Conservation Tools and Resources
HeronConservation facilitates the study and conservation of herons by providing standardized methods and other resources. These are described below, with links to further information. You are encouraged to bring additional tools and resources to the attention of HeronConservation by communicating with the Global Chair or Vice Chairs.
Censuses and Surveys
Information on the distribution, numbers, and numerical trends of heron species and their populations is essential for conservation planning and action. Yet reliable quantitative information on heron populations, in reality, is not common. Such information begins with inventory, census, and monitoring activities conducted in individual sites and areas. There are many approaches to counting birds, so many that it is confusing. Yet there is a need for both valid methods and for consistency in that methodology, where possible, among those doing this important work. Recommended methods for the counting and monitoring of herons are found in Heron Count Protocols.
Global Heron Count Data Base
HeronConservation has partnered with eBird to provide a central repository for distribution, inventory, census and monitoring data on herons. This centralized repository does not replace the need to store data locally. Securing the data locally in a manner that it can be readily accessed by conservationists and resource managers is imperative. The repository does provide a backup option for offsite storage, long-term security, and world wide availability of the data for conservation purposes. For more information, to access the data base, and to enter data please go the Global Heron Count Data Base page.
Understanding and communicating about heron biology requires a common language. One of the more confusing aspects of biology is communicating observation on behavior. So it is important to maintain consistency in the terminology in behavioral terminology so as to allow ready comparisons between independent studies. A common terminology for courtship, breeding, feeding and maintenance behavior has long been used in heron studies. These are summarized in Terminology of Courtship, Nesting, Feeding and Maintenance in Herons. Biologists and conservationists are encouraged to continue use of these terminologies and to use them in participating in knowledge updates, below.
Species List and Species Accounts
HeronConservation uses a common list of species. This is updated periodically as new information becomes available. For consistency, biologists and conservationists are encouraged to use this list of names. The species list of the Herons of the World provides this information.
HeronConservation assembles bibliographic information on published studies of herons, in the Heron Bibliography. You are encouraged to use and to add to the bibliography.
HeronConservation maintains a listing of Grant Opportunities open to competitive application. You are encouraged to make additional opportunities known so they can be included by communicating with the Chair or Vice Chairs.
Methods and Tools
Below is a listing of resources for study and conservation of herons. Please make additional resources known to the Chair or Vice Chairs, preferably by including a PDF of the resource.
Capturing, banding, radio-tagging, and tissue sampling Least Bitterns.
Management of nest sites for colonial waterbirds.
North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.
Standard Protocol for Marsh Bird Monitoring.
Capturing adult herons.
Heron Forums and Internet Resources
Cattle Egret Forum - a bird watching forum on Cattle Egrets in winter in New Zealand.
Purple Heron Migration - showing locations of Purple Herons equipped with satellite transmitters.
Globally Threatened Bird Forum - maintained by BirdLife International to organize commentary on revisions to the IUCN Red List.