Sonoran Desert Network (SODN)
More than 270 parks managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are organized into a system of 32 eco-regional networks linked by similar geographic and natural resource characteristics. In 2009 Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and the National Park Service implemented Monitoring Birds of the National Park Service, Sonoran Desert Network (SODN), which includes 10 National Parks and monuments in Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.
The Monitoring Birds surveys focus on two major habitat types, riparian and upland, to detect population changes over time in order to assess habitat quality and the effects of land management. This is accomplished by using data collected in the field to estimate density, occupancy, species richness and species composition.
A major component of park stewardship, monitoring is used to determine the status and trend in the condition of selected park resources, such as animals. Birds are often monitored as they respond quickly to changes in conditions making them good indicators of the health of ecosystems. A wide range of bird species on a park reflects a healthy variety of habitats and other animals and plants.