NRRI  >  Minnesota's Forest Bird Diversity Initiative

Last Update Fri Apr 12 13:42:00 CDT 2002

Minnesota's Forest Bird Diversity Initiative

Objective Progress / Results

Develop procedures to monitor forest songbird populations in relation to forest changes due to harvesting. Develop geographic information system (GIS) tools that can use field data, relate regional forest changes to bird population levels, and provide useful techniques to forest managers for integrating forest birds with timber harvesting and management.Breeding bird surveys were conducted for the eleventh consecutive year in the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. Project personnel have observed more than 228,000 individuals during the eleven years of the project. Updated population trends have been calculated through the 2001 field season and a final report was prepared and is available for download at our web site. We have continued the development and updating of our world wide web site (http://www.nrri.umn.edu/mnbirds/). Second-tier bird habitat models have been completed for 82 species. These models relate bird presence/absence with landscape composition and pattern metrics derived from satellite (TM) imagery. We also have developed a novel modeling approach for assessing total population levels in a spatially-explicit manner. Development of the Forest Planning Tool for Birds is ongoing. We are currently working on a module to reclassify fine-scale LANDIS output into delineated stands that match the cover type classes from our statistical bird models. We also have finished building the synthetic LANDIS GIS layers for the Nashwauk Uplands Subsection at nominal 60 m resolution. Using the Minnesota DNR's Cooperative Stand Assessment data for the subsection, we identified approximately 83 species-development classes for the forested land area. Additional GIS layers such as the landtype classification are now complete and we are preparing to assess alternative timber management scenarios in this subsection.

Background

We will use GIS and remote sensing to create a land cover and vegetation map of forested regions of the state. Data collected in the field on national forests and historical data collected across the state will be analyzed to relate bird populations to changes in forest types and their extent over the landscape. We will develop protocols for monitoring birds and techniques for predicting large scale change in forests and bird populations to be used by forest managers.

Previous Activity / Results

Breeding bird surveys were conducted for the eleventh consecutive year in the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. In addition, forest areas in southeast Minnesota have been surveyed for seven consecutive years and forests in the St. Croix region for ten years. A total of 1,254 point count locations were surveyed in Minnesota. Preliminary results show that project personnel observed more than 25,000 individuals during our summer field season. These data have been error checked twice and merged with data from previous years. Updated population trends have been calculated through the 2001 field season and a final report on trends is being prepared. Second-tier bird habitat models have been completed for 26 species. These models relate bird presence/absence with landscape composition and pattern metrics derived from satellite (TM) imagery. We also have developed a novel modeling approach for assessing total population levels in a spatially-explicit manner. Web Site: We have continued the development and updating of our world wide web site (http://www.nrri.umn.edu/mnbirds/). Our major focus this quarter was to update and expand the information available.

Start Date 07/01/1991
End Date 06/30/2003

Principal Investigator

Gerald Niemi PI

JoAnn Hanowski CoPI

Malcolm Jones CoPI

Research Collaborators

David Mladenoff, Peter Wolter, James Sales, Nicholas Danz