US North American Bird Conservation Initiative

The US North American Bird Conservation Initiative (US NABCI) facilitates collaborative partnerships that advance biological, social, and scientific priorities for North American bird conservation. At their recent meeting on August 27-28, they discussed an initiative to build better collaborative bird conservation. Below is a short synopsis.

U.S. NABCI Goals 2014-2016

Goal 1: Support healthy bird populations through habitat conservation, management, education, monitoring, and sound science. Goal 2: Maintain a well-coordinated bird conservation community. Goal 3: Inform and support effective funding and policy to advance bird conservation.

Committee Meeting Highlights, 27-28 August 2015

Collaborative Bird Conservation

January’s Bird Partnership Workshop brought together individuals from the Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, Bird Conservation Plan Partnerships, and NABCI to explore closer collaboration between these national-scale bird conservation partnerships. NABCI followed up on several of the Workshop’s major themes, including:

Build Social Science Capacity: Workshop participants identified building social science capacity as a high priority. The NABCI Human Dimensions Subcommittee presented a position description for a National Social Science Coordinator who would take the lead in fostering a shared understanding of how social science contributes to bird conservation and integrating social science into bird conservation planning and decision-making. Next steps include re-evaluating the balance of research and coordination activities assigned to this position, identifying a host organization, and identifying funding sources for the position (~$85,000 annually).

Coordinated Advocacy: A non-federal NABCI ad hoc subcommittee will identify key funding priorities, develop national-level messaging about bird conservation, and unite and coordinate advocacy efforts between NABCI, the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to provide a unified voice for bird conservation.

Unified Science Team: The NAWMP Science Support Team (NSST), Partners in Flight Science Team, and Tri-Initiative Science Team (TRiST) formed a 2-year trial unification to foster greater efficiency and integration in bird-focused science efforts. This team proposes to develop an Avian Conservation Assessment Database which will integrate existing population assessment and objectives databases into a standardized, accessible structure that will facilitate consistent, all-bird conservation planning. Anticipated database funding needs: $187,000 year 1, $163,000 year 2, $121,000 annually thereafter.

Products for National and International Bird Conservation

2014 Farm Bill Field Guide: This Guide serves as a tool for on-the-ground biologists and conservation partners to understand how Farm Bill programs can help landowners conserve fish and wildlife habitat. Released April 2015: ~60 requests for 4739 printed copies, with additional web/social media presence.

Conservation Business Planning Standards: “High Quality Bird Conservation Planning”, “Contents and Standards of a Conservation Business Plan”, and “Human Infrastructure for Conservation (Business) Planning” provide guidance and background resources to the bird conservation community for Conservation Business Planning. Released at August 2015 NABCI meeting.

Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan: Designed to provide up-to-date, continental-scale biological foundation for North American landbird conservation, the 2015 Landbird Conservation Plan will serve as a new call to action, emphasizing proactive conservation to keep common birds common. Anticipated Release: March 2016. State of North America’s Birds: Tri-national State of the Birds collaboration between US, Mexico, and Canada to communicate continental priorities for bird conservation to policy makers and the public; this report focuses on birds as a shared resource/shared responsibility and will tie together messaging from the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial and International Migratory Bird Day. Anticipated Release: May 2016.