The Gulf of Mexico Avian Monitoring Network: Long-Term and Large-Scale Monitoring to Address Conservation Needs

Patrick Jodice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Despite the importance of the Gulf of Mexico to North American avifauna, monitoring plans and activities in the region are sparse and vary greatly in design and implementation across even within taxa. To address the diverse monitoring challenges and complexities across species, habitats, and the region, the Gulf of Mexico Avian Monitoring Network (GoMAMN) was formed. GoMAMN’s goal is to define a vision and process for developing the role of bird monitoring in achieving integrated, efficient, and effective management and recovery of impacted avian species in the Gulf of Mexico. Utilizing Structured Decision Making, the team developed a set of fundamental objectives along with an explicit objectives hierarchy that reflects the goals, objectives, values, and information needs for an integrated Gulf avian monitoring strategy. Fundamental objectives reflect the need for scientific rigor, relevancy, and integration with other monitoring efforts. Relevant emphases of monitoring efforts focus on maximizing ability to (1) assess status and trends, (2) reduce uncertainty associated with management, and (3) understand ecological processes and their respective impacts on avian populations. Collectively, this framework provides a means to (1) establish baselines for assessing future perturbations, (2) evaluate restoration activities, (3) fill critical information gaps related to how ecological processes drive bird populations, and (4) establish priorities for monitoring from among a diverse suite of options. In 2019 GoMAMN released a comprehensive strategic monitoring plan for several avian taxa and developed guidelines for the development of monitoring plans focused on avian health. Future efforts will be directed at implementing standardized taxa-specific monitoring protocols to ensure data comparability across the Gulf region, highlighting avian monitoring priorities across the region, and providing technical monitoring expertise. These activities will occur at project and region-wide geographic scales and include federal and state agencies as well as NGOs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Fisheries Society & The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference, Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2019, Reno, NV
StatePublished - 2019


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