Six priority actions required to conserve vulnerable landbird populations
Saving Our Shared Birds Report
Cover image: Rufous Hummingbird by Glen Tepke (pbase.com/gtepke)
Hundreds of scientists across Canada, the United States and Mexico have completed a conservation assessment of all species of landbirds in North America. Landbirds have experienced steep declines in abundance and diversity in the past 50 years.
Of the 882 bird species, 148 require immediate conservation action, including hawk-eagles, prairie chickens, guans, wood partridges, quetzals, sage-grouse, Cyanolyca jays and macaws. The habitats most needing protection to support bird populations are in Mexico: tropical forests and pine-oak forests, temperate forests, wetlands and grasslands.
The report, Saving Our Shared Birds, recommends six priority actions to protect, restore and enhance bird populations and habitats. The scientific team behind the report assigned regional and continental conservation priorities through the assessment process. Each species was ranked according to vulnerability, based on factors such as population size, distribution, trends and threats. Species ranges were overlapped on digital maps to identify the geographic areas where conservation action is most urgently required.
The six conservation priorities for action:
- protect and recover species of greatest risk, through networks of protected areas, especially in tropical and pine-oak forests in Mexico
- conserve habitats and ecosystems by implementing policies and programs that will encourage communities and businesses to practice sustainable agriculture, forestry and urban planning.
- reduce sources of bird mortality such as window collisions, pesticide poisonings, domestic cat predation, and unsustainable trapping for the pet industry
- expand scientific knowledge of migration in order to direct management resources and practices to the locations that will best support bird survival and productivity.
- engage communities in conservation actions
- increase international partnerships like Joint Ventures and community-based partnerships, and develop new mechanisms to engage business, industry and NGO sectors to find economically viable conservation solutions
Loss of habitat from agriculture, forestry, urbanization and climate change emerged as the major threat to the most vulnerable birds. Conservation plans are needed that take into account the socio-economic needs of human communities in high-pressure areas.
Partners in Flight is a partnership to conserve birds, bringing together governments, industry, non-government organizations and many other groups.
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- Landbirds have experienced steep declines in abundance and diversity in the past 50 years.
- The report, Saving Our Shared Birds, recommends six priority actions to protect, restore and enhance bird populations and habitats
- Partners in Flight is a partnership to conserve birds, bringing together governments, industry, non-government organizations and many other groups
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