Bird Conservation Actions for:
Everybody wins with bird conservation—healthy lands and waters provide sustainable resources for people and businesses.
For 15 years, the NABCI committees of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have been building bridges between our nations with an integrated vision for “all birds, all habitats.” Our governments have accomplished a great deal, but they still have a big job ahead, and they can’t do it alone.
Everyone has a role to play in bird conservation. From individual homeowners to multinational corporations, small-town councils to the highest reaches of federal governments, conserving our shared birds—and our shared continent—is everyone’s responsibility.
The decisions we make in our everyday lives have a direct effect on the lives of birds.
Every trip to the grocery store is a chance to support bird habitat.
In your home and yard, you can create a safe living space for birds.
If you’re a birder, you can make meaningful contributions to science and conservation.
Birds are indicators of the health of our natural resources, and both are threatened by deforestation, development, pollution, and climate change. But resource conservation isn’t just for the birds. When birds decline, industry is called to action.
Sustainability ensures long-term economic growth. Forward-thinking companies are going beyond the minimum requirements of regulations to make smart business decisions for conservation.
Your company can join sustainability leaders in North America.
At all levels, our governments can implement science-based conservation policies and programs that benefit birds and people.
- Paris Agreement: At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. Canada, the United States, and Mexico all signed the Paris Agreement. Each country can address its recent COP21 Paris Agreement commitments to conserve forests, mangroves, wetlands, and salt marshes “as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases” by providing habitat for birds.
- ACAP: Thirteen countries have joined the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. As of May 2016, none of our three North American countries have signed the treaty, which advises on fleet fishing practices that are friendly to seabirds. Many of the ACAP standards are already being implemented by fishing fleets in North American waters. North American support for the agreement would encourage other countries with major international fishing fleets to join and help protect our seabirds.
- Grassland bird habitat: In 2012 the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) pasture program was ended, leaving an uncertain fate for millions of grassland hectares in Canada that provide habitat for grassland breeding birds. Many PFRA pastures have been transferred to provincial management. Efforts are needed to ensure policies and management continue to support the conservation value of these pastures.
- Boreal habitat for forest songbirds: Ontario and Québec have committed to protect 50% of their boreal forest—more than 80 million hectares—from development to ensure that forests remain healthy for wildlife, protect clean water, and sequester carbon. Similar efforts are needed in other jurisdictions, including areas of the southern boreal forest where bird diversity and development pressure are highest.
- Implement recommendations for bird conservation: In 2014, NABCI Canada published 25 Bird Conservation Region Strategies that established conservation objectives and recommended actions for priority bird species. Federal, provincial and territorial governments can make a start on implementing those actions through NABCI and other partnerships.
Bird conservation in the U.S. involves many state and federal agencies, NGOs throughout the country, thousands of citizen-science projects, and partnerships across borders. While many funding mechanisms and laws exist to support national, state, and local bird conservation, the majority of these bird conservation initiatives and efforts are supported by five key national priority programs.
- Joint Ventures: Migratory Bird Joint Ventures are cooperative, regional partnerships that work to conserve habitat for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and people. Fact Sheet (PDF)
- North American Wetlands Conservation Act: In the past two decades, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act has funded 2,553 projects totaling $1.4 billion in grants. More than 5,000 partners have contributed another $2.9 billion in matching funds to affect 30.7 million acres of habitat. Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act: Since 2002, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act has provided more than $50.1 million in grants to support 451 projects in 36 countries. Partners have contributed an additional $190.6 million, affecting 3.7 million acres of habitat. Fact Sheet (PDF)
- State and Tribal Wildlife Grants: The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal grant funds for developing and implementing programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including species not hunted or fished. Priority is placed on projects that benefit species of greatest conservation need. Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Farm Bill: The federal U.S. Farm Bill is the largest conservation program for private lands, with nearly 30 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program or under farm, grassland, and wetland easements. Fact Sheet (PDF)
There is a critical need to enhance bird monitoring systems for birds, both for migrants and resident species. Binational efforts at NABCI in 2004 established several bird-monitoring programs in Mexico, such as:
International collaborations can restore shared, endangered species in Mexico. For example, a collaboration between NABCI and the Trilateral Wildlife Committee worked toward the establishment of a wild breeding colony of the California Condor in the San Pedro Martir in Baja California, Mexico.
County and municipal governments can play an important and immediate, on-the-ground role in bird conservation.