The INSTITUTE for BIRD POPULATIONS
MoSI: MONITORING NEOTROPICAL MIGRANTS IN WINTER
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What is the MoSI Program?

MoSI is a collaborative, international network of bird monitoring stations across the northern Neotropics that bolsters conservation efforts through population monitoring. Since 2002, the program has operated more than 200 stations in 15 countries to help answer questions such as:

  • What factors affect site persistence on the wintering grounds?
  • Where are the problems most acute, on the breeding or non-breeding grounds?
  • What factors drive population declines?
  • What is the relationship between population change and weather, climate, or habitat loss on the wintering grounds?
  • What can we do to reverse declines?

Although MoSI concentrates on Neotropical migrant landbirds that breed in the United States and Canada, it also gathers important data on resident birds in host countries.

How Does MoSI Work?

MoSI uses a standardized protocol with a system of fine mesh nets to capture birds during the non-breeding season. MoSI stations are run by independent banders, non-profit conservation groups, university scientists, or Latin American government personnel. MoSI operators band the birds and collect information on their age, sex, and body condition.

Captured birds are given a lightweight, numbered aluminum leg band and released unharmed. Like its sister program, Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS), MoSI strives to have individual stations operate over multiple years to yield information on the vital rates of bird populations, including population trend, site persistence, and adult survival rates.

Why is MoSI Important?

Without information on the full annual cycle of birds, it’s difficult to know what drives or limits populations and where and when to direct conservation efforts. MoSI helps elucidate the what, where, and why of bird population declines in ways that other kinds of population surveys cannot.

What have we learned from MoSI to date?

The importance of full annual-cycle conservation – protecting birds on migration and wintering sites as well as breeding areas – is increasingly recognized. The MoSI Program is expanding our understanding of the movements and habitat needs of Neotropical migrant birds across the full annual cycle, which is critical for understanding and predicting the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on bird populations. IBP and partners publish findings from MoSI in peer-reviewed journals and other kinds of scientific reports. MoSI has also trained scores of Latin American collaborators and researchers who continue to conduct important bird research.

New Directions and Developing Research: Migratory Connectivity

Recent advances in rapid, inexpensive DNA sequencing, some of it using feathers collected at MoSI and MAPS stations, have yielded great progress in linking breeding, migration, and wintering locales of particular bird populations. Another advance is miniaturized GPS units, which can gather location information over the course of a year and indicate to within a few meters where a bird has been. New units weigh about a gram and can be used on birds as small as thrushes. These techniques and others can provide a more complete picture of bird annual cycles, critical areas for each stage in those cycles, and linkages between nesting, migrating, and wintering sites.

Photo Credits: Top of Page, Kelly Colgan Azar; Right Column Top, jar; Right Column Bottom, Francesco Veronesi
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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How you can help

IBP is always looking for partners to:

  • Establish new MoSI stations and help expand the MoSI network.
  • Pose new research or management questions and collaborate with IBP or work independently to answer them using MoSI and MAPS data.
  • Provide financial support for coordination of the MoSI Program.

For more information about the MoSI Program, please contact Steve Albert.

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SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Peer-reviewed Publications Authored by IBP Personnel

Albert, S., D. DeSante, R. Siegel, D. Kaschube, and J. Saracco. 2016. Monitoring landbirds in national parks: understanding populations, migratory connectivity, and climate change. Pages 11-17 in: S. Weber, editor. Engagement, Education, and Expectations — The Future of Parks and Protected Areas: Proceedings of the 2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Hancock, Michigan: George Wright Society. PDF

Ortiz-Pulido, R., J.L. Alcántara-Carbajal, H. de la Cueva, J. Martínez-Gómez, P. Escalante Pliego, S.M. de la Parra-Martínez, T.P. Feria Arroyo y S. Albert. 2016. Conservación de aves en México: Una instantánea de 2015. Huitzil: Revista Mexicana Ornitologica 17:234-238. PDF

Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., W.L. Kendall, J.F. Saracco, and G.C. White. 2016. Overwintering strategies of migratory birds: a novel approach for estimating seasonal movement patterns of residents and transients. The Journal of Applied Ecology. 53:1035–1045. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664. (For a copy of this publication, please contact Jim Saracco.)

