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Waterbird Conservation for the Americas

Waterbird Conservation for the Americas



Waterbird Conservation for the Americas

Waterbird Conservation for the Americas



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    Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Document Transcript

    • WATERBIRD CONSERVATION for the AMERICASNorth American Waterbird Conservation Plan Version 1
    • W aterbirds have been cherished by human societies for centuries. They have inspired poetry, music, and fables and are often touted as sym- bols of freedom, strength, and agility. This Plan provides an overarch- ing framework and guide for conserving waterbirds. It sets forth goals and priorities for waterbirds in all habitats from the Canadian Arctic to the offshore islands of Venezuela, from Bermuda to the U.S. Pacific Islands, at nesting sites, during annual migrations and during nonbreeding periods. It advocates continent-wide monitoring; provides an impetus for regional con- Clapper Rail servation planning; proposes national, provincial, state, and other local conservation planning and action; and creates a larger context within which local habitat conservation can nest. Taken together, we hope that these activities will assure healthy populations and habitats for the waterbirds of the Americas. This Plan is about weaving together cultures, opinions, resources, and science to achieve sustainable waterbird populations and appropriately manage waterbird habitats throughout the entirety of their ranges. The most encouraging revelation that occurred to us during the years it took to develop this Plan was the great number of individuals, representing all factions of society, that were willing and eager to unite to accomplish waterbird conservation. This shared passion for waterbirds will continue to be the force that moves waterbird conservation ahead in the Americas. This Plan is in its first version, emphasizing seabirds and other colonial- nesting waterbirds. It also concentrates on the northern portions of itsBrown Boobies geographic scope. Future versions will include more guidance on con- servation of solitary-nesting waterbirds, such as the grebes and rails, and more details on the needs and priorities of various regions within the overall Plan area, especially the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. Moreover, publication of the Plan is just one step in an initiative to further waterbird conservation. Other anticipated products include national waterbird plans, regional waterbird plans, a continental conservation status assessment document, training work- shops, educational materials, symposia, and a continent-wide monitoring partnership. This Plan was developed by an independent partnership of individuals and organizations with interest and responsibility for conserving waterbirds and their habitats. Waterbird conservation in the Americas is facilitated, although not directed, by this partnership. The partnership is a means of formalizing alliances to plan and implement waterbird conservation cooperatively with other bird initiatives and other national and regional strategies for species and habitat conservation. The planning process was possible because of the voluntary engagement of hundreds of experts on biology, conservation, and management of waterbirds (please see the Acknowledgments). It also was made possible by the firm backing of government agencies and private organizations, which provided both moral and financial support. We thank all for their dedication to water- birds and for their good work. James Kushlan Melanie Steinkamp Steering Committee Chair Project Director North American Waterbird Conservation Plan North American Waterbird Conservation Plan Edgewater, Maryland Laurel, Maryland COVER PHOTO: Roseate Spoonbill, © Nancy Camel
    • WATERBIRD CONSERVATION for the AMERICASNorth American Waterbird Conservation Plan Version 1
    • Authors James A. Kushlan1, Melanie J. Steinkamp2, Katharine C. Parsons3, Jack Capp 4, Martin Acosta Cruz5, Malcolm Coulter6, Ian Davidson7, Loney Dickson 8, Naomi Edelson9, Richard Elliot8, R. Michael Erwin10, Scott Hatch 11, Stephen Kress12, Robert Milko8, Steve Miller13, Kyra Mills14, Richard Paul15, Roberto Phillips16, Jorge E. Saliva17, Bill Sydeman14, John Trapp18, Jennifer Wheeler18, and Kent Wohl19 Affiliations of Authors1 U.S. Geological Survey and Smithsonian 10 U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Environmental Research Center Research Center and University of Virginia2 U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research 11 U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center Center 12 National Audubon Society, Seabird Restoration3 Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences Program and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology4 U.S.D.A. Forest Service International Program 13 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources5 University of Havana 14 Point Reyes Bird Observatory6 Wetlands International,Storks, Ibis, Spoonbills 15 Audubon of Florida, Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Specialist Group 16 Pronatura7 BirdLife International,Americas Division 17 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 48 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service 18 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory9 International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Bird Management 19 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7 Recommended Citation: James A. Kushlan, Melanie J. Steinkamp, Katharine C. Parsons, Jack Capp, Martin Acos- ta Cruz, Malcolm Coulter, Ian Davidson, Loney Dickson, Naomi Edelson, Richard Elliot, R. Michael Erwin, Scott Hatch, Stephen Kress, Robert Milko, Steve Miller, Kyra Mills, Richard Paul, Roberto Phillips, Jorge E. Saliva, Bill Sydeman, John Trapp, Jennifer Wheeler, and Kent Wohl. 2002. Waterbird Conservation for the Americas: The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, Version 1. Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, Washington, DC, U.S.A., 78 pp. Copies of this publication may be downloaded from www.waterbirdconservation.org. Hard copies may be requested from: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Publications Clearinghouse National Conservation Training Center Shepherdstown, WV 25443, U.S.A. 1-304-876-7203 In the U.S., call toll-free: 1-800-344-WILD (9453) Waterbirds@fws.gov
    • TABLE of CONTENTSExecutive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3Part 1: What Future for Waterbirds? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5A Call to Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5A Vision for Waterbird Conservation in the Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6A Common Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Part 2: State of the Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Population Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Population Conservation Issues and Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16Species Conservation Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23Habitat Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26Habitat Conservation Issues and Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27Key Sites for Waterbirds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Inventory and Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32Scientific Information Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34Communication, Education and Public Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35Part 3: Moving Forward through Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37International Waterbird Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37National Waterbird Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39Regional Waterbird Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41Local Waterbird Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52The Bottom Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53Partners in Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55Part 4: Achieving the Vision: Summary of Strategies and Outcomes . . . . . .58Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58Species and Population Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58Habitat Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59Education and Information Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60Coordination and Integration Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Top to bottom: Herring Gull, skimmers and gulls, Tricolored HeronAppendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61APPENDIX 1 . Names, Estimated Population Sizes, and Conservation Status of Waterbirds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62APPENDIX 2 . Conservation Status Assessment Protocol for Colonial Waterbirds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67APPENDIX 3 . Distribution and Activity of Colonial Waterbird Species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
    • To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival. Wendell Berry
    • WATERBIRD CONSERVATION for the AMERICAS EXECUTIVE SUMMARYA Vision and Framework many waterbirds increases population risks by concen- trating populations in limited areas.T he North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (the Plan) is the product of an independent partner- ship of individuals and institutions having interest Conservation Challenges Tand responsibility for conservation of waterbirds and he conservation of waterbirds faces significant chal-their habitats in the Americas. This partnership— lenges. Eighty percent of the species considered inWaterbird Conservation for the Americas—was created the Plan are colonial nesters—congregating at breed-to support a vision in which the distribution, diversity, ing sites in numbers ranging from many to hundreds ofand abundance of populations and habitats of breeding, thousands of birds. Of this group, the Plan finds thatmigratory, and nonbreeding waterbirds are sustained or one-third are considered to be at risk of serious popula-restored throughout the lands and waters of North tion loss. Eleven species of pelagic seabirds are highlyAmerica, Central America, and the Caribbean. imperiled, and 36 species of pelagic and coastal seabirds as well as seven species of wading birds are of high con-The Plan provides a continental-scale framework for servation concern.Although non-colonial waterbirdsthe conservation and management of 210 species of remain to be assessed quantitatively, many of thesewaterbirds, including seabirds, coastal waterbirds, wad- populations are also clearly at risk. Waterbird popula-ing birds, and marshbirds utilizing aquatic habitats in tions are subject to numerous threats, many of which29 nations throughout are habitat-based and affectNorth America, Central all aquatic birds and otherAmerica, the islands and aquatic resources. Thepelagic waters of the threats that the Plan identi-Caribbean Sea and western fies as requiring remedialAtlantic, the U.S.-associated action include destruction ofPacific Islands and pelagic inland and coastal wetlands,waters of the Pacific. Birds as introduced predators andfamiliar as herons, loons, pel- invasive species, pollutants,icans, and gulls, as well as mortality from fisheries andthe lesser known albatrosses, other human industries, dis-petrels, auks, and rails are turbance, and conflicts aris-among the species consid- ing from abundant species.ered in the Plan. Thesebirds’ dependence on aquat- Additional information onic habitats such as wooded population sizes and trendsswamps, stream corridors, is needed to improve thesalt marshes, barrier islands, assessment of conservationcontinental shelf waters and risk, as well as allow aopen pelagic waters make detailed assessment of thethem especially vulnerable relative importance of spe-to the myriad threats facing cific areas to the variouswater and wetland resources species and the effectivenessglobally. In addition, the of waterbird managementcongregatory behavior of Black-footed Albatross prescriptions. More preciseWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 3
    • Common Moorheninformation on spatial habitat needs is also needed; The Plan promotes habitat and site-based conservationpresently, there is little information on habitat use out- actions throughout the Americas, especially via theside of the breeding season for many species, particular- Important Bird Areas programs and similar efforts.ly during migration. Critical to the effective manage- Regional waterbird conservation working groups willment of waterbird populations and habitats will be step down the continental-level aspects of the Plan toincreasing knowledge, through monitoring and research, the regional and local levels. At all scales, the Planbroadly disseminating this information, and encourag- advocates integration of waterbird conservation withing conservation action by policy makers, wildlife man- other bird conservation initiatives when appropriate, inagers, and the public. order to efficiently provide the best management options for local wildlife and habitat managers.Conservation Solutions An evolving Waterbird Conservation Council will facili-T he Plan identifies strategies and opportunities for tate implemention of the Plan, assess its effectiveness, achieving its vision. It documents a dynamic process and plan the future course of waterbird conservation. for species status assessment to inform setting of Finally, the Plan details resources and infrastructureconservation priorities at a regional scale, and has iden- needed to more fully accomplish waterbird conserva-tified many of the key issues requiring conservation tion. Rather than establishing new structures, imple-action.The Plan has involved the scientific community, mentation of the Plan will be entrusted to governmen-especially through partnership with ornithological tal and nongovernmental entities, especially nationalsocieties, in identifying information needs . It governments, state governments, habitat Jointproposes the development of a continental Ventures and other partnerships, and conser-monitoring partnership including stan- vation-oriented nongovernmentaldardized methodology, bias-assessment, organizations.and internet-accessible database sys-tems to support status and trendevaluation. Black-crowned Night-Heron © NANCY CAMEL4 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • PART 1 WHAT FUTURE for WATERBIRDS?A Call to Action Despite their value, or perhaps because of it, waterbirds have not always fared well at the hands of humans. InW aterbirds include the albatrosses and shearwaters one case, the harm was irreversible. The last sighting of admired by sailors and rarely seen on shore; they the Great Auk in 1852 heralded the extinction of this are the gregarious gulls and pelicans working the colonial waterbird species through direct huntingcoastlines and the graceful herons and flamingos poised impacts. Fortunately, the mass destruction of egrets byover still, shallow waters; the rare Whooping Crane and market hunting in the late 1800s and early 1900s wasabundant Common Murre are both waterbird species; stemmed in time, and in fact, led to the modern con-and the secretive rails in the marshes, the ostentatious servation movement in North America. Yet as illustrat-puffins and boobies of the rocky cliffs, and the graceful ed by the crash of the Brown Pelican population in theloons of open lakes fall into this diverse group of aquat- Gulf of Mexico due to contaminants, waterbirds areic species. still at risk due to human activities. Species such as the Short-tailed Albatross, Newell’s Shearwater, Black-vent-These birds constitute a natural resource of great intrin- ed Shearwater, Black-footed Albatross, Bermuda Petrel,sic, human and ecological value that needs to be pro- and Hawaiian Coot, listed by the World Conservationtected and fostered through appropriate management. Union (IUCN) as vulnerable, could share the GreatSpectacular in appearance or in numbers, waterbirds Auk’s fate unless they receive proper conservationare conspicuous representatives of their exotic, mysteri- attention.ous, and wild aquatic worlds.Throughout history, they have fig-ured prominently in human culture,serving as sources of food and orna-mentation, as well as folkloric ortotemic figures. Even today, manyserve as symbols of cultural identity,conservation organizations, environ-mental programs, or locales. Water-birds are a favorite of birdwatchers,who number nearly a hundred mil-lion people and contribute signifi-cantly to communities and business-es in their pursuits. Some speciesare a boon to sportsmen, such as theseabird flocks leading anglers totheir catch. Beyond their culturalsignificance, waterbirds are oftenuseful as indicators of environmen-tal quality and ecosystem health.The conservation of waterbirds canhelp protect the broader landscapein which they occur. Sandhill CranesSunbittern b Sandhill Crane b Common Crane b Whooping Crane b Limpkin b Sungrebe b Yellow Rail bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 5
    • Some waterbirds continue to be appropriate management, mostthreatened by direct impacts of waterbird habitats will no longerhuman activities. Longline and gill provide for healthy and diversenet fisheries kill large numbers of populations of waterbirds.seabirds through entanglement anddrowning. Oil spills from ships andchronic bilge discharge sicken and A Vision for Waterbirdkill hundreds of thousands of water- Conservation in the Americasbirds. Impacts from exposure to pes- Tticides and other chemicals, which hreats to waterbirds and theircaused population declines in Dou- habitats have stimulated a signif-ble-crested Cormorants and Brown icant response by individualsPelicans in the 1960s and 1970s, and organizations concerned withcontinue to threaten waterbirds in their conservation. The Waterbirdplaces throughout the Americas. Conservation for the Americas ini-Food concentrated in aquaculture tiative (the Waterbird initiative)ponds and hatchery facilities attracts was launched in 1998 to link theseherons, cormorants, terns, and peli- efforts, and is an international,cans, and may result in legal or broad-based, voluntary partnershipillegal killing by distressed fish farm- Common Tern dedicated to waterbird conserva-ers. Citizens sometimes look upon tion. In Canada, the U.S., and Mexi-waterbirds with disfavor when nesting or roosting con- co, it complements the initiatives existing for other birdgregations in urban and suburban environments conflict groups, specifically the North American Waterfowlwith aesthetic standards. Public disaffection with water- Management Plan, Partners in Flight, and the nationalbirds, warranted or not, may be among their greatest Shorebird Plans, all of which come together in thelong-term threats. North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). In addition, the Waterbird initiative addresses conserva-The habitats of waterbirds—the important sites on tion of waterbirds in the Caribbean, Central America,which they depend for nesting, feeding and wintering— and open waters of the Pacific and Atlantic.are also at risk due to human related and naturalthreats. Hydrologic change of freshwater wetlands,degradation of coastal and marine habitats, and deple- The vision of Waterbird Conservation for thetion of the food base all adversely affect waterbirds. Americas is that the distribution, diversity,Habitat loss and degradation can cause populationdeclines. For example, the Marbled Murrelet has and abundance of populations and habitatsdeclined dramatically due to the destruction of its nest- of breeding, migratory, and nonbreedinging habitat from logging of old growth forests along the waterbirds are sustained or restored through-Pacific Coast of North America. More insidious are out the lands and waters of North America,patch-by-patch losses occurring in wetlands and otheraquatic habitats, as they are drained, channelized, Central America, and the Caribbean.manipulated, over-fished, plowed, or altered in responseto human pressures. Even cumulatively, these may gounnoticed due to the piecemeal fashion of loss. For It is recognized that sustainability is inherently hard tosome species, such as the Double-crested Cormorant quantify and judge. Sustainability implies that popula-and Ring-billed Gull, habitat changes have resulted in tions are healthy and vigorous, and that human-causedartificial food sources and subsequent population adversities do not affect demographic parameters inincreases and expansion. These may threaten other bird ways that reduce populations below what existingspecies or result in human conflicts. Without active and ecosystems or ecosystems managed at varying capacitiesOcellated Crake b Ruddy Crake b White-throated Crake b Gray-breasted Crake b Black Rail b6 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • should support. Sustainability does not imply stasis in foundations, tenets, priorities, strategies and structurespopulation size, trend or distribution. Sustainability to the extent possible.must be achieved at all scales and within contemporarysocial and economic contexts. It is particularly difficult Waterbird Conservation for the Americas: The Northto quantify sustainability on a continental scale, as it American Waterbird Conservation Plan (the Plan) pro-must be extrapolated from smaller scales. Finally, sus- vides a common framework for managers and conserva-tainability will need to be most precisely defined for tionists to proceed with actions intended to benefitspecies under threat, including both rare and abundant waterbirds. It aims to facilitate continent-wide planningspecies. and monitoring, national-state-provincial conservation planning and action, regional planning and coordina-Four goals were developed to achieve the vision for tion, and local habitat protection and management.waterbirds: A Matter of Scale■ Species and Population Goal Conservation of waterbirds is an international matter.To ensure sustainable distributions, diversity and abun- Many species considered in the Plan range through adance of waterbird species throughout each of their number of countries in the Plan area, and the distribu-historical or naturally expanding ranges in the lands and tions of some species extend to other continents. Win-waters of North America, Central America, and the tering habitats used in one country may be supportingCaribbean. breeding populations in another. Populations that migrate across international borders must be evaluated■ Habitat Goal at continental or even global scales. Moreover, someTo protect, restore, and manage sufficient high quality resource issues, such as fish stock management, arehabitat and key sites for waterbirds throughout the year inherently international. Thus, maintaining waterbirdto meet species and population goals. populations in the Americas at levels necessary for their long-term conservation requires that planning, invento-■ Education and Information Goal ry, monitoring, and management action be carried outTo ensure that information on the conservation of as international activities. Conservation at this largestwaterbirds is widely available to decision makers, land scale is the principal focus of this Plan.managers, the public, and all whose actions affectwaterbird populations and their habitats.■ Coordination and Integration GoalTo ensure that coordinated conservation efforts forwaterbirds in the Americas continue, are guidedby common principles, and result in integratedand mutually supportive waterbird conservationactions.A Common Framework A chieving the vision for waterbird conservation will involve activities over a huge geographical area, multiple scales of planning and imple-mentation, and involvement of numerous partnersfrom government and nongovernmental organiza-tions, from the scientific community, and fromlocal citizenry. Thus, it is highly desirable that thevarious stakeholders agree to common definitions, Common LoonBuff-banded Rail b Guam Rail b Clapper Rail b King Rail b Virginia Rail b Corn Crake bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 7
    • Conservation of waterbirds is a national matter. Most management themes can be enacted that would posi- national governments have responsibility for managing tively affect a suite of species. Conservation at the local birds, especially endemic and migratory species. Nation- scale will be addressed through local planning and al governments are also responsible for habitat manage- actions of local constituencies, especially community- ment on government lands and in varying degrees for based organizations. regulation of factors affecting habitat quality, such as pollution, wetland protections, and land development. Geographic Extent of the Plan It is recommended that national governments and other The geographic extent of this Plan is immense. As stakeholders consider development of national strate- shown in Figure 1, it includes North America, Central gies to guide waterbird conservation at this scale. America, the islands and waters of the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean including the U.S.-associated Pacific Conservation of waterbirds is a regional matter. Islands, and the western Atlantic Ocean including Between seasons and years, local sites of populations Bermuda. may shift within larger geographic or ecological regions. Regional conservation action requires cooperation The Plan area is organized into several planning regions among neighboring political units such as states, (see Figure 1), which were created in order to facilitate provinces, and nations. Conservation planning at this planning at a scale that was practical, yet allowed a scale will be addressed in regional waterbird plans and landscape-level perspective. The regional boundaries are will be implemented through regional partnerships of based on a combination of political considerations and private conservationists and waterbird biologists in ecological factors. The Central American nations and state, provincial, and national governments. their coastal zones are combined into one planning region, as are all of the Caribbean Islands. In Canada, Conservation of waterbirds within large nations is a the U.S., and Mexico, planning regions are based on state and provincial matter. In Canada, provincial gov- composites of Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) and ernments have principal responsibility for habitat and Pelagic Bird Conservation Regions (PBCRs) (see Figure for the management of some waterbirds. In the U.S., 2). The BCRs are terrestrial geographic areas having states have principal statutory and/or constitutional similar habitats and were developed to provide a con- responsibility for all wildlife within state borders— sistent spatial framework for NABCI’s bird conserva- managing hunting, parks, sanctuaries, and other activi- tion strategy1. The PBCRs were created specifically for ties affecting waterbirds—and concurrent jurisdiction this Plan as marine analogs of terrestrial BCRs, in order with the federal government on migratory species. to address the conservation needs of seabirds. They are very similar to the Large Marine Ecosystems developed Conservation of waterbirds is a local matter. Local com- by IUCN, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric mitment to waterbird conservation is essential. Local governments in many countries are responsible for The Plan area includes the interests of 29 nations: zoning, development permitting, Canada, United States (including Barbados, Granada, Trinidad & and local environmental quality. Pacific and Caribbean islands), Tobago, Netherlands (the islands of Nesting and roosting waterbirds Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. are particularly affected by local Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Eustatius, St. Maarten), France (St. conditions. Fortunately, the con- Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela Pierre et Miquelon Archipelago, the gregatory behavior of most water- (the Caribbean islands), Bermuda, islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, birds provides opportunities for Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy), Great effective, efficient conservation Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Britain (the islands Turks & Caicos, action at the local scale. Also, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Cayman Islands, British Virgin because different species utilize Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Islands, Montserrat) the same habitats, common con- Vincent & the Grenadines, servation principles and similarRufous-necked Wood-Rail b Gray-necked Wood-Rail b Uniform Crake b Spotted Crake b Sora b Spotless Crake b 8 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Figure 1. Geographic Extent of Waterbird Conservation for the Americas: The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, Showing Waterbird Conservation Planning RegionsYellow-breasted Crake b White-browed Crake b Zapata Rail b Colombian Crake b Paint-billed Crake bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 9
