International Shorebird Survey Volunteers

The Manitoba IBA Program coordinates the International Shorebird Survey (ISS) in Manitoba. The ISS was started by Manomet in 1974, and is a long-term data set of shorebird species and abundances. Long-term datasets are key for shorebirds as populations have declined 40% since the 1970s, and many are designated species at risk in Manitoba, and Canada. Manitoba started our ISS surveys in 2018.

Training with the IBA Coordinator or an experienced volunteer is available in for shorebird identification and/or running an ISS route. ISS volunteers are also able to borrow a spotting scope from the IBA program to aid in shorebird identification, based on equipment availability.

Tasks Involved:

  1. Monitoring
  • Monitoring takes place during spring and fall migration along set routes, following a standardized protocol.
  • Each route is approximately 1-5km with the time taken depending on shorebirds numbers along the route. Most routes are driven in a vehicle, stopping to count shorebirds as needed. Some routes are walking routes.
  • You can choose to count all birds, or shorebirds only.
  • Take habitat photos at photostations (one photostation per route)
  • Possible monitoring locations include routes at Whitewater Lake, Oak Lake/ Plum Lakes, Oak Hammock Marsh and/ or North, East and West Shoal Lakes IBAs.
  • Each locations has between 1-6 routes, but you can choose to monitor a subset.

2. Reporting

  • Submit bird counts to using their ISS monitoring protocol, or submit paper IBA monitoring forms provided to you to the IBA Coordinator.
  • Email photostation photos to the IBA Coordinator.

Time Commitment: 2-15 hours a year. ISS runs from April-June and August-October

For more details see the ISS Protocol