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North America United by its Birds to Secure Vital Habitats

By North American Bird Conservation Initiative

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) published The State of North America’s Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. This report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats.

Despite the many challenges faced by North American birds, this report also shows that conservation works. Waterfowl and other waterbirds are doing well, thanks in part to effective investment in conservation of wetlands through programs like the Duck Stamp, which allows hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts to contribute funding to purchase and protect wetland habitat, and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, a tri-country initiative to coordinate waterfowl protection efforts. One example of urgent conservation action taking place is in temperate forests, where the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture is planning for a mix of forest types from New York to Alabama. By integrating bird conservation objectives into forest management plans, it will diversify habitats across the eastern U.S.

The report evaluates the conservation status of all native North American bird species across all major habitats —nine key ecosystems. It is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental U.S., and Mexico, and reflects a collaboration between experts from all three countries. The overall conservation status of each species takes into account its population trend and size, extent of breeding and nonbreeding ranges, and severity of threats.