    • Figure 2. Bird Conservation Regions 85 84Spotted Rail b Purple Swamphen b Purple Gallinule b Azure Gallinule b Common Moorhen b10 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Figure 2 Legend BCRs 30 New England/Mid-Atlantic Coast 58 Altos de Chiapas 1 Aleutian/Bering Sea Islands 31 Peninsular Florida 59 Depresiones Intermontanas 2 Western Alaska 32 Coastal California 60 Sierra Madre de Chiapas 3 Arctic Plains and Mountains 33 Sonoran and Mohave Deserts 61 Planicie Costera del Soconusco 4 Northwestern Interior Forest 34 Sierra Madre Occidental 62 Archipiélago de Revillagigedo 5 Northen Pacific Rainforest 35 Chihuahuan Desert 63 Isla Guadalupe 6 Boreal Taiga Plains 36 Tamaulipan Brushlands 64 Arrecife Alacranes 7 Taiga Shield and Hudson Plains 37 Gulf Coastal Prairie 65 Los Tuxtlas 8 Boreal Softwood Shield 38 Islas Marías 66 Panatanos de Centla-Laguna de 9 Great Basin 39 Sierras de Baja California Términos 40 Desierto de Baja California 67 Hawaii 10 Northern Rockies 41 Islas del Golfo de Californa 11 Prairie Potholes 42 Sierra y Planicies de El Cabo PBCRs 12 Boreal Hardwood Transition 43 Planicie Costera, Lomeríos y Cañones 68 Chukchi & Beaufort Seas 13 Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence de Occidente 69 East Bering Sea Plain 44 Marismas Nacionales 70 Gulf of Alaska 14 Atlantic Northern Forest 45 Planicie Costera y Lomeríos del 71 California Current 15 Sierra Nevada Pacífico Sur 72 Pacific Central-American Coastal 16 Southern Rockies/Colorado Plateau 46 Sur del Altiplano Mexicano 73 Gulf of California 17 Badlands and Prairies 47 Eje Neovolcánico Transversal 74 Gulf of Mexico 18 Shortgrass Prairie 48 Sierra Madre Oriental 75 Newfoundland-Laborador Shelf 19 Central Mixed-grass Prairie 49 Planicie Costera y Lomeríos Secos del 76 West Greenland Shelf 20 Edwards Plateau Golfo de México 77 Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf 21 Oaks and Prairies 50 Cuenca del Río Balsas 78 Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf 22 Eastern Tallgrass Prairie 51 Valle de Tehuacán-Cuicatlán 79 Scotian Shelf 23 Prairie Hardwood Transition 52 Planicie Costery y Lomeríos Húmedos 80 Insular Pacific-Hawaiian 24 Central Hardwoods del Golfo de México 81 Caribbean Sea 25 West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas 53 Sierra Madre del Sur 82 Pacific 26 Mississippi Alluvial Valley 54 Sierra Norte de Puebla-Oaxaca 83 Atlantic 27 Southeastern Coastal Plain 55 Planicie Noroccidetal de Yucatán 84 Hudson Bay 28 Appalachian Mountains 56 Planicie de la Península de Yucatán 85 Arctic Ocean 29 Piedmont 57 Isla Cozumel Terrestrial BCRs not yet developed for the Caribbean and Central AmericaAdministration (NOAA) and the Intergovernmental eventually link to conservation initiatives in SouthOceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) 2, with America.some practical modifications suggested by regionalwaterbird managers. The PBCRs shown in Figure 2 Taxonomic Extent of the Planinclude both coastal (up to 200 miles offshore) and The Plan addresses the conservation needs and oppor-open-ocean areas of the Atlantic and Pacific. tunities for 210 species of birds in 23 families that spend at least part of the year in the Plan area (seeThough the Plan does have a defined geographic extent, Table 1).The complete list of included species is givenit is recognized that the conservation needs of water- in Appendix 1, along with 39 species occurring onlybirds do not stop at any discrete borders. Thus, when accidentally or casually in the Plan area.appropriate and acceptable, activities under the Planshould be linked to activities beyond the Plan area. For All of the species addressed in the Plan are dependentexample, seabird conservation in Canada will be coordi- on aquatic habitats to complete portions of their lifenated with conservation and management in Greenland, cycles, hence the term “waterbirds.” They can be furtherwhere appropriate. Where possible, conservation across characterized by other non-technical terms relating toall Pacific islands will be considered when planning for where they typically forage: seabirds (birds primarilyU.S. holdings in the Pacific. It is hoped that the Plan will feeding in open ocean); coastal waterbirds (primarilyEurasian Coot (Common) b Hawaiian Coot b American Coot b Caribbean Coot b Great Skua bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 11
    • utilizing the interface between land and both salt TABLE 1. Families and Species of Waterbirds Included in and fresh water); wading birds (principally feeding Waterbird Conservation for the Americas: The North by wading in shallow waters), and marshbirds (often American Waterbird Conservation Plan secretive, feeding in primarily fresh waters). These terms are not exclusive. Admittedly, there are many Families Species other kinds of birds that rely on aquatic habitats, Gaviidae loons including shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and many Podicipedidae* grebes songbirds; however, these species are the focus of Diomedeidae* albatrosses other initiatives such as the Shorebird Plans, the Procellariidae* shearwaters, petrels, fulmars North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Hydrobatidae* storm-petrels Partners in Flight. Phaethontidae* tropicbirds Sulidae* boobies, gannet This first version of the Plan provides detailed infor- Pelecanidae* pelicans mation on the waterbirds that nest colonially, as Phalacrocoracidae* cormorants they were the original focus of the Waterbird initia- Anhingidae* darters, anhinga tive. The waterbird families that contain colonial- Fregatidae* frigatebirds Ardeidae* herons, egrets, bitterns nesting species are noted in Table 1 by asterisks; Threskiornithidae* ibises, spoonbill these are generally the seabirds, coastal waterbirds, Ciconiidae* storks and wading birds. Subsequent versions of the Plan Phoenicopteridae* flamingo will address solitary-nesting waterbirds, generally the Accipitridae* Snail Kite marshbirds, in greater detail. Rallidae rails Heliornithidae sungrebe Biological Considerations Eurypygidae sunbittern Conservation action for waterbirds involves many Aramidae limpkin opportunities and challenges because of the funda- Gruidae cranes mental biology that unites these species. The Plan Laridae* gulls, terns, skimmers, skua, jaeger takes into account the following biological charac- Alcidae* auks, murres, puffins, murrelets, guillemots teristics and advocates their consideration in all * Family includes some or all colonial-nesting species, which are other planning and implementation activities for addressed in detail in Version 1 of the Plan. Future versions will waterbirds. further address remaining families. Distribution and Range systems for feeding and other activities. ❖ Many waterbirds have large ranges that cross national ❖ Marine seabirds constitute the majority of species in and continental borders, or span oceans, and individu- the Plan and rely on prey populations associated with als may cover enormous distances in their lifetimes continental shelf and open ocean waters. over periods of years or even weeks. ❖ In habitat patches that are relatively unaltered, ❖ Breeding, wintering and migratory distributions waterbirds depend on the maintenance of natural change continually due to natural and human-related conditions. causes. ❖ Most wetland systems in the Plan area have been ❖ Some species use recognizable migration flyways. altered. In these altered habitat patches, birds often ❖ Some populations spend only part of the year within depend on human management. any one area, including the Plan area. ❖ Distributions in some areas, such as the Arctic and Demography tropics, are very poorly understood. ❖ Most waterbirds are long-lived, have low annual reproductive output, high juvenile mortality, but high Dependence on Aquatic Systems adult survivorship. ❖ These birds use aquatic habitats, such as ponds, ❖ Reproductive success in any one year may not be as rivers, lakes, wetlands, coastal and offshore pelagic critical to population sustainability as adult mortality.South Polar Skua b Pomarine Jaeger b Parasitic Jaeger b Long-tailed Jaeger b Black Skimmer b 12 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • ❖ The population consequences of reproduc- tive failure are postponed in long-lived species with delayed maturity, hence moni- toring should incorporate measures of pro- ductivity and survival as well as population surveys. ❖ Low inter-year variability in populations of long-lived waterbirds, such as many sea- birds, enhances the ability to detect popula- tion trends. Coloniality-Concentration ❖ Concentration at colonies is the defining biological characteristic of many species of Royal Terns waterbirds. ❖ Colony site character changes with time, often due to inclusion of waterbirds in further planning and imple- natural causes. mentation of “all-bird” conservation. Also, because of ❖ Some species are faithful to nesting sites; others limited resources, waterbird conservation in Mexico, change sites frequently. Central America, and the Caribbean would be most ❖ Concentration at feeding, roosting and loafing sites effective if part of an effort for all aquatic bird species. makes specific sites disproportionately important to For these regions, the Plan proposes partnerships of rel- populations. evant initiatives and the creation of plans that include ❖ Many waterbirds concentrate during migration and in all aquatic birds. over-wintering areas. Multi-use management of aquatic habitats, such as for Underlying Tenets water supply, flood control, wetland protection, fish- Certain assumptions are central to waterbird conserva- eries, and recreation, should incorporate the habitat and tion strategies, processes, and implementation.The fol- population needs of waterbirds as one of its goals. lowing points describe the underlying tenets of the Plan, which should be adopted in all waterbird conser- A Foundation on Science and Experience vation activities. Wherever possible, conservation strategies should be based on rigorous scientific and practical knowledge. Integrated Bird Conservation The knowledge about waterbird biology and the threats Waterbirds occur in habitats used by other birds and by facing waterbirds form links between broad conserva- people. Thus, the wisest course for conservation action tion goals and the specific conservation programs need- is within the context of multi-species and multi-use ed to protect bird species and their habitats. management, which will increase efficiency and effec- tiveness while reducing costs. Knowledge to make informed conservation decisions must be current, as complete as possible, and readily In protecting and managing aquatic habitats, the needs available. Planning for the conservation of species that of all birds relying on these habitats should be coordi- change nesting locations year to year or change feeding nated, whenever possible. In these multi-species conser- locations on a daily or weekly basis will require under- vation programs, the needs of waterbirds should receive standing populations at many scales. Critical knowledge equal consideration to those of other species. Effective- needed includes population trends and dynamics, key ly meeting the needs of multiple species groups is the habitats, and important areas. purpose of NABCI. Thus, in Canada, the U.S. and Mex- ico, this Plan should be considered alongside plans for Fortunately, for many waterbird species and in many other groups of aquatic species, thereby facilitating the areas, basic biological information is sufficiently strongBand-tailed Gull b Black-tailed Gull b Gray Gull b Yellow-legged Gull b Heermann’s Gull b Mew Gull b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 13
    • social factors as well as biological ones, and these must be considered in conser- vation planning. Management must seek to achieve population and habitat health and sustainability as defined in ways con- sistent with scientific knowledge, which may require explicit management of both biological and human factors. Although available scientific information and practical experience must be used to inform management actions, conservation cannot always wait for complete infor- mation. The Plan urges critical conserva- tion action be initiated with due speed based on best available knowledge but in an adaptive manner. An Adaptive Approach Effective waterbird conservation requires an innovative, dynamic, iterative process of planning, implementation, evaluation of that implementation, and revision of action plans when necessary. The Plan encourages the incorporation of approaches that permit evaluation of the results of management action in terms of the underlying scientific hypotheses. Evaluating the effects of conservation action results in the development of an agenda for further research, provides needed data for adaptive management models, further informs subsequent man- agement action, and influences the revi- sion process. Snowy Egret To be adaptive, conservation requires to support conservation action. In addition, locally flexibility and openness to redirection or change, such gained knowledge is often sufficiently robust to extrap- as might be justified by the results of research, moni- olate to other situations. However, there are many sig- toring, and experiential learning. Flexibility in the nificant gaps in knowledge, and the Plan recommends mechanisms used to deliver waterbird conservation is that research and monitoring on waterbirds be expand- particularly important in multi-national strategies. ed, targeted and disseminated to meet the increased 1The North American Bird Conservation Initiative: Bringing It All demands of scientifically based conservation. Together, U.S. NABCI Committee, September 2000 2 An Ecosystem Strategy for the Assessment and Management of The management of waterbirds, especially abundant International Coastal Ocean Waters. IUCN, NOAA and IOC. fish-eating colonial waterbirds, involves economic and 1998 (see www.edc.uri.edu/lme)Ring-billed Gull b California Gull b Great Black-backed Gull b Glaucous-winged Gull b Western Gull b 14 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • PART 2 STATE of the RESOURCE T he Plan has as a principal focus are not provided in Appendix 1 due the identification and facilitation to a lack of information. of conservation action at a conti- nental scale. Recommended actions For many species, population data are based on an examination of the derive from colony-based monitoring state of waterbird populations and programs of varying intensity that waterbird habitats, including associ- estimated breeding pairs during the ated issues and threats. They also 1990s. Therefore, population esti- pertain to inventory and monitoring mates, in most cases, best reflect programs, research, and communica- breeding populations. In cases where tion, education and public awareness non-breeding individuals were also activities critical to conserving all present at colony-sites, these esti- waterbirds in the Americas. mates may approximate total popu- Parakeet Auklets lations in the Plan area. Total popula- Population Status tion and wintering population infor- mation are lacking for most species and most of the E stimates of current population sizes and trends for Plan area. colonial waterbirds occurring in the Plan area are provided in Appendix 1. [Data for solitary nesting As shown in Figure 3, the estimates of population trend waterbirds (marshbirds) will be presented in subse- for 166 species of colonial waterbirds indicate that quent versions of the Plan.] These numbers and trends seven percent of species are showing a biologically sig- were derived from the best professional judgment of nificant population decline and another 24 percent species experts and information from the literature. The show apparent declines. Importantly, up to 17 percent time period used to estimate trends for most species show population increases. Generally these increases was 1970 to present, and the precision and accuracy of are due to populations rebounding from previous this information vary widely. reductions due to contaminants or hunting, or are relat- ed to increased availability of artificial food sources. For such large, conspicuous, and in some cases economically important waterbirds, it is astounding how few Figure 3. Estimated Population Trends for Colonial Waterbirds and how poor are the available data on population status. Historical continen- tal estimates are largely not available. ■ biologically significant population decline 15% 7% Some significant attempts to estimate ■ apparent population decline 5% ■ apparent stable population populations occurred during the 1970s 24% ■ apparent population increase and 1980s, but these efforts and some 12% ■ biologically significant population increase continuing monitoring programs were ■ No Information limited in geographic extent. Popula- 37% tion estimates for approximately 20% The time period used to estimate trends for most of colonial species, including most species was 1970 to present, and the precision and accuracy of this information vary widely. species not breeding in the Plan area,Yellow-footed Gull b Glaucous Gull b Iceland Gull b Thayer’s Gull b Herring Gull b Slaty-backed Gull b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 15
    • Information was insufficient to estimate trends for 15 percent of species. Achieving the goal of sustainable continental pop- ulations of waterbirds requires better information on population status. Knowledge of population sizes is needed to assess conservation risk and pop- ulation trends, and to determine the relative importance of defined geographic areas to the var- ious species. Population trend information is important to assess the effectiveness of waterbird management prescriptions. Thus, a continent-wide, coordinated long-term program to monitor and evaluate population sizes and trends is essential. Assessing population status is also a necessary pre- Laysan Albatrosses liminary step to setting population goals. Howev- er, the uncertainty of global and continental population early 1990s, on-board observer programs have been information makes goal setting at the continental scale used to collect data on the bycatch of specific species, impossible at this stage. Population goals are of more and estimates of incidental take of seabirds have been value when associated with habitat goals, and this can calculated for some fisheries. To date, these efforts have best be accomplished at the regional scale. focused on marine fisheries in the Pacific, such as in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Hawaiian waters; efforts in the Atlantic are underway. In general, the signifi- Population Conservation Issues and Threats cance of fishery impacts on seabird populations at the C onservation of waterbirds in the Americas requires colony-level has yet to be determined. Moreover, since addressing a multitude of threats and other con- 1999, changes in management of the Alaska and cerns, many of which are shared across the Plan Hawaii fisheries are likely resulting in dramatically area. Although the details of these issues are too long reduced bycatch levels. and complex to describe fully here, the following rec- ommendations should be considered by those planning Fisheries can also have indirect negative effects on and implementing waterbird conservation to enable waterbird populations. Fishing levels or food-web inter- coherent and coordinated actions. actions can affect the availability of prey. Bycatch of forage fish as well as fisheries that target the same prey The demography of many waterbirds is such that adult used by waterbirds may reduce the birds’ food supplies. mortality is the key determinant in population trends. Trawling the sea bottom alters the habitat on which the Thus, whenever possible, threat management should be prey of seabirds and coastal waterbirds depends. Some aimed at reducing adult mortality to levels associated bird populations may experience “beneficial” impacts with sustainable regional populations. However, in brought about by the presence of offal and fish waste many cases the only management options available are as an additional food source; however, such benefits at colony sites, and actions aimed at reducing juvenile need to be evaluated in terms of possible negative mortality may be justified in absence of alternatives. impacts from increased likelihood of incidental take, or heightened competition or predation resulting from Conflicts with Fisheries unnatural population increases of one species over Great numbers of ocean-feeding seabirds are incidental- another. Ultimately, fishery managers should be striving ly caught and killed by longlines, gillnets, and other gear to implement practices that will decrease human used in fisheries around the world (an occurrence impacts on waterbird populations, thus maintaining called incidental catch or bycatch). Beginning in the natural population cycles.Lesser Black-backed Gull b Black-headed Gull b Bonaparte’s Gull b Laughing Gull b Franklin’s Gull b 16 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Seabirds and other colonial waterbirds are sometimes economic impacts are clearly proven and the controlidentified as having adverse effects on marine fisheries, measures do not adversely affect the sustainability ofbut the existence of significant economic impacts has regional bird populations. Given the preponderanceseldom been shown under scientific scrutiny. Similarly, of technical evidence that waterbird predation doesimpacts by waterbirds on inland fisheries are generally not usually have significant economic effect, the bur-unsupported by good quantified data, despite percep- den of proof should be on demonstrating economictions to the contrary. harm on a case-by-case basis; similarly the burden of❖ The impact of fisheries on waterbirds should begin to proof in permitting control measures should be on be addressed in all fishery management policies and demonstrating no adverse effect on regional sustain- programs. ability of affected bird populations.❖ Policies similar to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ❖ Where possible, seabird and other waterbird conser- waterbird bycatch policy—that waterbird bycatch in vation action should work in partnership with fishery fisheries is to be eliminated—should be embraced by industries and sport anglers to effect conservation all fisheries management entities. action.❖ Nations conducting longline fisheries or in whose waters longline fisheries operate, should develop and Aquaculture enact national plans of action for reducing bycatch of Aquaculture provides artificially concentrated food seabirds to levels that do not affect regional popula- supplies, such as crayfish, shrimp, catfish, tropical tion size, distribution, or demography. aquarium fish, juvenile trout and salmonids, baitfish,❖ Fishing nations should implement existing interna- mussels, and oysters. In many areas, governments are tional agreements and enact new agreements that encouraging the development of aquaculture activities. require conserving seabird populations as essential Aquaculture can affect the distribution and population goals and outcomes of all fisheries programs. size of waterbirds, even on a continental scale in that❖ High seas fisheries should be brought under interna- populations may shift to take advantage of new food tional regulation due to the potential of significant sources. Efforts to control these birds now being used cumulative impacts to far-ranging seabirds. or proposed are the killing of adults and juveniles at❖ Bycatch reduction should be achieved through devel- aquaculture sites or in colonies and roosts and destroy- opment and deployment of multifaceted mitigating ing eggs or young in colonies. The demand for control measures, and outreach, education, and training pro- can be tremendous. For example, in the Southeastern grams within the affected fisheries and consumer U.S., 108,000 waterbirds were legally destroyed groups. between 1987 and 1995. More are probably destroyed❖ Effective data collection and monitoring programs illegally, increasing the cumulative impact of should include regular reporting on mortality due to aquaculture-related this mortality. Over the fisheries, and collection of data on the population sta- long term, controls at aquaculture sites tus and trends of colonies and regional populations of could prove unsustainable for some affected species, thereby allowing for a better under- species. Alternative techniques for standing of the quantitative impacts of fisheries. reducing real economic impact ❖ The take of targeted fish species or nontarget bycatch are available, including careful species eaten by waterbirds should not be permitted site-selection, barriers, bird-unfriendly to reduce fish stocks to levels incapable of sustaining pond construction, colony site transloca- bird populations. tion, and subsidies to compensate for❖ Fishing operations that adversely affect sea bottom losses. habitat that supports prey of seabirds and coastal ❖ Whenever possible, waterbird waterbirds should be altered to reduce or eliminate conservationists should work in the impact. partnership with the aquaculture❖ Where legal, management involving deliberate killing industry to find solutions to con- Little Blue of waterbirds to reduce impacts on fisheries should flicts that assure regional sustain- Heron occur only on a case-by-case basis, and only if the ability of waterbird populations © WALKERGOLDELittle Gull b Ivory Gull b Ross’s Gull b Sabine’s Gull b Black-legged Kittiwake b Red-legged Kittiwake bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 17
