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Scientific and Cost Effective Monitoring: The Case of an Aerial Insectivore, the Chimney Swift

DOI: 10.5751/ace-00425-050210

Keywords: adaptive management , aerial insectivores , Chaetura pelagica ,Chimney Swift &searchField=keyword"> Chimney Swift , detection probability , monitoring

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Abstract:

The increased pace of species listing worldwide, coupled with the scarcity of conservation funding, promote the use of targeted monitoring. We applied the recommendations of Nichols and Williams (Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2006 24:668-673) to optimize the Québec Chimney Swift Monitoring Program, an ongoing volunteer-based monitoring initiative launched in 1998. Past objectives of the program were to fill knowledge gaps about occupancy patterns at roosts sites, determine spatial and temporal distribution of Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) across the province, locate active nest sites, and monitor temporal fluctuations of the population. By applying an adaptive management framework, we modified the current monitoring scheme into a more focused initiative testing newly developed hypotheses about the state of the system. This new approach yielded significant scientific gains as well as annual savings of 19.6%. It may prove pertinent to current and future swift monitoring initiatives and to other aerial insectivore species.

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