British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program - Bird Surveys

Birds Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada


Project name: Marsh Monitoring Program

Goals : To understand the distribution and abundance of marsh birds and amphibians to monitor their status and inform conservation, management, and recovery strategies.

Dataset summary : The dataset includes occurrence and abundance data for targeted marsh dependent birds, the overall bird community in marshes, marsh dependent amphibians, and a marsh habitat description for each site

Year started : 2020

Season(s) and frequency : Surveys are conducted between March and July.

Frequency : Annually

Geographic area covered : British Columbia

Type(s) of habitat : Marsh Habitats

Primary species covered : Marsh Birds and Amphibians - Clements v2021; Cornell Lab of Ornithology; eBird/Birds of the World - Canadian Herpetological Society. 2021 - Matsuda, B. M., Green, D. M., and Gregory, P. T. 2006. Amphibians and reptiles of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum.

Sampling Design : -The BCMMP uses standardized point count surveys for marsh birds and amphibians. Surveys for marsh birds start with a 5-minute passive survey period followed by a 5-minute call playback. Surveys for amphibians are passive and last 3 minutes.

Field methods : Protocols are all available for download at:

Analysis methods : - Bradley, D.W., Sorenson, G.H., and K.L. Drake. The British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program – Training kit and instructions for surveying marsh birds and their habitats. 2021. Birds Canada, Delta, B.C., Canada. - Danis, B.E.G., Reurink, F., Bradley, D.W., Sorenson, G.H. British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program – Instructions for surveying amphibians. 2021. Birds Canada, Delta, B.C., Canada. - Reurink, F., Danis, B.E.G., Sorenson, G.H., Bradley, D.W. British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program – Instructions for selecting marshes, setting up survey stations and conducting a marsh habitat description. 2021. Birds Canada, Delta, B.C., Canada.

Data format : NatureCounts SQL Server Database

Data validation : WildResearch reviews the survey data to see if any uncommon or rare species are detected. If uncommon or rare species are detected, or abnormally large counts are recorded, we will contact the volunteer to verify the species.

Data excluded : - Data from species that are red listed under SARA can only be accessed on request - Data from private properties may not be accessed

Data update frequency : Annually

Data collection methods : Field visits

Users of the information : - The data will eventually allow a user to address species distribution, occupancy, and population trends to pinpoint critical regions for conservation, management, and recovery strategies of marsh breeding bird and amphibian species. - Users should be aware that the data is only collected during the breeding season and so the data only includes breeding birds and amphibians.