Eastern Painted Bunting Population Assessment and Monitoring Project home page

Eastern Painted Bunting Blue PABU

Population Assessment and Monitoring Project

Why an Eastern Painted Bunting survey?

NOTE! Project completed in 2010. As of January 2014, data entry & management tools have been disabled, but you should still be able to view results!

Declining Populations

coastal habitat
The eastern population of this colorful neotropical migrant breeds in coastal and barrier island habitats of Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas, and returns to South Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico during winter. The Breeding Bird Survey and other monitoring effortsshow Painted Buntings declining, presumably in response to human encroachment and landscape alteration, caged bird trading, and other factors. But these surveys are insufficient in tracking the eastern population in its narrow and limited breeding range. Read results of research on breeding ground requirements.

Collaborative Monitoring

Because of declines and limited range, eastern populations are believed to be highly threatened. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared Painted Bunting as a focal species to receive targeted conservation attention. A partnership of Federal, State and private organizations is working collaboratively to address the conservation needs of Painted Buntings, and the success of this effort hinges on collecting monitoring information that will guide decisions along the way.


Project sponsorship & related projects

This monitoring project is a collaboration among the following sponsors:
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Migratory Birds
  • US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington, Environmental Studies
The primary goals are to better assess and track the trends of this eastern population through a standard methodology applied across a defined sampling area. While trends can tell us how a population is doing, we also need information that could help support management of a population if needed, such as reproductive succes - see Related Projects.
Several related projects are being conducted to collect different kinds of information on the Painted Bunting.

A) Cornell Lab of Ornithology, through their eBird program, is collecting sightings from observers across the range of the species to help learn more details on distribution, relative abundance, habitat and other factors in different parts of the range. This program is in development. Go to eBird.

B) Dr. James Rotenberg at University of North Carolina at Wilmington is conducting a more focused study on demographic parameters by studying results of this monitoring effort at NC sites in conjunction with information obtained by following banded individuals. Go there now.

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