Great Blue Heron are just one of many species that benefit from the IWMM program. Photo courtesy of William Majoros
Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring (IWMM) is a unique approach designed to help individuals and organizations that manage habitats for waterbirds. This cross-programmatic effort provides a standardized protocol and database for monitoring waterbirds at refuge stations, along with decision support tools for local-scale decisions. The pilot phase began in 2010 when standardized monitoring protocols were distributed to a network of cooperators (i.e., land managers) in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways. More recently, the protocols were field-tested and peer-reviewed; a National Protocol Framework guiding use of the monitoring component by cooperators within the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) was approved; and development got underway for a centralized, online database as a thematic node of the Avian Knowledge Network to facilitate data entry, data sharing, reporting and analysis. IWMM staff plan to transition cooperators to the newly revised protocols and online database by fall of 2015. In addition, IWMM is finalizing local scale decision support tools developed for two NWRs, Clarence Cannon and Mattamuskeet. These tools will help guide the collective management of suites of wetland management units to maximize habitat use by waterbirds. Finally, based on user-feedback, IWMM also will expand and develop additional decision support tools. With these milestones reached, IWMM is now ready for wider implementation by those monitoring waterbirds and managing their habitats.
Go to the IWMM website for more information.