighting efforts and collect resighting data from throughout the study species’ range.

The PASP Shorebird Marking Protocol is available in French and English on the WHSRN website or from the Bird Banding Office.

The North American Banders' Manual for Banding Shorebirds by C.L. Gratto-Trevor is available on the North American Banding Council (NABC) website.

For further information on the Pan American Shorebird Program in Canada contact:

Bird Banding Office
National Wildlife Research Centre
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive (Raven Rd)
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Bird Banding Office website

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