Migratory birds throughout the Western Hemisphere – including some of the AMJV highest priority species – will benefit from $3.6 million in grants for 29 collaborative conservation projects across the Americas, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants will leverage the Service’s investment with nearly $12.1 million in additional private funds—a more than 3-to-1 match. The projects will conserve migratory bird habitat, stimulate critical research into declining bird populations, and strengthen international relations, raising awareness of the importance of bird conservation.
“Migratory birds are an integral part of the landscape the Service seeks to conserve for the benefit of the American people,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Collaboration with our partners on conservation projects throughout these birds’ breeding and winter ranges is essential to protect their habitats and to reduce threats.”
There are 386 species of neotropical migratory birds that migrate to and from the United States each year, including songbirds, shorebirds and other bird species. Populations of many of these birds are in decline, and several species currently are considered in need of special conservation attention as a result of habitat loss, pollution, human disturbance or climate change.
This year’s grants will benefit hundreds of species in 18 countries, conserving neotropical migratory birds from breeding sites in Canada and the United States to wintering sites in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Project highlights that involve AMJV partners and will positively impact AMJV priority species include:
- Protecting Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers in Colombia, Phase II: Two of the most threatened neotropical migratory landbirds are the cerulean and golden-winged warblers, which depend on tropical forests across Colombia for their survival. This project will protect 23 areas identified in conservation plans as being critical for the warblers. The project also incorporates ecotourism and sustainable development initiatives that benefit local communities.
- Conservation of Strategic Properties for Neotropical Migratory Birds on the Territory of the Appalachian Corridor, and Capacity Building with 11 Affiliated Conservation Organizations, Phase II: This project will acquire 1,150 acres in fee simple or in conservation servitudes. Located in the Quebec Northern Green Mountains natural transborder corridor, these properties are strategically located in an 11,900-acre core area of unfragmented forest. They are also a crucial link in allowing the connectivity between the properties that are already protected. This project will also support and build capacity for the grantee’s 11 affiliate members. Among the species that will benefit Canada Warbler, Wood Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Scarlet Tanager.
- Reforestation of Critical Wintering Habitat for Neotropical Migrants V: The American Bird Conservancy and its in-country partners will plant 140,000 native trees and coffee bushes; enhance or manage at least 695 acres; and contribute to the ongoing protection of 16,557 acres as significant wintering habitat for migratory birds in Ecuador and Peru. These efforts will focus on the Cerulean Warbler and will benefit 20 additional neotropical migratory bird species, as well as many resident bird species.
- Expanding Golden-winged Warbler Conservation in the El Jaguar Volcan Yali Corridor and Beyond: Partners will expand reforestation and habitat protection efforts within the El Jaguar –Volcan Yali Biological Corridor to protect, connect and increase the size of remaining forest fragments and provide shade trees for sun coffee plantations used as wintering ground habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler.
- Implementing the Canadian Recovery Strategy for the Golden-winged Warbler: This project builds on a successful research and conservation program addressing threats to Golden-winged Warbler recovery. This multi-partner project examines threats across the Canadian breeding range, particularly in focal areas identified by the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group.
- Conserving a Boreal Icon: The Canada Warbler: The initiative seeks to build on emerging science regarding the warbler’s decline, and implement partner-based priority actions for the species and its habitats.
- Implementing Golden-cheeked Warbler Conservation Plan in Chiapas, Phase 1: This project focuses on reducing pressure on habitats for the Golden-cheeked Warbler due to illegal logging and deforestation in the Highlands of Chiapas Region.
- Priority Neotropical Migrant Sites: How are They Doing: This project will consolidate a list and map of known priority sites for neotropical migratory birds and conduct land use change analysis on a subset of priority areas where Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act projects have taken place.
For more information on funded projects for 2014 and previous years, visit http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NMBCA/