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  • Oiseaux. Birds. Aves.

    The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI)

    provides the framework to move forward. Created by the

    governments of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 1999 after the

    diplomacy that produced NAFTA, the NABCI agreement recognized birds as an international “natural economic resource.” NABCI is a trinational commitment to pro-

    tecting, restoring, and enhancing populations and habitats of North America’s birds—with an integrated vision for “all birds and all habitats.”


    Amidst the global chaos of World War I,U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Great Britain’s King George V pledged an international commitment to protect the migratory birds of North America and put an end to market hunting. Crafted in 1916, the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds promised collaborative conservation between the United States and Canada.

    Twenty years later, with his country in the aftermath of revolution, Mexican pres- ident Lázaro Cárdenas approved a treaty with the U.S. that protected migratory birds. Despite political unrest and competing eco- nomic priorities, our three nations joined together for birds to create some of the first international environmental agreements in North America.

    Whichever language we speak, the fates of birds are intricately tied to the peoples of North America.

    Where bird populations are dropping, the lands and waters that sustain us are stressed.


    In the late 20th century, with duck pop-ulations in decline, our three nations united again to build the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

    With planning and wetlands con- servation, ducks became more plentiful. Today, robust waterfowl populations are found from the northern prairies to Mex-

    ico’s mangrove swamps. Conservaation works, and through collaboration wee can produce strong results.

    Now we must effectively apply thiis tri- national model to all birds, because mmore than one-third of all North American bird species will be at risk of extinction unnless we take conservation action.


    Some say there are more important priorities than birds. But bird conserva- tion is a powerful force for positive change.

    Birds promote leadership. History demonstrates that birds can transcend poli- tics and conflict. Birds are an important eco- nomic resource to the hunting, birding, and tourism industries. And birds are a cultural resource—as national symbols, religious icons, and namesakes of sports teams, birds

    represent who we are. As more people live in cities, birds are becoming one of humanb i f h - ity’s main connections to nature.

    Birds inspire bigger wins for the environment. Bird habitats are sinks for greenhouse gases, so bird conservation can help our countries meet Paris Agreement commitments to reduce climate change. Healthy environments for birds also pro- vide benefits to people, such as clean air

    and water, flood and erosion control, and coastal resilience. d t l ili

    Birds connect our continent. Our birds are truly a shared resource as they migrate across countries and oceans throughout the hemisphere.

    With so many bird species showing alarming declines, it is more important than ever that we work together to con- serve our shared birds.



    Once again our countries face uncer-tain times—for our economies, our enenviviroronmnmenentt, aandnd oourur cclilimamatete. AnAndd agagaiainn, birds need our help.p This repop rt should inspire us to move forward with the best available science on the status of birds anandd ththeieirr hahabibitatatsts iinn NoNortrthh AmAmerericica.a. IItt isis aann unprecedented continent-wide analysis, drdrawawininggg onon tthehe eefffforortsts ooff tetensns ooff ththouousasandndss ofo ccitizene -sscic ene tists s s fromo CCanadda,,, thee UU.SS.,,, anananddd MeMeMexixixicococo..

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    birds, there are roles for everyone to play. Governments can capitalize on the findings inin tthihiss rerepoportrt ttoo ststrerengngththenen sscicienencece-b-basaseded conservation ppolicies. Private industry y can invest in sustainability for natural resourc- es. And people can provide the voice and enenerergygy ttoo mamakeke tthihiss alalll hahappppenen..

    One hundred years ago, it was a small babandnd ooff dedetetermrminineded pppeoeoplplp ee whwhoo coconvnvinincecedd a prpp esesiddene t andd a kinggg to o makee a treeatyyy foor mimimigrgrgratatatorororyyy bibibirdrdrdss.s. PPPeoeoeoplplplp eee cacacannn tututurnrnrn aaarororounununddd ththee ououtltlooookk foforr bibirdrdss inin tthihiss 2121stst ccenentuturyry..

