Program Overview

In uncertain times, managers 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 help managers and decision-makers ensure that non-breeding 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 data collection 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 local, Regional/State, and Flyway levels 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, Joint Ventures (JV), Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), 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 waterbird habitat management. The program resides within the Inventory and Monitoring branch and is housed at the Natural Resource Program Center in Fort Collins, CO. NRPC provides interdisciplinary science for planning and management of stations within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

IWMM Staff

  • Project Coordinator: Provides project management and organization, supports participants, and works with the IWMM Steering Committee to ensure progress towards goals.
  • Spatial Ecologist: Provides 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. Additionally, a Communications Specialist works as needed to aid in development of communications and outreach.

IWMM Steering Committee

The Steering Committee currently consists of representatives from USFWS Migratory Bird and National Wildlife Refuge System Programs, and the US Geological Survey. The committee sets the direction for IWMM, identifying priorities and ensuring that sound scientific principles guide the innovation and development of monitoring protocols, data management, and decision support tools for non-breeding waterbird conservation. Its activities are organized by the IWMM Project Coordinator and all members of the Steering Committee incorporate efforts on behalf of IWMM as part of their other job responsibilities. All committee members:

  • Work to ensure progress is made toward achieving IWMM program vision, mission, and goals
  • Review important documents about IWMM and related products that require committee approval or feedback
  • Help disseminate important information and tools produced by IWMM
  • Participate on IWMM projects for which they have specific skills

IWMM Working Teams

To accomplish the work of IWMM, the Steering Committee and IWMM staff work with multiple ad-hoc teams formed to develop and complete specific project tasks. Like participation on the Steering Committee, all members of the working teams incorporate efforts undertaken on behalf of IWMM as part of their other job responsibilities.

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 250 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!