    • Foraging wading birds and limit economic impacts on aquaculture facilities. Abundant Species Conflicts❖ As in the case of fishery conflicts, attempts to reduce Waterbirds, especially colonial species, have the capac- local populations at aquaculture facilities should ity for rapid population and range changes, especially in occur in specific, localized situations only if economic response to changes in food availability or release from impacts are proven before action is undertaken and other ecological constraints. There usually is inconclu- control measures are shown to not adversely affect sive evidence as to why population changes have the sustainability of regional bird populations. Again, occurred, as several factors are usually in play. It has the burden of proof should be on demonstrating sig- not been shown that any colonial waterbird is now nificant economic harm on a case-by-case basis and unsustainably abundant across its entire range in the on demonstrating that regional waterbird population Plan area, although in local situations population abun- sustainability will not be impaired. The local and dance may now exceed historical norms. When some regional effects of permitted controls must be waterbird populations, particularly fish-eating species, monitored. become locally higher than in the immediate past,❖ Where legal, permitted take of waterbirds should there is the potential for conflict with human activities. occur only after considering the cumulative impact In such cases human factors, especially economic and of all other management actions on waterbird popu- social, can come to dominate management dialogue. lation sustainability; cumulative management actions Abundant species also have the potential to affect local should not be allowed to adversely affect regional vegetation, rare plants, or other birds. Thus, ecological population sustainability. factors, too, may be of concern, if proven.❖ Regulations guarding against illegally destroying waterbirds at aquaculture sites should be enforced. Abundant waterbirds need to be managed within their social context. Real or imagined social impact mayGull-billed Tern b Caspian Tern b Royal Tern b Elegant Tern b Great Crested Tern b18 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • require management of social perceptions, as much as economic or ecological harm.the birds themselves, through disclosure of scientific ❖ Methods of culling or control should be carefullyfindings and public education. Regulations regarding evaluated and relative to the impact on the regionallethal control of birds vary with country. For example, population. Programs involving total colony removalkilling of migratory birds is not legally allowed in some or colony discouragement should be used only injurisdictions, whereas in others these actions may be very extraordinary circumstances and only whenallowed with specific permission. viable alternative colony or roost sites are successfully❖ Scientific findings must form the basis of any man- created and sustained over the long term. agement action on abundant waterbirds. ❖ Where legal, permitted take of abundant waterbirds❖ Scientifically credible studies of the real economic or should factor the cumulative impact of all other ecological impact of abundant waterbirds, as well as deliberate management actions on the sustainability sociological studies of the perception of impact, are of the population, not only in the area of possible needed broadly across the different types of water- impact but within the population’s entire wintering bird/human conflicts. Cases of apparent local abun- and breeding ranges. Waterbird mortality resulting dance leading to human conflicts require individual from permitted take should not be allowed to evaluation by scientifically valid means. adversely affect regional population sustainability.❖ Conflicting technical interpretations within the scien- ❖ Any management action must be monitored suffi- tific community need to be mediated. ciently to detect any adverse population trend.❖ Alternative management actions that do not involve ❖ Sustainable agriculture, which incorporates bird con- severe intervention should be developed. servation as a goal, rather than a challenge, and which❖ The demography of each abundant species should be requires compensation and assistance programs, thoroughly studied, modeled and understood in order should be explored. For example, the development of to inform appropriate management actions, but also new aquaculture facility designs and upgrades to to refine modeling techniques and provide findings of existing facilities should be encouraged through pub- value to other less abundant species that are more lic assistance programs. difficult to study.❖ Perception of the public to abundance issues should “Nuisance” Congregation Sites be monitored and evaluated; social, not only biologi- Waterbirds can establish roosts and colonies in close cal factors, should be managed by agencies responsi- proximity to human habitation leading to economic ble for waterbirds. and natural resource conflicts. Lacking evidence of❖ Education programs and other communication meas- health effects, aesthetic considerations tend to predomi- ures should be used to inform the public about man- nate in such conflicts. Management action, education agement decisions, including decisions of no-action and community engagement can sometimes turn nui- when economic or ecological impacts are low. sance sites into valued community resources. In rare sit-❖ Where legal, permitted take to reduce local water- uations when control is needed as a last option, actions bird populations should occur only on a case-by- should be mitigated and must not adversely affect sus- case basis, should be local, and should tainability of regional populations. adhere to the Plan’s ❖ Congregation sites used by waterbirds goals of assuring should not be eliminated because of aes- regional population thetic or cultural conflicts alone, but health and sustain- should be managed for educational, sci- ability. Given the pre- entific, and conservation purposes. ponderance of scientific findings that abundant Urban sites especially should be devel- waterbirds have limited economic impact, manage- oped as educational opportunities and ment action should only be undertaken after used to enhance conservation of water- explicit demonstration of substantial birds. ❖ For demonstrable reasons of human Double-crested Cormorant health or natural resource protection, con- © NANCY CAMELSandwich Tern b Roseate Tern b Common Tern b Arctic Tern b Forster’s Tern b Little Tern bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 19
    • gregation site management including elimination or Hunting alteration may be considered. Sport or food hunting and trapping of some species of ❖ Programs involving bird removal or colony discour- waterbirds are legal activities in parts of the Plan area. agement should be used only in extraordinary cir- In other countries, hunting of most waterbird species is cumstances and only where no adverse effect on the illegal. Human-induced mortality of adult and subadult local or regional populations will occur and viable waterbirds has the greatest potential to depress popula- alternative sites are successfully created, used and tions; it may be possible in local cases to hunt eggs or sustained. young birds and not adversely affect population stabili- ❖ Colony and roost sites should be protected not only ty. during nesting season but also year-round, including ❖ Hunting policy should be based on the assumption when not being used by waterbirds; destruction that increased adult mortality has the potential to should be discouraged except as part of a regional affect population status and trend, unless shown oth- management plan for the species. erwise for specific populations. ❖ Hunting of adult or subadult waterbirds should be carefully regulated and monitored so as not to adversely affect regional populations. ❖ If egg and juvenile hunting is permitted for subsis- tence hunting, it should be allowed only if it is shown that such mortality does not impact regional population sustainability. ❖ Where legal hunting, including subsistence hunting, is permitted, continued monitoring and evaluation of impact is needed. Disturbance Disturbance can be due to human intrusion on the ground, water, or air. Examples of disturbance are kayaks and jet skis that allow close approach, low flying aircraft, pets and feral animals, off-road vehicles, and other outdoor activities. However, the ability to habitu- ate to non-intrusive disturbance is common in water- birds, and many waterbird colonies persist and thrive in highly populated areas. Research sometimes involves purposeful disturbance to waterbirds that includes nest disruption, capture, banding, marking, handling, attach- ing transmitters, extracting blood and so forth. These methods are necessary, but must be carried out with care and individually assessed as to their conservation impact. ❖ All accessible breeding and roost sites should be identified to the public, posted, protected, patrolled and anti-disturbance policies developed and imple- mented as needed. ❖ Additional research is needed on the appropriate buffer distances around colonies or breeding sites for various waterbird species and various types of sites. ❖ Depending on the colony or breeding site and cir- Brown Pelicans cumstances, human intrusion (such as for research,Least Tern b Yellow-billed Tern b Aleutian Tern b Gray-backed Tern b Bridled Tern b Sooty Tern b 20 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • monitoring, environmental education) is not neces- consideration the regional and local sustainability and sarily disruptive and may be beneficial in enhancing health of all waterbird species involved. the birds’ habituation to disturbance. ❖ Non-lethal control of native predators and competi-❖ Intrusive, disruptive disturbance should be tightly tors should be tried before lethal methods are managed and monitored by agencies responsible for employed. waterbirds at all sites where it occurs, especially to ❖ Methods that target offending individuals should be minimize disruption of nesting, lowered reproductive used in preference to more general removal pro- success, or abandonment of the breeding site. grams. ❖ Relocation of predators should be used only when allLight Impacts impacts of such relocation are considered.Lights in close proximity to colonies can affect nestingwaterbirds. Squid fisheries using lights atnight and lights on oil platforms at seaattract seabirds, such as storm-petrels andmurrelets. The bright lights of coastal devel-opments can disorient waterbirds.❖ The effects of lights on waterbirds need to be better understood.❖ Regulatory programs, to reduce the adverse effects of lights both on the water and on the shore need to be developed, implemented, and enforced.Predators and CompetitorsAt many breeding sites—beaches, coastalislands, seabird islands, inland potholeregions, and even remote Alaskan islands—mammalian and avian predators kill nestingwaterbirds, their eggs, and/or chicks. In manycases the presence or numbers of predators Great Egretand the ease of accessibility to the sites arenot natural. Sometimes it is only a few individuals that Invasive Speciescause damage. Competition for nesting sites may occur Invasive species can be particularly detrimental tobetween abundant or between increasing species and waterbird populations and habitat, especially on islands.other nesting species. Introduced predators can depress or even eliminate❖ Where predation or competition type, level and populations. Herbivores and exotic plants can degrade effect is natural, demonstrably unaffected by human habitat quality or even eliminate use of sites by water- actions, and does not adversely affect sustainability of birds. Insects, such as fire ants, can kill nesting water- the affected population, predator control is not war- birds. Others serve as disease vectors. ranted; in cases when predation is demonstrably ❖ As a general policy, invasive exotic plants and animals affected by humans, or the effect may critically should be eliminated from waterbird habitat. impact a population, control may be acceptable.❖ Lethal predator or competitor control should be con- Contamination and Eutrophication sidered only when convincing evidence exists that a Pesticides, fertilizers, metals, and industrial chemicals particular predator is having demonstrable negative have added large nutrient and toxic burdens to fresh- impact on nesting success of vulnerable waterbird water and coastal estuaries and open oceans, and have species. affected waterbird individuals and populations.❖ Control of competition for nest sites should take into ❖ The effects of contaminants should be better under-Whiskered Tern b White-winged Tern b Black Tern b Large-billed Tern b Brown Noddy b Black Noddy bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 21
    • platform construction, drilling in wetlands and offshore, shipping and spillage, and chronic, low-level seepage from surface runoff or subsurface sources. Waterbirds are commonly injured by oil spills, chronic oil discharge in bilge water, and hazardous material releases. Birds affected annually can number in the hundreds of thou- sands in some areas. Injuries can lead directly to mortal- ity or have indirect effects through habitat degradation, reduced reproductive success, or contaminated food supplies. As upper trophic level feeders, waterbirds rely on healthy aquatic environments to provide the food base necessary for reproduction, migration and general maintenance. ❖ Oil effects on waterbirds should be minimized through increased enforcement on shipping activities, safe operational procedures, spill clean up, and when effective, rehabilitation of oiled birds. ❖ Every effort to eliminate threats to waterbirds should be made in policies for offshore petroleum leasing and operations. Where threats to waterbirds cannot be eliminated, such threats should be mitigated. ❖ The effects of oiling on populations should be better understood. ❖ Death and morbidity of waterbirds from oiling should be monitored wherever they occur. ❖ The efficacy and approaches to rehabilitation of oiled waterbirds should be improved and implemented where effective. Debris Ingestion and Entanglement Waterbirds, especially seabirds, ingest materials andLimpkin debris as a natural consequence of foraging. Ingesting plastics and other artificial flotsam can be detrimental. stood, especially implications at the population level, Waterbirds are caught in discarded fishing line, nets and contamination sources, pathways to the birds, sub- other waste. lethal effects and synergistic effects. ❖ Dumping of debris, used line, and nets should be pro-❖ Monitoring of contaminant loads and effects in hibited and the prohibition enforced by all authori- waterbirds and maintenance of long-term data and ties. tissue repositories are needed throughout the ❖ Existing debris posing a threat to waterbirds should Americas. be removed as possible.❖ Changes in habitat due to water quality alterations ❖ Widespread, internationally supported education should be avoided or reversed in important waterbird campaigns should be developed and implemented to habitat. inform ocean industries, such as the cruise industry, of the need to eliminate ocean dumping of materialsOil and Hazardous Materials that result in seabird mortality.Oil is a major environmental threat to oceanic, coastal, ❖ A specific international educational campaign shouldand inland species, especially along major shipping be targeted at the sport and commercial fishingtransportation corridors. Oil may be released during industries in order to eliminate in-water disposal ofBlue-gray Noddy b White Tern b Inca Tern b Long-billed Murrelet b Dovekie b Common Murre b22 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • persistent fishing line, nets and traps. Species Conservation Status ❖ Non-persistent lines, nets and traps should be devel- T oped. he conservation status of 166 species of seabirds and ❖ Research on the use of lead sinkers and their effect other colonial waterbirds utilizing habitats in the on waterbird mortality rates should be undertaken Plan area was assessed (see Table 2 and Appendix and appropriate action considered. 1). Expert assessment of the conservation status of 44 solitary-nesting waterbirds will be presented in subse- Disease, Natural Toxins, and Parasites quent versions of the Plan. Diseases, such as Newcastle’s disease, avian cholera, algae poisoning, and likely West Nile Virus, affect In brief, the process for assigning colonial waterbirds to waterbirds. Sometimes die-offs of unknown causes may categories of conservation concern followed a protocol occur, such as in the Salton Sea. Waterbirds may harbor adapted from those used by Partners in Flight and the human pathogens, such as tick-borne diseases. U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan that considers vulner- ❖ Habitat management should be undertaken in ways ability to population loss due to population trend, to avoid the occurrence of avian diseases. abundance, threats and distribution (See Appendix 2). ❖ The human health effects of waterbird concentra- The protocol for colonial species also accommodates tions should be studied in particular situations. the special conservation issues of species that aggregate ❖ Human health issues should be resolved by assuring during the breeding season and/or utilize extensive human avoidance of waterbird sites, rather than marine habitats. Over 150 ornithologists and wildlife destruction of waterbird habitat. managers contributed to the development of the Plan’s conservation status assessment protocol and species Royal Tern colonyThick-billed Murre b Razorbill b Black Guillemot b Pigeon Guillemot b Marbled Murrelet b Kittlitz’s Murrelet b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 23
    • TABLE 2. Conservation Status and Distribution of Colonial Waterbirds CATEGORY OF DISTRIBUTIONb CONSERVATION North America Western Northern Cosmopolitan Peripheral CONCERNa Hemisphere Hemisphere Highly Ashy Storm-Petrel Black-capped Petrel Black-footed Audubon’s Shearwater Phoenix Petrelc Imperiled Newell’s Shearwater Hawaiian Petrel Albatross Band-rumped Tahiti Petrelc Townsend’s Shearwater Storm-Petrel Polynesian Storm-Petrelc High Concern Bermuda Petrel Bare-throated Aleutian Tern Arctic Tern Herald Petrelc Black-vented Tiger-Herond Ancient Murrelet Bridled Tern Little Gull Shearwater Black Skimmer Laysan Albatross Brown Booby Little Tern Brandt’s Cormorant Black Storm-Petrel Marbled Murrelet Gull-billed Tern Craveri’s Murrelet Blue-footed Booby Pelagic Cormorant Masked Booby Kittlitz’s Murrelet Blue-gray Noddy Red-faced Cormorant Red-billed Tropicbird Least Storm-Petrel Christmas Shearwater Red-legged Kittiwake Red-footed Booby Xantus’s Murrelet Greater Shearwaterc Ross’s Gull Roseate Tern Jabiru Short-tailed Albatrossc White-tailed Tropicbird Least Tern Little Blue Heron Magnificent Frigatebird Pink-footed Shearwaterc Snail Kite Snowy Egret Tricolored Heron Wood Stork Moderate American White Anhinga Bonin Petrel Black-crowned Black-headed Gull Concern Pelican Bonaparte’s Gulld Common Murre Night-Heron Great Crested Tern California Gull Brown Pelican Crested Auklet Black Tern Juan Fernandez Petrelc Cassin’s Auklet Elegant Tern Dovekie Black Noddy Lesser Black-backed Forster’s Tern Franklin’s Gull Great Skuac Bulwer’s Petrel Gullc Heermann’s Gull Gray-backed Tern Horned Puffin Cory’s Shearwatercd Western Grebe Neotropic Cormorant Ivory Gull Eared Grebe Yellow-footed Gull Reddish Egret Least Auklet Great Cormorant Roseate Spoonbill Northern Fulmar Great Frigatebird White Ibis Pigeon Guillemot Manx Shearwater Yellow-crowned Razorbill Red-tailed Tropicbird Night-Herond Thayer’s Gull Royal Tern Thick-billed Murre Sooty Shearwaterc Tristram’s Storm-Petrel Sooty Tern Whiskered Auklet South Polar Skuac White Tern Low Concern Clark’s Grebe White-faced Ibis Glaucous-winged Gull Caspian Tern White-necked Green Heron Iceland Gull Common Tern Petrelc Western Gull Parakeet Auklet Flesh-footed Shearwaterc Rhinoceros Auklet Glossy Ibis Tufted Puffin Greater Flamingod Herring Gull Leach’s Storm-Petrel Long-tailed Jaeger Parasitic Jaeger Pomarine Jaeger Sabine’s Gull Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrelc Wedge-tailed Shearwater Not Double-crested Great Blue Heron Atlantic Puffin Brown Noddy Buller’s Shearwaterc Currently Cormorant Laughing Gull Black Guillemot Cattle Egret Cook’s Petrelc At Risk Ring-billed Gull Northern Gannet Black-legged Kittiwake Great Egret Short-tailed Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Mew Gull Shearwaterc Glaucous Gull Sandwich Tern Great Black-backed Gull Wilson’s Storm-Petrelc Information Agami Heron Capped Heron Lacking Boat-billed Heron Cocoi Heron Fasciated Tiger-Heron Kermadec Petrelc Green Ibis Lesser Frigatebirdc Rufescent Tiger-Heron Mottled Petrelc Striated Heron Nazca Boobyc Scarlet Ibis Slaty-backed Gull Western Reef-Heron White-winged PetrelcXantus’s Murrelet b Craveri’s Murrelet b Ancient Murrelet b Cassin’s Auklet b Parakeet Auklet b 24 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Table 2 Footnotes FIGURE 4: Conservation Status of Colonial a Categories of Conservation Concern are defined as: Waterbird Species Highly Imperiled: Species with significant population declines and either low populations or some other high risk factor. 10% 7% High Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled. Pop- ulations known or thought to be declining and have some 12% other known or potential threat as well. 26% 14% Moderate Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled or High Concern. Populations are either a) declining with 31% moderate threats or distributions; b) stable with known or potential threats and moderate to restricted distributions; or c) relatively small with relatively restricted distributions. ■ Highly Imperiled ■ Low Concern Low Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled, High ■ High Concern ■ Not Currently at Risk Concern or Moderate Concern. Populations are either a) ■ Moderate Concern ■ No Information stable with moderate threats and distributions; b) increasing but with known or potential threats and moderate to restricted distributions; or c) of moderate size with known or potential threats and moderate to restricted distributions. information base. The full details of the methods and Not Currently at Risk: all other species for which informa- results may be found in a companion publication1. tion was available. Information Lacking: inadequate information available to As a result of the conservation status assessment, assess risk. species are classified in one of five categories indicating the level of conservation concern.The relative responsi- b Distribution categories are broadly defined as: bility and importance of conservation planning efforts North America: Includes all species that breed and winter in the Plan area to global biodiversity vary by species. only in North America as defined in the Plan. Thus, to make concern categories more meaningful, species are also categorized by distribution. Twenty-two Western Hemisphere: Includes all species that breed and species of waterbirds considered in the Plan are limited winter in North America and South America and associated to the Plan area.The others included in the Plan range oceanic regions. into South America or other continents of the North- Northern Hemisphere: Includes all species, except those ern Hemisphere; some have worldwide distributions or included in the above categories, that breed and winter in occur largely outside of the Plan area. Taken together, the Northern Hemisphere and associated oceanic regions. the conservation concern and distribution categories Cosmopolitan: Includes all species that breed and winter in allow prioritization of conservation strategies. most hemispheres including North America and associated oceanic regions. Figure 4 shows that of the 166 species of colonial waterbirds assessed in the Plan area, 7 percent are high- Peripheral: Includes all species that occur largely outside of ly imperiled and another 26 percent are of high con- North America but with breeding and/or non-breeding ranges that overlap peripherally with North America and cern. Of greatest concern are many species of island- associated oceanic regions. nesting seabirds with limited breeding distributions and whose populations have declined in part due to intro- c Species does not breed in the Plan area. duced predators. These species are particularly vulnera- d Species fits into a range of categories because of a missing ble, as they lay a single egg per breeding season, and factor score (see Appendix 1). Species is shown in the may require five to eight months to incubate, hatch concern category of greatest vulnerability. and raise their nestling to independence.Crested Auklet b Whiskered Auklet b Least Auklet b Rhinocerous Auklet b Atlantic Puffin b Horned Puffin b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 25
