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Canada, Mexico, and the United States release tri-national priorities for conserving landbirds

HALIFAX, N.S.--May 11, 2010--Canada, Mexico, and the United States share 882 native landbird species, almost one-third of which depend substantially for their survival on at least two of the countries each year, according to a new assessment by a collaboration of conservation scientists in all three countries. The assessment also identified 148 bird species in need of immediate conservation attention because of their highly threatened and declining populations, according to a report released today by Partners in Flight.

Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation is the first comprehensive conservation assessment of landbirds at the tri-national level. Partners in Flight is a cooperative effort involving government agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, academic institutions, professional associations, industry, and private individuals.

Key findings of Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation:

• The most imperiled birds include 44 species with very limited distributions, mostly in Mexico, including the Thick-billed Parrot and Horned Guan.

• Of high tri-national concern are 80 tropical residents with ranges in Mexico, such as the Red-breasted Chat and Resplendent Quetzal.

• Warranting immediate action to prevent further declines are 24 species that breed in the United States and Canada, including Cerulean Warbler, Black Swift, and Canada Warbler.

• 42 common bird species have steeply declined by 50% or more in the past 40 years, including Common Nighthawk, Eastern Meadowlark and Loggerhead Shrike.

“The release of this report illustrates our three countries’ commitment to the long-term conservation of the continent’s biological diversity and to working with each other to protect our shared natural heritage through forums like the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and the International Year of Biodiversity,” said Virginia Poter, Director General at Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Services. “The Government of Canada is proud to contribute to the conservation of our migratory birds and to collaborate with the United States and Mexico to protect our shared birdlife.”

International bird conservation partners from the United States, Canada, and Mexico released the report on May 11, 2010, at the Fifteenth Annual Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The release of the report also brought attention to International Migratory Bird Day 2010, celebrating The Power of Partnerships.

“This Partners in Flight report will help us build on the great work currently being done by the many federal agencies, conservation groups, academic institutions and individuals who care about birds throughout the Western Hemisphere. Our many bird conservation initiatives such as Partners in Flight and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act are already making a difference for birds,” said Rowan Gould, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We are committed to increasing our cooperation with Mexico and Canada and working together to help save our shared birdlife.”

“The winter ranges of shared migrants show a striking geographic overlap with the ranges of species at greatest risk of extinction,” said Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez, National Coordinator of Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO). “More than 100 of the migrants shared substantially among our three countries depend on the same tropical and pine-oak forests in Mexico that support highly threatened tropical residents.”

This report is the latest effort by Partners in Flight to help species at risk and keep common birds common—its mission since 1990. Partners in Flight achieves success in conserving bird populations in the Western Hemisphere through combining resources of public and private organizations in North and South America.

To view Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation, visit Environment Canada’s web site at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/mbc-com/default.asp?lang=En&n=7AEDFD2C-1 or www.savingoursharedbirds.org.