DoD AKN Standard Sampling Methods – Species Checklist

Biologists across DoD are employing a diversity of bird monitoring protocols in support of their natural resource management activities. This diversity of protocols makes combining data and analyses among installations and service branches unnecessarily challenging and can lead to inaccurate analyses that do not fully support an understanding of how activities on installations are affecting bird populations from local to regional scales.

One of the key motivations behind the DoD AKN Program is to promote consistent avian data standards across the DoD. To meet this objective, the Team has begun to develop and recommend standardized field sampling methods and AKN Protocols based on DoD’s most common management and research needs.

The first of these standardized sampling methods is a Species Checklist Area Search! Check it out here:

DoD AKN Standard Sampling Methods – Species Checklist

What is a Species Checklist?

Species checklists are a simple way to record both incidental and comprehensive observations of bird species observed on your installation that don’t fit a traditionally structured survey (e.g., point counts, line transects, etc.).

Like all protocols in the AKN, there is some minimum information required per event (i.e., per observation):

  1. The observation must be of a living bird
  2. The observation should include the date (Month/Day/Year)
  3. The observation needs to be associated with a sampling unit (see below)
  4. The observation includes the name of the observer
  5. The observation has a specified start and end time on the date the data were collected

Visit the Portal page for more information on this checklist protocol and check back often as the Team is constantly developing methods and protocols your common (and uncommon!) avian data collection needs.

Have a suggestion for our next protocol to develop? Contact the Team at

Mission-Sensitive Species Profile and Recommended AKN Sampling Protocols – Pinyon Jay

DoD Partners in Flight has developed a list of the bird species occurring on DoD installations that have the highest potential to impact the military mission should they become Federally listed under the Endangered Species Act, termed Mission-Sensitive Species (MSS). 

The DoD AKN Team is continually working with DoD and non-DoD subject-matter-experts to review the best-available guidance for standardized field sampling methodologies for each Mission-Sensitive Species and ensuring those methods are translated to AKN Sampling Protocols to be used in your Project.

The first MSS sampling guidance is now available on the MSS page for Pinyon Jays which describes and compares two recommended standardized field sampling methods and their associated AKN Sampling and Site Condition Protocols.

Pinyon Jay Standardized Sampling Methods

Keep an eye on the MSS page for the next species profile and standardized sampling methods.

Statement of Work Language for Avian Data in DoD Contracts and Agreements

As per the June 24, 2022 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Mandate Memo, avian data collected through any DoD Component funding must utilize the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) to the “maximum extent practicable.”

In order to comply with this mandate, the DoD AKN Team has developed statement of work (SOW) language for DoD contracts and agreements to specify DoD ownership of data and the use of the AKN by contractors and/or cooperators which is now available on the portal here:

Statement of Work Language for Avian Data in DoD Contracts and Agreements

On this page, you will find a menu of language to be included in your SOWs and additional guidance for contractors to ensure avian data collected on DoD installations and/or utilizing DoD funding meets required data standards and is incorporated into the DoD AKN Program properly.

DoD AKN User Guide is now LIVE on the Portal!!

Attended training, but some of the details are a little fuzzy? Fear not! The DoD AKN Team has created a step-by-step User Guide to help you as you explore and create within your AKN Project and beyond.

The User Guide is a user-friendly webpage where you can find step-by-step guidance on topics from setting up an AKN account to bulk uploading observation data and more. The Guide includes all the skills you learned in your DoD AKN Training and so much more.

DoD AKN User Guide Page

This User Guide will be periodically updated to ensure the most up-to-date guidance is represented, so check back often for updates! Do you have suggestions for the User Guide or is there something missing you wish was there? Please let the DoD AKN Team know at

New Supported Data Types Key

What kind of avian data does your installation have? Point counts? Linear transects? Or is it more complicated? Check out our new Supported Data Types Key to see if your data are currently supported under the current AKN. Keep checking back as the team is constantly working on new protocols and integrating new data types. Still have questions? Contact a DoD AKN team member today to discuss your data.

New way to sign up for DoD AKN Office Hours

To streamline the process and to view future opportunities, we have created a new calendar and form to sign-up for our DoD AKN Office Hours working sessions. Simply chose an available date and time, add your name, email address, installation, and general topic for assistance. Our new, automated system will confirm your time and will send the applicable log in information.

DoD AKN Portal is live!

The DoD AKN Portal is a one-stop-shop for all things DoD and AKN. We published the first pages in order to get our users familiar with DoD’s approach to the AKN, allow easier access to support, to announce upcoming trainings opportunities, and provide easier navigation to all AKN tools. Check back frequently for updates and announcements. Don’t forget to bookmark this page!