    • Genera of greatest concern include Phoebastria (alba- Habitat Needs trosses), Oceanodroma (storm-petrels), Puffinus (shear- T waters), and Pterodroma (petrels). Also of concern are he habitat needs of waterbirds include places to Sula (boobies), Brachyramphus and Synthliboramphus nest, feed, roost, or loaf (rest). By definition, these (murrelets), Phaethon (tropicbirds), Phalacrocorax (cor- species depend on aquatic habitats for some portion morants), Egretta (egrets), and Sterna (terns). Genera of their lives. with most species of low or no current concern include Larus (gulls), Plegadis (ibises), Fratercula (puffins), Nesting habitat is critical. Colonial species gather Ardea (herons) and Stercorarius (jaegers). together to nest, while the nests of solitary breeders are dispersed across suitable habitat.The placement of nests and nesting location varies with species, as does FIGURE 5: Nesting Location of Colonial Waterbirds flexibility in the placement of nests. Normally, the loca- tion of nests provides relative isolation from predators, such as on islands, cliffs, swamps or summits (see Figure 60 5). More than half of colonial waterbirds require islands 50 55% for colony-sites. Nearly three-quarters of seabirds and other colonial species are nest-site specialists with rela- 40 tively inflexible habitat requirements. Nest-sites used by colonial waterbird species include trees/shrubs, open 30 33% ground (e.g., grass, sand, tundra), marshes, burrows, 31% 29% crevices, and ledges (see Figure 6). Nesting activity may 20 affect the qualities of a site over time. For example, the 10 presence of a nesting colony may cause changes in a site’s vegetation. Likewise, changes in vegetation may 0 affect site suitability for nesting. Sand-nesting terns, for Inland Estuarine Rocky Offshore/ example, prefer nesting sites regularly reconfigured or Wetlands Islands/ Shoreline/ Oceanic Wetlands Cliffs Islands swept free of vegetation by storms. Waterbirds feed in nearly any and all aquatic habitats. The foraging habitat needs of each particular species, FIGURE 6: Nest Placement of Colonial Waterbirds FIGURE 7: Foraging Habitats of Colonial Waterbirds 50 50 40 40 43% 35% 36% 30 30 33% 34% 31% 20 25% 21% 20 19% 18% 10 13% 10 6% 0 0 Tree/ Ground Marsh Burrow Crevice Ledge Pelagic Shelf Near- Estuar- Fresh- Upland shrub Shore ine waterTufted Puffin b Snail Kite b Least Grebe b Pied-billed Grebe b Red-necked Grebe b Horned Grebe b Eared Grebe 26 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • however, can be quite specific. Foraging habitats for range of activities, including but not limited to colonial species are shown in Figure 7. Nearly half for- drainage, forestry practices, agriculture, aquaculture, age in offshore marine habitats including shelf waters pollution, disturbance, and development for residential or open ocean. Over 100 species utilize freshwater and or industrial purposes. In the case of colonial nesters, a estuarine wetlands. Sixty percent use more than one surprising number of breeding sites are on artificial aquatic habitat. Waterbirds nest within commuting dis- habitat, such as spoil islands, dikes, bridges and cause- tance of feeding sites. Some species, including some ways, fill, even rooftops, and these sites often require marshbirds, may feed only in territories around their management or maintenance to nest. Colonial waterbirds flying to feeding sites may remain useful to waterbirds. travel short distances (Black Guillemots tend to feed Colonies may change char - within one to four kilometers) or acter over time due to veg- undertake long com- etation death or succession, mutes (herons may often caused by the birds feed 20-30 kilometers away, while some themselves. petrels and albatrosses fly hundreds of ❖ As a management tool, active kilometers to feed). Because commuting and potential colony sites and nest- distances to foraging grounds from nest- ing habitats should be inventoried ing areas differ between species, the in each country and region. A amount and quality matrix of used and potential- of habitat required ly used breeding sites throughout the nest- Great Blue should be maintained ing season vary. Heron across each regional © WALKERGOLDER landscape and used for site Assessing habitat use and requirements is a necessary and regional planning to assure sufficient breeding preliminary step to establishing habitat goals that can habitat availability. translate into actual habitat acreage on the ground. ❖ Public and private agency managers responsible for However, goal setting at the continental scale is not waterbird conservation should maintain or enhance possible at this stage. Habitat goals must first be estab- the quality of important or selected breeding sites lished at regional and local scales, and then extrapolat- using manipulations, as needed and appropriate, such ed to the continental scale. Habitat goals will be estab- as vegetation or substrate alterations or predator con- lished on a regional basis as part of regional waterbird trol, including the control of other waterbirds on a planning efforts. case-by-case basis. The results of management actions at breeding sites should be monitored, and actions Habitat Conservation Issues and Threats revised as appropriate. ❖ The need for alternative breeding sites should be I t is because of the diversity of habitat needs among determined on a regional basis, and where appropri- waterbirds that conservation action should emphasize ate, habitat or sites should be established or re-estab- protection and management of all available aquatic lished. The importance of human-made nesting sites habitats. Those sites and areas found to be of particular to waterbirds within a region should not be underes- importance to waterbirds, already subject and con - timated. In most areas such sites need to be protect- ducive to active management, or containing vulnerable ed and managed. species should be the highest priorities. Commercial interests can adversely affect waterbirds’ Nesting Habitat Concerns breeding sites. Guano mining at islands in Mexico and Where the availability of nesting habitat is a limiting in Latin America, for example, can adversely affect factor to populations, protection and usually manage- seabirds. ment of this habitat are essential to sustaining healthy ❖ The effects on colonial waterbirds of guano mining populations. Nesting habitat can be destroyed by a and other industries need to be understood in eachWestern Grebe b Clark’s Grebe b Red-billed Tropicbird b Red-tailed Tropicbird b White-tailed Tropicbird b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 27
    • Wintering, migrating, and other non-nesting habitats are critical to the long-term conserva- tion of waterbirds. Presently, there is little information on habitat needs outside of the breeding season for many species, particularly during migration. ❖ Waterbird conservation strategies should establish monitoring programs during the non-breeding season, targeting habitat use away from the nesting sites. Information from these programs will assist in identify- ing, preserving, and managing habitats that provide suitable sites for migrating, foraging, roosting, as well as breeding waterbirds. ❖ Because habitat used by migrating water birds is poorly understood, surveys and inventories of migration habitat use should be undertaken. Reduction in Habitat Quality Aquatic habitats, wetlands especially, are sub- ject to significant physical and chemical modi-White Ibises in flight over Battery Island Sanctuary fications from water management, dredging, ditching, siltation, runoff, and introduction of case and the activity should be wisely managed for invasive plant species—modifications that destroy or sustainability of waterbird populations. degrade habitat for waterbirds. Remaining natural wet- lands need to be preserved, protected, and activelyAvailability of foraging habitats is also vital to the managed to retain their ecological functions. The needsreproductive efforts of waterbirds. of waterbirds should be integrated into strategies for all❖ Conservation planning for nesting habitat must also wetland management and mitigation programs. include associated foraging habitat. ❖ Since waterbird use of wetlands is variable by nature,❖ Feeding sites and the distances traveled to reach regulators permitting wetland changes should evalu- them must be understood for each species, and a net- ate waterbird use on a case-by-case basis on time work of feeding situations secured and managed. scales spanning both annual and multi-year hydrolog- ic cycles.Non-Nesting Habitat Concerns ❖ In the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, wetland conserva-Seabirds and other colonial waterbirds often congregate tion projects funded under the North American Wet-throughout the year. In non-nesting seasons, they gather land Conservation Act should include considerationat roosts and loafing areas. These sites require both pro- of waterbirds, and rules for wetland projects shouldtection and management to maintain their value to be further refined to support waterbird conservation.waterbirds. ❖ Farm programs, such as the U.S. Wetland Reserve❖ Roost and loafing sites should be inventoried and Program, should be used to benefit waterbirds. monitored on a regional basis, and those that are used over a number of years may merit consideration for Throughout the Americas, one of the most common acquisition. issues relating to wetland alteration is water manage-❖ Disturbance to roost and loafing sites should be mini- ment. Management of natural and artificial wetlands for mized using all available management tools. purposes of water supply, flood control, vegetation management, fish production or even management ofNorthern Gannet b Blue-footed Booby b Peruvian Booby b Masked Booby b Nazca Booby b28 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • other aquatic birds can affect suitability for waterbirds. Open, sandy beach habitats are particularly subject to ❖ Waterbird conservation should be an explicit goal of disturbance. Nesting, foraging, and loafing waterbirds water managers, whatever their other principal goals. may be adversely impacted by bathers, runners and For example, allocation of water supplies should walkers, off-road vehicles, and anglers on beaches. include conservation allocation that is of benefit to ❖ Beach sites used by waterbirds need to be identified waterbirds. and managed by responsible authorities. Management might include site protection, appropriate sand and Human-created aquatic habitats, such as islands, reser- vegetation manipulations, closures and enforcement, voirs, dammed rivers, artificial wetlands, rice fields, and predator control, and monitoring. aquaculture facilities provide important habitat for waterbirds. At some sites, such as man-made islands Dredging along the coasts, such as for ship and boat and peninsulas adjacent to Canadian cities on the Great channels, can be used to create and enhance nesting Lakes, aquaculture facilities in Louisiana, and reservoirs and roosting sites for waterbirds. Beach restoration in the western and southeastern U.S., waterbird popula- projects can similarly benefit nesting birds, or can tions have become dependent on artificial habitats. On adversely impact their habitat, including from contami- the other hand, artificial wetlands—now created widely nated sediment. for mitigation—have seldom proven to be as productive ❖ Maintenance, establishment, and enhancement of as natural wetlands. waterbird habitat using dredged materials need to be ❖ The role of artificial habitats in the sustainability of explicitly treated as a priority by all agencies con- waterbirds should be understood in different land- ducting dredging projects in order to enhance bene- scapes. fits to waterbirds while avoiding conflicts with other ❖ The success of wetland mitigation programs should users. be assessed and reported to assure meeting of man- ❖ Planning for beach replenishment and dredge dispos- agement goals for waterbirds. al operations should be coordinated at a regional ❖ Where they support waterbirds, artificial habitats level and be consistent with wetland protection and should be managed appropriately. Where needed, enhancement efforts nationally and regionally. subsidies should be provided to continue manage- ❖ Created sites require continued management, and ment practices that benefit waterbirds. this should be the primary responsibility of the organization creating the habitat. Coastal zone policies and practices associated with land-use and development, coastal protection, water The location and design of potentially attractive facili- quality, dredging, resource extraction including sport ties such as airports, landfills, municipal wastewater and commercial fisheries, and distur- wetlands, can be critical to future bance can significantly affect the abil- bird-human interactions, including ity of coasts and intertidal waters to health and safety issues. sustain waterbirds. ❖ Plans for such facilities should be ❖ Coastal zone management policies designed to minimize or eliminate should include sustainability of human conflicts and impacts to waterbird populations as a goal, regional waterbird populations. including conservation of feeding, nesting, and roosting sites for resi- Climate Change dent, migratory and wintering Sea level is rising along mainland and waterbirds. This requires that the island coastal areas. Climate change effects of policies be understood also affects rainfall patterns and and that a commitment to sustain- resulting wetland hydrology in interi- able waterbird populations underlie or areas. These changes affect habitat all actions taken by government, availability and ultimately the season- industry and citizens. Black Skimmer al timing of nesting and migration.Red-footed Booby b Brown Booby b Anhinga b Brandt’s Cormorant b Neotropic Cormorant b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 29
    • ❖ Conservation planning needs to take into considera- planners should focus on ensuring that IBA programs tion the long-term inevitability of climate change in are well developed in the Plan area and assist in the establishing reserves, and securing nesting and feed- protection and management of sites that are identified ing sites that will function under future conditions. as important to waterbirds. The IBA program is detailed ❖ The effects of climate change on normal ocean cycles below. and sea ice formation need to be determined or bet- ter understood. Important Bird Areas Program Key Sites for Waterbirds Program Structure Sites are identified as IBAs through the application of W aterbird populations may come to depend on spe- criteria based on numbers and types of birds. The IBA cific areas and sites for their stability. Coloniality or identification process provides a data-driven means for congregatory behavior—gathering in colonies, cataloging the most important sites for birds, prioritiz- roosts and feeding areas—result in discrete sites sup- ing projects, and allocating limited resources. The IBA porting sizable portions of local or wider populations at program engages a variety of partners, such as citizens, some time during the year. Waterbirds are also localized landowners, and public and private organizations, by specialized habitat require- throughout the process. In ments for nesting and/or for addition to identification, the feeding, resulting in these habi- process might include monitor- tats and sites being critically ing, habitat restoration, site important for population health stewardship, advocacy, and and sustainability. fundraising. The identification of an IBA is therefore a start- A variety of site classification ing point for site-based conser- systems already exist through- vation efforts. out the Plan area, some of which already confer protection The IBA program was initiated to birds, for example, Migratory by BirdLife International in Birds Sanctuaries and National Europe in the 1980s, and is Wildlife Areas in Canada, supported by partners around National Wildlife Refuges or the world. BirdLife Interna- Marine Protected Areas in the tional has partners for much of U.S. or lands in the National the Plan area. In Canada, System of Protected Areas (Sis- BirdLife’s partners include Bird tema Nacional de Áreas Prote- Studies Canada and the Cana- gidas) in Mexico. Other systems dian Nature Federation. identify sites in order to engen- BirdLife International’s partner der management attention or in the U.S. is the National serve as candidates for protect- Audubon Society. American ed areas. These sites and areas Bird Conservancy has also need to be recognized for all developed a list of IBAs, some species and at all scales, and Pied-billed Grebe of which are important for such sites need to be managed waterbirds. In Mexico, in a way to protect their value for waterbirds. CIPAMEX is the BirdLife International partner. [In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, IBAs are The Important Bird Areas (IBAs) initiative is a good known as Áreas de Importancia para la Conservación example of a program that recognizes and supports de las Aves (AICAs).] In the Caribbean and Central sites of importance for all birds. Waterbird conservation America, BirdLife International partners are active in aDouble-crested Cormorant b Great Cormorant b Red-faced Cormorant b Pelagic Cormorant b Reddish Egret b 30 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • number of nations and projects tion to be most appropriate for to identify IBAs are underway. the particular planning region. Criteria IBAs and the Plan Based on the criteria developed The IBA programs existing with- by BirdLife International, an IBA in the Plan area will be used to must maintain and support one inform the Plan and as a vehicle or more of the following: species for implementing site-based con- of concern (e.g., threatened and servation. These programs are at endangered species); restricted- different stages of development. range species (vulnerable because The IBA program in Canada has they are not widely distributed); essentially concluded much of its species that are vulnerable Horned Puffins identification activities at the because their populations are con- global and national level, and is centrated in one general habitat type or biome; or indi- focusing on site management and protection. In the vidual species or groups of similar species that are vul- U.S., the National Audubon Society has agreed to sup- nerable because they occur at high densities due to port the Plan by identifying waterbird IBAs. Mexico has their congregative behavior. While all criteria apply to indicated that their primary National Bird Conservation waterbirds, some are particularly important for species Strategy in Mexico focuses on the AICA program. that inherently congregate in specific habitats and sites. BirdLife International and its national partners are identifying and facilitating conservation at IBAs in Cen- To further establish priorities for conservation efforts, tral America and the Caribbean. sites identified as IBAs are classified with regard to their overall significance in a hierarchical fashion— Other Key Sites global, continental, national, and state/provincial. Glob- The IBA Program, as described in the previous section, al significance is determined by internationally consis- utilizes a strict set of criteria to identify sites. Waterbird tent criteria set forth by BirdLife International. Sub- conservation at the regional or local level requires iden- global criteria are structured by the partner organiza- tification and management of sites that, while not qual- ifying as IBAs, are critical to local populations. These sites might be recognized based on factors such as Criteria for IBAs of Global Significance social or educational value, intrinsic aesthetic value, economic value (ecotourism), or simply professional ❖ The site regularly holds significant numbers of a judgment. If desirable, conservation planners and man- species that is a globally threatened species or a agers are encouraged to target such sites for conserva- species of global conservation concern. tion activities. In some instances, a state or provincial program might also identify these sites as IBAs through ❖ The site supports significant populations of an the application of their own criteria. endemic or restricted-range species. ❖ The site is known or thought to hold a significant assemblage of the species whose distributions are Links to IBA Programs: largely or wholly confined to one biome. Canada: www.bsc-eoc.org, www.cnf.ca ❖ The site supports >1% of a biogeographic popula- U.S.: www.audubon.org/bird/iba tion of a waterbird species, or > 1% of the global Mexico: www.iztacala.unam.mx/cipamex population of a seabird or the site supports, on a regular basis, >20,000 waterbirds or >10,000 pairs In the Americas: www.birdlife.net of seabirds of one or more species.Tricolored Heron b Little Blue Heron b Little Egret b Western Reef-Heron b Snowy Egret b Chinese Egret b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 31
    • Inventory and Monitoring actions at multiple geographic scales is dependent on a coordinated continental system of inventory and moni- M onitoring waterbird populations and habitats across toring programs and a centrally managed repository for the continent is required to determine conservation waterbird data. status, detect population trends, assess health of habitats, and indicate whether environmental changes Central to creating this system and repository is the and management prescriptions are affecting waterbirds. establishment of an alliance in which participants agree Populations of some waterbirds have been counted for to use comparable techniques and contribute their decades and for some groups of birds in specific loca- data.The National Bird Population Data Center at U.S. tions, considerable long-term information is available. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center However, most waterbirds, if monitored at all, have (USGS Patuxent), through their Waterbird Monitoring been surveyed by various parties using different Partnership, is working to accommodate groups collect- methodologies over multiple scales, resulting in data ing waterbird data throughout the continent by central- sets that are very difficult to compare. izing the storage of and access to waterbird monitoring data. Centralized storage and access will allow the In many cases, data are lacking altogether. Especially in Waterbird initiative to identify gaps in survey informa- Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern tion, assess how well conservation strategies are work- Canada, limited information is available concerning use ing, test key assumptions, and implement adaptive of sites for nesting, roosting, and feeding. Information management prescriptions. The goals of the Waterbird on waterbird populations using migration hot spots and Monitoring Partnership include centralizing data stor- key wintering areas is lacking for all of North America, age and management, developing standardized census Central America and the Caribbean. Information on methods, developing statistically valid and logistically seabird by-catch associated with commercial fisheries is feasible waterbird sampling schemes tied to hypothesis- needed. Monitoring cryptic waterbird species requires driven monitoring programs, developing standardized special development. This lack of information hinders models for analyses of waterbird data, and identifying our abilities to manage and evaluate populations and filling in gaps in continental waterbird monitoring throughout their ranges. Our ability to refine waterbird programs. conservation planning and evaluate management Centralized Data Storage and Access The National Bird Population Data Center has already developed a data repository to archive data on waterbirds throughout their ranges, regardless of survey locality or survey method. This centralized database is publicly accessible and allows managers to submit and retrieve data over the World Wide Web (www.mp2- pwrc.usgs.gov/cwb/). Ultimately, it will be linked to other databases covering specific bird groups or regions of the Plan area, such as the Pacific Seabird Database and data collected by the International Waterbird Census of Wet- lands International. Standard Methodologies Large scale monitoring programs must use techniques that permit population and habitat data collected in different locations and across Least Tern multiple geographic or temporal scales to beCapped Heron b Gray Heron b Great Blue Heron b Cocoi Heron b Great Egret b Cattle Egret b Striated Heron b 32 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • compared and combined. A specific establishing other programs in these need is the ability to sample at large areas. scales using various methods and still meet trend detection goals. Set- The Waterbird Monitoring Partner- ting up and testing monitoring ship will address the paucity of methods and then evaluating their information on waterbird habitat precision and power to detect trends needs outside of the breeding season are crucial for effective conservation. by developing nonbreeding surveys that focus on important wintering USGS Patuxent, through the Water- habitats, including pelagic foraging bird Monitoring Partnership, will areas for seabirds. One critical task work with all waterbird partners to of the Waterbird Monitoring Partner- develop a manual of recommended ship is to establish a mid-winter cen- standardized population monitoring sus (to include shorebirds and water- methodologies having sufficiently fowl as well as waterbirds) linked to low bias to be useful in trend analy- Magnificent Frigatebird the International Waterbird Census sis. To assist with integrating bird being conducted by Wetlands Inter- conservation across the continent at other geographic national for the RAMSAR Bureau in Europe, Africa, scales, every effort must be made to develop spatially Asia, and South America. For many countries, lack of explicit criteria for use in a common GIS-based system. resources dictate that censuses include as many species The Waterbird Monitoring Partnership will help to cre- as can be accommodated by a census technique. The ate an a priori sampling design to provide sufficient Waterbird Monitoring Partnership will work with other coverage during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, bird initiatives to implement a mid-winter waterbird allow merging of data among surveys, and allow statisti- census incorporating all waterbirds. If such a census is cal inferences to be made. successfully implemented in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, global population esti- Monitoring Goal mates will be available for all waterbirds. The monitoring goal of the Plan is to be able to detect greater than 50% change over 10 years or 3 genera- There is a need for demographic information (e.g. tions. This goal mirrors one proposed by the World reproductive success, adult mortality) on particular Conservation Union in their criteria for identification populations and for particular species. Comprehensive of species at risk. monitoring programs should include a demographic component. The Waterbird Monitoring Partnership will Filling the Gaps help partners develop sampling frameworks, and within With a data repository and standard methodologies in these frameworks, identify particular sites for collecting place, partners will be able to identify gaps in current demographic data. population survey efforts and coordinate an integrated network of statistically valid, bias controlled, long-term, Habitats, as well as populations, have to be monitored, waterbird population monitoring programs throughout thus waterbird monitoring efforts should include a the Plan area. habitat component. Habitat data and analyses must be robust enough to allow correlation with population Monitoring programs should track populations of trends at many scales. Where the potential exists, inte- waterbirds at the regional scale as well as the continen- gration with existing habitat monitoring programs or tal scale. In particular, basic inventories of waterbird those developed for other bird groups will be pursued. colony sites and nesting habitats in Mexico, Central Monitoring programs focusing on other aspects of America, and the Caribbean nations should be con- waterbird biology or on environmental factors, for ducted. Determining relative abundance and species example contaminants and disease, should be included composition is the first step in identifying IBAs and in monitoring schemes as appropriate.Green Heron b Agami Heron b Yellow-crowned Night-Heron b Black-crowned Night-Heron b Boat-billed Heron b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 33