Ruegg, K., E. Anderson, K. Paxton, V. Apkenas, S. Lao, R.B. Siegel, D.F. DeSante, F. Moore, and T. Smith. 2014. Mapping migration in a songbird using high-resolution genetic markers. Molecular Ecology 23:5726–5739. PDF

Rushing, C.S., T.B. Ryder, J. Saracco, and P.P. Marra. 2014. Assessing migratory connectivity for a long-distance migratory bird using multiple intrinsic data sources. Ecological Applications 24:445-456. PDF

Rundel, C.W., M.B. Wunder, A.H. Alvarado, K.C. Ruegg, R. Harrington, A. Schuh, J.F. Kelly, R.B. Siegel, D.F. DeSante, T.B. Smith, and J. Novembre. 2013. Novel statistical methods for integrating genetic and stable isotope data to infer individual-level migratory connectivity. Molecular Ecology 22:4163-4176. PDF

LaManna, J.A., T.L. George, J.F. Saracco, M.P. Nott, and D.F. DeSante. 2012. El Niño-Southern Oscillation influences annual survival of a migratory songbird at a regional scale. The Auk 129:734-743. PDF

Ruiz-Sánchez, A., R. Rueda-Hernández, S. Guallar, and P. Pyle. 2012. Age determination of the Spot-breasted Wren and the White-breasted Wood-Wren using molt limits. North American Bird Bander 37:93-100. PDF

Wolfe, J.D., and P. Pyle. 2012. Progress in our understanding of molt patterns in Central American and Caribbean landbirds. In: Proceedings of the IX Neotropical Ornithological Congress-Peru. Ornitologia Neotropical 23:153-158. PDF

Wolfe, J.D., T.B. Ryder, P. Pyle, and E.I. Johnson. 2012. Using molt and plumage cycles to age tropical birds: updates and recent advances. Ornitologia Neotropical 23:153-158. PDF

Johnson, E.I., J.D. Wolfe, T.B. Ryder, and P. Pyle. 2011. Modifications to a molt-based ageing system proposed by Wolfe et al. (2010). The Journal of Field Ornithology 82:422-424. PDF

Pyle, P. 2011. Book review: Guallar et al., Paseriformes del Occidente de México: morfometría, datación y sexado. Revista Catalana d'Ornitologia 27:45-47. (Catalan Version) PDF

Pyle, P. 2011. Book review: Guallar et al., Paseriformes del Occidente de México: morfometría, datación y sexado. Western Birds 42:120-122. (English Version) PDF

Wolfe, J.D., T.B. Ryder, and P. Pyle. 2010. Using molt cycles to categorize the age of tropical birds: an integrative new system. The Journal of Field Ornithology 81:186-194. PDF

Saracco, J.F., D.F. DeSante, M.P. Nott, and D.R. Kaschube. 2009. Using the MAPS and MoSI Programs to monitor landbirds and inform conservation. Pages 651-658 in: T.D. Rich, C.D. Thompson, D. Demarest, and C. Arizmendi, editors. Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics. University of Texas-Pan American Press. PDF

Wolfe, J.D., P. Pyle, and C.J. Ralph. 2009. Breeding seasons, molt patterns, and gender and age criteria for selected northeastern Costa Rican resident landbirds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121:556-567. PDF

DeSante, D.F., T.S. Sillett, R.B. Siegel, J.F. Saracco, C.A. Romo de Vivar Alvarez, S. Morales, A. Cerezo, D. Kaschube, B. Milá, and M. Grosselet. 2005. MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal): assessing habitat-specific overwintering survival of neotropical migratory landbirds. Pages 926-936 in: C.J. Ralph and T.D. Rich, editors. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas. U.S.D.A. Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-191. PDF

Pyle, P., A. McAndrews, P. Veléz, R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and D.F. DeSante. 2004. Molt patterns, and age and sex determination of selected southeastern Cuban landbirds. The Journal of Field Ornithology 75:136-145. PDF

Froehlich, D. 2003. Ageing North American landbirds by molt limits and plumage criteria: a photographic companion guide to the Identification Guide to North American Birds, Part I. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, CA. PDF

Latta, S.C., A. Tossas, A. Sutton, H. Gonzales, P.B. Hamel, and D. DeSante. 2003. Research, monitoring, and conservation of neotropical migratory landbirds in the West Indies. The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 16:1-19.

