Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas Project
Purposes, Objectives, and Benefits
The purpose of the New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas Project is to identify the distributions of all species of birds breeding and produce an atlas of breeding birds in the state and thereby contribute to a better understanding of the state's avifauna. The atlas objectives include:
- Survey the state of New Mexico for evidence of breeding during the appropriate seasons for all bird species using survey techniques that can be duplicated 20 to 50 years in the future and that will provide a baseline against which future changes can be measured.
- Classify and map the breeding evidence for each species using a set of codes based upon observable criteria for territorial, breeding, nesting, and rearing behaviors.
- Gather up-to-date information on the relative abundance, timing of breeding, and habitat selection of New Mexico breeding birds.
- Organize data from breeding observations into a series of maps (an atlas) that show the breeding occurrence, distribution, and abundance of each species within a grid of uniform blocks covering the state.
Additional benefits to be derived from the atlas project
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information on the breeding occurrences, so that conservation planning and land-use decisions can adequately address any needs of special breeding bird species.
- Provide a major scientific reference for applications in public policy, education, recreation, and research.
- Introduce New Mexico birders to a new and exciting way of birding, which at the same time contributes valuable information to a large statewide ornithological effort.
- Provide a coordinated and cooperative project that will bring bird enthusiasts together so they will become more involved in conservation issues and activities and will become better educated about birds as a natural resource.
Previous Section -- The New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas: History and Planning
Return to Handbook Contents
Next Section -- Examples of Some Specific Questions the Atlas Aims to Address