    • Scientific Information Needs ❖ Better predator control and eradication methods at colony sites C onservation of waterbirds in the Americas requires a ❖ Impact of different types of human disturbance, sound scientific basis. Much is known about the con- including researchers, on nesting success in colonies servation biology of waterbirds, but much remains to ❖ Determining population level effects of contaminants be understood. Below is an evaluation of the priority including oil on waterbirds at the population level research needs for waterbird conservation. Many of ❖ How manipulations of habitats, including wetland these needs are discussed elsewhere in the Plan; they creation and restoration, marsh management, irriga- are repeated here to encourage recognition by the tion modification, impoundment management, research community. increase attractiveness to waterbirds ❖ Adaptive resource management approaches to restore Species, Populations, and Habitat Information nesting habitat for rare or declining species. Understanding genetic and demographic population structure is essential to formulating proper conservation Ecosystem and Large-scale Issues schemes. For example, priorities depend on knowing The role that waterbirds play in their respective ecosys- whether particular subspecies or genetically identifiable tems—in energy and nutrient flow, or in affecting prey populations are threatened, or distinguishing which species dynamics, for example—is little known in most populations are sources or sinks. Additional study, situations. In particular, information is lacking on how through banding and modeling, is needed to further habitat and energy needs change for long distance waterbird population biology. migrants, as they move among high, mid and low lati- Comparative population trend analyses from different tudes, and the degree to which fish populations are geographical regions will provide important insights coupled to waterbird populations remains largely into the relative effect of human-induced perturba- unknown. tions. Once a threshold for action is determined, assess- ments of trend significance can guide the management Research is needed on the effects of global weather of these effects. changes. Major changes in ocean regimes occur in short cycles that are somewhat predictable in frequency as The degree to which populations show high fidelity to well as on longer (multidecadal) scales. Aquatic prey certain sites for breeding, during migration, or in winter availability is correlated with these changes, and evi- is an important knowledge gap in conservation planning dence is beginning to emerge that population changes at present. Research into the key features that provide of some seabirds may be associated with these regime consistently high habitat quality is also needed. shifts. Better understanding is needed of the role of Management-oriented Research Additional information is needed on the population Banding is an essential tool in the study of water- effects of several key threats and concerns. Research bird populations and demography. Band returns give should be conducted on all of the following topics to insight on population demography and distribution, ameliorate related negative impacts: thus research and monitoring using banded water- ❖ Importance of hunting as a source of mortality to birds should be encouraged. Banding training mod- waterbirds ules need to be developed, and training and certifi- ❖ Role of commercial fisheries in seabird mortality cation of those banding waterbirds must be initiat- ❖ Importance of aquaculture facilities as a food base for ed. Band quality should be improved and saltwater- waterbirds where natural habitat displacement has resistant bands need to become available. Banding occurred data repositories must be redesigned to deal with ❖ Population-level significance of killing waterbirds long-lived waterbirds that are re-banded numerous near aquaculture facilities times during their life. Many historic databases exist ❖ Methods to reduce the real and apparent impacts of which must be conserved. The use of radio and certain waterbirds in urban and suburban landscapes satellite telemetry should also be increased.Bare-throated Tiger-Heron b Fasciated Tiger-Heron b Rufescent Tiger-Heron b Yellow Bittern b Least Bittern b 34 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • cyclical oceanic changes in seabird sus- tion, perhaps adverse public perception tainability. of a few abundant fish-eating species could be reversed. Waterbird conserva- Changing weather patterns can be tion should become part of the citizen- expected to influence habitat use by ry’s environmental consciousness, and coastal species (e.g., shifts due to rising community-based organizations, commit- sea levels), but the vulnerabilities of ted to waterbird conservation are essen- other habitats in the Plan area have not tial. In addition to the general public, been studied in detail. For example, it is natural resource decision makers and not known precisely how changes in rain- educators are particularly important fall and temperature patterns might audiences for waterbird conservation affect waterbirds in interior wetlands. information. American Bittern Based on the data that do exist, conserva- tion of all waterbirds must take into account the need An abundance of environmental outreach programs for populations to accommodate long-term cycles and already exists. Therefore, a waterbird conservation com- large-scale changes. munication program should involve the development and fostering of partnerships in order to incorporate Communication, Education, and Public Awareness waterbird conservation into existing programs as well as develop new, targeted projects. A Waterbird Communi- T he dissemination of information is an essential com- cation and Outreach Coordinator—most likely an indi- ponent of waterbird conservation. Waterbirds live in vidual associated with an NGO—should be designated a world increasingly dominated by humans. For to facilitate information sharing and oversee the forma- many and perhaps most species, their survival can be tion and implementation of waterbird education and assured only with public awareness of their existence public awareness activities. and public support for measures that protect them and their habitats. Education and awareness activities may take a variety of forms and provide a diversity of experiences. The Fortunately, many waterbirds, due to their visibility and steps in development of any outreach program are: beauty, can easily garner positive public attention and ❖ Identify priority target audiences, recognizing that support. It also allows them to serve as effective teach- priority audiences will differ in various regions, espe- ing tools. Congregatory behavior can further enhance cially in different countries. these advantages. For example, colony and roost sites ❖ Determine critical messages. may be excellent venues for education and advocacy ❖ Identify sources of information. programs, such as colony adoption programs and inter- ❖ Develop strategies for reaching priority audiences, pretive displays at viewing points. The publicity especially using existing programs. enjoyed by many waterbirds allows them to serve as ❖ Develop or identify model education and outreach ambassadors for all aquatic birds. materials to incorporate into local programs. ❖ Develop information and dialogue exchange mecha- A public in support of waterbirds and properly nisms, especially on the Internet. informed on conservation issues represents a huge ❖ Evaluate results and adapt approaches as necessary. reservoir of potential supporters, volunteers and advo- cates. They can assist with monitoring of colonies and In general, emphasis should be on local programs where roosting areas to assess populations and prevent distur- individuals have the opportunity to have their lives bance; work with local parks, refuges, and agencies to changed by personal experiences with waterbirds. improve management of colonies and wetland habitats; and seek adoption of appropriate legislation at every 1 Parsons et al., in prep. North American Conservation Assessment level to better protect waterbirds and their habitats. for Waterbirds, A Waterbird Conservation for the Americas With the dissemination of scientifically valid informa- Report.American Bittern b Pinnated Bittern b Greater Flamingo b White Ibis b Scarlet Ibis b Glossy Ibis b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 35
    • 40 Ideas for Waterbird Conservation Outreach Projects 1 Internet based chat rooms for information sharing 22 Audio components to kiosks playing waterbird and interaction between waterbird educators sounds at viewing sites 2 Partnerships and communication networks, such as 23 Waterbird Centers- theme-oriented nature centers sister-site programs, among important waterbird that celebrate waterbird biology and conservation areas 24 Books, brochures and video productions featuring 3 Internet accessible repository of technical informa- local waterbirds tion and educational resource material 25 Postcards 4 Training workshops for waterbird education special- 26 Calendars ists and waterbird managers 27 Other waterbird merchandise (shopping bags, 5 Graduate studies and research in waterbird conser- t-shirts, jewelry etc.) with informational hangtags vation 28 Posters and other signs to educate anglers about 6 Boat tours around seabird nesting islands led by recycling fishing line, overhead casting and cleaning trained interpretive naturalists up baited hooks and lures 7 In-class school outreach sessions with hands-on 29 Birding trails booklets featuring waterbird sites activities 30Volunteer programs (e.g., Earthwatch) that connect 8 Classroom and public field trips to waterbird serious birders with researchers nesting habitats 31 Internships for biology college students with 9 Placement of spotting scopes in observation blinds researchers at appropriate nesting colonies or installed at mainland vantage points near waterbird areas 32 Workshops on waterbird management for agencies, IBA managers, and others with responsibility for 10 Guided public tours at selected waterbird colonies waterbirds. on boardwalks or beaches 33 Workshops for fishing party boat operators to pro- 11 Adopt-a-Colony and Adopt-a-Wetland projects vide instruction on removal of hooks from acciden- 12 Adopt-a-Waterbird programs (individual birds) tally snagged birds, and to reemphasize the impor- 13 Internet real time video cameras focused on nest tance of proper disposal of fishing line and nets. sites 34 Beach cleanups to collect plastics, especially 14 Internet-based curricula associated with video cigarette lighters, crumbly Styrofoam and six-pack cameras holders 15 Waterbird web pages or colony web pages 35 Training for beached bird surveys and oiled bird rescues 16 Waterbird festivals or special “waterbird days” to celebrate the return of migrants or the nesting 36 Identification and labeling of storm drains that lead season to wetlands 17 Teacher workshops to teach hands-on activities 37 Decoration of building walls and fences with murals celebrating local waterbirds 18 Dramatic presentations about waterbirds using costumes or puppets 38 Larger than life, free-standing statues or other art- work of local waterbirds for parks and public places 19 Town meetings to role play values about waterbirds 39 Help in identifying, protecting and teaching about a 20 Roadside signs about waterbirds at pullouts or other local IBA or key site for waterbirds vantage points near colonies 40 Campaigns against the release of balloons that can 21 Kiosks about waterbirds near viewing areas settle in aquatic habitats and choke wildlifeWhite-faced Ibis b Buff-necked Ibis b Green Ibis b Roseate Spoonbill b American White Pelican b Brown Pelican b 36 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • PART 3 MOVING FORWARD through PARTNERSHIPS D eveloping and relying on an integrated network of of this and other waterbird plans, updating the plans, partners is a key strategy for successfully planning and facilitating actions for waterbird conservation and implementing conservation action for water- throughout the Plan area. birds. No single institution or person can accomplish all that is required and partnerships at all levels will be a Specifically, the Council will have the following respon- driving force. The Plan was created from the input of sibilities: numerous parties, and continued planning and imple- ❖ Be the sponsor of the Plan document, overseeing its mentation will follow the approach of collaboration dissemination and revision.This includes publication and partnership. of Version 2 by 2004, and reviews at least every five years thereafter to facilitate the adaptive approach International Waterbird Conservation advocated by the Plan ❖ Conduct planning and implementation at the conti- The Waterbird Conservation Council nental scale and facilitate conservation at all levels, Continued planning and facilitation of waterbird con- from continental to local servation at the continental scale will fall to the Water- ❖ Identify implementing agencies, entities and individu- bird Conservation Council (the Council), successor to als, and through interactions, interventions, and col- the Plan’s Steering Committee. The Council will be the laborations, leverage opportunities for waterbird con- keeper of the Plan and have responsibility for coordi- servation nating, supporting, and communicating implementation ❖ Facilitate the acquisition of resources to support Common MurresWood Stork b Jabiru b Magnificent Frigatebird b Great Frigatebird b Lesser Frigatebird b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 37
    • waterbird conservation throughout the Plan area ❖ As invited, select or nominate representa- tives to various committees and councils ❖ Promote and support work of regional working groups ❖ Interact with other bird conservation initia- tives, habitat Joint Ventures (JVs), provinces/states, national governments, local interests, and others ❖ Facilitate and support the Waterbird Moni- toring Partnership ❖ Facilitate and support the meeting of scien- tific information needs ❖ Facilitate and support the waterbird conser- vation communication program combining communication, education and public awareness activities ❖ Maintain the Plan’s home page American White Pelicans ❖ Assure coordination of the Plan with other international bird conservation programs and initia- obtained from participating stakeholder groups and tives organizations. Appointments will be for staggered, ❖ Periodically evaluate if goals of the Plan are being renewable three-year terms. The Council will develop met, and modify plans and activities accordingly its terms of reference, appoint committees and working ❖ Recruit new members to the Council. groups as needed and select its Chair. An Executive Committee will be appointed to allow rapid action and Council membership will be recruited to represent all continuous engagement in conservation issues. of the interests and stakeholders involved in waterbird conservation. Together, councilors will provide perspec- Waterbird Monitoring Partnership tives that cover: The Waterbird Monitoring Partnership was discussed in ❖ The geographical extent of the Plan area Part 2.The Council will facilitate the development of ❖ Taxonomic groups of birds included in the Plan this partnership with USGS Patuxent. Via the Water- ❖ The range of habitats in the Plan area bird Monitoring Partnership, monitoring will be carried ❖ Species and resource management out across the plan area by a multi-national array of ❖ Communication and outreach partners, including provincial, state, national and local ❖ Monitoring governments, non-governmental organizations, and vol- unteers. Where possible, monitoring efforts for water- And include representatives of: birds will be linked to efforts for other bird groups. ❖ Political entities ❖ Non-governmental organizations Waterbird Conservation Communication Program ❖ Research and scientific organizations The need for organized communication and outreach ❖ Other stakeholders activities was also discussed in Part 2. A Waterbird Communication and Outreach Coordinator will con- The Council is an independent, self-perpetuating non- sult with the Council to articulate and promote a com- governmental organization and will not be part of any munication strategy integrating existing programs. As governmental agency or single non-governmental with monitoring efforts, waterbird conservation com- organization. The Council will select its own members, munication, education and public awareness will be a based on recommendations, nominations and approvals cooperative effort by numerous partners.Red-throated Loon b Arctic Loon b Pacific Loon b Common Loon b Yellow-billed Loon b Northern Fulmar b 38 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • North American Bird Conservation Initiative and below. Other nations will be taking other approaches toOther International Partnerships planning and implementing waterbird conservation thatWithin Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., implementation they find appropriate. It is hoped that national strate-of the Plan will be accomplished to the extent possible gies will, to the extent possible, take into considerationand appropriate within the structure and philosophy of and be mutually consistent with the continental Plan.NABCI.The Plan has adopted NABCI BCRs and relat-ed PBCRs as its basic planning units. Plan representa- There are many potential elements of a national water-tives will participate in NABCI activities as invited, and bird conservation strategy:serve as members of committees and subcommittees, as ❖ A national waterbird conservation plan or strategy,needed. including an assessment of species conservation status using the continental-scale status assessment as aContinental implementation requires cooperation and starting pointcoordination beyond, as well as within, the artificial ❖ A national waterbird coordinator, a professional biol-boundaries of the Plan. There are many international ogist preferably in a national agencypartnerships that benefit waterbird conservation and ❖ A national inventory of waterbird colonies andwith which the Plan should link, especially associated breeding sites, important roost sites, and feeding areaswith conservation in the Asian and Central Pacific, linked to other national inventoriesBering Sea, and circumpolar Arctic areas. Alliances with ❖ A national monitoring scheme for waterbirds andnational and international conservation entities in their habitats linked to other national schemes viaSouth America should also be fostered. partnerships ❖ Summary of available information on waterbirds andNational Waterbird Conservation their habitats ❖ Identification and management of key sites for water-P lanning and implementing waterbird conservation birds, including IBAs in partnership with BirdLife on the national level is crucial to the success of International waterbird conservation. However, the exact strategy ❖ Identification and management of important habitatstaken to work towards national conservation will vary ❖ Ongoing inventory of information gapsamong countries, depending on the governmental struc- ❖ A system for technical assistance to national agencyture and conservation entities within the country and staff and other stakeholders in waterbird conservationthe availability of resources. Flexibility in how countries ❖ Nationally coordinated communication strategy, link-both plan and implement waterbird conservation is a ing education and public awareness programs featur-desirable part of the multinational Waterbird Initiative. ing waterbird conservationNational planning, for example, may be the responsibil- ❖ Communication network among waterbird stake-ity of biological staff of the national wildlife or natural holders in the country.resource agency, a non-governmen-tal organization (NGO), or a Canadacombination of national stake - Within Canada, waterbird conservation will be organ-holders brought together for ized and facilitated through a National Waterbirdthe purpose. Working Group in conjunction with NABCI Canada Council. Canada is preparing a national plan for theNational plans and strategies conservation of all waterbirds entitled Wings Overcan be important and valu- Water1, through a partnership of national, provincialable options in national scale and territorial wildlife agencies, environmentalconservation. Frameworks NGOs, and other specialists. Developed concurrent-for national waterbird con- ly with the continental Plan, the two plans areservation are presentlydeveloped for Canada, Mexi-co, and the U.S. as discussed Arctic Tern © WALKERGOLDERTahiti Petrel b Fiji Petrel b Black-winged Petrel b White-necked Petrel b Mottled Petrel b Bonin Petrel bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 39
    • and Upland Game Bird Working Group, and Bird Con- servation Committee. The Shorebird and Waterbird Working Group has as its particular charge the support of the Waterbird initiative. Desirable state roles and actions include: ❖ Creating a state waterbird conservation strategy, using the continental Plan as a starting point, which includes population and habitat goals ❖ Maintaining an inventory of waterbird nesting sites and important nonbreeding habitats ❖ Assisting in identifying and managing important areas for waterbirds ❖ Monitoring waterbirds and their habitats in coopera- tion with other parties through the Waterbird Moni-Dredged Sand Island toring Partnership at USGS Patuxent ❖ Continuing colony site protection and managementconsistent in goals and approach. Additional planning programswill occur at regional levels with coordinated implemen- ❖ Providing technical assistance to other stakeholders intation at appropriate levels. As work evolves there waterbird conservationshould be increasing opportunities for broader continen- ❖ Supporting education and awareness programs focus-tal planning and implementation. ing on waterbird conservation ❖ Participating in the continent-wide communicationAn important element of waterbird conservation in network, and defining research and monitoring andCanada is the NABCI goal to integrate bird conserva- other information needstion across species groups and national boundaries.Cross-border integration for areas that encompass parts As stated above, each state is urged to create a water-of the U.S. and Canada will occur first in joint planning bird conservation strategy and to appoint a member ofregions where there are species and issues of common their technical staff to have primary responsibility forconcern. Most implementation will occur at regional the waterbird strategy within the state. This staff personand local levels with various partners and will include would be responsible within the state for overseeingevaluation to ensure appropriate results and national waterbird inventory and monitoring, protectingconsistency. colony/breeding and feeding areas, identifying priority research needs, identifying Important Bird Areas, andUnited States implementing other conservation measures for water-In the U.S., bird conservation is a partnership among birds within the state.local, state, and federal agencies and NGOs. A distinctU.S. waterbird conservation plan will not be developed, States should encourage and support local conservationsince finer-scale regional and state strategies will be efforts on behalf of waterbirds. The state coordinatorsused to deliver on-the-ground conservation. are encouraged to participate in JVs within their boundaries and facilitate the sharing of data withState governments are a principal force in waterbird national data management networks. Each state isconservation; coordination among state governments encouraged to organize and/or conduct a monitoringoccurs through the International Association of Fish program for waterbird populations and, as reasonable,and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA). Representatives of the habitat and demographic parameters within the state.Waterbird initiative will participate in the committee The monitoring program should follow the protocols ofsystem organized by IAFWA, particularly the Shorebird this plan and participate in the continental data man-and Waterbird Working Group, the Migratory Shore agement program.White-winged Petrel b Cook’s Petrel b Stejneger’s Petrel b Phoenix Petrel b Herald Petrel b40 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Each state is encouraged to carry out an environmental Regional Waterbird Conservation education program that reaches into the school system, C teaching the conservation of waterbirds in ways appro- onservation action in many cases is most effectively priate for the region. Each state is encouraged to set up planned and carried out on a regional basis with spe- a mechanism to facilitate communication and support cial consideration to both political realities and eco- from individuals and organizations monitoring, manag- logical zones. The strategies and goals set forth on the ing, and protecting waterbird sites. continental scale by the Plan must be supplemented by more precise goals set at subcontinental scales. To carry Management of migratory birds is also the responsibility out regional planning, sixteen waterbird conservation of numerous federal agencies, especially the U.S. Fish planning regions have been established that together and Wildlife Service. Migratory birds are also a focus of cover the Plan area. The Plan also recognizes the criti- many NGOs, whose activities include advocacy, educa- cal role played by Habitat Joint Ventures (JVs), estab- tion, research, fund-raising, and habitat acquisition. The lished regional entities formed under the North Ameri- facilitation of the partnership of states, federal entities, can Waterfowl Management Plan in Canada, the U.S. and NGOs is also a goal of the NABCI U.S. Committee. and parts of Mexico. JVs are positioned to perform on- the-ground habitat protection and restoration, and they Mexico are expanding beyond the traditional focus on water- In Mexico, waterbird conservation will be focused on fowl. The relationships among regional planning and planning and conservation action at AICAs. Waterbird implementation units are shown in Table 3. This infor- planning and implementation in Mexico will occur mation will be modified as regional working groups under the auspices of the NABCI Mexico Council, refine or adjust their boundaries and compile regional with the important involvement of international and data. national NGOs. It is hoped that in planning and imple- mentation, Mexico will take into consideration and be Habitat Joint Ventures mutually consistent with the continental Plan, where JVs consist of voluntary organizational and agency part- possible. ners working together to conserve bird habitat, espe- cially wetlands of importance to waterfowl. JVs set Countries of the Caribbean and Central America habitat goals and mobilize partners to achieve these In the Caribbean and Central America, planning efforts goals. Since wetlands are important to other aquatic should identify the resources necessary in each nation birds, integration of the habitat needs of waterbirds into to make waterbird conservation a priority. The conti- JV planning and implementation is important for nental waterbird conserva- waterbird conservation. tion community should Every effort should be made share responsibility in assist- to identify areas of overlap ing to secure these between habitat needs for resources. It is recommend- various bird groups. ed that countries develop national waterbird strategies The Plan suggests that each and plans, incorporating all JV include strategies for species of birds using aquat- waterbird conservation and ic habitats. It is hoped that undertake explicit planning, in each country at least a habitat and population goal part-time position be desig- setting, habitat acquisition nated to lead the national and protection, and manage- waterbird conservation ment for waterbirds. Some program. JVs have already begun this process. Specifically, they are Laughing Gull urged to protect and manageHawaiian Petrel b Kermadec Petrel b Juan Fernandez Petrel b Murphy’s Petrel b Bermuda Petrel b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 41
