by Kelly VanBeek, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
In 2018, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) released three products to help focus efforts, identify opportunities, and highlight successes in the bird conservation community. Here is a snapshot of those products:
1. National Bird Conservation Priorities: Part of NABCI’s role is to help the bird conservation community speak with a unified voice about top priorities agreed upon by memberships of the partnership. The complexity of the bird conservation community makes identifying consensus challenging. NABCI used State of the Birds reports, as well as plans from the Bird Initiatives (Partners in Flight, North American Waterfowl Management Plan, US Shorebird Conservation Plan) to identify themes and strategies that were consistent across bird conservation groups. NABCI identified a “Top 10” list of Priority Actions that NABCI will support, promote, and communicate to leadership and potential partners over the next 3-5 years, to advance NABCI’s vision. Priorities represent actions that most urgently need to happen AND for which it will be possible to make progress over this timeframe. These Priorities are organized into five themes: Land and Water Conservation, Research and Evaluation, Engagement and Partnerships, Addressing Threats, Policy and Funding. This document provides emphasis to consistent, cross-cutting bird conservation needs and provides a consistent framework to talk about bird conservation.
2. Bird Conservation Relevancy Toolkit: To help bird conservation partners identify potential partnerships with organizations not exclusively focused on bird conservation, and to help bird conservation professionals approach these partners, NABCI has developed a Relevancy Toolkit to highlight some common outcomes that benefit multiple interests. Examples are sourced, and include information such as:
• Protected habitat, and the birds that use it, enhances property values; the presence of birds and greenspace can increase property values as much as $32,000.
• In Washington State, avian control of spruce budworm is worth >$570/square mile/year.
• Listening to bird songs and calls can help improve mood and attention.
3. Human Dimensions Success Stories and Story Map: NABCI released a collection of Human Dimensions Success Stories, also depicted in an ESRI Story Map, that highlights 13 examples that demonstrate the importance of integrating HD into bird conservation. Stories include:
• “Science and Outreach together Secure Ballot Measure Funding for Wetland Conservation”
• “Satisfaction, not Payment, Drives Farmers to Conserve Mountain Plover”
• “Human Geographic Data Help Prioritize Conservation on Landscape”