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Photo by Jim Williams

Montana: Breeding Shorebird Project

Populations of several species of breeding shorebirds in the PPR appear to be experiencing long-term declines. Marbled godwit, long-billed curlew, willet, Wilson’s phalarope, and American avocet are all listed as priority species by Partners in Flight or the U.S. Shorebird Plan. Montana is an important state for these species so to gain a better understanding of their vital rates, PPJV partners adopted a long-term adaptive conservation process that includes the Montana breeding shorebird project.

To implement the shorebird project, in 2012, a four-year term position was hired in the Great Falls, Montana HAPET office to support expansion of shorebird monitoring into the western portion of the PPJV administrative area. Project objectives include 1) establishing a long-term breeding shorebird survey, and 2) developing landscape-scale habitat models to identify priority conservation areas for species of concern.

Preliminary models indicate several priority areas identified for breeding waterfowl conservation are also important for multiple breeding shorebird species. Final predictive models will provide decision support tools to PPJV partners to integrate breeding shorebird conservation actions with existing programs to leverage limited funding resources.