Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network Strategic Action Plan Now Available!

Conservation strategies aimed at the protection of migratory birds are incomplete without including migratory bird flyway and stopover habitat preservation. The Midwest includes areas, such as the Great Lakes, that are heavily used by migrating landbirds. Migratory landbird monitoring can and should play an essential role in bird conservation planning, guiding design of on-the-ground activities and evaluation of implementation practices to inform adaptive management. Efforts to better coordinate migration monitoring and stopover conservation activities have taken place for select species and states but have been lacking for landbirds at the regional level.      

In 2011, a technical working group of the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership was organized to begin developing broad goals for a Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network (MLMMN). Network members focused on refinement of these goals for the MLMMN to serve as the foundation for development of this strategic action plan.

  • Determine locations and site characteristics of landbird stopover habitat such that landbirds migrating through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region gain rather than lose resources necessary for optimal reproductive success and annual survival.
  • Understand migratory movements through the region in order to effectively address conservation challenges posed by proposed wind farms, communication towers, and other developmental migratory obstacles.
  • Share information and protocols so that migration data are available to address current and potential future questions at multiple spatial and temporal scales. 

Beginning in January 2014, the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory hired a coordinator to help the MLMMN develop a concise, clear strategic action plan.  The plan identifies priority migration information needs and details an organized network of monitoring and research capacity that can be mobilized to address these needs, both at regional and local levels. The results of a year-long strategic planning effort led by the MLMMN Steering Committee are presented in this document.        

Chapter 1 provides background and foundation for the plan. This includes the MLMMN’s vision and mission statements and identifies the plan’s three strategic areas of focus: 1) research & monitoring, 2) conservation, and 3) sustaining collaboration. Chapters 2-4 are developed around these three strategic areas. Each of these chapters is organized via an interlocking set of goals, objectives, strategies, and actions. Chapter 5 begins to layout an implementation plan, including a timeline for the next five years and strategies that will be the focus of the MLMMN Steering Committee.        

We welcome the participation of a broad array of academic, agency, tribal and non-governmental partners in the implementation of this Strategic Action Plan within the eight-state Midwest Region. 

Download your own copy of the plan here: Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network Strategic Action Plan (PDF)

Recommended citation: Roth, AM, KE Koch, WP Mueller, DN Ewert, R Grundel, AC Peterson, MC Shieldcastle, and TC Will. 2015. Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network Strategic Action Plan, 2015–2019.  

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