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State of the Birds Report

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Emperor Goose by Gerrit Vyn

Coasts, beaches, and salt marshes provide habitat for 36 Watch List species, including endangered Piping Plover and Whooping Crane, 20 species of shorebirds, and the entire population of Saltmarsh Sparrow. Reddish Egrets depend on mangrove and estuary systems along our southern coasts, while Steller’s and Spectacled eiders occur only along Alaska’s Arctic coasts.

Coastal birds face multiple threats from human development and disturbance, oil spills and other pollution, and more recently from climate change—in the form of rising sea levels and severe coastal storms.

Our network of national seashores, national wildlife refuges, and private preserves offer protection for coastal birds in many regions, but more widespread efforts to restore coastal wetlands and reduce disturbance to beach-nesting birds will be needed.


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