US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Case, D.J. and S.J. Huges, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Support Task Force, Summary of Priority Research and Management Needs for Migratory Shore and Upland Game Birds, May 3, 2011



In 2006, the Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Working Group (Working Group) established a Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Support Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is composed of nine representatives of state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. The Task Force was directed to update the research and management needs of the 16 species of migratory shore and upland game birds (Table 1) and to develop a strategy for funding priority research and management needs for these species. The Strategies include those priorities that will significantly improve the management of Migratory Shore and Upland Game Birds and thus, represent a significant winnowing of potential research and management needs from more than three thousand, identified in earlier planning efforts, to 26. In a time of increased budget scrutiny and justification, these Strategies represent a significant accomplishment by focusing our efforts on the most important actions.

Strategy Purpose

The six Strategies each contain recommendations for obtaining priority information needed to improve habitat and harvest management decisions for the 16 species of migratory shore and upland game birds. The Strategies focus on evaluating and improving monitoring efforts, measuring vital rates (survival, reproduction, and recruitment) and evaluating habitat needs during the annual life cycle of these birds. The Strategies are intended to provide guidance for research and management activities, and to increase financial support for the program during the next 5–10 years.


The Task Force determined that convening groups of species experts would be the most efficient and effective process for developing the strategies. Experts from universities, and from state and federal agencies in the United States (U.S.) and Canada participated in the process. More than 90 experts collaborated on one or more of the Strategies (Appendix A). Many of these experts are intimately involved with the North American Flyway system of managing migratory game birds. Strategy development included a combination of in-person and online meetings, followed by additional work via email, online meetings, and conference calls. The first Strategy was completed in June 2008 and the final Strategy was completed in February 2011.

Priority Information Needs determined for each of the 16 species are listed below. Full versions of the Priority Information Needs Funding Strategies are available on-line at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website. The reports can be found by selecting the “Webless Migratory Game Birds” link under the “Research” heading ( NewsPublicationsReports.html). Hard copies of each Strategy can also be obtained by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — Division of Migratory Bird Management.