Surveys, Data Analysis, and Reporting

IWMM Monitoring Protocol
The IWMM Monitoring Protocol enables managers to rapidly assess habitat conditions and waterbird use at wetlands during the non-breeding periods, and to simultaneously track annual management actions. Protocol were developed during an extensive pilot phase in which methods could be tested through validation studies, revised and improved. Participants collecting data under the initial protocol were transitioned to the revised protocol during fall of 2015.

The IWMM Monitoring Manual
The IWMM Monitoring Manual explicitly describes the survey techniques (i.e., standard operating procedures (SOPs) to implement a full season of surveys (from fall through spring). While elements of a complete protocol, such as survey objectives, data analysis and reporting are not included, the Monitoring Manual provides all essential information necessary to complete a season of surveys. The Monitoring Manual is designed to be used by anyone conducting IWMM surveys.

The IWMM Monitoring Manual has undergone several revisions to accommodate improvements and changes to methods and data management. Currently, the most up-to-date version is 8.0; check back in Fall 2017 for version 9.0.

The IWMM National Protocol Framework
The National Protocol Framework for the Inventory and Monitoring of Nonbreeding Waterbirds and their Habitats was developed as part of the IWMM approach. However, it was created specifically to guide the development of site-specific protocols and the use of the local monitoring component of the IWMM program at units within the National Wildlife Refuge System. This protocol framework provides a complete but flexible treatment of key protocol elements applicable to the rapid assessment of habitat conditions and waterbird use during the non-breeding periods. While the framework includes all of the SOPs describing the IWMM survey protocol, and so can be used by anyone conducting IWMM surveys, it is distinct from the Monitoring Manual in that it also provides the necessary guidance for developing complete, site-specific protocols (e.g., survey objectives, sampling design, data analysis, reporting), All partners interested in developing site-specific protocols employing the IWMM approach are encouraged to use the framework as a foundation for this endeavor.

The IWMM National Protocol Framework is being updated. Check back in fall 2017 for version 2.0.

IWMM Data Forms
The data forms are provided to promote consistency across surveys, clarify required fields, and provide a linkage to the data entry via the IWMM database.

Data Management: The IWMM-AKN Partnership

IWMM’s goal is to provide decision support tools that will enable multi-scaled waterbird habitat management decisions to be made in a structured, transparent, and defensible fashion. A key element of this process is a relational database that stores, manages, and reports waterbird, habitat, and management action data for management units located across multiple flyways.

To this end, IWMM has created an online data management system as a thematic node of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN). An IWMM-AKN partnership is beneficial because the AKN provides a common platform for different organizations across the US to store, share and access data, improving awareness and use at multiple scales. As a thematic node of the AKN, the IWMM database supports managers and partnerships by enabling users to maintain scientific data on a secure site, organize data for a greater range of analysis opportunities, generate reports to inform decisions, and share data and technology that lead to cost efficiencies. In addition to supporting IWMM participants, the database also helps create and allow for iteratively updating decision support tools.

In fall 2015, the IWMM-AKN node became available for online entry of data collected with the newly revised monitoring protocols. In 2016, reporting and downloading tools for IWMM were launched. Data collected under the old protocols (fall 2010-spring 2015) are also stored in this database, and can be submitted to IWMM staff for uploading.

Protocol & Data Form Downloads

Supplemental Resources for IWMM

  • Links for species lists for birds we monitor and plants for which we calculate SPI. Common names for birds based on the 58th Supplement to the AOU North American checklist. SPI-Plant species names based on USDA plants database.
  • Dead Bird Observations – If you observe dead birds during surveys, follow the instructions for reporting, collecting, and submitting individuals to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center.