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Montana Waterbird Inventory Needs Your Help

Fish & Wildlife

Friday, May 29, 2009

Montana, in cooperation with many other western states, is doing a survey and study of breeding waterbird populations and where they are located.

The survey, to be carried out by volunteers and paid technicians, will be used to develop long-term monitoring of the population size, trends and locations of popular birds such as Clark's grebe, Franklin's gull, the white faced ibis, and great blue heron colonies.

"In the western U.S., including Montana, we need to determine how our waterbird populations are doing overall, what conservation issues the birds face and what actions will be the most helpful in coming years," said Catherine Wightman, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks avian biologist and all-bird conservation coordinator.

The two-year project is coordinated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and carried out in Montana by FWP.

"We need volunteers to conduct one-day surveys around the state, and we'll train and reimburse them for mileage," Wightman said. "Volunteers and paid technicians will visit nesting areas once during late incubation, primarily during June.

Montana Audubon and the Montana Bird Conservation Partnership are partners in the project.

Wightman said those interested in volunteering can learn more on the Montana Audubon Web site, or by email: ; or by phone: 406-490-2329.