    • TABLE 3. The Relationship of Waterbird Planning Regions to Other Planning and Implementation Units Waterbird Composite NABCI Composite Pelagic Overlapping Habitat Conservation Overlapping Bird Conservation Bird Conservation Joint Ventures and Other Planning Region Provinces or States or Countries a Regionsb Regionsb BCR-Based Partnerships Alaska/Bering/Yukon Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon 1,2,3 (Alaska and 68,69, 70 None Territory, Northwest Territories Yukon only) 4 Pacific Coast Yukon,Alaska, British Columbia, 5,32 71 Pacific Coast, Washington, Oregon,California, Central Valley Habitat, Baja California San Francisco Bay Mexico– California, Nevada,Arizona, 33,34, 35,38, 39, 40, 71,72, 73,74 Sonoran Desert Southwest U.S. New Mexico, Texas, Aguascalientes, 41,42, 43,44, 45, 46, Baja California, Baja California Sur, 47,48, 49,50, 51, 52, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, 53,54, 55,56, 57, 58, Coahuila, Colima,Distrito Federal, 59,60, 61,62, 63, Durango, Guerrero, Guanajuato, 64,65, 66 Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla,Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán,Zacatecas Intermountain West Idaho, Utah,Nevada, Colorado, 9,10, 15, 16 None Intermountain British Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Columbia,Intermountain British Columbia,Alberta West, Sonoran Desert Boreal Northwest Territories, Alberta, 6,7, 8 75 None Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nunavut, St. Pierre et Miquelon (France) Arctic Canada Northwest Territories, Nunavut, 3 (except Alaska 76,84, 85 None Quebec, Newfoundland and Yukon) Northern Prairie and Alberta, Saskatchewan,Manitoba, 11 None Prairie Habitat, Parkland Montana,North Dakota, South Prairie Pothole Dakota, Minnesota,Iowa Central Prairies Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, 17,18, 19 None Playa Lakes, NE Rainwater New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, Basin,Northern Great South Dakota, Nebraska,Kansas, Plains Oklahoma Upper Mississippi Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, 12,13, 22,23, 24 None Upper Mississippi Valley Valley/Great Lakes Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, and Great Lakes Region, Wisconsin,Indiana,Oklahoma, Central Hardwoods, Michigan, Iowa,Arkansas, Ohio, Eastern Habitat, Nebraska,Missouri,Alabama, Atlantic Coast Tennessee, New York, Kentucky, Vermont, Pennsylvania Southeast U.S. Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, 20,21, 25,26, 27, 74,77 Atlantic Coast,Lower Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, 28,29, 31,36, 37 Mississippi Valley, Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, Gulf Coast Virginia, Maryland,Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina,Alabama, Florida, West Virginia,Georgia Mid Atlantic/ Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, 14,30 78,79 Eastern Habitat, New England/ New Jersey, Maryland,New York, Atlantic Coast Maritimes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,Prince Edward Island, Quebec Pacific Islands Hawaii,American Samoa,Northern 67 80 None Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,Baker and Howland Islands, Commonwealth of Guam, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Cocos, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Wake IslandBlack-capped Petrel b Bulwer’s Petrel b Jouanin’s Petrel b Parkinson’s Petrel b Cory’s Shearwater b 42 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Waterbird NABCI Pelagic Habitat Joint Ventures Conservation Bird Conservation Bird Conservation and Other BCR-Based Planning Region Provinces or States or Countries Regionsa Regionsb Partnerships Caribbean Bermuda,Bahamas, Jamaica,Cuba, n/a 81 None Haiti,Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda,St.Kitts & Nevis, Dominica,St.Lucia,St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados, Granada, Trinidad & Tobago, the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St.Eustatius, and St Maarten,the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St.Martin, and St.Barthelemy, the British islands of Turks & Caicos, Caymans, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat,the U.S. islands of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Navassa,and the Venezuelan islands in the Caribbean Central America Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, n/a 72 None El Salvador,Nicaragua,Costa Rica, Panama Pacific n/a n/a 82 None Atlantic n/a n/a 83 None a Subject to change as regional plans are developed. b See Figure 2.nesting and roosting sites located within and near those regions that have the knowledge and expertiseimportant waterbird feeding habitats. The Plan urges base sufficient for planning. Many, but not all of theJVs to create mechanisms, such as waterbird advisory waterbird planning regions already have voluntarycommittees, to bring together all local partners in regional working groups dedicated to producing a com-aquatic bird conservation for waterbird conservation prehensive plan. Other regions have groups planninggoal setting within the context of goals for other aquat- for some subset of species or a particular geographicic species. JVs and other regional partners are urged toengage waterbird specialists with responsibilities fordeveloping and carrying out conservation strategies andfor working with regional waterbird working groups toformulate population and habitat goals and implemen-tation projects. Regional waterbird working groups willassist JVs in implementing projects by providingexpertise and perspective on the needs of waterbirds inthe region.Waterbird Conservation Planning RegionsThe waterbird planning regions are shown in Figure 1.Regional plans will step down the goals of the conti-nental Plan to smaller scales, and it is expected thatregional waterbird conservation plans will identify pri-ority species, habitat and species goals, IBAs, and priori-tize implementation projects for its composite units.Regional conservation plans will be developed first for Sandhill CranesStreaked Shearwater b Wedge-tailed Shearwater b Buller’s Shearwater b Flesh-footed Shearwater bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 43
    • ble with multiple bird conservation initiatives. Regional working groups should also consider special populations or subspecies when determining priority species within the region as appropriate. Regional planning efforts should include solitary nesting water- birds (e.g., marshbirds) from the onset along with colonial-nesting waterbirds. Regional working groups should also identify key sites for waterbirds in their region. Specifically, it is expected that groups will compile information that would allow an assessment of key sites against IBA criteria at global, continental, and/or national levels of significance, drawing on the criteria identified by IBA Programs in relevant countries. Additionally, in theAmerican White Pelican U.S., National Audubon Society will partner with relevant regional waterbird working groups to identifyarea within the region—efforts that will hopefully be state-level IBAs. Key sites that do not meet IBA criteriamerged into a comprehensive plan in the future. Final- may also be identified within a region, and regionally, some regions, such as the Boreal, Arctic Canada, working groups will take these sites into account inCentral Atlantic, and Central Pacific, will need further planning and conservation action.consideration by partners to clarify how planning willproceed. Alaska/Bering/Yukon This region includes large interior portions of Canada’sAs discussed previously, the regions include land-based western provinces, all of Alaska to the tip of the 1,100planning units and/or pelagic areas established to mile Aleutian Chain, as well as the surrounding pelagicenable conservation planning for seabirds. BCRs and areas. It is characterized by a wide diversity of physicalPBCRs are visualized as the principal way to plan features, including open ocean, seaside cliffs, coastalwaterbird conservation within the context of all bird plains and tundra, mountain ranges, and diverse forest.habitat conservation. It should be noted that the Plan The region’s extensive coastlines and nutrient richdoes not view planning units such as BCRs and PBCRs waters host some of the largest seabird colonies in theas being implementation units, with independent struc- world, including those of the Black-legged Kittiwake,ture or staff. Implementation should draw on many Common Murre, and Pelagic Cormorant. In summer,units, including, but not limited to, political entities at the world’s populations of breeding Red-legged Kitti-every scale, and partnership-based implementation wake, Least Auklet, and Whiskered Auklet are foundbodies. here, and Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels forage offshore. Inland are found tremendously large,The distribution of waterbird species in the planning undisturbed areas inhabited by a small suite of water-units is shown in Appendix 3. In order to categorize birds such as loons and cranes. All of the bird speciesthe conservation status of species occurring in their found in this region benefit from the extended oppor-region, regional working groups will implement a tunities to feed and reproduce during the region’sprocess appropriate to their needs. The continental long—sometimes continual—periods of summer day-colonial breeding species status data are available to light. Despite low-density human populations, theeach working group (Appendix 1).These data, along region’s waterbirds face a number of human-relatedwith a consideration of the importance of a geographic threats, including introduced predators, fisheries mor-area to the continental population, can be used to tality, oil spills and other contamination, global climatedetermine regional species conservation status. Where change affecting ice and ocean regimes, and develop-possible, approaches should be used that are compati- ment for lumber, mining, and oil exploration. Pink-footed Shearwater b Greater Shearwater b Sooty Shearwater b Short-tailed Shearwater b44 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Pacific Coast breeding Ashy Storm-Petrel, Brandt’s Cormorant, West- The Pacific Coast region stretches from the Kenai ern Gull and Xantus’s Murrelet.The region’s pelagic Peninsula in Alaska through British Columbia and Cali- waters provide habitat for large numbers of shearwa- fornia coasts to include the northern portion of Baja ters, storm-petrels, alcids, and albatrosses. The major California. Its diverse habitats include the coastlines threats to these coastal and pelagic species include and highly productive offshore marine areas, the largely introduced mammalian predators, bycatch in fisheries coniferous coastal rainforests of its northern half, low operations, contaminants, oiling, climate change, and coastal mountains of mixed chaparral vegetation lack of formal protection for several key breeding towards the south, and the wetlands and lowlands of colonies and their associated marine foraging areas. The the expansive Central Valley of California. Each of threats to Marbled Murrelets from timber harvest in these habitats hosts an array of waterbird species sub- the coastal rainforests are well known but this activity ject to varying threats. The northern coastlines include also impacts the waterbirds utilizing the associated large proportions of the global breeding populations of river deltas and pockets of wetlands. Much of the a number waterbirds including Ancient Murrelet, depressional wetland and riparian habitats of the Cen- Cassin’s Auklet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Glaucous-winged tral Valley, lying between the coastal and Sierra Nevada Gull, and Leach’s Storm-Petrel, while rocky islands off mountain ranges, have been lost to agriculture and the southern coast support many or most of the world’s other development, but large populations of waterbirds breed and winter here. The southern marshes and beaches of the region provide critical habitat for endan- gered populations of Clapper Rail and Least Tern. These habitats are threatened by development, as are all habitats in this rapidly developing region. Because of the tremendous diversity of populations, habitats, and threats, planning in the Pacific Coast region will be multi-faceted, including on-going scientific study, moni- toring, management, education and outreach. Mexico–Southwest U.S. The Mexico region includes all of Mexico’s lands, ocean waters and islands, as well as dry, often mountainous portions of southern California, Nevada,Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. From its northern edge, the region makes a transition from a temperate to tropical climate, and mountain ranges running almost the length of the region define the interior regions that separate the Pacific and Atlantic coastal plains. The region’s complex topography results in a diverse array of aquatic habitats and waterbird species, and often localized bird distribu- tions. The Mexican islands in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexi- co, and Caribbean (the Campeche Bank) support important seabird and coastal waterbird breeding colonies. Pacific offshore waters host non-breeding pelagic species, notably those ranging from their nesting islands in central and south Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico provides foraging habitat for both locally nest- ing seabirds and wintering migrants. On the mainland, shallow bays, mangroves, coastal lagoons, and marshes Green Heron frequented by wading birds are scattered along theChristmas Shearwater b Manx Shearwater b Newell’s Shearwater b Townsend’s Shearwater b WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 45
    • Pacific coast. On the Atlantic slope, the remaining man- mountain West serve as life-giving, yet transient, oasesgrove-fringed lagoon complexes provide nesting areas for aquatic birds. The region’s dispersed lakes, marshesand migratory bird wintering areas, and the low-lying and riparian zones host about 40 waterbird species,area from southern Veracruz to the boundary with including many or most of world’s Eared Grebes,Belize offers extensive freshwater marshes and lagoons, American White Pelicans, White-faced Ibises, and Cali-hosting large colonies of wading waterbirds. The fornia Gulls. The competing demands for human useslagoons stretch to the north coast of the Yucatan, while of water, such as agriculture, development, and recre-the Yucatan’s southern coasts are sparsely occupied by ation pose the greatest threat to waterbird populations.coastal species in winter. Important waterbird habitats The presence of contaminants (e.g., mercury, DDT andin the region’s interior include interior river drainages, its breakdown products) is also a significant regionalthe Salton Sea, lakes on the Mexican Plateau, and Cen- threat. Because of the West’s feast-or-famine watertral Volcanic Belt marshes, all providing refuge in an regime, the Intermountain West regional plan will stressotherwise arid landscape. the necessity of conserving a network of high-quality wetland habitats with secure water sources in order toThe Mexico region’s waterbirds and their habitats face provide options for waterbirds during drought andnumerous threats directly and indirectly resulting from flood cycles.human activity. In Mexico, conservationists are particu-larly challenged by a lack of information and resources, Borealyet can draw on an emerging environmental awareness. This immense region arches across the length of Cana-Moreover, the network of Mexican AICAs provides a da. It includes the tundra of the low arctic and thestrong foundation from which to launch waterbird con- forests of the subarctic, as well as the boreal forest.servation in concert with conservation action for other Dominant features include, from west to east, theaquatic species. As discussed previously, it is envisioned Mackenzie River and its tributaries, the softwoodthat the NABCI Mexico Council will oversee waterbird forests of the boreal transition zone, the Hudson Plainsconservation planning and implementation in Mexico, (the largest extensive area of wetlands in the world),working with planners in the U.S. portions of the and eastern seacoasts. Glacially carved, low lying wet-region. lands cover a large percentage of the region and wide- spread permafrost results in lowlands being water-Intermountain West logged or wet for prolonged periods of time. SeveralThe Intermountain West Region, as its name implies, is major river deltas occur in the central portion of thebounded by the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains region, including the Saskatchewan River delta, Peace-on the west, and the Rocky Mountains on the east. It Athabasca River delta, and Slave River delta, all ofincludes the extensive Great Basin, Columbia Basin, which are critically important to migrating and breed-Colorado Plateau, and the ing waterbirds. CoastalWyoming Basin. Character- marshes and extensiveized by diverse basin and tidal flats are present atrange topography, the Hudson Bay and on theregion provides a variety of Atlantic shorelines. Thishabitats for waterbirds region provides extensiveincluding high mountain breeding habitats for largelakes, rivers and streams, populations of waterbirds.both fresh and brackish Other breeding marshbirdsbasin wetlands, and large include four species ofalkaline lakes. Due to the grebes, American Bittern,arid climate—a result of Sora, Yellow Rail, as wellthe rainshadow cast by the as the American Whitemountains to the west— Pelican and a variety ofthe wetlands of the Inter- Virginia Rail gulls and terns. An abun-Black-vented Shearwater b Audubon’s Shearwater b Little Shearwater b Wandering Albatross b46 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • dance of seabirds, including anumber of alcid species, utilizethe shorelines and open oceanson the Atlantic coast. Mostwaterbird habitats in the regionare in a comparatively pristinestate relative to those in moresouthern regions. However, thecumulative impacts of develop -ing forestry, fisheries, mining,hydroelectric, oil and gasdevelopment, transportationinfrastructure, and other indus-trial activities in the north areresulting in degradation ofhabitats. As well, the impactsof climate change may be amore immediate and largerconcern at higher latitudes Black Guillemotsthan elsewhere. Finally, regard-less of breeding area affiliations, all migrants to the from the southern edge of prairie Canada’s boreal for-region are exposed to a wide array of environmental est, across the international border, and south to thehazards during migration and on wintering areas. Plan- banks of the Missouri, is an area composed primarily ofning in the Boreal region will focus first on gaining a mixed-grass prairie. Aspen poplar woods form a belt ofbetter understanding of populations, particularly the “parklands” along the region’s northern boundary. Theleast abundant and most poorly understood. Some of region offers waterbirds a tremendous variety and oftenthe research and monitoring challenges facing planning high density of small wetlands or “potholes”, rangingefforts in the Boreal region are common everywhere, from wet meadows and shallow water ponds, to salinewhile others are unique to the northern situation. lakes, marshes and fens. Oxbow wetlands created by the changing flow of small prairie rivers and streams,Arctic Canada and human created reservoirs dot the landscape. WidelyThis region includes low-lying, coastal tundra and drier regarded as the most important waterfowl productionuplands of the Arctic mountains across the entire area in North America, the region hosts twenty-fournorthern edge of Canada. Because of thick and continu- colonial and fifteen non-colonial species of breedingous permafrost, surface water dominates the landscape waterbirds including the endangered interior Least(20-50 percent of the coastal plain). Freezing and thaw- Tern.A number of species reach their highest densitiesing form a patterned mosaic of polygonal ridges and or have breeding ranges contained largely within theponds, and many rivers bisect the plain and flow into region, notably the American White Pelican, Earedthe Arctic Ocean.The open seawaters of the Beaufort Grebe, California Gull, Black Tern, Forster’s Tern andSea, Chukchi Sea,Arctic Ocean, and Hudson Bay are Franklin’s Gull. The challenge for the Northern Prairiefrozen much of the year, and the ice pack is never far and Parkland regional plan is operating in a landscapefrom shore. Breeding species include a variety of larids significantly affected by agriculture, oil/gas and other(jaegers, gulls, terns), alcids (guillemots, auklets, murres, human development activities which factor immenselypuffins, and murrelets), loons and Sandhill Cranes. Few in the region’s conservation issues. Wetland loss andbird species of any type winter in the region. deterioration tops the list, which is further influenced by the region’s natural cycles of drought and inunda-Northern Prairie and Parkland tion.The widespread and uncertain ramifications ofThe Northern Prairie and Parkland region, extending global warming will affect the regional plan’s strategiesShort-tailed Albatross b Black-footed Albatross b Laysan Albatross b Black-browed Albatross bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 47
    • to combat wetland loss and properly manage associated billed Gulls. The UMVGL region provides a variety ofupland habitats for the benefit of waterbirds and other waterbird nesting, roosting, and foraging habitats,bird species. including islands, natural and managed wetlands, lakes and lake shorelines, reservoirs, rivers and floodplains,Central Prairies sand and gravel bars, beaches, and Great Lakes coastalThe Central Prairies region, stretching across the U.S. estuaries. The Great Lakes and “big rivers” (Mississippi,heartland, is characterized by a semi-arid climate and Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers) provide a founda-consists of rolling plains vegetated with shortgrass and tion for much of the important waterbird habitat in themixed-grass prairie. Native grassland vegetation exists region. Parts of the region are heavily forested or havein many areas, especially in the north and west, and rugged terrain with few wetlands, and these support lit-ranching is a dominant land use. Rowcrop agriculture is tle waterbird use. Wetland losses from urban develop-a more prevalent land use in the eastern parts of the ment, river dredging and diking, and agriculturalregion. Wetland resources are relatively sparse and con- drainage have reduced the amount of waterbird habitatsist mostly of river-associated wetlands, playas and in the region, and water quality has been impacted bydepressional wetlands. The region supports significant agricultural and industrial runoff. Dredged materialbreeding populations of interior Least Terns, Black island creation, wetland creation and restoration activi-Terns, Eared Grebes, Black-crowned Night-Herons, ties, and water control structures have provided newAmerican Bitterns, and Vir- waterbird habitat in someginia Rails. Additionally, critical areas. Fluctuating water levelsmigratory stopover habitat for in the Great Lakes haveMid-continent Sandhill Cranes reduced habitat for someand Whooping Cranes is found species and enhanced habitatalong the Platte River in for others. A primary goal ofNebraska and in other wetland the UMVGL regional plan iscomplexes in the region. There to ensure the availability ofis lack of adequate information waterbird nesting and foragingon habitat use, and population sites by protecting, restoring,sizes and trends for many and managing a variety ofwaterbirds in this region. Pri- Least Terns habitat types throughout themary threats to waterbirds in region. Other limiting factorsthe Central Prairies region include unpredictable rain- to UMVGL waterbirds include human disturbance, pre-fall patterns, and habitat loss or degradation due to dation, nest-site competition, altered food base, con-agricultural activity and urban development.The Cen- taminants, and conflicts with humans.tral Prairies regional plan will focus on documentingcritical waterbird sites/landscapes and identifying infor- Southeast U.S.mation gaps which may hinder the effective monitoring This Southeast region borders the southeastern U.S.,and management of waterbird populations. stretching from eastern Texas and Oklahoma, capturing the Florida peninsula, and extending northward intoUpper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes eastern North Carolina and Virginia. It extends into theThe Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes (UMVGL) Gulf of Mexico and pelagic areas off both the Atlanticregion is a diverse area lying in the middle of North and Gulf coasts. Particularly important waterbird habi-America. About 40 species of waterbirds occur in the tats in the region include pelagic areas, marshes, forest-region, and among the priority species there are Least, ed wetlands, and barrier and sea island complexes. TheCommon, Black, and Forster’s Terns; Black-crowned Southeast U.S. region is particularly critical to 15and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons;American and Least species of waterbird. Federally listed taxa includeBitterns; Yellow, Black, and King Rails; and Common breeding populations of Wood Stork, the MississippiLoons. Superabundant species that are causing human subspecies of Sandhill Crane, Whooping Crane, interiorconflicts include Double-crested Cormorants and Ring- Least Tern, and Gulf coast populations of Brown Peli-Shy Albatross b Yellow-nosed Albatross b Light-mantled Albatross b Wilson’s Storm-Petrel b48 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • can.The population trends for the long-leggedwading species in the region vary and are ofgreat interest, as these birds are important eco-logical indicators for restoring the Evergladesand for identifying environmental problemselsewhere (e.g., Okefenokee Swamp). Amongconcerns requiring region-wide attention aremortality of waterbirds associated with variousfisheries (“waterbird bycatch,” depredation con-trol at aquaculture ponds and other facilities),loss and deterioration of habitat, disturbance ofnesting areas (particularly those of beach-nest-ing terns and skimmers), and effects from con-taminants. A key objective of the Southeastregional plan is the standardization of data col-lection efforts and analysis procedures acrossthe region. This will allow better tracking of American Cootregional movements and the association ofthese movements with environmental or land use Pacific Islandschanges to better recommend effective conservation The Pacific Islands waterbird planning region extendsmeasures. across a vast area of the north and central Pacific Ocean encompassing numerous islands and island groupsMid-Atlantic/New England/Maritimes under U.S. jurisdiction. The region stretches 5,000Stretching from the southern end of the Chesapeake miles from east to west and 3,000 miles from north toBay to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this region offers a south and includes some of the most isolated islands ingreat variety of coastal habitats. The islands and shores the world. The physical geography ranges from moun -of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays host large mixed tainous, alpine environments to low-lying tropical atollscolonies of coastal and wading waterbirds, as do the just a few feet above sea level.This region is of interna-estuaries and embayments formed behind mid-Atlantic tional importance for both endemic species (an evolu-barrier islands. Most of the world’s population of tionary result of island isolation) and migratory water-Roseate Tern nests on the islands of southern New Eng- birds capable of crossing great distances of open ocean.land, as do large numbers of other terns and gulls. This region supports millions of breeding seabirds rep-Sandy shores give way to the rocky or muddy intertidal resenting 30 species, including the entire global popula-shorelines of northern New England and Canada’s mar- tion of Hawaiian Dark-rumped Petrel and Newell’sitime provinces. Here, Black Guillemots breed on the Shearwater and greater than 98% of the world popula-coast, while Leach’s Storm-Petrel, gulls, terns, and the tions of Laysan and Black-footed Albatross. Unfortu-southern-most populations of breeding alcids nest on nately, the small size and isolation of these islandsoffshore islands. The inland ponds, lakes, and river val- increases the vulnerability of individual species andleys often offer more isolation for waterbirds than their habitats. Rails, coots, and gallinules (several ofcoastal habitats, though they freeze earlier and easier. which are endemic) are at risk of becoming endangeredDevelopment pressure is a critical issue for this region, or are already extinct. Habitat loss and degradationwhich hosts tremendously dense human populations, associated with human development and invasiveespecially in its southern end. Overexploitation of species have devastated native flora and fauna, especial-coastal resources and contamination are also key ly on the more developed islands. Introduced speciesthreats. The planning effort for the Mid-Atlantic/New (predators, herbivores, insects, plants, etc.), introducedEngland/Maritimes region has the advantage of being diseases, contaminants, and mortality resulting fromable to draw on the knowledge and expertise of a num- interactions with commercial fisheries pose seriousber of locally based waterbird working groups. threats to waterbirds, both on land and at sea.The U.S.White-faced Storm-Petrel b Polynesian Storm-Petrel b European Storm-Petrel b Least Storm-Petrel bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 49