    More than 350 bird species are truly trinational, living in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico over the course of the year.

    Ensemble, together, juntos, we can create a brighter future—for birds, for people, for north america.

    Major habitats in all three countries are cococonnnnnnecececteteteddd bybyby ssspepepectctctacacaculululararar mmmigigigrararatititionononsss ofofof bibibillllllioioionsnsns ooofff bibibirdrdrds.s.s. TTThehehesesese bbbiririrdsdsds aaarerere dddepepepenenendededentntnt onono iintntterere nanaatitit onono alallylyy cccoooooordrddininatatatededed ccconono seseservrvatatatioioonn efforts for survival. MapMap credcredit:it: pathpathwaysways andand silsilhouehouettesttes byby ChloChloe Lae Lamm

    Photos (left, top to bottom): President Woodrow Wilson, King George V, and President Lázaro Cárdenas made migrg atory y bird treaties for the United States, Canada, and Mexico in the early 20th century that promised collaborative conservation for birds. The 1916 treaty provided a larger role for the federal govg ernment in managing g Ag merica’s first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island and put an end to the market hunting tg hat was decimatingg bird populations such as Great Egret. CredCredits:its: WooWoodrowdrow WIlWIlsonson PresPresidenidentialtial ArcArchivehives, As, A, rchirchivovo General de la Nación, USFWS, and Adam Dudley

    PhoPhotostos (r(righightt, toptop toto bobottottom):m): BiBirdsrds fafasciscinatnatee people, as a public banding and release event always draws a crowd. People, in turn, can do a lot to help birbirdsds,, susuchch asas thethe trtremeemendondousus conconserservatvationion ininvesvestt- ments that have yielded large flocks of ducks that fly across NNo hhrth AAm ierica ddtoday. BiBi ddrds iin ispire hhthe next gengeng eraera itiotion tn to po ppi kickick upupp hththe me mantantllele fofof envenviiroironmenmentantalll stewardship. CredCredits:its: AleAlex Chx Changang, MikMike Pee Petersters an, and Rad Rafaelfael CalCalderoderonn

  • 2 The State of North America’s Birds 2016



    This report assesses the conservation status of all native North American bird species across all major habitats, including wetlands embedded within terrestrial habitats. Species were assigned to one breeding habitat, except for oceans and coasts (where species were also included if they occurred anytime during the year) and wetlands (where species were includ- ed in both wetlands and their terrestrial breeding habitat). Species that commonly occur in many different habitat types were classified as generalists.

    State of North America’s Birds Birds in ocean and tropical forest habitats are of highest conservation concern. But species need our help in every habitat.

    432 species on the Watch List are most at risk of extinction without significant action.

    OUR APPROACH This report is based on the first-everconservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. The assessment was compiled by a team of experts from all three coun- tries. The overall conservation status for

    each species takes into account its pop- ulation trend, population size, extent of breeding and nonbreeding ranges, and se- verity of threats to populations. The Watch List identifies species of highest conserva- tion concern based on high vulnerability scores across multiple factors. Year-round

    abundance maps from eBird data, in which intensity of color reflects seasonal abun- dance, are presented for selected species. Animated eBird maps, as well as details on the assessment methodology and the com- plete Species Assessment Database, are available at stateofthebirds.org.

    Tundra Boreal Forest Coasts Temperate Forests Grasslands Aridlands Tropical Highland Forests Tropical Lowland Forests










    Wetlands (171 species)

    Boreal Forest (73 species)

    Temperate Forests

    (144 species)

    Grasslands (45 species)

    Aridlands (64 species )

    Coasts (164 species)

    Tropical and Subtropical Forests

    (478 species)

    Tundra (78 species)

    Oceans (54 species)

    Generalists (65 species)


    Watch List threshold

    CONCERN Low Moderate High

    IN CRISIS More than half of species from oceans and tropical forests are on the Watch List because of small and declining populations, small ranges, and severe threats to their habitats.

    STEEP DECLINES Many species in

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