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Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey

What is the PFSS?
PFSS is a coordinated multi-partner monitoring program led by Point Blue Conservation Science designed to guide the management and conservation of wintering shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway. The PFSS contributes data to the Migratory Shorebird Project, the largest coordinated survey of wintering shorebirds on the Pacific Coast of the Americas spanning 10 countries from Canada to Peru.

Why Count Shorebirds?
Many shorebird species are thought to be declining in North America; however, we still have a lot to learn about species population trends, subsequently which species are at greatest risk, and which habitats they most depend upon. To answer these questions Point Blue Conservation Science is leading the PFSS to coordinate both ongoing (e.g. at specific sites such as refuges or coastal estuaries) and newly established monitoring efforts in the Pacific Flyway.

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Photos by M. Dettling

Large-scale environmental changes, including urbanization, extreme weather and climate variation, agricultural flooding, and wetland restoration and management, are affecting wetland habitats throughout the Pacific Flyway. The influence of these changes on shorebird populations is not well understood. Past surveys of shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway were a snapshot of population and habitat conditions through the 1990's and do not reflect these more recent landscape level changes. The annual PFSS will help fill existing information gaps and provide guidance to resource managers on how best to conserve shorebird habitats in the face of environmental change.

What about the Data?
Data has been collected by both professional biologists and citizen scientists and is currently available online in our Explore Data section. All data is stored in the California Avian Data Center. CADC is hosted by Point Blue and provides a secure, well-tested platform for storing, managing, analyzing, and visualizing ecological monitoring data. Within CADC state of the art analytical approaches will provide partners with robust annual summaries of incoming data as well as interactive tools to visualize results, including population trends, spatial distribution of birds, and the relative abundance of birds by habitat type or location.

Help Us Count Shorebirds!
The PFSS will provide needed data to guide resource allocations (e.g. water, habitat management) in the Pacific Flyway as we strive to support a diversity of wildlife and societal needs into the future. If shorebirds count to you, volunteer to help us count shorebirds!