    • Pacific Islands regional plan will synthesize the conser- reefs, are also routinely used as nest locations and roostsvation issues of the region and prioritize management by shorebirds, gulls, terns and wading birds. Saltwaterefforts to address them. ponds and lagoons, formed as a result of the growth of corals across the mouth of an indented shoreline, canCaribbean provide an important prey base for waders. ArtificialThis region includes Bermuda, the islands and waters of spoil islands formed from dredging are used by severalthe Caribbean Basin, and the islands and waters off the species of birds. Artificial freshwater habitats can alsonorthern coast of South America.The majority of these be very important, as Caribbean islands often have fewislands are of volcanic origin, thus dispersal of species natural inland bodies of fresh water. Reservoirs con-from surrounding continents and subsequent evolution structed for the purposes of potable water, irrigation,in isolation have shaped the region’s avifauna and pro- power, and flood control; ponds for irrigation, livestock,duced a number of endemic species. Breeding residents or aesthetic reasons; and irrigation canals can all serveand local migrants, wintering or migrating neotropical as waterbird habitat.Where rivers, streams, or creeksmigrants, and non-breeding austral migrants can all be occur, they range from rapid flows in the steep moun-found in the region. The waterbirds occurring on each tains to slower and more winding courses across theparticular island are dependent on its size (ranging lowlands. Habitat destruction and disturbance associat-from Cuba’s 110,860 km 2 to tiny rocky islets) and ed with a growing human population are the principaltopography and the resulting suite of marine and fresh- threats in the Caribbean, notably deforestation,water habitats. Coastline extension and shelf width destruction of mangroves and other wetlands, hunting,affect the presence and nature of beaches, estuaries, and the introduction of exotic predators. Water pollu-mud flats and mangroves. Mangroves provide foraging tion, siltation of water bodies, and excessive with-habitat for waterbirds seeking fish and invertebrates, drawals of fresh water are also problems. These threatsand Brown Pelicans, as well as many species of herons have caused declines in a number of waterbird andand egrets, roost and nest in the mangrove canopy. other aquatic bird species, including the globally threat-Sandy and rocky coasts, as well as offshore rocks and ened Bermuda Petrel, Black-capped Petrel, West IndianAnhingaWedge-rumped Storm-Petrel b Band-rumped Storm-Petrel b Leach’s Storm-Petrel b Tristram’s Storm-Petrel b50 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Whistling-Duck and Zapata approximately 567,000 Rail. hectares of mangroves (8% of world’s total), plus 1,600 kmThe Caribbean region’s island of coral reef. The low-lying nations for the most part coastal zones include many have limited capacity for con- estuaries and extensive servation action. Moreover, lagoons, important as water-these nations share an ecolog- bird habitat.The Gulf of ical identity not reflected by Fonseca, a natural, shallow political boundaries. Thus, a Pacific harbor shared by El multinational conservation Salvador, Honduras, and planning and implementation Nicaragua, is similar to the effort is required to effect Gulf of California, with estu-conservation action in this aries, marshes, rocky coast-region. This effort should line, and islets. On the address the needs of all Atlantic side, the Honduras aquatic birds, including Bay islands and reefs host seabirds, coastal birds, wading local colonies of seabirds birds, marshbirds, shorebirds, while offshore waters in the and waterfowl, in order to Caribbean serve as foraging make the most effective use grounds for locally nesting of resources. As an important seabirds and migrants. The first step, the Society for the region also contains the hugeConservation and Study of Isabel Lake (Guatemala) andCaribbean Birds has formed a Nicaragua and Managua Waterbirds Task Force for the Lakes (Nicaragua), and aCaribbean region. It is pro- Wood Stork regional system of volcanicposed that this working lakes, such as Ilopango (Elgroup conduct workshops to bring together stakehold- Salvador);Amátitlan and Atitlán (Guatemala); and theers in aquatic bird conservation to enable them to Arenal reservoir (Costa Rica). Extensive flood plainsdefine and coordinate regional conservation action.The are found along the Mosquitia (Nicaragua and Hon-group will determine and document regional and duras); the Belize River (Belize), and La Pasion,national population goals, habitat management goals, Polochic and Cahabon rivers (Guatemala).avian (waterbird) monitoring goals and techniques, andimportant aquatic bird areas (IBAs); identify needs and Central America’s coasts and wetlands contribute great-develop training and educational materials; and develop ly to local, national and regional economies, but theirand implement priority conservation projects. It is importance is not always recognized and protection andhoped that Caribbean planning will foster waterbird management are often lacking. Conservation action ininterests in the Caribbean, generate additional species- the region should include the promotion of greaterbased working groups, secure increased funding for awareness of these important ecosystems, primarily viaaquatic bird conservation projects, and surmount politi- local projects to demonstrate the feasibility of sustain-cal obstacles to access and collaboration. able resource use. A process similar to that being devel- oped for the Caribbean is suggested for the region.TheCentral America first step would be to assemble those individuals willingThe Central America region is defined by the seven to work towards developing a regional waterbird con-nations of Central America and adjacent ocean areas. servation plan into a working group. This workingThe region has 6,603 km of coast (approximately 12% group, starting with identification of core participants,of the Latin American and Caribbean coastline), with would conduct workshops to facilitate planning; devel-Markham’s Storm-Petrel b Black Storm-Petrel b Ashy Storm-Petrel b Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel bWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 51
    • areas. The major threats to waterbirds on the high seas are oil and other contaminant spills, discarded plastics and other pollution, fisheries conflicts and the unknown impacts of altered ocean cycles. Activities on the conti- nental shelves, such as ocean dumping and sand mining, can also directly or indirectly impact pelagic birds. Seabird conservation planning for the Pacific and Atlantic Regions will call for continued research and additional monitoring, and will explore how policy changes, enforcement, and alleviation of threats can be accomplished via international communication and cooperation.Sooty Shearwater Local Waterbird Conservation Cop population and habitat goals; determine monitoring onservation planning at the local level is essential.needs and approaches; support identification, protec- Many waterbirds are part of the local communitiestion and management of waterbird IBAs; create training that humans inhabit and survive within the human-and education materials; and identify and implement dominated landscape. Local action and community-basedmodel conservation projects. Integration across national conservation may well be the most important level ofborders and of the needs of all aquatic birds (i.e., implementation. Many different locally-based agencies orwaterbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl) is suggested as groups share responsibilities for the management of birdsthe most efficient approach to conservation, though the and their habitats with national governments. The Plandevelopment of conservation strategies and monitoring recognizes and encourages a diversity of local conserva-could be done on a subregional basis, along the Pacific tion efforts on behalf of waterbirds.slope, Atlantic slope and interior lakes. It is recognizedthat funding is critical for this region to move forward The approaches that local governments and organiza-with waterbird planning and conservation. tions use for planning and conservation action for waterbirds will differ markedly depending on local con-Pacific and Atlantic ditions, resources, opportunities, needs and interests.These regions refer to the high seas of the Pacific and These should enhance, rather than weaken, overall con-Atlantic, which are regularly utilized by the pelagic servation success. Not only will a diversity of approach-seabirds considered in the Plan, including shearwaters, es allow conservation to fit to the local situation butpetrels, storm-petrels, puffins, fulmars, gannets, skuas, will provide experiments in conservation, the results ofkittiwakes, jaegers, and auks. Though consisting entirely which can inform actions elsewhere.of open water, these regions offer habitat of varyingquality, depending on distance from land, latitude and Despite the necessity and desirability of flexibility, itthe shifting character of the water (i.e., temperature, does remain important that local planning and imple-salinity, nutrients, and biological communities). Because mentation of waterbird conservation be connected toof fluctuations in weather and food supply, and because continental, national, state and regional goals, programsfood often has a patchy distribution, most pelagic and opportunities. This will ensure the availability ofseabirds must travel constantly and over enormous information, ideas, planning assistance and resources asareas. Information on the movements and distribution is well as use of common protocols, such as those devel-lacking for many pelagic seabird species, in part because oped for monitoring. Mechanisms used should bringof their extensive movements. It is known that after partners together to conserve birds and habitats on anesting in very crowded colonies, many species continue landscape level. Cooperation among state and provin-to congregate outside the breeding season in areas of cial biologists, non-government organizations, especiallyhigh productivity, such as upwellings. Huge flocks of community-based organizations, is essential.Sooty and Greater Shearwaters have been seen in these52 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Particular progress towards goals identified in this Plan wintering numbers (where appropriate), and habitatscould be made at the local level by identifying key local and link to the continent-wide monitoring partner-sites. Imbedding waterbird conservation in special site ship,management is particularly well situated to engage ❖ Develop programs, methods and protocols to protect,local stakeholders in site monitoring and protection, conserve and manage habitat used by waterbirds,while at the same time serving as a vehicle to address ❖ Identify candidate sites for IBAs for waterbirds; helpresearch, education and outreach, and coordination and evaluate status, and ensure adequate protection ofintegration priorities. sites selected for conservation, ❖ Identify colonies or important wetlands that may notPossible elements of a local conservation program: meet IBA criteria but serve to educate and increase❖ Set goals to achieve waterbird conservation, public awareness of waterbirds,❖ Collaborate with regional waterbird conservation ❖ Secure protection of important colony sites, breeding working groups to assess waterbird status and local sites, habitats and IBAs for waterbirds, and manage conservation needs, these sites for waterbirds,❖ Become familiar with regional scale assessments of ❖ Develop broad-base partnerships among government, waterbird status, habitat priorities and other needs business, and local conservationists for waterbird con- and opportunities, but do not be limited by them, servation,❖ Develop programs to manage waterbirds and their ❖ Develop an information and education strategy habitats at local sites, including parks and preserves, including “how-to” publications for managers and the for multiple purposes, including public involvement, public, and provide mechanisms to incorporate❖ Identify waterbird biologists able to facilitate, guide waterbirds in local education and outreach programs, and manage local waterbird conservation, ❖ Assure consideration of waterbird conservation needs❖ Monitor waterbird colony sites, breeding populations, in land acquisition, land management, regulation, planning and zoning, and ❖ Identify scientific and management information needs, and secure resources through partnerships to fill these needs. The Bottom Line T he Plan does not propose the creation of a stand- alone delivery infrastructure for waterbirds. To the contrary, waterbird conservation should be accom- plished, to the extent possible, within existing struc- tures, agencies and organizations. With a few excep- tions, such as the Waterbird Monitoring Partnership and a waterbird conservation communication strategy, the Plan does not advocate new programs dedicated to waterbirds. Alternatively, the Plan advocates the inclu- sion of waterbird conservation action within existing programs, and where appropriate, refocusing or expand- ing programs to enhance their abilities to achieve waterbird conservation. Although largely imbedded within existing structures and organizations, waterbird conservation requires staff and program support. Staff needs include positions and support funds dedicated at least in part to waterbirds. Program support includes the delivery mechanisms forLea Island, North Carolina waterbird conservation. At this time, existing staff sizeWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 53
    • TABLE 4. Resources Needed for Waterbird Conservation in the Americas Programs Waterbird Positions Lead and Participating No. of Positions/ Organizations Annual Funding (x $1000) Waterbird Conservation for Waterbird Conservation Council 0/10 the Americas initiative (volunteer representatives for the range of partners and interests) Waterbird Monitoring Waterbird Monitoring USGS Patuxent Wildlife 1/2,200 Partnership Coordinator Research Center, national, state, local partners Waterbird conservation Waterbird Communication NGO 1/150 communication program and Outreach Coordinator Waterbird IBA IBA coordinators National Audubon Society, and 1+/2,000 identification and other BirdLife International conservation partners Seabird population Seabird conservation coordinators Pacific Seabird Group, other 1+/4,000 monitoring and fisheries NGOs, conventions, national issues programs and state agencies Priority research projects National agencies and NGOs ?/1,000 Habitat restoration and National agencies and NGOs ?/20,000 conservation programs National waterbird conservation: Canada National waterbird coordinator Canadian Wildlife Service 1/200 U.S. National waterbird coordinator U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/200 National waterbird coordinator Other national natural resource 26/2,600 agencies in U.S. Mexico National waterbird coordinator NABCI Mexico Council 1/200 Nations of Central National waterbird coordinators Wildlife agencies and NGOs 30/300 America and Caribbean and specialists NGO waterbird programs Organization waterbird specialists NGOs ?/? Regional waterbird conservation: North American regions Regional waterbird conservation 0/250 working groups Caribbean and Central America regions: ?/200 planning/coordination Caribbean and Central American working groups, Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, BirdLife International, other NGOs surveys, monitoring, National agencies, Ducks Unlimited, ?/1,000 conservation action other NGOs, site-based partnerships, and site programs other partnerships Local waterbird conservation Community-based organizations ?/1,000 and site-based programs54 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • and resources are inadequate to carry out the work that ship, made up of an array of partners throughout Northmust be done to assure waterbird conservation in the America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Dissemi-Plan area. Resources needed to accomplish further nation of information, as well as education and publicplanning and implementation are shown in Table 4. awareness will be directed by the waterbird conserva- tion communications program. In Canada, U.S., andPartners in Implementation Mexico, regional waterbird working groups, and other entities formed under the Waterbird Initiative will inte-A t this point in time it is possible to recognize many grate, where possible, with the other bird initiatives and of the partners that will be called upon in imple- NABCI. menting waterbird conservation as outlined in thisPlan. It is hoped and anticipated that additional organi- Other International Coalitionszations, as well as new innovative approaches to water- Key to waterbird implementation is the formation ofbird conservation, will be incorporated into this Plan in networks between the Waterbird initiative and othersubsequent versions. international coalitions. These include, but are not lim- ited to, the Central American Biological Conference,The Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Project,AmericanInitiative Pacific Flyway Initiative, Asia Pacific Migratory Water-Implementation of the Plan, especially in the form of bird Conservation Strategy, Central Pacific Flyway Ini-on-the-ground conservation action, is the purpose of tiative, the North American Flyway Councils, Circum-the Waterbird initiative. As previously described, the polar Seabird Working Group, Conservation of ArcticCouncil will serve as the keeper of the Plan and the ini- Flora and Fauna (CAFF), and Beringian Seabird Work-tiator and facilitator of conservation action at all levels ing Group. These networks should also connect to par-by setting continental goals, seeking funding, and devel- ties established under relevant conventions and treaties,oping infrastructure, partnerships, and communication for example, the Convention on Migratory Specieslinkages. Improving information through monitoring is (Bonn Convention), Convention on Wetlands of Inter-the core function of the Waterbird Monitoring Partner- national Importance (the Ramsar Treaty), and NorthRed-billed TropicbirdWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 55
    • American Marine Protected Areas Network, a project American Bird Conservancy though its PanAmericanof the North American Commission for Environmental program; and Wetlands International in developing anCooperation (CEC). international waterbird census and flyway initiatives.Professional Societies Government AgenciesProfessional societies are important partners in imple- Governmental bodies at all scales are key partners inmentation of the Plan, as they can take the lead in implementing waterbird conservation strategies. Theaddressing the scientific and technical needs described Trilateral Committee, representing national wildlifein the Plan. In some areas, societies can also provide agencies in Canada, U.S. and Mexico, facilitates cooper-leadership in developing conservation strategies. ation for conservation of wildlife and habitat commonNotable partners include the Pacific Seabird Group, to the three countries. In Canada, the CanadianWaterbird Society, Society for the Conservation and Wildlife Service will work with NABCI Canada Coun-Study of Caribbean Birds, MesoAmerican Society for cil and federal, provincial and territorial naturalConservation Biology, and CIPAMEX. resource management agencies, non-government con- servation organizations, and other specialists as deter-Environmental Nongovernmental Organizations mined through the development of Wings Over Water:NGOs, many of which operate internationally, are also Canada’s National Waterbird Conservation Plan. Thecritical partners in waterbird implementation. NGOs structure of bird conservation in Mexico centers on thewith interests and missions compatible with the conser- NABCI Mexico Council. In the U.S., migratory birdvation of waterbirds should consider the needs and management is one of the principal responsibilities ofopportunities to deliver waterbird conservation within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Fish andtheir conservation activities. The Waterbird Initiative Wildlife Service is encouraged to appoint and support aespecially urges the continued engagement in waterbird permanent waterbird coordinator within the Divisionconservation by its current special partners: National of Migratory Bird Management.This person shouldAudubon Society via the U.S. and State IBA programs; concentrate on assisting regional planning efforts andDucks Unlimited through monitoring and cooperative implementation, facilitate functioning of the Council,habitat work in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America; and be a spokesperson for waterbird conservation in thePronatura and CIPAMEX as advocates for waterbird U.S. This individual should have a budget sufficient topartnerships in Mexico; Manomet Center for Conserva- support travel, facilitation and small grants.tion Sciences for its long-term, parallel interests inshorebird and wading bird conservation; Other U.S. federal agencies concerned with land man-Point Reyes Bird Observatory through agement and responsible for bird conservation are alsoits work on Marine Protected Areas encouraged to employ and support national waterbirdand other seabird conservation issues; coordinator/biologists whose responsibility is over-Wildlife Management Institute seeing waterbird management within theirthrough flyway management and its agencies. The U.S.D.A. Forest Service isinterests in marshbird conservation; encouraged to employ waterbird biolo-International Association of Fish gists at all organizational levels, includ-and Wildlife Agencies via its facili- ing the national and internationaltation of state implementation; level, in order to address waterbirdNational Fish and Wildlife Founda- conservation needs within the Tak-tion and its networks in Central ing Wing Program and other birdAmerica and Caribbean; BirdLife conservation initiatives. AdditionalInternational,Americas Division via U.S. agencies called upon to cre-the Central American and Caribbean ate waterbird coordinator/ special-IBA programs and waterbird conservation ist positions within their national pro-partnerships in member countries;The Nature grams include: National Park Service, USGS, Envi-Conservancy via its bird conservation program; ronmental Protection Agency, U.S Department ofCanadian Nature Federation and Bird Studies Cana-da for their IBA program coordination in Canada; White Ibis © WALKERGOLDER56 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Agriculture Wildlife Services, Bureau of Land Manage- the principal means of implementing waterbird conser-ment, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Oceanic and vation is through local action. Cities, towns, villages,Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fish- islands, local governmental organizations, and NGOseries Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources should be involved. To the extent that “all conservationConservation Service, Mineral Management Service, is local,” waterbirds must be protected, conserved, mon-and Department of Defense’s Services and Army Corps itored, and managed by people with the wisdom gainedof Engineers. by their intimate knowledge of the local situation.The superstructure of continental waterbird planning shouldRegional and Taxonomic Working Groups be designed to support local waterbird conservationistsRegional waterbird working groups and the strategies and natural resource managers as they implement con-they develop are central to future planning efforts and servation actions at local colonies, breeding, roosting,implementation of waterbird conservation actions. and feeding sites, at local parks, refuges, and sanctuaries,Regionally, implementation will occur through many and at local patches of aquatic habitat or adjacentdifferent entities including, but not limited to, federal pelagic conservation regions. Each colony or breedingagencies, states, provinces, industry groups, species site and important feeding site should have its advocateinterest groups, local entities, and individuals. State and and guardian, backed by legislation from local and stateprovincial governments include and partner with peo- governments.ple whose engagement is critical to long-term conserva-tion of waterbirds. IAFWA’s Shorebird and Waterbird Additional PartnersWorking Group, Migratory Shore and Upland Game It cannot be overemphasized that waterbird conserva-Bird Working Group, and Bird Conservation Commit- tion will benefit from the participation of additionaltee are venues where state agencies interface with partners. Anyone interested in waterbirds can con-waterbird conservation interests. The partners in JVs tribute to their conservation. Moreover, contribution atare specifically focused on wetland and associated all scales—be it management at a local sanctuary orupland habitat acquisition, protection, restoration, and international policymaking—is welcome and important.management.The Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Additional partners will be recognized in subsequentGroup and the North Pacific Albatross Working Group versions of the Plan.are examples of integral special interest stakeholders. 1Canadian Wildlife Service. In prep. Wings Over Water:Community-based Organizations Canada’s National Waterbird Conservation Plan. EnvironmentGiven the need to affect waterbird conservation at all Canada, Ottawa,Canadageographic scales, it must be emphasized that one ofWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 57
