Data collection under the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Program got underway in fall 2010 when the pilot phase was initiated. During the initial survey seasons, IWMM staff used monitoring data and feedback from participants to target critical information needs, validate monitoring methods and to address logistical concerns. While the bird observation approach has essentially remained the same, the methods for assessing unit conditions and surveying vegetation have changed significantly. Data collection under the new protocol got underway in July 2015, and at the end of the year, the IWMM-AKN portal (online database) became available for data entry and management.
Data collected during the pilot phase were also migrated over to the IWMM-AKN portal, but because significant changes in monitoring methods had occurred we are distinguishing between Legacy data collected during the pilot phase of IWMM, and data collected under the current protocol. This distinction is important because it affects how data are presented in downloads and which data are available for downloads and reports.
Key points relative to source of these data, and their incorporation and presentation in Downloads and Reports:
1) Downloads / Bird Survey: The Bird Survey download contains all bird observations (bird counts) and information on unit conditions collected during both the pilot phase and under the current protocol.
- Bird Count data: Because bird counts conducted during the pilot phase and under the current protocol utilize a single approach, there is no distinction made between data collected under pilot and current protocols. In Downloads, counts are simply presented for each date the survey unit was visited, and all bird counts collected since the project’s inception are available.
- Unit Conditions data: Because elements of the unit conditions protocol changed after the pilot phase, data are displayed in downloads as follows: For data collected during the pilot phase, data are displayed in the first set of columns in the output spreadsheet for unit conditions data to the right of the unit location and count data. For data collected under the current protocol, data are displayed in the second set of columns for unit conditions data to the right of the first set of columns. (For more details, see the Step by Step Database Documentation for Downloads and Reports, PPT). All unit conditions data collected since the project’s inception (fall 2010) are available for downloading.
2) Downloads / Vegetation Survey: Due to significant changes made to the pilot phase vegetation survey , the Vegetation Survey data download option within the IWMM-AKN portal (online database) includes only vegetation data collected under the current protocol.
- For access to legacy vegetation data entered and stored in the original, distributed Access database, please contact IWMM Project or Science Coordinator.
3) Reports/Bird Survey and Bird Use Days: All waterbird count data collected during the pilot phase and under current protocol are included in the two available report types within the IWMM-AKN portal (online database).
4) Reports/Unit Conditions: The Unit Conditions report includes only unit conditions data collected under the current protocol.
5) Reports/Vegetation Survey: The Vegetation Survey report includes only vegetation data collected under the current protocol.