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Webinar: Piloting the National Secretive Marshbird Monitoring Program: What have we learned, and where are we headed?

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Date: Wednesday, January 16 2013

Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Presenter: Dr. Mark Seamans, USFWS

(this topic will be applicable to audiences in the US and Canada)

Phone: 866-912-2391

Passcode: 1221990

Webex Link: http://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=446202981&p=MIDWESTBIRDS&t=c (left click on this link to launch the new window with meeting number and passcode automatically filled in)

(You will need to call into the conference line to have audio)


Abstract: Secretive marsh birds in North America are poorly monitored by existing avian monitoring programs. Some marsh bird species are of conservation concern, some are open to sport harvest, and for all species their emergent marsh habitat has been in decline for decades. A pilot study was conducted in seven U.S. states (Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin) to determine if a proposed study design and protocol were suitable for monitoring secretive marsh birds during the breeding season. Using an omnibus surveillance monitoring approach, the design and protocol worked or would likely work well for all but three rare rail species (Black, King, and Yellow Rails). Stratifying the sample in some states between high and low quality habitat resulted in more precise estimates. A more targeted hypothesis-driven approach is recommended for all species and would likely be needed to assess status of the three rare rail species. Data for four species (Clapper and Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Bittern) were used in a formal analysis using distance sampling and a binomial mixture model to account for imperfect detectability. Except for Idaho, the sample frame in each state was incomplete; typically private lands or National Wildlife Refuges were not surveyed.

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