Date: 4/17/17 7:18 pm
From: Craig Repasz via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Please Go Birding at Great Meadow Unit Stewart B McKinney NWR to Help with a Survey.
Stewart B. McKinney NWR - Great Meadows Unit

Spring Migration Species Abundance Survey - Spring 2017



Purpose: To determine if access to the Forest Trail at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge Great Meadows Unit (GMU) should be established for general visitation.

Background: GMU is a recognized Important Bird Area (IBA). The Forest Trail is currently, as of March 2017, barricaded to protect fragile plant communities and closed to visitation. No data exists that would indicate whether the Forest Trail harbors unique species abundance compared to surrounding areas of GMU that are already open to the public. The survey will rely on members of the general birding community who commit to survey the area and post their observations on eBird. Volunteer Stewards signed up through the McKinney NWR as USFWS Volunteers, will assure that the fragile plant communities are not entered during the bird survey.

Scope: The survey will be conducted on weekend mornings from April 22 to May 28. Survey areas will be the Forest Trail beyond the barricade and the area from the parking lot on Long Beach Blvd, Stratford, CT to the Forrest Trail barricade.

Methods:

1) The survey will be promoted to volunteer birders from the Connecticut birding community using social media and the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) email group, CTBird.

Birders will not be registered before the surveys. By granting access for surveys to birders in a passive manner, the desirability of the Forest Trail as a birding location could be ascertained.

2) Access will be on weekends from April 22 to May 28 from 7:00 to 10:30 am to take advantage of the most active time period for neotropical migrants.

3) Birders will survey two areas from the parking lot to the barricade and the Forest Trail behind the barricade

4) Birders conducting surveys will enter observations into eBird.

a. The volunteer birders will use The Refuge account, user ID: SBMNWR Trail Study (there is a space between words) and password: TrailStudy!

b. There are two locations in eBird that the volunteers will use to enter their checklists: GMU Parking Area and GMU Forest Trail.

c. The “Traveling” observation type will be used.

d. If Birders performing survey do not have access to eBird please send checklists to Craig Repasz, 18 Nutmeg Hill Rd., Hamden CT 06514. <crepasz...>

5) Volunteer Stewards will be present at all times to assure that fragile plant communities are not accessed.

6) The Stewart B. McKinney NWR Wildlife Biologist will analyze the eBird data and consult with the Refuge Manager and Visitor Services Manager on the results.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Craig Repasz

Friends of Stewart B McKinney

Steering Committee
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