Program Overview

In uncertain times, managers will need strong science to guide them in making the best choices for wildlife. Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring (IWMM) is designed to provide that science through modeling, coordinated monitoring, and decision support tools for migrating and wintering waterbirds. Working with partners across regions, this landscape level conservation program aims to enable managers and decision-makers to ensure that nonbreeding waterbirds have the right habitat, in the right place, at the right time.

Our Vision

A continental landscape where non-breeding waterbirds have the right habitat, in the right place, at the right time.

Our Mission

To aid in the acquisition, restoration, and enhancement of wetlands  for non-breeding waterbirds by providing managers with a framework and tools to guide their management, evaluate the  outcomes of their efforts, and incorporate collective  learning to improve decision-making.

Our Goal

To inform decisions regarding the acquisition and management of wetlands for non-breeding waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds.

Our Definition of Success

  • Managers at the 3 spatial scales of local wetland, Regional/State, and Flyway use the resulting information to inform acquisition, resource allocation, and management decisions at their respective spatial scales.
  • IWMM tools are routinely used by Flyway Technical Committees, JVs, LCCs, conservation unit managers, and others to address waterbird habitat acquisition and management, and to link quantity, quality, and locations of waterbird habitat to waterbird conservation and management objectives.
  • Waterbird and habitat monitoring data during migration and wintering are standardized, creating a ‘common currency’ across the geographic scales and ownership boundaries. This is a basic step in developing full life cycle models for waterbird species and helps individual managers understand how their management contributes to ‘the big picture’ of waterbird conservation.

Our Program

Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring (IWMM) is a national effort to monitor waterbirds and provide decision support for their habitat management. The program is housed within the Inventory and Monitoring branch of the Natural Resource Program Center at Ft. Collins, CO, which provides interdisciplinary science for the planning and management decisions of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

IWMM Staff

  • Project Coordinator: Provides project organization and management, and works to ensure progress towards goals.
  • Communications Specialist: A Communications Specialist works as needed to provide direction and aid in development of communications and outreach.
  • Spatial Ecologist: Currently vacant but position will provide support for continued development of IWMM’s efforts in monitoring, decision support and spatial analysis.

On occasion, we also contract with individuals to lead specific projects on a term basis.

IWMM Science Team

The Science Team consists of representatives from USFWS Migratory Bird and National Wildlife Refuge System Programs, USGS and non-governmental agencies. The team identifies priorities and sets the direction for IWMM, and is responsible for achieving the overall vision and success of the program. Its activities are led by the IWMM Project Coordinator. Except for the Project and Science coordinators, all members of the Science Team incorporate efforts on behalf of IWMM as part of their other job responsibilities. All Science Team members:

  • Work to generate grassroots support and implementation of IWMM
  • Review important documents about IWMM and related products that require team approval or feedback
  • Help disseminate important information and tools produced by IWMM
  • Participate on IWMM projects for which they have specific skills

IWMM Sub-Teams

To accomplish the work of IWMM, the Science Team and IWMM staff work with multiple sub-teams formed to develop and complete specific aspects of the project. Like participation on the Science Team, all members of the sub-teams incorporate efforts undertaken on behalf of IWMM as part of their other job responsibilities. To date, there have been nine sub-teams formed to address specific needs identified by the Science Team. These include: Communications Team; Database Development Team; GIS Team; Habitat Monitoring Protocol Team; Implementation Team; Logistics Team; Management Actions Team; Population Monitoring Protocol Team; Technical Team.

Integrated Waterbird Monitoring and Management Web Community

Our web community represents multiple partners interested in waterbird monitoring and habitat management. Members include cooperators actively using IWMM protocols to monitor waterbirds and their habitat along with those partners interested in using IWMM data and tools to better understand and or manage waterbirds in their regions. The IWMM web community has more than 175 registered members and is growing. Our members can stay engaged by visiting the website, receiving our newsletter, and by participating in webinars and workshops. If you are not currently a member, we invite you to join by signing up for our newsletter!


2015 Summer News
2015 Fall News
2016 Winter News
2016 Spring News
2016 Fall News
2017 Winter News

Program Highlights

Highlights 2014-15