The American Redstart,
|Photo by Greg Lavaty|
Landbirds are the most abundant and diverse group of birds in North America, with nearly 900 species distributed across every major terrestrial habitat. Birds are indicators of environmental health; their populations track changes in habitat, water, disease, and climate.They are providers of invaluable ecosystem services, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination. As the focus of bird watching, they help generate billions of dollars for national economies. Yet, we are in danger of losing this spectacular and irreplaceable bird diversity: landbirds are experiencing significant declines, ominous threats, and shrinking habitats across a continent with growing human populations, increasing resource consumption, and changing climate.
Saving Our Shared Birds presents for the first time a
comprehensive conservation assessment of landbirds in Canada, Mexico,
and the continental United States. This new tri-national vision
encompasses the complete range of many migratory species and highlights
the vital links among migrants and highly threatened resident species
in Mexico. It points to a set of continent-scale actions necessary to
maintain the landbird diversity and abundance that are our shared
This collaborative effort of Partners in Flight (PIF) is the next step in linking the countries of the Western Hemisphere to help species at risk and keep common birds common through voluntary partnerships—our mission since 1990. Saving Our Shared Birds builds upon PIF’s 2004 North American Landbird Conservation Plan, which presented science-based priorities for the conservation of 448 landbird species in Canada and the United States.
Our three nations have expressed their commitment to cooperative conservation through numerous international treaties, agreements, and programs, including formation of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) a decade ago. The NABCI partnership recognizes that effective conservation requires a concerted effort within each country, as well as a tri-national strategy to address issues throughout the full life cycles of our birds.
Today more than ever, it is urgent for the people of Canada, Mexico, and the United States to work together to keep common birds common, prevent extinction of our bird species at greatest risk, and ensure the diversity and abundance of birdlife across North America and throughout the hemisphere, far into the future. Saving Our Shared Birds shows the way forward.
Signed and approved by
Canada: Cynthia Wright, NABCI Canada Chair
Mexico: Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez, Comisión Nacional para el
Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
y Presidente del Comité Mexicano de la Iniciativa para Conservación
de las Aves de América del Norte (ICAAN-NABCI)
United States: Paul Schmidt, Partners in Flight Council Chair
and John Hoskins, NABCI United States Chair