Breeding land birds were identified as a high priority vital sign and a monitoring protocol was developed for NCRN (Dawson and Efford 2014).
Since 2007, the University of Delaware has worked collaboratively with the NCRN to implement the avian monitoring protocol for the eleven park units in
the NCRN (Antietam National Battlefield Park [ANTI], Catoctin Mountain Park [CATO], Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park [CHOH], George Washington Memorial Parkway [GWMP], Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park [HAFE], Manassas National Battlefield Park [MANA], Monocacy National Battlefield Park [MONO], National Capital Parks-East [NACE], Prince William Forest Park [PRWI], Rock Creek Park [ROCR], and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts [WOTR]).
Implementing the breeding bird monitoring protocol will contribute to the overall assessment of park resource condition and provide the necessary information for park managers to better understand the condition of park resources, especially the breeding bird communities.
The primary purposes of this project are to initiate the implementation of the NCRN Land Bird Monitoring protocol, to develop analyses based on forest and grassland breeding bird guilds that can be integrated into integrity reporting for the respective habitats, and to determine the overall costs associated with implementation and make recommendations for efficient protocol implementation.
The goals and objectives of this project are to monitor the status and trends of breeding birds in the National Capital Region of the National Park Service in order to increase basic knowledge and understanding of bird populations (both grassland and forest birds) to national parks in the National Capital Region.
The data and information from this monitoring program will allow federal, state, and local resource managers to track and predict the impacts of land use changes on sensitive forest breeding bird populations and assist parks in the formulation of management decisions.
The agreement will also stimulate and support undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral research at the University of Delaware.