Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program (MAPS)
Refuge biologist and staff collect data from songbirds during the operation of a MAPS station. Credit: USFWS
Tennessee NWR staff operated a MAPS station on the Big Sandy Peninsula from 1993 to 2005. MAPS stations require an extensive amount of staff time. Due to constraints on staff, this monitoring has been discontinued at this time.
MAPS is a constant-effort mist netting and banding program that is conducted during the breeding season. It is designed to provide long-term data on productivity, survivorship and population trends for landbird species throughout the North American continent. The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) in Point Reyes Station, CA is the organization leading this study.
The operation of the MAPS station on the refuge occurs annually during the breeding season. It involves the standardized operation of ten nets at permanent sites on one day during each of eight consecutive ten-day periods between late May and early August. Prior to 1997 there were eleven banding periods. Each new bird captured is marked with a uniquely-numbered aluminum leg band. Band numbers are recorded for all recaptures. Species, age, sex, aging and sexing criteria, wing chord, weight, capture date, capture time, net number, and disposition are recorded for all birds captured. This data is recorded on field forms provided by IBP.
In addition to the mist netting data a breeding status list is compiled during each visit to the station. This involves a simple listing of all bird species encountered during the visit and a documentation of their behavior. The list provides information on the breeding status of each species utilizing the habitat within the station, including those not typically captured in mist nets. Every five years (or less, if a major habitat change has occurred) a habitat description for the station is conducted during the third period after the initiation of mist netting efforts. The purposes of collecting habitat data are to enable the IBP to group stations by habitat type for analysis and detect large-scale changes in the habitat on the station. The breeding bird list and habitat data are recorded on field forms provided by IBP.