Call to Action
Our three nations are connected by birds but also by the flow of trade and people across borders. PIF harnesses this connectivity by enabling communication, supporting science, and facilitating conservation among tri-national partners to save birds at risk and keep common birds common. Building on our recommendations from 2004 for landbirds breeding in Canada and the United States, this first tri-national assessment shows the need for international collaboration to reverse steep declines of common birds in every terrestrial habitat of the continent and prevent the loss of 148 species in immediate danger.
Conserving migrants, conserving tropical residents
The endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler migrates from breeding habitats in Texas to winter in the same high-elevation pine-oak forest in southern Mexico and Guatemala that support the entire global population of the endangered Pink-headed Warbler. High densities of other migrants, such as Hermit and Townsend's warblers, join these endangered species in large mixed-species flocks living in the same tropical forests for up to eight months each year.
|Images (L-R) Pink-headed Warbler, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler. Photos by France Dewaghe, Greg Lavaty, Brian Sullivan (2)|
Although we have common commitments to protect birds through legislation and policies, our concerns have changed little over the last 20 years. The international bird conservation community has grown, but loss of habitat still remains the most serious threat to birds throughout the continent. Declining bird populations are a clear indicator of ecosystem degradation, which is linked to reduced quality of life and the persistence of poverty in all three countries. We must find new means to integrate conservation into the fabric of our society via sustainable land- and resource-use policies. New approaches will necessitate increased cooperation, new partnerships, and new information.
We can still achieve our goals to protect and restore bird populations and habitats, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. One in six landbird species warrants the highest tri-national concern, including many widespread species. Immediate measures are needed to protect habitats and preserve functioning ecosystems. Although conservation actions will occur at different scales, they must be enacted as part of a coordinated strategy. Each of us has an important role to play in bringing our shared vision to fruition.
To prevent further loss of bird diversity and abundance, we recommend six primary actions: