Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions eNewsletter
Summer 2019
IMBCR e-newsletter #2!
Welcome to the second IMBCR e-newsletter! With this outlet, we will showcase IMBCR data applications for management or 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 to see a map of the program’s footprint and a list of partners.
Several of you contributed to the IMBCR Vision & Mission Statement. This is intended to be a living document as the IMBCR partnership grows and changes.
IMBCR Vision Statement
Provide reliable information on bird populations to guide conservation and management decisions.

IMBCR Mission Statement
Through a collaborative network of scientists, land and wildlife management agencies,
conservation organizations, and private citizens, provide scientifically defensible estimates of bird density, abundance, occupancy, and trend to inform impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors
on bird populations.
Click here to download the full Vision & Mission Statement document.
IMBCR Partner Spotlight
Andrea Orabona
Nongame Bird Biologist

Andrea Orabona helps maintain the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WYGF) survey effort in Wyoming and collaborates with other state partners for funding agreements. Andrea has also been an active participant in the annual IMBCR partner meetings and is always willing to provide feedback to improve the program.

Putting the Data to Work
The WYGF’s Nongame Program used data from IMBCR, the Breeding Bird Survey, NatureServe, and the Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment database to inform their 2017 State Wildlife Action Plan revision. 
Andrea and a Golden Eagle
 IMBCR data allowed WYGF to determine if avian populations were stable, increasing, decreasing, or if data were inconclusive. The monitoring data also reveal those species that are not detected in high enough numbers with the IMBCR program and require species-specific survey methods instead. The sagebrush-obligate Decision Support Tool developed by Bird Conservancy also translates IMBCR results to on-the-ground management actions and helps inform planning for conservation efforts across the state.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been a partner agency with IMBCR since 2009 and partnered with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies prior to that for a habitat-based monitoring program. Andrea has been the lead contact for the IMBCR program for the entirety of this partnership.
IMBCR Updates
Grasshopper Sparrow (Alan Schmierer), Eastern Meadowlark (John Sutton) and Cassin’s Sparrow (Alan Schmierer) were evaluated in recent research utilizing IMBCR data. All three showed population gains following the implementation of voluntary conservation practices.
Applying the Data
Two recent studies highlight the use of monitoring data to address conservation efforts in rangelands. Dr. David Pavlacky with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, led a study to determine the effectiveness of voluntary conservation practices, such as the Conservation Reserve Program and prescribed grazing, for improving grassland bird populations. He found these practices are benefiting declining grassland species in the southern Great Plains, such as Grasshopper and Cassin’s Sparrows, and promoting biodiversity. Read the report here.
A study by researchers at Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO), Northwest Wildlife Science, Point Blue Conservation Science, and Intermountain Bird Observatory examined how sagebrush-associated songbird communities aligned with Greater Sage-Grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs) and Ecosystem resilience and resistance gradients (RR index) across a core area of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. The study used data from eight different monitoring projects (including IMBCR) and a unique species distribution modeling approach to map occurrence of 17 sagebrush-associated songbirds.
Right: Singing Brewer’s Sparrow in Lake County, Oregon. Photo by Jacob Spendelow (
The analysis revealed that some species, including Brewer’s Sparrow and Sage Thrasher, were more likely to occur in PACs, but Sagebrush Sparrow was more likely to occur outside of the PACs. Sagebrush Sparrow was also more likely to occur in areas with a low RR index. The results of the study reflect the need to maintain habitat for sagebrush-obligate bird species outside of PACs, particularly for Sagebrush Sparrow.   Email Caitlyn Gillespie with KBO for the full report.
It's a Wrap!
Another IMBCR field season completed
2019 brought additional challenges of early season rain/snow and difficulty accessing the high country with snowpack. For some good news, Baird’s Sparrows were detected a second year in Colorado and Nebraska (2016 & 2019), indicating a potential range expansion.

Right: Baird’s Sparrow at Soapstone Prairie (northern Colorado). Photo by Andy Bankert.
Click here to view photos from the 2019 field season across the IMBCR footprint!
Upcoming Workshops
American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society 2019 JOINT ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Attending the annual TWS/AFS meeting in Reno this year?
Sign up for a workshop on accessing data from the Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center (9/30/19 from 1-5pm) and check out a symposium on Implementation of the National Bird Conservation Priorities (10/3/19 from 1-5pm).
Stay in touch!
Contact Jen Timmer ( with questions, example applications of IMBCR data, pictures, or any other contributing material for future IMBCR e-newsletters.