Donovan, T.M., C.J. Beardmore, D.N. Bonter, J.D. Brawn, R.J.Cooper, J.A. Fitzgerald, R. Ford, S.A. Gauthreaux, T.L. George, W.C. Hunter, T.E. Martin, J. Price, K.V. Rosenberg, P.D. Vickery, and T.B. Wigley. 2002. Priority research needs for the conservation of Neotropical migrant landbirds. The Journal of Field Ornithology 73:329-450. PDF

Buckley, P.A., C.M. Francis, P. Blancher, D.F. Desante, C.S. Robbins, G. Smith, and P. Cannell. 1998. The North American bird banding program: into the 21st Century. The Journal of Field Ornithology 69:511-692. PDF

DeSante, D.F., and D.K. Rosenberg. 1998. What do we need to monitor in order to manage landbirds? Pages 93-106 in: J.M. Marzluff, and R. Sallabanks, editors. Avian Conservation: Research and Management. Island Press, Washington, D.C. PDF

Ralph, C.J., G.R. Geupel, P. Pyle, T.E. Martin, D.F. DeSante, and B. Milá. 1996. Manual de métodos de campo para el monitoreo de aves terrestres. General Technical Report PSW-GTR-159. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. PDF

Pyle, P., S.N.G. Howell, R.P. Yunick, and D.F. DeSante. 1987. Identification Guide to North American Passerines. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, CA.

Peer-reviewed Publications by Other Researchers

Martínez-Salinas, A. and F. DeClerck. 2015. El papel de los agroecosistemas y bosques en la conservación de aves dentro de corredores biológicos. Mesoaméricana 14:35-50. PDF

Medina, J.P., C. Salgado-Miranda, M. García-Conejo, K.P. Galindo-Sánchez, C.J. Mejía-García, M.K. Janczur, C.W. Gomes Lopes, B.P. Berto, and E. Soriano-Vargas. 2015. Coccidia in passerines from the Nevado de Toluca National Park, Mexico. Acta Parasitologica 60:173–174. PDF

Langle-Flores, A., E.M. Barba-Robert, and A. Reyes-Magallanes. 2011. Estatus invernal de Junco hyemalis en el estado de Jalisco, México. Huitzl 12:5-8. PDF

Rodríguez-Ruíz, E.R., H.A. Garza-Torres, C.A. Ríos-Muñoz, and A.G. Navarro-Sigüenza. 2011. La distribución geográfica de la tángara azul-gris (Thraupis episcopus) en hábitats modificados antropogénicamente en México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 82:989-996. PDF

Calvert, A.M., J. Woodcock, and J.D. McCracken. 2010. Contrasting seasonal survivorship of two migratory songbirds wintering in threatened mangrove forests. Avian Conservation and Ecology 5:2. PDF

Espericueta-Viera, J.C., and A. Leal-Sandoval. 2010. Aves capturadas en tres estaciones de anillado durante el Programa Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI) en el estado de Sinaloa. El canto del Centzontle 1:49-64. (Abstract only) PDF

Leal-Sandoval, A., J. Fonseca-Parra, and J.A. Castillo-Guerrero. 2009. Noteworthy bird records from central Sinaloa, México. Huitzl 10:63-65. PDF

Maglianesi, M.A. 2009. Establecimiento y manejo de una estación del Programa de Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI) en un bosque tropical seco. Zeledonia 13:23-32. PDF

Woodcock, J., and M. Woodcock. 2009. Una Reinita Amarilla (Dendroica petechia) anillada en Costa Rica recapturada en los EE.UU. Zeledonia 13:28-29. PDF

Gutierrez-Ramirez M. 2007. Comportamiento poblacional de aves y biometría de Elaenia frantzii en el Bosque Nuboso de la Reserva Natural Volcán Mombacho. Un estudio de cinco años de la avifauna de Mombacho, diciembre 2002 – marzo 2007. Monografía, Tesis de Licenciatura en Biología, UNAN Managua, Nicaragua. PDF

