Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions eNewsletter
Winter 2019
IMBCR e-newsletter #3!
Welcome to the third IMBCR e-newsletter! With this outlet, we will showcase IMBCR data applications for management and conservation efforts, highlight the many partners and faces that make IMBCR possible, and provide updates and outreach materials. Please forward the newsletter to any interested colleagues who might find the material useful. If you have examples you would like to share using IMBCR data or would like to get involved in this monitoring effort, please contact Jen!

Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) is a breeding landbird monitoring program that spans the Great Plains to the Intermountain West. A nested, probabilistic sampling design allows us to make inference about bird populations at multiple scales across public and private lands. Click here for more information about the program including the IMBCR vision and mission statement .
IMBCR Announcements
The annual IMBCR Partners meeting will be held in Fort Collins, Jan. 29 & 30 2020 with a social on 1/28 from 5-8p. The meeting is a time to discuss updates to the monitoring program, showcase data applications, and coordinate goals and objectives among the monitoring partners. See the draft agenda for the meeting including a link to register to participate in the meeting remotely and hotel info for those attending in person. Please share the agenda and meeting info with others who might be interested!

We’ll have a data integration session featuring talks on modeling efforts with BBS, IMBCR, and eBird data followed by an hour panel discussion on steps for integrating multiple datasets and questions to address. We’ll also have sessions on how to get involved with the IMBCR program, how to interpret population trend estimates , and several talks on how partners are using the information for management or conservation purposes. We look forward to chatting with many of you in person!
It's a Wrap!
Another season of IMBCR data proofing is in the books
Thanks to those who were able to meet the proofing deadline this fall. Adam Green has begun running analyses and hopes to have density, abundance, trend, and occupancy estimates on the Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center by January 2020. We anticipate completing the annual IMBCR report for the 2019 field season by spring 2020.
IMBCR Partner Spotlight
Clark Jones
Biologist, U . S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

As a biologist with the USFWS, Clark Jones became involved with the IMBCR program about 5 years ago through a Dept. of Defense Legacy grant examining species distributions on military installations along the Front Range of Colorado.
Putting the Data to Work
Clark has used the species distribution models to identify impacts of various projects and land management activities related to environmental cleanup operations (e.g., landfill remediation, munitions clearance). 

Currently, he and colleagues are using IMBCR data to look at changes in bird populations on smaller installations, so they can leverage detection data from the IMBCR program. Their hope is to expand this program to other installations in the future to fulfill their commitment to promoting the conservation of migratory birds on military installations. 

Above: Clark holding
a Burrowing Owl. Right: Map showing Cassin's Sparrow predicted density across the Pueblo Chemical Depot.
Applying the Data
Adam Green and co-authors recently published a manuscript describing a dynamic multi-scale occupancy model using IMBCR data from the western Great Plains.
They modeled lark bunting and chestnut-collared longspur data to see how grassland and shrubland land cover and annual vegetation conditions affect colonization and extinction rates. They also looked at how local vegetation structure affects fine-scale occupancy. Turnover rates were high for both nomadic species, and the birds responded to similar habitat features but at different scales.
Click here for a factsheet describing BBS and IMBCR monitoring programs.
Will Janousek and co-authors examined population trends from BBS and IMBCR data for 148 species across Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. The authors reported trend inconsistencies between the 2 monitoring programs for 61% of state-species combinations, which were mainly when one program found a detectable trend and the other did not. Across the 3 states, trend disagreements occurred most frequently in forest-associated species.

Sampling design differences between the 2 programs is one potential explanation for the inconsistencies, and the authors suggest considering the design and purpose behind any monitoring program when using the information.
Interested in applying IMBCR data for a NEPA report to determine potential impacts on migratory birds? Check out these how-to presentations created for Idaho and Utah BLM biologists and USFS Region 1, 2, and 4 biologists.

Each presentation contains detailed slides on how to pull data from the Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center and apply the information to examine potential population effects. We will continue to add more how-to presentations for biologists in other agencies and regions and for other applications.
You probably heard about the recent publication highlighting a loss of 3 billion birds over the past 50 years. This staggering estimate was based on data from several different monitoring programs, including the Breeding Bird Survey.

Monitoring programs are crucial to not only determine population declines, but also to show us where to focus conservation efforts. We then need to evaluate those efforts to see if they are effective at slowing or reversing population declines. Monitoring programs like IMBCR can provide those key pieces of information, so these trends do not continue for the next 50 years.
Upcoming Events

It’s almost time for the annual Christmas Bird Count! Join Audubon and other citizen scientists in this fun effort to learn about winter bird populations. Join a route with fellow birders or sign up to lead your own route.
Stay in touch!
Contact Jen Timmer (j ) with questions, example applications of IMBCR data, pictures, or any other contributing material for future IMBCR e-newsletters.