The INSTITUTE for BIRD POPULATIONS
MONITORING BIRD POPULATIONS IN SIERRA NEVADA NATIONAL PARKS
 
MAPS IN SIERRA NATIONAL PARKS

Sierra Nevada National Parks program banner photo

The National Parks that comprise the National Park Service’s Sierra Nevada Network -- Yosemite, King’s Canyon, and Sequoia National Park, as well as Devils Postpile National Monument-- encompass granite domes, spectacular canyons, waterfalls, and vast tracts of roadless mountains and forests. Thousands of plant species, from the tiniest monkey-flower to the towering Giant Sequoia, mantle the low to mid elevations, providing habitat to hundreds of vertebrate species.

IBP is partnering with the National Park Service to monitor bird populations throughout the Sierra Nevada parks. Most summers we deploy a crew of expert bird surveyors, who conduct point counts of all bird species heard and seen at preselected, mostly off-trail locations that are visited year after year. Surveyors hike hundreds of miles, and in the process collect data that allow us to track population numbers and distributions of many dozens of bird species throughout the parks. This information yields important findings about habitat needs of Sierra Nevada bird species, the status of declining populations, and the effects of climate change, wildfire, and other large-scale ecological processes on birds.

Locations of 2016 transect origins in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. Red markers indicate annual panel transect origins; blue markers indicate alternating panel transect origins. Once a transect is surveyed the icon color changes to yellow. Click on marker for additional transect origin information. Click here for a larger version of this map.

For more information about IBP’s work in Sierra Nevada National Parks, please contact Bob Wilkerson.

Photo Credits: Top of Page, Jade Ajani; Right Column Top, Tim Lenz; Right Column Bottom, Kelly Colgan Azar
 

In a separate but related project, we also collaborate with NPS personnel to operate Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) stations in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite’s MAPS stations have been operated continuously since 1992 and are among the longest-running stations in the country. Mark-recapture data from Yosemite’s MAPS stations reveal the underlying demographic causes of broader population changes across the parks.

A recent study using Yosemite’s MAPS data established new longevity records for nine species of landbirds, including White-headed Woodpecker and Brown Creeper, pictured below.

 
Bird Photo
 
Bird Photo
 
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SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Peer-reviewed Publications

Siegel, R.B., R. Taylor, J.F. Saracco, L. Helton, and S. Stock. 2016. GPS-tracking reveals non-breeding locations and apparent molt migration of a Black-headed Grosbeak. The Journal of Field Ornithology 87:196-203. (For a copy of this publication, please contact Rodney Siegel.)

Tingley, M.W., V. Ruiz-Gutiérrez, R.L. Wilkerson, C.A. Howell, and R.B. Siegel. 2016. Pyrodiversity promotes avian diversity over the decade following forest fire. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283:20161703 (published online). (For a copy of this publication, please contact Rodney Siegel.)

Wu, J.X., R.B. Siegel, H.L. Loffland, M.W. Tingley, S.L. Stock, K.N. Roberts, J.J. Keane, J.R. Medley, R. Bridgman, and C. Stermer. 2015. Diversity of nest sites and nesting habitats used by Great Gray Owls in California. The Journal of Wildlife Management 79:937-947. (For a copy of this publication, please contact Helen Loffland.)

Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, J.F. Saracco, and Z.L. Steel. 2011. Elevation ranges of birds on the Sierra Nevada’s west slope. Western Birds 42:2-26. PDF

Stock S.L., R.B. Siegel, and D.R. Kaschube. 2010. Declines in Yosemite’s bird populations. Pages 117-124 in: S. Weber, editor. Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 2009 George Wright Society Biennial Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. PDF

Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and D.F. DeSante. 2008. Extirpation of the Willow Flycatcher from Yosemite National Park. Western Birds 39:8-21. PDF

Other Publications and Reports

Helton, L.W., R.B. Siegel, D.R. Kaschube, and S. Stock. 2015. The 2014 annual report of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Rowan, E., R.B. Siegel, D.R. Kaschube, and S. Stock. 2014. The 2013 Annual Report of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Loffland, H.L., R.B. Siegel, and R.L. Wilkerson. 2013. Assessing the effects of meadow restoration on bird populations in the greater Sierra Nevada: report for the 2012 field season The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Rowan, E.R., D.R. Kaschube, R.B. Siegel, and S. Stock. 2013. The 2012 annual report of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. Report to Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, and R.B. Siegel. 2012. Sierra Nevada Network bird monitoring: 2011 annual report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SIEN/NRDS—2012/362. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. PDF

Siegel, R.B., J.F. Saracco, R.L. Wilkerson, and S. Stock. 2012. Long-term demographics of Yosemite’s songbirds: an analysis of data from the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. Report to Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Steel, Z.L., M.L. Bond, R.B. Siegel, and P. Pyle. 2012. Avifauna of Sierra Nevada Network parks: assessing distribution, abundance, stressors, and conservation opportunities for 145 bird species (Appendix A – species accounts). Natural Resource Report NPS/SIEN/NRR—2012/506A. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF

Steel, Z.L., M.L. Bond, R.B. Siegel, and P. Pyle. 2012. Avifauna of Sierra Nevada Network parks: assessing distribution, abundance, stressors, and conservation opportunities for 145 bird species. Natural Resource Report NPS/SIEN/NRR—2012/506. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF

Kaschube, D.R., R.B. Siegel, and S. Stock. 2011. The 2010 annual report of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. Report to Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., P. Pyle, D.R. Kaschube, and S. Stock. 2010. The 2009 annual report of the MAPS Program in Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and M. Goldin Rose. 2010. Bird monitoring protocol for national parks in the Sierra Nevada Network. Natural Resource Report NPS/SIEN/NRR--2010/231. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. PDF

Siegel, R.B., J.F. Saracco, and D.R. Kaschube. 2009. The Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Kings Canyon National Park: 1991-2008. Report to Kings Canyon National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and D.F. DeSante. 2007. Determining the status and distribution of Willow Flycatcher in Yosemite National Park. Report to Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., and R.L. Wilkerson. 2005. Sample designs for avian monitoring alternatives in Sierra Nevada Network national parks. Report to the Sierra Nevada Network of the National Park Service. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Siegel, R.B., and R.L. Wilkerson. 2004. Landbird Inventory for Devils Postpile National Monument, Final Report. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., and R.L. Wilkerson. 2004. Landbird inventory for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (2003-2004). Report to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

DeSante, D.F., P. Pyle, and D.R. O'Grady. 2003. The 2002 (ten-year) annual report of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program in Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

Siegel, R.B., and D.F. DeSante. 2002. Avian inventory of Yosemite National Park (1998-2000). Report to Yosemite National Park. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF

DeSante, D.F. 1995. The status, distribution, abundance, population trends, demographics, and risks of the landbird avifauna of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.

DeSante, D.F. 1990. An avian biomonitoring program for the national parks other natural areas to detect large-scale, long-term changes in the productivity and survivorship of land birds. Pages 285-296 in: Proceedings of the Yosemite Centennial Symposium. PDF

The INSTITUTE for BIRD POPULATIONS