Scientists Document Widespread Declines, Urgent Need for Conservation of Landbirds in U.S. and Canada

A new analysis of North American birds shows that there is a widespread decline in over 450 species.  According to Partners in Flight (PIF) Landbird Conservation Plan Revision nearly 20% of U.S. and Canadian bird species are on a path towards endangerments and eventual extinction in the absence of conservation management.  Fortunately, this new plan includes partnerships that should further conservation pursuits.

PIF estimates that breeding landbird populations have been reduced by over a billion individuals since 1970. Among 86 Watch List species – landbirds of highest conservation concern – 22 have already lost at least half of their population in the past 40 years and are projected to lose an additional 50 percent of their current population within the next 40 years. For at least six species, this “half-life” window is fewer than 20 years.

The plan uses eBird data in order to assign stewardship responsibility and to identify regions of greatest importance to landbirds during winter migration.  The plan also addresses ways to prevent long-term population declines, prevent future species listings, and keep common birds from becoming highly threatened or at risk.

The 2016 Landbird Conservation Plan Revision relies heavily on information provided by citizen scientists.  This data allows for focused conservation efforts and vulnerability assessments of over 450 bird species.  This plan is an update of the 2004 North American Landbird Conservation Plan, which was the first continental landbird assessment.

You may read the full PIF article here.