How do birds use near-shore and open water areas of the Great Lakes, and how can this information be used to inform conservation and natural resource management decisions, such as prioritizing areas for protection/restoration, evaluating the potential impact of offshore wind energy projects, and targeting conservation within the context of the full annual cycle?


In the effort to answer this question, the project team executed a work plan that was designed to achieve the following five objectives:

  • Build a community of Great Lakes avian researchers under the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership to share data and information, form data sharing agreements where appropriate, identify information gaps and priorities, collaborate on future projects, and build upon the collective knowledge of bird use of the Great Lakes.
  • Inform Great Lakes conservation and management decisions by engaging natural resource and wildlife managers and subject experts in detailing needs for summarizing and using survey data within relevant decision frameworks.
  • Develop and promote the use of the Midwest Avian Data Center to manage, share, analyze, and distribute results from survey data and data collected by other research projects.
  • Develop predictive models of waterbird distributions and densities across the Great Lakes, in order to support decision making and conservation planning.
  • Incorporate data and project results into briefing reports, the Midwest Avian Data Center, and other relevant decision-making and conservation planning tools and documents.

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