Dear Piedmont Partners,
While finalizing our list of Piedmont Priority Birds, several species remain questionable for inclusion on the list. Partners at the workshops proposed adding five species that do not meet the criteria established by Joint Ventures and the NABCI Science Committee for BCR plans. Although these criteria were established years ago and may be revisited in the near future, we believe they still represent the best approach to objectively prioritizing species based on their continental and regional status, and the importance of a given bird conservation region to sustaining their population.
Therefore, we are asking that you take a few minutes to review information for the following species and provide comments relative to the criteria and scores attached:
American Kestrel (B, N) - proposed at Southern Piedmont workshop as a Moderate Priority
Louisiana Waterthrush (B) - proposed at Northern Piedmont workshop as a Moderate Priority
Northern Harrier (N) - proposed at Southern Piedmont workshop as a Moderate Priority
Purple Martin (B, T) - proposed at Northern Piedmont workshop as a Moderate Priority
Vesper Sparrow (B) - proposed at Northern Piedmont workshop as a Moderate Priority
Northern Bobwhite (B, N) - currently listed as a Moderate Priority; proposed as Highest Priority
PIF scores for these species were low enough to preclude inclusion on the list (or in the case of Northern Bobwhite indicated a lower priority than participants suggested). If you have information that would suggest that the "raw scores" (initially based on the Partners In Flights 2012 continental assessment) for these species should be changed, please let us know as soon as possible! That information could justify changing their priority status and/or adding them to the list. We appreciate your local expertise and knowledge, and want to make sure that it is fully used in this process. The raw scores and the BCR decision matrix spreadsheets are attached, one tab for Species of Interest and one tab for the Decision rules.
Additionally, for additional information, you can review the current (2012) scores for all landbird species are at: http://rmbo.org/pifassessment/Database.aspx#.
The parameters used in the priority status "rules" are below:
% Pop = Percent of Global Population in BCR
RD-b = Relative (or Regional Density) of breeding populations in BCR. A value of 1 means lower densities and 5 represents a high breeding density; example Eastern Wood-Pewee is 5 and Alder Flycatcher is 1 in the Piedmont
TB-r = Threats to Breeding in the BCR. A value of 1 means few threats and a value of 5 indicates severe threats
PT-r = Population trend in the BCR. A value of 1 indicates a significant chance of large population growth and a value of 5 indicates a significant chance of large population decrease
If you wish to learn more about these values, see the attached PIF Handbook. In the case of TB-r and PT-r, that is the same as TB-c and PT-c, with the lower case simply describing whether the variable applies to the BCR (r) or the Continent (c).
If you have any data or information that would give us a better understanding for including any of these species we need to know about it as soon as possible. We ask that you provide comments no later than Friday, October 9, 2013. Thanks for your prompt attention to this request.
Please pass this along to others who might be able to contribute. Thanks everyone.
Southern Appalachian Bird Conservancy
309 Mallard Way
Sevierville, TN 37876
Keith Watson, who has been compiling a Conservation Plan for the Piedmont Bird Conservation Region, has requested feedback on the Priority Bird list (see below). Please contact him for any important input you may have!