Birds and Amphibians

Forest & Land

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Female bird scientist at dawn looking through telescope.

Program Contact: Jerry Niemi,, (218) 788-2670

An active field research program has been on-going at NRRI for over 20 years. These programs are dedicated to gathering critical data on both common and rare bird and amphibian species as well as endangered, threatened, or species of conservation concern in Minnesota and throughout the western Great Lakes region. Data collected are used as input to the predictive modeling of wildlife populations, and they also provide essential data to government, conservation and environmental groups, and private industry to better understand and manage these species.

Ultimately, we strive for data to improve and assist in informed environmental decisions that also allow for the sustained development and use of the state's natural resources.

This research program has been supported by federal, state, regional, and local organizations of government, non-government organizations, and private industry. Projects are organized and managed by senior scientists with multiple years of experience, while day-to-day performance are completed by an array of Ph.D. and M.S. scientists as well as technical, post-doctoral, and both graduate and undergraduate students. Results are distributed through presentations, peer-reviewed papers, technical publications, popular media, and participation in various committees.

Current Projects

  • Bird population monitoring in Minnesota forest ecosystems
  • Population and ecological modeling of colonial water birds
  • Ecology of amphibians and breeding birds in the Great Lakes coastal region
  • Modeling distribution and abundance of Minnesota birds
  • Guidance for restoration and management of Minnesota’s wildlife
  • Effects of invasive species on Minnesota wildlife