Migratory Birds Welcomed Back North With Conservation Grants
WASHINGTON, DC, May 17, 2005 (ENS) -
Plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers and sparrows - more than 340 species of birds breed in the United States and Canada, and winter in Latin America. International Migratory Bird Day, which falls on the second Saturday in May, is being observed all this week by U.S. and Canadian schools, birding groups and zoos celebrating the return of the birds.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton today marked the 12th annual International Migratory Bird Day by announcing $3.9 million in federal grants to conserve birds throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
At the same time Norton signed a declaration of intent with Canada and Mexico to strengthen cooperation on bird conservation. She signed the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Declaration of Intent to "conserve North American birds throughout their ranges and habitats, and ultimately to collaborate with all participant nations regarding bird cooperation."
The cerulean warbler, Dendroica cerulea, is classified as one of the most threatened Neotropical migrants, with fewer than 250,000 pairs estimated to remain. (Photo by Stuart Tingley courtesy USGS)
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative was launched in 1999 by the tri-national North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, created by Canada, Mexico and the United States as a complement to the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
NABCI has completed the initial phase of establishing the institutional basis for undertaking the conservation of all birds in all habitats in North America and is now considered to be part of the agenda of the North American bird conservation community.
The overall goal of NABCI is to enhance cooperation among existing bird conservation organizations and initiatives to achieve effective protection of all birds in North America. The Initiative is designed to address the sharp decline of many migratory bird species in recent decades.
The declaration Norton signed will formalize the process for undertaking the Initiative. "The nations of the Americas and the Caribbean are linked by the birds that travel between thousands of miles as they migrate in the spring and fall," Norton said. "Working together, we can ensure these birds have the habitat they need both for their nesting and wintering seasons."
At the same time, Norton announced $3.9 million in grants to conserve migratory birds in 18 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The partners that receive these grants will contribute nearly $18 million in matching funds.
The hooded warbler, Wilsonia citrina,is listed under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. (Photo courtesy USFWS, Northeast Region)
The grants are made under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000, which establishes a matching grants program to fund projects that promote the conservation of neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The funds can be used to protect, research, monitor and manage bird populations and habitats as well as conduct law enforcement and community outreach and education. By law, 75 percent of the money goes to projects in Latin America and Caribbean countries while 25 percent goes to projects in the United States.
Global climate change, loss of stopover habitat, loss of winter habitat, acid rain, disruption of food supplies due to environmental contaminants, and the spread of competitives species such as the shiny cowbird, are all threats to neotropical migrant birds.
The migratory bird grants announced by Secretary Norton include habitat protection and enhancement projects.
Projects in the United States
- California -- A partnership led by the Ventana Wilderness Society will receive $20,000 and put up $74,500 in matching contributions to monitor neotropical migratory birds in central California's coastal region.
- Colorado -- A partnership led by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will receive $122,400 and put up $322,500 in matching contributions to develop a conservation plan that will guide future decisions on land use to benefit birds in the state's western mountain region.
- Colorado -- A partnership led by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will receive $26,666 and put up $114,860 in matching contributions to assess and conserve seasonal wetlands in Eastern Colorado.
- Illinois -- A partnership led by the Illinois Natural History Survey/University of Illinois will receive $22,736 and put up $80,192 in matching contributions to study channelization and forest drainage of southern Illinois's Cache River watershed.
- Illinois -- A partnership led by the Audubon-Chicago Region will receive $55,041 and put up $165,124 in matching contributions to restore native prairies for breeding birds outside of Chicago.
- National -- A partnership led by the National Audubon Society will receive $20,000 and put up $285,600 in matching contributions to document species of concern in important bird areas.
- New York -- A partnership led by the New York City Audubon Society will receive $43,000 and put up $129,890 in matching contributions to research and monitor birds that fly into buildings and work with building management to minimize collisions.
- Pennsylvania -- A partnership led by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station will receive $10,388 and put up $31,164 in matching non-government funds to examine the effects of certain forest management practices on birds.
- Puerto Rico -- A partnership led by the Puerto Rican Ornithological Society, Inc. will receive $53,140 and put up $166,415 in matching funds to monitor shorebirds and work with local citizens on conservation efforts.
- Texas -- A partnership led by the National Audubon Society will receive $25,000 and put up $159,000 in matching funds to conserve reddish egret habitat on the Gulf Coast.
- U.S. Virgin Islands -- A partnership led by the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station will receive $27,000 and put up $82,400 in matching non-government funds to monitor forest birds at Virgin Islands National Park.
Projects in the United States and Latin America/Caribbean
Migratory Bird Conservation Resources
- Alabama/Mexico -- A partnership led by The Nature Conservancy will receive $250,000 and put up $750,000 in matching contributions to acquire salt marsh habitat on Dauphin Island, Alabama and upland acres within Laguna Madre, Mexico. Both areas provide important migratory stop-over habitat for bird migrating along the Gulf of Mexico.
- Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas/Mexico -- A partnership led by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Inc. will receive $49,538 and put up $255,792 in matching contributions to monitor bird migration in the Gulf of Mexico.
- California/Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Antilles, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama -- A partnership led by The Institute for Bird Populations will receive $139,624 and put up $1,406,519 in matching contributions to monitor over-wintering survival rates.
- California, Oregon, Washington and El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua -- A partnership led by the American Bird Conservancy will receive $58,000 and put up $750,000 in matching contributions to conserve oak habitats on the Pacific Flyway for migrating birds.
- Colorado, New Mexico/Mexico -- A partnership led by The Nature Conservancy will receive $250,000 and put up $750,000 in matching contributions to protect grassland in eastern Colorado and New Mexico and northern Mexico.
- Georgia/Ecuador -- A partnership led by Maquipucuna Foundation will receive $235,038 and put up $753,475 in matching contributions for public outreach in Georgia and Ecuador's Andean region.
- Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay -- A partnership led by Kansas State University will receive $74,243 and put up $224,309 in matching contributions to study the use of agricultural pesticides effects on birds at breeding and wintering grounds.
- Missouri/Mexico -- A partnership led by the American Bird Conservancy will receive $50,000 and put up $750,317 in matching contributions to create a conservation alliance to conserve forested and coastal habitats for birds that summer in the central hardwood region of the Lower Mississippi River.
The International Migratory Bird Day website is here, and events are listed here. An exploratory interactive map displays events by location, and many events last all this month; some continue all year long.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 10 Year Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds is found here.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website All About Birds with guidelines for conserving birds in backyards, grasslands, forests, on farms, and help in land use planning is found here.
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative Canada is online at: http://www.bsc-eoc.org/nabci.html
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative United States is found at: http://www.nabci-us.org/