Arctic Monitoring Leads to New Understanding of Shorebirds, Landmark Book

A groundbreaking book published last month reveals a new understanding of global shorebird populations and the habitats they rely on for survival.

 

Arctic Shorebirds in North America represents a decade of Arctic monitoring as part of the Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring (PRISM), which Manomet developed to implement the recommendations in the U.S. and Canadian Shorebird Plans. Manomet Director of the Shorebird Science Division Stephen Brown co-authored four sections of the new book.

 

“Conducting research on this scale is only possible when you bring together a wide array of talented and dedicated conservationists,” Brown said.  “The organizations working collaboratively on this project are the best at what they do, and a pleasure to work with.”

 

The U.S. Shorebird Plan (also coordinated by Manomet scientists) led to the development of PRISM.  Manomet helped lead this multi-partner effort and brought agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service together with academic institutions and private research groups to collectively survey the entire Arctic. PRISM’s ambitious goal was to measure the distribution and abundance of shorebirds across their entire breeding range for the very first time.  Manomet scientists also participated in the field research at many sites in Alaska. 

 

The book was edited by Jonathan Bart and Vicky Johnston and published by the University of California Press.  Manomet is following up this monitoring work by coordinating a new 5-year study to determine limitations to shorebird populations by measuring vital rates of many species across the Arctic.  

 

 “Arctic Shorebirds in North America represents a study that is one of the remarkable achievements of wildlife fieldcraft, like those done by Aldo Leopold in the 1930s and by the Craighead Brothers in the 1960s,” said Larry Niles, of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and a long-term collaborator in shorebird science and conservation. “A study of high scientific caliber conducted in the great expanse and harsh climate of the Arctic, this is one of the great wildlife investigations whose value will only grow with time.”

 

Click here to purchase the book.

 

- Dave McGlinchey