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Spring into Marsh Monitoring


Photo: Cody Pytlak

The gear is ready, the coffee is brewed, and you’ve reviewed your bird calls. You’re all set to start your first Marsh Monitoring survey of the season! Whether a beginner or a seasoned expert, each volunteer for Bird Studies Canada’s Marsh Monitoring Program (MMP) contributes to wetlands science by surveying for secretive marsh birds (and – in Ontario – for amphibians, too).

Wetlands are among the world’s most diverse and productive environments, upon which countless species of plants and animals depend. Yet these habitats are often overlooked and undervalued. Understanding long-term population trends of the species using these ecosystems is becoming increasingly important for their conservation.

Between April and July (depending on the region), MMP volunteers visit local marshes, surveying for species that are not well detected by other survey methods. Their observations provide biologists with the ability to track long-term trends for these fragile species and habitats.

How you can contribute:

Great Lakes Region: The Great Lakes MMP is always looking for more volunteers to monitor birds and/or frogs. Kathy (volunteer@birdscanada.org) can help you find a route, and you can check the online map to see if your local wetland is currently being monitored!

Québec: Andrew (acoughlan@birdscanada.org) can field your questions about the MMP in Québec. New volunteers are particularly needed in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, and Bas-St-Laurent regions!

Maritimes Region: The Maritimes MMP may be our newest MMP program, but there are survey routes available in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. If there are no established routes near you, Holly (hlightfoot@birdscanada.org) can help you place survey points at appropriate locations in a marsh in your neighbourhood!

Volunteers like you make our Marsh Monitoring Programs possible! MMPs across the country are undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada and various funders and partners. For a complete list of supporters for each region, visit the Great Lakes, Québec, or Maritimes MMP webpage.

Thank you to all who contribute to Marsh Monitoring!

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