In 2005 and 2006, with the help of a number of collaborators, PRBO and Avocet Research Associates performed the first two years of a large-scale breeding-season survey of the California Clapper Rail throughout the entire San Francisco Estuary. A survey of this magnitude (the first in more than 15 years) would be impossible without the efforts of numerous on-the-ground researchers contributing their survey results to our larger data set. In fact, we are receiving a great deal of data not specifically funded by our research project.
Consolidating the disparate data sets into a single table that can be used to do the baywide analyses requires substantial time and effort. This task is about to become much easier and more efficient, thanks in large part to the recent NSF grant described on page 5. As the third year begins of what we hope will become a long-term monitoring program for this endangered species, we will initiate an online data entry system. This will provide all interested collaborators with a set of tools for data entry, data cleanup, and data retrieval--increasing their access to their own data--and will also create a standard database system, enabling us to efficiently provide baywide analyses for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and other land owners and managers.
Perhaps most importantly, integrating Clapper Rail data within the informatics system that PRBO is developing will create opportunities for the public and managers to access data in ways they never have before. Imagine looking at a map, clicking on a specific marsh, and instantly seeing the long-terms trends of Clapper Rails there. We anticipate, at the end of this project's third year, to be able to provide summary information about other researchers' Clapper Rail work within the bay, as well.
In conjunction with previous monitoring and our current research and analysis, this "data portal" will serve as a cornerstone of a long-term monitoring program for the endangered California Clapper Rail.