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Survey protocol information and resources for the Utah Ecological Services Field Office.

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Survey Training Information 

In coordination with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the US Fish and Wildlife Service offers a Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Surveyor Training every other year in Utah. The training will be offered in 2024 on May 30th and 31st at the UDWR Washington County Offices in Hurricane, Utah. The field visit will consist of SWFL calling May 31st. For questions and to register, please contact Dannette Weiss (dannette_weiss@fws.gov). 

This training emphasizes identification of southwestern willow flycatcher habitats, species identification by sight and sound, and use of the 2010 survey protocol. If you have completed a previous training session for southwestern willow flycatcher surveys, it must have included a field portion, otherwise this survey training is mandatory for permit applicants who plan to conduct southwestern willow flycatcher surveys in Utah.

The primary objectives of the survey training course in Utah are to:

  • ensure consistency and quality of surveys following Service-approved protocol;
  • ensure surveyors meet all requirements of Endangered Species Act consultation and compliance;
  • increase the number of qualified surveyors; and
  • increase the Service’s knowledge of the distribution of this endangered bird.

Completion of the survey training course is a requirement for obtaining an ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) endangered species permit, which is necessary to conduct southwestern willow flycatcher surveys. If you intend to conduct surveys this year in Utah and do not hold a permit, please complete a permit application form as soon as possible.

Permit processing procedures necessitate applying 90-days in advance of planned surveys to ensure timely issuance of the permit.  We strongly recommend applying for survey permits at least 3 month prior to the survey season to ensure the permit processing is completed.

If you have received a permit in the past few years and plan to continue surveying, please check your permit to see if you need to renew it.  If you do, a letter stating that you have taken the survey training course, had a permit in the past, and are requesting renewal should be submitted to our Regional Office in Denver prior to your permit’s expiration date.

Permit reports must be sent to the respective Ecological Services Field Office in the state(s) where surveys are conducted, immediately following each field season.  Annual reports are necessary to maintain valid survey permits.  These reports provide us with valuable information regarding distribution of southwestern willow flycatchers.  Negative results are just as important to submit as positive results; in addition, annual reports should be submitted even if you did not survey for the species that year.

Please submit all survey forms in excel format electronically to the Utah Field Office in addition to required submission locations based on your permit.

Additional information about this species, including over 300 publications and the 2010 survey protocol, can be found at this website hosted by Arizona Partners in Flight and the U.S. Geological Survey.