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.