Marsh Monitoring Program

Marsh Monitoring Program

The International Marsh Monitoring Program (MMP) needs you to volunteer! The MMP, which was developed to aid Great Lakes wetland conservation, coordinates the skills, interests and stewardship of citizens across the basin to study bird and amphibian life. The program was initiated in 1994 and launched across the Great Lakes basin in 1995. Every year, hundreds of MMP volunteers survey for marsh birds, calling frogs and toads, or both birds and amphibians by sound or sight. This information helps to guide the conservation and management of Great Lakes basin wetlands and their wildlife.

Since 1995, MMP volunteers from Ontario and each of the Great Lakes states have collected data on the abundance, distribution and diversity of wetland-dependent amphibians and birds. This information is needed to determine species population trends and habitat requirements and can also contribute to more effective long-term conservation strategies. Please consider joining a network of others who are concerned about wetlands and their inhabitants and generously contribute their time and talents to the conservation of these rich and valuable components of our natural heritage.

Volunteers are needed across the entire Great Lakes basin. If you or someone you know is interested please call, we need your help. The MMP provides its volunteers with a training kit, which contains a booklet describing the survey protocols, data forms, a training cassette, and a broadcast tape to elicit calls from the more elusive bird species. MMP volunteers also receive an annual newsletter that summarizes survey results and includes interesting articles on marsh ecology, amphibians and marsh birds. The MMP offers everyone – from amateur naturalists to professional biologists – a unique and rewarding opportunity to help conserve Great Lakes amphibians and birds and their threatened wetland habitats.

For more information on the MMP call Kathy Jones, Aquatic Surveys Officer, Bird Studies Canada at 1-888-448-2473 or email, or visit their website at The MMP is delivered by Bird Studies Canada in partnerships with Great Lakes United, Environment Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with significant support from the Great Lakes Protection Fund and other organizations.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.