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Grand Teton National Park Report

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A scheme for long-term monitoring of breeding land bird populations in a wide variety of habitats representative of the northern Rockies and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) was initiated in summer 1993. It is projected that the monitoring scheme, when fully established and formalized, will become a routine activity in Grand Teton National Park, where a broad range of representative vegetation types is accessible within close geographic proximity. Sixteen study sites were established within the park in pristine habitat, from the Jackson Hole lowlands to subalpine and alpine sites, from meadow, sagebrush and marshland, through willow scrub, cottonwood and aspen woodlands, to lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forests. Some of the study sites have a long history of research on the breeding birds (see below). Census sites are standardized at 5 ha in size, and mapped in detail (topography, vegetation). The locations and accessibility of the study sites permit all to be regularly and repeatedly censused during the short (6-week) breeding season. Census schedules, timing, and methodological protocols are being established and refined, to provide for strictly controlled inter-site and inter-year comparisons in breeding bird populations, species composition, and densities. In view of the projected benefits to science and resource management of this monitoring scheme, the project hopefully will be continued and the data base further expanded in future years, with a larger range of study sites (24-36).