British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems and provide crucial habitat to a diverse array of bird and amphibian species. Wetlands also act to filter water of sediment and contaminants, cycle water-borne nutrients, recharge groundwater flows, and mitigate flooding and erosion. Unfortunately, human colonial development throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries caused degradation, fragmentation, and loss of numerous wetlands throughout the world. This destruction has given rise to concerns about the viability of populations of many bird and amphibian species that depend on wetlands for one or more portions of their life cycle.
WildResearch has partnered with Birds Canada to expand their well-established Marsh Monitoring Program to the region commonly called British Columbia. The British Columbia Marsh Monitoring Program (BCMMP) aims to better understand the distribution and abundance of marsh birds and amphibians in BC. Volunteer community scientists collect valuable data through bird, amphibian and vegetation surveys throughout the spring and summer. This data is made accessible to the public, including policy makers and landowners, to inform decision making on conservation, habitat use, and invasive species management.
The BCMMP is currently in its pilot year, with surveys being conducted by volunteers at numerous sites throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Following the success of this year and enthusiasm from our volunteers, we plan to expand this program throughout BC over the course of the next several years.