Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (U of MN)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$161,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
UMD, NRRI
Recipient Type
Public College/University
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2010
End Date
June 2012
Activity Type
Analysis/Interpretation
Digitization/Online Information Access
Inventory
Mapping
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2010, Chp. 362, Sec. 2, Subd. 03c2
Appropriation Language

$372,000 is from the trust fund to continue development of a statewide survey of Minnesota breeding bird distribution and create related publications, including a book and online atlas with distribution maps and breeding status. Of this appropriation, $211,000 is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota and $161,000 is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute. The atlas must be available for downloading on the Internet free of charge.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$161,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

PROJECT OVERVIEW
A state Breeding Bird Atlas is a comprehensive systematic field survey of the occurrence, distribution, diversity, and breeding status of bird species within the state. Atlases are used to set conservation priorities, develop conservation plans, and guide habitat protection and restoration efforts. Minnesota is one of only seven states in the country that has yet to complete a Breeding Bird Atlas. Audubon Minnesota and the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota - Duluth will use this appropriation to continue development of the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas and create related publications, including a book and online atlas with distribution maps, breeding status, and historical species information.

PART 2: NRRI

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This project is the third and fourth years of a four-year effort in the development of the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas - the first comprehensive assessment of Minnesota's breeding birds. The overall project is divided into two parts: 1) volunteer observations organized by Audubon Minnesota and 2) systematic surveys of Minnesota's breeding birds organized by the University of Minnesota (summarized here). Objectives were to gain uniform statewide coverage for all Minnesota's birds, estimate breeding bird populations by habitat type, and contribute to a nationwide network of bird atlases. Data gathering was primarily completed by graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota. All passed an aural bird identification test, verified their hearing ability, and participated in field standardization exercises.

Over the two breeding seasons (2011 and 2012) of this project, the target of 40% of Minnesota townships (>920) was successfully completed. Currently, over 80% (>1,800) of the townships have been sampled, with over 230 species observed and over 160,000 individuals counted in over 2,800 individual point counts. Thousands of additional breeding observations were submitted by surveyors from this project to the volunteer database in the complementary study organized by Audubon Minnesota, including over 4,000 probable or confirmed breeding records for Minnesota birds. Over 70% of the data gathered during 2009-2012 have been entered, checked for errors, and briefly summarized.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
The data gathered through 2010 have been downloaded to the Minnesota breeding bird atlas database and during the fall of 2011 through the Cornell University interface. All of these data will be incorporated into a comprehensive atlas of Minnesota's breeding birds that will be used as 1) a first-ever baseline on the current population status of this important Minnesota resource, 2) critical information for future conservation planning, and 3) as a guide for such activities as identifying important bird areas or for nature-based tourism activities. The ultimate dissemination of these data will be through an interactive data system and we anticipate the publication of a hard copy book assuming suitable funding can be obtained.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Gerald
Last Name
Niemi
Organization Name
UMD, NRRI
Street Address
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
City
Duluth
State
MN
Zip Code
55811
Phone
(218) 720-4270
Email
gniemi@nrri.umn.edu