Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program

Birds Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources

Prince Edward Island Fish and Wildlife Division

New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund

Project name: Marsh Monitoring Program

Goals : Established in 2012 by Eastern Habitat Joint Venture partners, the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program helps assess and monitor statuses of wetland-associated species and habitats. Modelled after Bird Studies Canada Marsh Monitoring Programs in other regions the program focuses on obtaining baseline information on secretive marsh birds not well-captured by other surveys offering a window into the health of wetlands.

Status : Active

Year started : 2012

Years (comments) : New Brunswick (2012-present), Nova Scotia (2013- present), Prince Edward Island (2015- present)

Geographic area covered : New Brunswick (Ecoregions: Grand Lakes (129 stations), Fundy Coastal (51 stations), Valley Lowlands (20 stations), Eastern Lowlands (116 stations); Nova Scotia (20 stations); Prince Edward Island (39 stations)

Type(s) of habitat : Fresh water marshes and coastal salt/brackish marshes

Primary species covered : Primarily waterbirds (plus Nelson’s Sparrow)

Sampling Design : Randomly selected routes

Field methods : Bird survey routes with 2-11 listening points 250 m apart. Listening stations were unlimited distance for primary species and 100 m fixed-distance point counts for all other species. One to three visits, at least 10 days apart between 15 May and 15 July. Specialized 15 minute point count protocol; 5-minute call broadcast period book ended by two, 5-minute silent listening periods. Individuals of primary species (AMBI, LEBI, PBGR, SORA, VIRA, YERA, AMCO, COGA, NESP) are recorded on a minute-by-minute basis and are grouped into 3 distance classes (0-50m, 50-100m, unlimited). Counts of all other species detected within a 100m radius of the observer are recorded for each 5-minute time period. Additionally, observers record the number of drakes, hens and young to provide productivity information.

Sample size : Over 300 unique point locations with between 150 and 300 points surveyed one to three times each year.

Results : Reports and publications available on line at