may be among the first affected by environmental damage, monitoring their populations is important. Amphibian populations are monitored by through frog-calling censuses in the spring, and by sampling for tadpoles, salamanders, newts, and frogs in pools and wetlands along the Great Lakes shorelines. The Great Lakes basin is one of North Americas richest areas of breeding songbirds. This makes avian-based monitoring programs particularly important for this region. Birds contribute unique information about ecological conditions. Bird populations are sensitive to fairly large-scale stresses like landscape degradation, and many bird species are predators of other animals or of insects. The combined effect of stressors such as habitat alteration, water contamination, lake level changes, and suburban predators like raccoons and skunk may contribute to bird population declines. Many species of wetland birds in the Great Lakes region are listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern in one or more states. Examples include king and yellow rails, common moorhen, least and American bitterns, osprey, piping plover, and Caspian, common, Forsters and least terns. We will identify the ways in which bird communities along the Great Lakes shoreline are impacted by human activities.
Associated with 3 projects