Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Minnesota Project

American woodcock singing-ground surveys in the western Great Lakes region: Assessment of trends in woodcock counts, forest cover types along survey routes, and landscape cover type composition

August 2006 - June 2010


Participating Agencies

  • USFWS Region 8

American woodcock are monitored via the Singing-ground Survey, which was established in the late 1960s. Since then, survey routes have largely been static, and it is no longer clear whether these routes adequately monitor woodcock abundance across the larger landscape. To assess whether survey routes currently represent the landscape they were initially designed to represent, we assessed patterns in annual counts of woodcock along existing survey routes in Minnesota and Wisconsin, assessed changes in time in land cover types along these routes, related temporal changes in woodcock counts to changes in land cover composition, and compared current cover type composition along routes to current landscape cover type composition. We also compared past cover type composition along survey routes to landscape cover composition. Our results suggest that existing routes largely reflect the cover types of the broader landscape, and also results in counts that track changes in cover types along routes.

Research Publications Publication Date
Nelson, M.R. and D.E. Andersen. 2013. Do Singing-ground Surveys reflect American woodcock abundance in the western Great Lakes region? Wildlife Society Bulletin 37:585-595. | Download September 2013
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Nelson, M.E. 2010. American Woodcock Singing-ground Surveys in the western Great Lakes region: assessment of woodcock counts, forest cover types along survey routes, and landscape cover type composition. M.S. Thesis, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota U.S.A. 105pp. October 2010