The INSTITUTE for BIRD POPULATIONS
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PACIFIC NORTHWEST SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION PROGRAM
Northwest National Parks banner photo
IBP’s flagship bird monitoring program in the Pacific Northwest is a long-term partnership with the National Park Service to monitor trends in the abundance and distribution of birds in five Pacific Northwest national parks:
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
Ranging from sea level to the top of 14,410’ Mount Rainier, the national parks of the Pacific Northwest encompass a stunning diversity of species and ecosystems, including temperate rainforests, rugged, undeveloped coastline, and glaciated peaks. Much of these are within vast tracts of roadless mountainous and forested areas.
In summer IBP deploys a crew of expert bird surveyors, who conduct point counts of all bird species heard and seen at pre-selected, mostly off-trail locations that are visited year after year. Surveyors hike hundreds of miles collecting data that allow us to track populations and distributions of dozens of bird species. This information yields important findings about habitat needs of Pacific Northwest birds, the status of declining populations, and the effects of climate change and other large-scale ecological processes.
For more information about all of IBP’s work in the Pacific Northwest, please contact Mandy Holmgren.
Northwest National Parks map
 
To view an interactive map of bird monitoring survey transects in Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks click here.
Photo Credits: Top of Page, Yux Xiang; Right Column Bottom, Mandy Holmgren
RECENT RESEARCH
A 2020 study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that the inequality in the pine-nutcracker mutualism may make this partnership vulnerable when the populations of one of the partners declines. Scientists from The Institute for Bird Populations, the National Park Service, and the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative found that the mutualistic relationship between whitebark pine and Clark's Nutcrackers may be threatened by local declines in the tree's population.
"Our results suggest that nutcrackers can leave areas where whitebark pine is in decline and seek resources elsewhere, which might mean that declining seed dispersal should be added to the list of current threats to whitebark," says the lead author of the paper Dr. Chris Ray, a research ecologist with The Institute for Bird Populations.
 
Clark's Nutcracker
Photo by Frank D. Lospalluto/Flickr.
 