Piaskowski, V.D., M. Teul, K.M. Williams, and R.N. Cal. 2006. Birds of the Sibun riverine forest, Belize. Ornitología Neotropical 17:333-352. PDF

Piaskowski, V.D., M. Teul, R.N. Cal, and K.M. Williams. 2005. Habitat associations of Neotropical migrants in Belize, Central America, during the non-breeding season. The Passenger Pigeon 67:61-76. PDF

Other Publications and Reports

Saracco, J.F., and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez. 2012. Development of restoration and scaling options for songbirds. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J.F., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, W.L. Kendall, P. Pyle, and R. Taylor. 2012. Identification and management of priority winter bird habitats for migratory landbirds: research results and implications for conserving and managing winter habitat. Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., and D.R. Kaschube. 2012. Evaluating the capacity of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival (MAPS) and Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI) Programs to monitor hummingbird populations. Report to the Hummingbird Monitoring Network. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Andino, L., and O. Komar. 2010. Sexto Informe Anual, Proyecto de Monitoreo Permanente de Aves Terrestres, El Salvador. SalvaNATURA, El Salvador.

DeSante, D.F., and J.F. Saracco. 2010. MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal) Manual: instructions for establishing and operating bird banding stations as part of the MoSI Program. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. Available at http://www.birdpop.org/docs/misc/MoSI-Manual-English.pdf.

DeSante, D.F., and J.S. Saracco. 2009. Instrucciones para el establecimiento y manejo de estaciones de anillamiento de aves del Programa MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal). The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. (Available at http://www.birdpop.org/docs/misc/MoSI-Manual-Espanol.pdf)

Saracco, J.F., D.F. DeSante, and D.R. Kaschube. 2008. Modeling over-wintering survival of declining landbirds: final report on four years of the Monitoring Avian Winter Survival (MAWS) Program on southeastern U.S. Department of Defense installations. Submitted to the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J.F., D.F. DeSante, P. Pyle, S. Morales, J.L. Alcántara, and C. Romo. 2008 Assessing winter habitat quality for migratory landbirds: a report on five winters (2002-03 through 2006-07) of the Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI) Program. Technical report submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J.F., D.F. DeSante, P. Pyle, S. Morales, J.L. Alcántara, and C. Romo. 2008 Determinación de la calidad del hábitat de invierno para aves migratorias terrestres. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J.F. and D.F. DeSante. 2006. 2006 annual performance report for NMBCA project: habitat-management strategies that enhance overwintering survival of migratory landbirds. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J.F., D.F. DeSante, and D.R. Kaschube. 2006. Modeling overwintering survival of declining landbirds: A technical analysis of the Monitoring Avian Winter Survival (MAWS) Program on four DoD installations in the Southeastern United States. Technical Analysis submitted to the Legacy Resources Management Program for DoD Legacy Project. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Woodcock, J.M. 2006. Ecology of winter resident Prothonotary Warblers in Costa Rica 2005/2006 Report. Report by John Woodcock for the Canadian Wildlife Service. PDF

DeSante, D.F., J.F. Saracco, and D.R. Kaschube. 2005. Modeling overwintering survival of declining landbirds: the 2004-05 Annual Report of the Monitoring Avian Winter Survival (MAWS) Program on four DoD Installations in the southeastern United States, 2004-05 annual technical report to the Legacy Resources Management Program. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Saracco, J F., D.F. DeSante, C. Romo de Vivar Alvarez, S. Morales, B. Milá, D.R. Kaschube and N. Michel. 2004. Modeling overwintering survival of declining landbirds: final report on four years of the Monitoring Avian Winter Survival (MAWS) Program on southeastern U.S. DoD installations. Technical report submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, D.F. DeSante, D.R. Kaschube, and T.S. Sillett. 2004. Survival rates of landbirds on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Report to the Legacy Program of the Department of Defense. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., R. Wilkerson, D.R. Kaschube, and D.F. DeSante. 2003. Survival rates and productivity of landbirds on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., T.S. Sillett and D.F. DeSante. 2001. Survival rates and productivity of landbirds on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., and D.F. DeSante. 2002. Survival rates and productivity of landbirds on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., D. O'Grady and D.F. DeSante. 2000. Survival rates and productivity of landbirds on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

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