Migration Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring

Birds at Cape Sable, Nova Scotia
Photo: © Alix d'Entremont, 2015
Hudsonian Godwit, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers and Black-bellied Plovers at Cape Sable, Nova Scotia

Migration monitoring in Canada was established in the mid-1970s with the goal of identifying important shorebird staging habitats and supporting their management and conservation. Over the years, the data have been used to guide the management of landscapes for shorebird species through programs such as Environment and Climate Change Canada's Protected Areas programs, the Ramsar Convention, the Important Bird Areas program and the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

The Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring was designed in 2001 by biologists and researchers from the Canadian and United States Governments (Canadian Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to provide a framework for shorebird monitoring in North America in response to a need for coordination and cooperation in the delivery of existing programs, and in the development of new surveys.

Specifically, the goals of the Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring are to:

  1. Estimate population size.
  2. Monitor trends in population size.
  3. Monitor shorebirds at stopover locations.
  4. Determine distribution, abundance, and habitats used throughout the year.
  5. Assist local managers in meeting shorebird conservation goals.

The Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring consists of four survey components: (1) Arctic breeding, (2) Migration, (3) Neotropical and (4) Tropical surveys. At this time, the migration component is the only survey providing data annually for monitoring trends in shorebird population size. It is also the only survey providing information on trends of boreal breeding shorebirds.

Atlantic Canada Shorebird Survey

The Atlantic Canada Shorebird Survey is a volunteer-based survey to monitor shorebirds that stop-over in Atlantic Canada during spring and fall migration.

See Atlantic Canada Shorebird Survey

Ontario Shorebird Survey

The Ontario Shorebird Survey is a volunteer-based survey to monitor shorebirds that stop-over in Ontario during spring and fall migration.

See Ontario Shorebird Survey

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