Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Using the Avian Data Center, this breakout group identified novel approaches for determining how land use/cover change may be driving grassland bird population declines throughout the Midwest region. Photo by Katie Koch/USFWS.

Using the Avian Data Center, this breakout group identified novel approaches for determining how land use/cover change may be driving grassland bird population declines throughout the Midwest region. Photo by Katie Koch/USFWS.

Avian Knowledge Network:
State of the Art Bird Conservation in the Midwest

The model for how aggregations of data can be used in bird conservation has evolved over the last 10 years, from centralized data management to distributed data sharing, and the main hub for data sharing in North America is the Avian Knowledge Network.

In 2011, the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership joined forces with Point Blue Conservation Science to launch a new regional node of the Avian Knowledge Network, the Midwest Avian Data Center. Since then, we have successfully incorporated over 500,000 new bird observations (from point count, area search, banding, and other protocols), developed a new application to help people manage and enter bird monitoring data online, and enhanced our decision support tools.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region Migratory Bird Program hosted a one-day training in conjunction with the 2015 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our workshop exceeded our original class size and included participants who wanted to manage and share their own data in the Midwest Avian Data Center as well as those who want to use data for research, conservation planning, or evaluating conservation outcomes at various scales.

Specifically, we focused our training and hands-on activities to achieve the following goals:

1) To help users gain a working knowledge of the Midwest Avian Data Center.

2) To encourage Midwest partners to manage, share and use bird-monitoring data from the Midwest Avian Data Center in their decision-making processes.

3) To identify limitations or needs for improvement to make the Midwest Avian Data Center more user-friendly.

4) To prioritize future datasets, analytics, or decision support tools that would really help inform in Midwest bird conservation.

The one-day workshop concluded with a verbal assessment, and all of the comments were quite positive:

"I wish my graduate lab mates and co-workers could have received this training today."

"This is cutting edge and will make my job a lot easier!"

"This is a very important tool for knowledge sharing and identifying key research needs for bird conservation in the Midwest."

"I didn't realize how sophisticated the new data management system is, and I plan on entering all of my project data in Midwest Avian Data Center from now on."

By Katie Koch
Regional Office - Migratory Birds

Workshop participants discuss approaches for measuring range restrictions of Birds of Conservation Concern throughout North America - partnering with the Avian Knowledge Network and dozens of bird organizations. Photo by Katie Koch/USFWS.

Workshop participants discuss approaches for measuring range restrictions of Birds of Conservation Concern throughout North America - partnering with the Avian Knowledge Network and dozens of bird organizations. Photo by Katie Koch/USFWS.

 


Last updated: June 4, 2015