Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival: National Citizen Science Bird-Banding

Conserving birds and their habitats

The MAPS station at Kent Farm contributes valuable data on breeding birds and the environmental factors influencing their success. 

Administered by the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP), Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) is an organization devoted to the conservation of birds and their habitats. MAPS data, based on more than 2 million birds, has been used as a source in over 100 peer-reviewed papers and agency reports. Through standardized data collection and the use of a software program designed specifically for the project, the MAPS program provides a large database of longitudinal data of birds banded across North America, which can be used freely by researchers. Currently, IBP has a major focus on climate change and is using MAPS data to detect vulnerability to climate change.

MAPS at IU is conducted at the Kent Farm Research Station. The station provides visitors the opportunity to learn about the services birds provide, not only for recreation, but also in their roles as scavengers, consumers of pests, seed dispersers, and pollinators. Birds can also transport disease, making knowledge of their movements from habitat to habitat all the more important. In fact, bird migration demonstrates clearly how everything is connected to everything else. Knowledge of these connections is essential to human health and well-being.