A mathematical model developed the researchers integrates data from two monitoring programs, one focused on birds and another on subalpine trees. This large-scale approach improved the strength of the model, which can now be used to study nutcracker-whitebark mutualism further and perhaps improve monitoring of the bird and the pine. You can read the study here.
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SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
Peer-reviewed Publications
Ray, C., R.M. Rochefort, J.I. Ransom, J.C.B. Nesmith, S.A. Haultain, T.D. Schaming, J.R. Boetsch, M.L. Holmgren, R.L. Wilkerson, and R.B. Siegel. 2020. Assessing trends and vulnerabilities in the mutualism between whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) in national parks of the Sierra-Cascade region. PlosONE 2020:1-25. PDF
Ray, C., M.L. Holmgren, R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.R. Boetsch, K.J. Jenkins, and J.I. Ransom. 2019. Trends in landbird density at two national parks in fragmented, mixed-use landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. The Northwestern Naturalist 100:1-25. PDF
Ray, C., J.F. Saracco, M.L. Holmgren, R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, K.J. Jenkins, J.I. Ransom, P.J. Happe, J.R. Boetsch, and M.H. Huff. 2018. Landbird population trends in mountain and historical parks of the North Coast and Cascades Network: 2005–2016 synthesis. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR—2018/1673. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Ray, C., J. Saracco, K. Jenkins, M. Huff, P. Happe, and J. Ransom. 2017. Development of a robust analytical framework for assessing landbird population trends, dynamics and relationships with environmental covariates in the North Coast and Cascades Network. National Park Service Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR—2017/1483. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Ray, C., J.F. Saracco, M.L. Holmgren, R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, K.J. Jenkins, J.I. Ransom, P.J. Happe, J.R. Boetsch, and M.H. Huff. 2017. Recent stability of resident and migratory landbird populations in National Parks of the Pacific Northwest. Ecosphere 8:e01902. PDF
Saracco, J.F., A.L. Holmgren, R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, R.C. Kuntz II, K.J. Jenkins, P.J. Happe, J.R. Boetsch, and M.H. Huff. 2014. Landbird trends in National Parks of the North Coast and Cascades Network, 2005-2012. U.S. Geological Survey open-file report 2014–1202. PDF
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, R.C. Kuntz II, J.F. Saracco, and A.L. Holmgren. 2012. Elevation ranges of birds at Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, and Olympic National Park. The Northwestern Naturalist 93:23-39. PDF
Other Publications and Reports
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.I. Ransom. 2021. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2020 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—2021/1337. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.I. Ransom. 2020. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2019 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—2020/1284. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.I. Ransom. 2019. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2018 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—2019/1224. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.I. Ransom. 2017. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2016 field season. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR—2017/1495. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and J.I. Ransom. 2016. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring report for the 2015 Field Season. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR—2016/1241. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA, and The National Park Service, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Sedro-Woolley, WA. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and P.J. Happe. 2015. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2014 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—2015/502. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and P.J. Happe. 2014. North Coast and Cascades Network landbird monitoring: report for the 2013 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—2014/691. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2013. North Coast Cascades Network landbird monitoring report for the 2012 field season. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NCCN/NRDS—20113/523. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Holmgren, A.L., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2012. North Coast Cascades Network landbird monitoring report for the 2011 field season. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Holmgren, A., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2011. North Coast and Cascades Network Landbird Monitoring. Report for the 2010 Field Season. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.
Holmgren, M., R.L. Wilkerson, and R.B. Siegel. 2011. North Coast and Cascades Network landird monitoring: report for the 2010 field season. Natural Resources Technical Report NPG/NCCN/NRTR-2011/473. PDF
Holmgren, A., R.L. Wilkerson, R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2010. North Coast Cascades Landbird Monitoring; Report for the 2009 Field Season. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.
Siegel, R.B, R.C. Kuntz II, R.L. Wilkerson, and K.D. Kuhlman. 2010. Surveying for Spotted Owls in the northeastern portion of North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 2009-2010: report for the 2009 field season. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR/2010/334. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Wilkerson, R.L., R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2010. North Coast Cascades Network landbird monitoring report for the 2009 field season. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR—2010/392. PDF
Siegel, R.B., and R.C. Kuntz II. 2009. Designing a landbird monitoring program at North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR—2009/075. PDF
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2009. Landbird inventory for Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (2006). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR—2009/166. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and R.C. Kuntz. 2009. Landbird inventory for Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (2004). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR2009/165. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, and S. Hall. 2009. Landbird inventory for Olympic National Park (2002-2003). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR¬2009/159. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, H.K. Pedersen, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2009. Landbird inventory of San Juan Island National Historical Park (2002). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR2009/156. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, R.C. Kuntz II, and J. McLaughlin. 2009. Landbird inventory for North Cascades National Park Service Complex (2001-2002). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR¬2009/152. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Siegel, R.B., Wilkerson, R.L., and R.C. Kuntz II. 2009. Landbird Monitoring in the North Coast and Cascades Network Report for the 2006 Pilot Field Season. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR—2009/168. PDF
Wilkerson, R.L., R.B. Siegel, and R.C. Kuntz II. 2009. Landbird monitoring in the North Coast and Cascades Monitoring Network: report for the 2008 field season. Report to the North Coast and Cascades Network of the National Park Service. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF
Siegel, R.B., Wilkerson, R.L., and R.C. Kuntz II. 2008. Landbird Monitoring in the North Coast and Cascades Network Report for the 2007 Field Season. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR—2008/114. PDF
Nott, M.P. 2007. Demographics monitoring modeling and management of landbird populations in Pacific Northwest forests: an application of the MAPS dataset. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA.
Siegel, R.B., R.L. Wilkerson, K.J. Jenkins, R.C. Kuntz II, J.R. Boetsch, J.P. Schaberl, and P.J. Happe. 2007. Landbird monitoring protocol for national parks in the North Coast and Cascades Network. U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 2-A6. PDF
Pyle, P., D.F. DeSante, M.P. Nott, and D.R. Kaschube. 2005. The MAPS Program in the Pacific Northwest: current status and future direction. Report submitted to the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office for Order HAP044166. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF
Wilkerson, R.L., R.B. Siegel, and J. Schaberl. 2005. Landbird inventory for Mount Rainier National Park (2003-2004). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR¬2009/164. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. PDF
Siegel, R.B., and R.L. Wilkerson. 2004. Landbird Inventory for Olympic National Park, Final Report. The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA. PDF
Siegel, R.B. 2000. Methods for monitoring landbirds. U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service Technical Report NPS/NRNOCA/NRTR/00-03. PDF