|2008 MAPS schedule. Actually, I have ceased the MAPS station. The chaparral fire burned through Solstice Canyon in the fall of 2007, and access to the site was restricted for many months. But there were other issues that I won't go through here, as well as burn out (pun not intended) on my part.|
|What is MAPS|
MAPS is an acronym form Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship. The MAPS bird banding program was established in 1989 by the Institute of Bird Populations. You can get the most correct and up to date information about this program from their website (above), but I will summarize the program. The goal was to provide conservation and management information on land birds through the monitoring of bird populations. There are now over 500 MAPS stations across the United States. The idea is to maintain long term, constant effort mist netting and banding of birds. This nationwide effort will aid in conserving avian diversity in North America, as long term data on productivity, survivorship, and population size of these land birds are generated. Comparisons between stations as well as long term trends at single stations can be assessed by those managing our land resources to identify declining bird populations, to begin implementing mechanisms to reverse these trends, and to assess the effectiveness of the management actions.
|The key aspect is a constant effort between stations to
allow comparisons. The protocol involves using 10 mist nets.
Each mist net is 12 meters long and 2.6 meters high with a 30 mm
mesh. Each mist net is held up by two 3 meter (10 ft) EMT conduit
poles with rope and stakes. From a distance the mist nets are
almost transparent, and birds flying into the net are caught.
These nets are strategically placed in permanent net lanes in an area of
about eight hectares within a 20 hectare study site. These same
net lanes will be used year after year.
Each banding effort or cycle is held constant. Banding is conducted from sunrise for six hours, once every 10 days beginning May 1 until August 8 (with some variation for higher latitudes and latitudes). The reason for the particular starting and ending dates is generally to avoid the spring and fall migrants and wait until breeding has occurred and the chicks have fledged (productivity). Thus, the effort is to capture resident breeding birds and their young.
In succeeding years, if these same banded birds are recaptured, we will have a measure of survivorship. IBP states that stations should be operated for a minimum of five years to get good data, and 10 or 20 years would be better.
|Solstice Canyon is one of many canyons that dissect the Santa Monica Mountains in a north-south direction and drains into the Pacific Ocean. Solstice Canyon is located about four km west of Malibu along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH or Hwy 1). This site was selected for a variety of reasons. First, it is relatively close to my home base, Santa Monica College. This is critical considering the starting time of sunrise. Second, this is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, where I already have a good working relationship (see Zuma Canyon). Third, Solstice Canyon is a relatively secure site. The canyon is closed, or at least the gate is locked essentially from sunset until 0800 hr, which allows me to leave portions of the equipment and hardware in place. In general, after our first year of operation, we found that visitors to the canyon were very interested and supportive of our work. Fourth, the year round flowing stream would attract a large number of birds.|
(Solstice) Bird Banding Report
Table 2 for report
Table 3 for report
|31 Jul 2008
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