PROGRAM TITLE:	Migratory Birds
SCIENCE ELEMENT: 	Ecological Systems and Dynamics


SCIENTIFIC MERIT:  Recent evidence strongly suggests that  populations of 
neotropical migratory woodland birds are on the decline.  These declines are 
probably attributable to high rates of deforestation and forest fragmentation  
in both the tropical wintering grounds and the temperate North American 
breeding grounds.  Migratory bird populations perform important ecological 
services such as predation on insects, pollination, and seed dispersal, and are 
an important indicator of the health  of ecosystems on a global scale.  Despite 
their importance, relatively little research has focussed on the specific causes 
of the declines in these land bird migrants.  The Smithsonian Migratory Bird 
Program will examine the population trends of migratory land birds from an 
interdisciplinary and international perspective.
When fully staffed, the center will house research ornithologists, 
geographers, and policy analysts.  The center would support research on 
migratory land birds and land use in Latin America and the Caribbean, bird 
population trends in North America, and the implications these results have 
for habitat conservation.  In addition, the center would make every effort to 
provide information to the public and decision makers in all Western 
Hemisphere countries that support substantial populations of Nearctic  
migrants.  The center will work to catalyze and focus the efforts of people and 
groups outside the Smithsonian.
Research on migratory birds and land use in Mexico initiated in 1982 has now 
been expanded.  Outreach materials in both Spanish and English, which 
summarize the latest findings on migratory bird ecology and conservation, 
have been and will continue to be prepared and distributed.  Working with 
scientists from the Fish and Wildlife Service, Canadian Wildlife Service, 
National Audubon Society, and Manomet Bird Observatory, a plan for 
improving population monitoring of tropical migratory birds is being 
Smithsonian is working with a team from various organizations, both 
private and governmental, to develop a cohesive strategy for research and 
conservation of migratory birds.
STAKEHOLDERS:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Latin American 
Governmental and Private Organizations, Canadian Wildlife Service, 
National Audubon Society, and theManomet Bird Observatory are all 
cooperating with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Program at SERC.
POLICY RELEVANCE:  This program contributes strongly to the U.S. Global 
Change Program's Ecological Systems & Population Dynamics integration 
theme.  The program also attacks high-priority objectives of the IGBP Core 
Programs GCTE and GCEC.  This program contributes to understanding the 
dynamics of growth and decline in representative temperate and tropical 
forest sites.  Ultimately, it will also contribute to understanding the influences 
of disturbance for polar regions.  Under predicting threshold responses, this 
program will contribute to modeling threshold responses for selected species 
and ecosystems.  Under resource use and management relations, this 
program will contribute to the estimation of intangible costs of agriculture 
and forestry.
SI SGCR Representative:	Ted A. Maxwell
		NASM MRC 315
		Smithsonian Institution
		Washington, D.C.  20560
		202 357 1424
		FAX:  202 786 2566
Bureau Representative:	Ben Beck
		NZP  MRC 551
		Smithsonian Institution
		Washington, D.C.  20560
		202 673 4871
		FAX:  202 673 4766