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Calling all birders: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department need citizen scientists

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are asking citizen scientists to help monitor black-capped vireos from April 10th to July 1 at Inks Lake State Park and Lost Maples State Natural Area in Texas.

The previously endangered black-capped vireo has made a remarkable comeback thanks to the efforts of several conservation partners, which led to its removal from the Endangered Species List in 2018. When the black-capped vireo was listed, only 350 birds were known, but by 2018 the population was estimated at 14,000. Now, it is important to track the species’ progress to ensure it continues to show improvements. The Endangered Species Act requires monitoring of species that were delisted due to recovery for at least 5 years.

Monitoring methods:

  • Surveys should occur between sunrise and be completed by 1:00 PM.
  • Surveys must be conducted in clear weather conditions. No rain, fog, or wind speeds over 12 mph.
  • Learn the black-capped vireo call; you may hear more than one responding to each other.
  • Count individual adults by separating your detections by 300 meters (as the crow flies).
  • Do not use audio playback of bird calls. Always follow state park rules and be respectful of wildlife!
  • All observations should include an accurate location for the adult black-capped vireos and submitted using the eBird app. Add “BCVI PDM” to the observation comment (black-capped vireo post-delisting monitoring).

For more information, email arles@fws.gov or click here to view and download an informative PDF.