Point Blue: Migratory Shorebird Project

Learn about Point Blue’s shorebird research and tips to help you draw shorebirds.

Join us to learn about the multinational Migratory Shorebird Project, led by Point Blue Conservation Science. We’ll explore the largest coordinated survey of wintering shorebirds and coastal wetlands on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. John Muir Laws will also share tips on drawing shorebirds.

Initiated in 2011, The Migratory Shorebird Project is a cooperative effort of 13 countries (and counting!) and more than 40 organizations to conserve shorebirds and wetlands from Alaska to Chile by understanding the impacts of threats such as sea-level rise, habitat loss, and human disturbance. Migratory Shorebird Project data have been used to: designate new Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites in Nicaragua and Mexico; evaluate the health of the San Francisco Bay estuary; guide resource management in National Park Sanquianga in Colombia; measure the progress of a conservation agreement signed by the community at Bocana de Iscuandé, Conservation International and Asociacion Calidris in Colombia; and reduce human disturbance in protected areas of Mexico and Peru.

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We talk with Matt Reiter, a Research Director in the Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group at Point Blue, whose work is focused on the ecology and conservation of waterbirds and their habitat, and particularly seeking innovative approaches to understanding the impacts of threats such as habitat loss and climate change. Matt grew up in Massachusetts and always loved the outdoors. He received a B.A. from Boston College in 1998 and an M.S. (2006) and Ph.D. (2009) from the University of Minnesota. He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Hawaii from 1998 – 2003 studying the impacts of avian malaria on Hawaii’s native birds and developing disease management strategies for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. As part of his graduate degree work, he spent summers studying the nesting ecology of tundra nesting Canada geese in northern Manitoba, Canada. Particularly, he evaluated the impacts of increasing numbers of nesting lesser snow geese, fluctuations in arctic fox abundance, and cycles of lemming populations on Canada goose nest survival and spatial distribution. Matt has a diverse publication record with peer-reviewed scientific publications on mosquitoes, tundra-dwelling frogs, lemmings, arctic foxes, and birds. He’s fascinated by all ecological systems and enjoys digging into different kinds of data. When not traveling throughout the Pacific Coast of the Americas, he’s based in Truckee, California.