The International Shorebird Survey (ISS)


To know where conservation is needed -- and if initiatives have been effective -- shorebird scientists require a broad understanding of species populations and trends. In 1974, Manomet organized the volunteer-based International Shorebird Survey (ISS) to gather information on shorebirds and the wetlands they depend on. Through the work of dedicated volunteers conducting field surveys during spring and fall migrations, this monitoring network provides hemispheric data on shorebirds. Volunteers have completed almost 80,000 census counts at 1200 locations in 47 U.S. states, with additional counts from Central and South America.


The information gathered through the ISS has proven pivotal to shorebird conservation planning in the United States. The U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan draws heavily on our information in setting regional and national priorities, and ISS data have also been extensively used to document major shorebird migration staging areas throughout the Western Hemisphere and to identify and process site nominations for the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The primary goal of the ISS is to have an operational monitoring program that will be sustained for decades on end to aid in the recovery of imperiled shorebird populations.


If you are interested in becoming an ISS volunteer, contact Brad Winn at


Access ISS E-Bird here.