Approach: replace with fundamentals

Royal Tern
Photo Credit: Simon Geist

Over the last few years, an ad-hoc working group of conservation partners representing >20 agencies and organizations have been utilizing a Structured Decision Making framework to identify and agree upon a set of core values and fundamental objectives that underpin avian monitoring needs within the Gulf of Mexico.  Through a series of facilitated workshops, the working group agreed that any on-going or proposed avian monitoring efforts should:

  • Maximize the relevance of monitoring data by:

    • Establishing reliable estimates of population size and trends.

    • Evaluating management effectiveness on these avian populations.

    • Providing a means to understand how ecological processes affect birds and their habitats.

  • Maximize the scientific rigor underpinning all surveys.

  • Maximize the integration of surveys across agencies and organizations.

Recognizing the need to incorporate additional stakeholders, partners, expertise and a more formalized means of coordinating and integrating avian monitoring activities across the northern Gulf of Mexico, the initial working group expanded to better reflect the community of practitioners undertaking bird monitoring activities and is now known as the Gulf of Mexico Avian Monitoring Network. The Network aims to provide a forum by which conservation partners can collaborate and implement a coordinated monitoring system that recognizes and builds upon established monitoring programs to connect, leverage, and integrate existing efforts into a comprehensive Gulf-wide avian monitoring program to address contemporary and long-term conservation needs of avian populations and their habitats within the northern Gulf of Mexico.


Telemetry Tracking
Photo Credit: USFWS

The Gulf of Mexico Avian Monitoring Network is an integrated and coordinated network of scientists, land managers and decision makers that provides a much needed forum to collaborate, share information and provide overall support for the implementation of bird monitoring efforts in a unified fashion.  The Network also provides a venue to ensure the most up-to-date science is integrated into conservation strategies and disseminated to decision-makers, managers, landowners, and the general public about the invaluable natural resources of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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