For Release: May 11, 2010

International Cooperation is the Key to Protecting Migratory Birds 
National leaders from Canada, Mexico, and the United States
release landmark tri-national conservation assessment for birds

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA—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.

Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation is the first comprehensive conservation assessment of birds 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.

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

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

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

“Our continent’s spectacular birdlife extends from Canada’s boreal forests where billions of birds raise their young each year, to the stunning diversity of Mexico’s tropical forests, and the hemispheric migrations of birds that connect these distant lands,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who serves as the Partners in Flight Science Committee Chair. “Conserving our continent’s birdlife will require greatly increased international cooperation, among our nations’ governments, as well as our societies.”

Government officials, on behalf of international bird conservation leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, released the report on May 11, 2010, at the XV 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.

“The release of this report illustrates our three countries’ commitment to the long-term conservation of biological biodiversity and to working with each other to protect our 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, Canadian Wildlife Services’ Director General at Environment Canada. “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.”

“This Partners in Flight report will help us build on the great work 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 the Partners in Flight and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act already make a difference for birds,” said Rowan Gould, Acting Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We are committed to increase our cooperation with Mexico and Canada to work 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 and see a complete list of contributors to the report, visit www.savingoursharedbirds.org.

To learn more about Partners in Flight, visit www.partnersinflight.org.  

For available photos, visit www.savingoursharedbirds.org/news.  

Related documents:

Overview of Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation (backgrounder)

For more information, please contact:

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Alicia King, Alicia_F_King@fws.gov  
571-214-3117

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Pat Leonard, pel27@cornell.edu
607-254-2137

National Audubon Society
Delta Willis, dwillis@audubon.org  
212-979-3197

Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Arvind Panjabi, arvind.panjabi@rmbo.org  
970-222-4717
 
Environment Canada
Media Relations (Également offert en français)
-819-934-8008
1-888-908-8008     

CONABIO, México
Humberto Berlanga, hberlang@conabio.gob.mx  
Carlos Galindo, cgalindo@conabio.gob.mx  

Pronatura
Rosa Ma. Vidal, rosavidal@pronatura-sur.org
52-9676785000

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México
Esther Lopez Gonzalez, estherlo@campus.iztacala.unam.mx
5556231204

Instituto Manantlán de Ecología y Conservación de la Biodiversidad
Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales
Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur Universidad de Guadalajara
Eduardo Santana C., esantana@cucsur.udg.mx
52-33-3770-3300, ext. 5630 
52-317-381-1425

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s web site at http://www.birds.cornell.edu.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-BIRD (2473)

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