    • PART 4 ACHIEVING the VISION: SUMMARY of STRATEGIES and OUTCOMESVisionT he vision of the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas initiative is that the distribution, diversity, and abundance of populations and habitats of breed-ing, migratory, and nonbreeding waterbirds are sus -tained or restored throughout the lands and waters ofNorth America, Central America, and the Caribbean.Species and Population GoalGOAL: To ensure sustainable distributions, diversi-ty and abundance of waterbird species throughouteach of their historical or naturally expandingranges in the lands and waters of North America,Central America, and the Caribbean.Strategies❖ Determine population status for all species of water- birds throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.❖ Institute a large scale, dispersed, partnership-based Blue-footed Booby population monitoring system.❖ Initiate monitoring of demography, habitats, winter- ing populations in order to take appropriate conser- ing range, and important threats, such as seabird vation action. bycatch, as appropriate for species and areas.❖ Develop analytical tools and analytical schemes to Desired Results determine and assess population trends against trend ❖ Waterbirds, their habitats, and threats are monitored thresholds for each species. with sufficient intensity and coordination to accu-❖ Define sustainable population goals for all species, at rately determine population size, trend, causes for regional scales as possible and as needed, and eventu- trends and distribution changes. ally at the continental scale. ❖ Factors influencing waterbird populations are suffi-❖ Determine the extent and root causes of public percep- ciently understood to take conservation action. tion of waterbirds, particularly locally abundant species, ❖ The influence of wetland complexes at different spa- and develop programs that help bring public percep- tial scales on breeding and dispersal dynamics is bet- tion in line with scientific and economic findings. ter understood.❖ Energize JVs and agencies to take responsibility for ❖ Public perception is coherent with scientific and eco- setting and achieving population goals through nomic findings on waterbird impacts. appropriate management. ❖ Management plans are in accord with technical find-❖ Develop a global perspective on populations to aid in ings. interpretation of population trends. ❖ Habitat sources and sinks are recognized.❖ Synthesize information to identify key factors affect- ❖ Species of concern are identified, status assessments58 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • conducted, sustainable goals developed, management ❖ Develop and maintain a communication network plans enacted, and populations restored to appropri- among habitat managers, including IBAs for water- ate sustainable levels. birds.Habitat Goal Desired Results ❖ Important waterbird habitats are secured and habitatGOAL: To protect, restore, and manage sufficient programs are properly managed.high quality habitat and key sites for waterbirds ❖ Important marine areas are identified and fisheriesthroughout the year to meet species and population managed at levels that promote sustainable seabirdgoals. populations. ❖ Key factors affecting waterbird habitat requirementsStrategies are understood.❖ Identify key marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habi- ❖ Best practices are identified to integrate waterbird tats for waterbirds, including breeding, wintering, habitat needs with other uses of the migratory, roosting, and foraging habitats. landscape/seascape and with other bird conservation❖ Implement conservation and management actions initiatives. that secure important habitats. ❖ New programs are developed and implemented to❖ Increase understanding of waterbird habitat require- protect and manage important waterbird habitats at ments, threats to habitat quality, and habitat interac- multiple scales. tion at different scales. ❖ IBAs and other key sites for waterbirds are identified❖ Develop and implement habitat management plans and catalogued. for waterbirds for each planning unit. ❖ IBAs and other key sites are secured through stake-❖ Identify, inventory and document key sites that holder engagement, legislation and/or site manage- potentially qualify as global, continental, national, or ment programs. state IBAs and other key sites for waterbirds. ❖ Threats affecting IBAs and other key sites are docu-❖ Refine and continually update the list and descrip- mented, understood and managed and a network of tion of IBAs for waterbirds. area managers exists.Little Blue HeronsWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 59
    • Education and Information GoalGOAL: To ensure that information on the conserva-tion of waterbirds is widely available to decisionmakers, the public, and all those whose actionsaffect waterbird populations.Strategies❖ Ensure that information on waterbird conservation is available in a form that is useful for planning, imple- mentation, and management purposes.❖ Increase effectiveness of communication by partner- ing with outreach activities for other birds and for Yellow-crowned Night-Heron other environmental programs.❖ Develop relationships with educators of all levels and ❖ Establish cooperative linkages with other bird conser- participate in programs that increase awareness and vation initiatives concerned with aquatic habitats. improve education. ❖ When initiatives for other aquatic bird groups are not❖ Develop and widely distribute educational informa- underway, catalyze simultaneous planning and con- tion on habitat conservation strategies. servation of all water-dependent bird species.❖ Work with users of waterbird habitats to promote ❖ Seek to achieve integrated bird conservation action practices and policies that reduce impacts on the that incorporates the needs of waterbirds. birds. ❖ Exchange information and expertise with interna- tional, national, regional state/provincial and localDesired Results partners, and establish networks between conserva-❖ Decision makers and regional planners incorporate tionists, scientists, and habitat managers. waterbird needs into their plans and actions. ❖ Develop waterbird plans, where appropriate, at❖ Citizens, conservationists, and resource managers are national, regional, JV, and state/provincial levels. made more aware of conservation problems relating ❖ Influence environmental policies and programs to to waterbirds. positively affect waterbird conservation.❖ Increased public awareness and appreciation of ❖ Participate in international programs in ways that waterbirds is generated. enhance the conservation of waterbirds.❖ Best practices and policies for the conservation of ❖ Increase human and financial resources available for waterbirds are known, accepted and widely used. waterbird conservation.Coordination and Integration Goal Desired Results ❖ Waterbird conservation plans are in place and coordi-GOAL: To ensure that coordinated conservation nated at the continental, national, regional,efforts for waterbirds in the Americas continue, are state/provincial, and local levels as appropriate.guided by common principles, and result in integrat- ❖ Common principles that support waterbird conserva-ed and mutually supportive waterbird conservation tion are incorporated into international, national andactions. state/ provincial legislation, agreements and partner- ships.Strategies ❖ Waterbirds are fully integrated into all bird conserva-❖ Establish cooperative actions with organizations tion programs continentally, nationally, regionally, concerned with the conservation, research, and man- state/provincially and locally. agement of waterbirds and their habitats. ❖ Non-government groups play an active role in pro-❖ Establish cooperative actions with other bird conser- moting and implementing waterbird conservation vation initiatives, particularly through common goal activities. setting, and multispecies approaches such as advocat- ❖ Priority conservation action is not hindered through ed by NABCI. lack of human or financial resources.60 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • APPENDIX 2 CONSERVATION STATUS ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL for COLONIAL WATERBIRDSAssessment Process Threats to Breeding (TB): This factor rates the threatsA committee developed a process for assigning colonial birds impacting most or all of the total North American populationto categories of conservation concern.This protocol was of each species during their breeding season.The importanceadapted from the Partners in Flight and U.S. Shorebird Con- of vulnerability due to concentration (coloniality) was consid-servation Plan guidelines and accommodates the special con- ered when scoring this factor. Species that do not breed inservation issues of species that aggregate during breeding sea- North America received a Not Applicable (NA) for thisson and/or utilize extensive marine habitats. Conservation score.status was determined by evaluating six factors that reflect 5 Known threats are actually occurring and can bevulnerability to population decline. These factors were scored documented; concentration results in actual riskand each species was assigned to a category of conservation 4 Significant potential threats exist, but have not concern using a step-wise categorization process. All factor actually occurred; concentration results in high scores were derived within the spatial context of the Plan potential risk area (e.g., they do not reflect global status for those species 3 No known threats, or information not available;occurring outside of the Plan area). Moreover, factor scores concentration not a riskare relative to each other and are not benchmarks, meaning 2 Threats assumed to be low from all factors includingthat species will occur in all categories, including those of concentrationlower conservation concern. 1 Demonstrably secureFactor Scores Threats to Non-breeding (TN): This factor rates the threatsSix factors were considered when evaluating the conservation known to exist for each species during their non-breedingstatus of a species at the continental scale. Three factors are season.The scores are the same as for the Threats to Breed-based on quantitative information (Population Size, Breeding ing factor, but without the additional risk due to concentra-Distribution, Non-breeding Distribution) and three on quali- tion during breeding.tative information (Population Trend,Threats to BreedingPopulations, Threats to Non-breeding Populations).All fac- Breeding Distribution (BD): This factor reflects the vulnera-tors are scaled from 1 to 5, with 5 indicating greatest vulner- bility to population loss due to a small breeding distribution.ability. Each species was assigned to a category of conserva- Total land-based breeding area in North America was estimat-tion concern based on these factor scores. ed in square kilometers. Breeding ranges were determined using range maps (primarily from Harrison, P. Seabirds: anPopulation Trend (PT): This factor reflects estimated popula- identification guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company;tion trends based on existing information.The time period 1985. 448 p. and from the American Ornithological Union’sover which trend was estimated for most species was 1970 to Birds of North America accounts).The 1 to 5 scale was creat-present. ed with log-transformed data. Species that do not breed in 5 biologically significant population decline North America receive a Not Applicable (NA) for this score. 4 apparent population decline 5 highly restricted (up to 450,000 km2) 3 apparently stable population 4 local (450,000 km 2 – 1,500,000 km 2) 2 apparent population increase 3 intermediate (1,500,000 km 2 – 5,000,000 km 2) 1 biologically significant population increase 2 widespread (5,000,000 km 2 – 16,000,000 km 2) 1 very widespread (16,000,000 km2 – 52,500,000 km2)Population Size (PS): This factor provides information on thecurrent (1990-present) abundance of each species within Non-breeding Distribution (ND): This factor reflects theNorth America. Log-transformed population data produced a vulnerability to population loss due to small non-breedingnormal distribution, and the 1 to 5 scale represents quintiles distribution, that is, the total area occupied by non-breedingof the range of log-transformed values. birds (including wintering, migratory, and in some cases 5 up to 480 individuals breeding areas) in North America. Non-breeding ranges were 4 480 – 5,800 individuals determined using the standardized procedures and the 3 5,800 – 69,200 individuals sources described above. 2 69,200 – 832,000 individuals 5 highly restricted (up to 1,300,000 km2) 1 832,000 – 10,000,000 individuals 4 local (1,300,000 km 2 – 4,200,000 km 2) WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 67
    • 3 intermediate (4,200,000 km 2 – 13,600,000 km 2) 3. Moderate Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled 2 widespread (13,600,000 km 2 – 44,000,000 km 2) or High Concern. Populations of these species are either a) 1 very widespread (44,000,000 km2 – 140,000,000 km2) declining with moderate threats or distributions; b) stable with known or potential threats and moderate to restrictedCategories of Conservation Concern distributions; or c) relatively small with relatively restrictedFive categories of conservation concern were developed, and distributions.species were assigned to them using a categorical approach.The categories and the series of categorization rules are pre- Rule 3a. PT = 5 and either PS, TB, TN, BD, or ND > 1;sented below. Some species could not be categorized because orinadequate data were available to assess risk. Rule 3b. PT = 4 and either PS, TB, TN, BD, or ND > 2; or1. Highly Imperiled: This includes all species with significant Rule 3c. PT = 3 and either PS, TB, TN, BD, or ND = 4population declines and either low populations or some other or 5; orhigh risk factor. Rule 3d. PS = 4 or 5 and either BD or ND >3 Rule 1a. PT = 5 and either PS, TB, TN, or BD = 5 4. Low Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled, High Concern or Moderate Concern. Populations of these species2. High Concern: Species that are not Highly Imperiled. are either a) stable with moderate threats and distributions;Populations of these species are known or thought to be b) increasing but with known or potential threats and moder-declining, and have some other known or potential threat as ate to restricted distributions; or c) of moderate size withwell. known or potential threats and moderate to restricted distri- butions. Rule 2a. PT = 4 or 5 and either PS, TB, TN, or BD = 4 or 5; or Rule 4a. PT = 3 and either PS, TB, TN, BD, or ND = 3; Rule 2b. PS = 4 or 5 and either TB or TN = 4 or 5 or Rule 4b. PT = 2 and either PS, TB, TN, BD, or ND = 4 or 5; or Rule 4c. PS = 3 and either TB, TN, BD, or ND = 4 or 5 5. Not Currently At Risk: All other species for which infor- mation was available. Rule 5: Does not meet any previous rule Information Lacking: If both Population Trend and Popula- tion Size could not be estimated, species were not ranked.68 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • APPENDIX 3 Distribution and activity of colonial waterbird species presented by Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) and adjacent Pelagic Bird Conservation Regions (PBCRs,shown in parentheses).Activities are: b = breeding;w = wintering;m =migratory/dispersal; p = occurs pelagically during wintering and/or non-breeding. Note: U.S. Pacific Islands are included with BCR 67,and mx =interior Mexican BCRs combined (43-56, 58-61,65, 66). BCRs have notbeen established in the Caribbean and Central America. Aleutian/Bering Sea Islands (East Bering Sea) 1 p p bp b bw Western Alaska (East Bering Sea) 2 p bp bp bp b bw Arctic Plains and Mountains (Chukchi & Beaufort Seas, also Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay) 3 bp bp bp b b b Northwestern Interior Forest 4 b b bw Northern Pacific Rainforest (Gulf of Alaska, California Current) 5 p p bp p wm bw bwm wm bw Boreal Taiga Plains 6 b bm b bm Taiga Shield and Hudson Plains (Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf, also Hudson Bay) 7 p bp p b b b b Boreal Softwood Shield (Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf) 8 p p p p b b b bw Great Basin 9 wm bwm bwm b Northern Rockies 10 m bwm bwm Prairie Potholes 11 bm bm Boreal Hardwood Transition 12 b bw Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain 13 bw bw Atlantic Northern Forest (Scotian Shelf, NE US Continental Shelf) 14 p p p p p bm bw Sierra Nevada 15 w bwm Southern Rockies/Colorado Plateau 16 wm bwm Badlands and Prairies 17 bm bm Shortgrass Prairie 18 w bwm Central Mixed-grass Prairie 19 w Edwards Plateau 20 w Oaks and Prairies 21 w Eastern Tallgrass Prairie 22 wm w Prairie Hardwood Transition 23 bw w Central Hardwoods 24 wm West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas 25 w Mississippi Alluvial Valley 26 b w Southeastern Coastal Plain (SE US Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico) 27 p p p p p bw w bw Appalachian Mountains 28 m w Piedmont 29 w w New England/Mid-Atlantic Coast (NE US Continental Shelf) 30 p p p p p b w bw Peninsular Florida (SE US Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico) 31 p p p p bw w w Coastal California (California Current) 32 p p p p bw w w w w w Sonoran and Mohave Deserts 33 bw bw w wm w Sierra Madre Occidental 34 w Chihuahuan Desert 35 w Tamaulipan Brushlands (Gulf of Mexico) 36 w Gulf Coastal Prairie (Gulf of Mexico) 37 bw w Islas Marias (Gulf of California) 38 Sierras de Baja California 39 w m? Desierto de Baja California (California Current, Gulf of California) 40 p p p p bw w w w w Islas del Golfo de California (Gulf of California) 41 bw w w w Sierra y Planicies de El Cabo (California Current, Gulf of California) 42 p p p p bw w w w Isla Cozumel (Caribbean Sea) 57 Archipielago de Revillagigedo (Pacific Central-American Coastal) 62 p p p Isla Guadalupe (California Current) 63 p p p Arrecife Alacranes (Caribbean Sea) 64 Hawaii (Insular Pacific-Hawaiian) 67 p (Atlantic) atl p p p p p (Pacific) pac p p p p Caribbean Islands (Caribbean Sea) car p p Central America (Caribbean Sea, Pacific Central-American Coastal) cen p p p p w Mexico (Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Central-American Coastal) mx p p p p bw bw w w WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 69
    • 1 w bw b bp bp m bp2 bw bw b bm p bp bp p b m bp3 b b bm b bp bp bp b bp4 m b b p b5 bw wm wm bwm wm m w p bp p bm m m bp6 m bm b b bm b b7 bw w m b bm b p p p b bm b8 w w m bw w bw bm p p bp bm b b9 wm m bm bm bm10 m bwm bm bm bm m11 bm bm bm bm b12 w bw wm m b bm b13 w w bw wm m bw bm b14 w w bw w b?w wm b w p bp m b b bp15 m m m bm16 wm m bm m17 m m m m bm18 wm m m m19 wm m m m20 wm m m21 w w m22 w bwm m m bm m23 w bwm wm m b bm m24 wm wm m m m25 w wm m m m26 w w m b m m27 w bw w wm bw w p bw bw bw bw m bm28 m m m m29 w m m m30 w w bw w b?w w b w p b bm b b bm b bp31 w w wm bw w p bw bw bw bw bm m32 bw w w m w p p b bw bw bm m p33 w wm wm b bw bw bw b m34 m wm w m35 m m w m36 wm w w m bw w m37 w w w bw m w bw bw bw bw bm3839 w40 bw w w w w w p p bw bw b m p41 bw w w w w bw b42 w w w w w p w w b m57 m62 p p63 p p p64 m67 bpatl p ppac p p p pcar w wm bw m p b wm bw bw bm bmcen w wm w m p w wm bw wm bw m pmx w wm wm bw m p bw wm bw bm bw m p70 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • 1 bp bp bp bp bp bp bp bp bp bp bp2 bp bp bp p bp bp bp bp bp bp bp bp3 bp bp b bp bp bp bp bp p4 bp bp bp5 wm bp bm bp bp bp bp bp p bp bp bp6 b b7 b p bp bp b bp8 b p bp bp bp bp9 bm bm10 bm bm11 bm bm b12 m b13 b b14 b b p bp p bp bp15 m m16 bm bm17 bm bm b18 bm bm bm19 bm bm bm20 m bm m21 w bm m22 m bm bm23 bm b24 m bm bm25 wm bm m26 bwm bm m27 bwm bm p p m p p p28 m29 m m30 bw b p m p p p p p31 w b b?p bp m bp p32 bw b bm bp bp bp bp p p bp33 w b m34 wm m35 wm m36 bw m37 bw b p bp m p38 p bp39 w40 w b bp bp bp41 b42 w b p p p57 bp m bp p62 bp63 bp64 p bp p67 bp bp bp bp bp bp bpatl ppac p? p p p? p? pcar w bm bp bp m bp bpcen w bw bp p m bp bp bpmx bw bw bp p wm p p WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 71
    • 1 bp b bp bp bw bw bw 2 bp b bp bp bw bw bw 3 b bp bp b 4 bp bw bw 5 bp bp bp wm bwm bw bwm bw bw bw 6 b b b b 7 bp b 8 bp bp b bw 9 bwm bw bw bwm10 b b b bm11 b b bm b b12 b13 b14 bp bp b bw15 b b b m16 bwm b b bm17 b b b b18 bw b b bm19 bw b b bw20 w w21 w b b bwm22 bm23 b b b b24 wm25 wm b b bw b26 bw bw bw27 bw p bw bw w w bw28 wm29 wm30 p p bw w b31 bw p bp p bw bw bw bw32 bp bp bw bw bw p bw bw bw w33 w bw bw p w bw bw bw bw34 bw bw bw bw35 w bw bw bw wm36 w bw bw w bw37 w w w p p bw bw w bw bw3839 w bw bw w40 p w w w bp bp p p bw bw bw w bw bw41 w w bp bp bp bp bw bw bw42 w w w bp bp p p w bw w57 p62 bp bp bp63 bw6467 bp bp bp bp bpatl ppac p p pcar bw bp bp p bp bp bp bw bw bw bw bwcen bw w p p p p bp bw bw bw bwmx bw bw bw bw p p p bp p p bw w bw bw bw bw72 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • 12`345 bw bw bw bm bw bw m wm bwm6 bm m b bm7 m8 bm m9 bm bwm bwm bm bwm bm bwm10 bm bwm m b bm bm11 bm bm bw bm bm b bm b bm bm12 b bm bm b bm bw bm13 bw bm bm b b14 bm b bw m m b b15 m m m bw b bwm16 bm bw bm bm bw bm bm17 bw m b b bm18 m bw wm bm bw bm bm19 bm bm bw wm bm bm bm bw bm m20 b m bw w m bw bw m w21 b bm bw bw m bw b bw m w22 m m bw bm bm b bm bw m23 bm bw bm bm b bm bw24 bm b bw bm bm b b bw m25 b b bw bw bwm b b bw bwm m w m26 bw bw bw bw bwm b bw bw bwm bw b wm m27 bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bwm bw w w bw bwm28 m bw bm bm b bm29 m m bw bm bm b m bw wm m30 bw bw bw bw bm b bm bw wm b wm31 bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw w bw bw32 wm bw bw bw bm bw bw bw w bw33 bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw wm bw w bw m34 bwm bw bw bm bw bw wm w35 bwm bw w m bw bw wm w36 bw bw bw w bw bw bw bw wm w bw bw37 bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw m3839 w w bw bw m40 bw bw bw w m bw bw bw wm w w bw41 m bw w m w bw42 w w bw w m bw w bw bw w w bw57626364 m67 ?atlpaccar bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bwcen b?w bw bw w bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw w bw bw bwm bwmx bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bw bwm bwm WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 73
    • 1 bp p p p p p p 2 bp p p p p p 3 bp p 4 5 bp p p p p p p p 6 7 p p 8 bp p p p 91011121314 p p p p15161718192021222324252627 p p p p p282930 p p p31 bp p p p32 p p p p p p p p33 bp34353637 p p383940 bp p p p p41 bp42 p p p5762 bp bp bp p63 p6467 bp bp bp p p bp p p p bp bp p p bp bp p p patl p p? p? p p ppac p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p pcar bp bp bp pcen bw bp p p pmx bw bp p p p p p p74 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • 1 p p p bp bp2 p p p bp bp345 p p p bp p bp67 p p8 bp p bp91011121314 p p bp15161718192021222324252627 p p p p282930 p p p bp31 p p p32 p p p p p bp bp bp p33 p p34353637383940 p bp p p bp p bp bp p41 bp bp42 p p p p p p5762 bp bp63 bp p bp bp p?6467 bp bp bp p bp bp p bp bp bpatl p p ppac p p p p p p p p p p pcar bp p pcen p p p p pmx p p p p p p p p p WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 75
    • ACKNOWLEDGMENTSWe wish to thank members of the Advisory Committee for Rattner, Mason Reid, Fritz Reid, Ron Reynolds, Terry Rich,their engagement, advice, and review of various materials: Kim Rivera, Will Roach, Sharon Roberts, Greg Robertson,David Allen, Bob Altman, Ghisselle Alvarado, Brad Andres, Steve Rockwood, Jim Rodgers, Rose Rojas, Ken Rosenberg,Jon Andrew, Maurice Anselme, Donald Anthony, Adreanna Karen Rowe, Cory Rubin, Marie Ryan, Pierre Ryan, RonnieAraya, Jennifer Arnold, Kristine Askerooth, Bruce Batt, Fred Sanchez, Jorge Sandoval, Lori Sargent, John Sauer, Jean-Baumgarten, Carol Beardmore, Brian Bell,Theodore Below, Pierre Savard, William Scharf, Paul Schmidt,Ann Schnapf,Glenn Belyea, Rob Bennetts, Silvano Benvenuti, Robert Elizabeth A. Schreiber, Bill Schultze, Camille Sewall, DawnBlohm, Hans Blokpoel,Thurman Booth, Lisa Borgia, Steve Sherry, Mark Shieldcastle, Barry Smith, David Smith, GrahamBouffard, Jennifer Boyce, Patricia Bradley, Joel Brice, Stephen Smith, Laura Sommers, Bettina Sparrowe, Jeffrey Spendelow,Brown, Larry Bryan, Joseph Buchanan, Laura Burford, Joanna Anne Storey, Bob Strader, Dennis Summers-Smith,Ann Sut-Burger, Winifred Burkett, Rob Butler, Vernon Byrd, Carolyn ton, Bill Sydeman, Jean Takekawa, Mike Tansy, StevenCaldwell, Bianca Capuano, Montserrat Carbonell, Harry Thomas, Jocelyn Thrace, Hector Torres, Adrianne Tossas, JeffCarter, Mike Carter, Dan Casey, John Castrale, Andrea Trollinger, Barry Truitt, Jane Tutton, Len Ugarenko, LourdesCerovski, Mauricio Cervantes, Heather Chaffey, Gilles Valdes, Bill Vermillion,Anthony Viggiano, Kate Wallace,Chapdelaine, John Chardine, Jean Cohn,Therese Conant, George Wallace, Craig Watson, Keith Watson, David Wege,Richard Cook, Fred Cooke, Jorge Coppen, Jim Corven, Ken Linda Welch, Troy Wellicome, Jeff Wells, D.V. Chip Weseloh,Cox, John Croxall, Octavio Cruz, Francie Cuthbert, Reggie Francis Wiese, Alexandra Wilke, E.J. Williams, Kevin Willis,David, Jill Dechant, Tony Diamond, Rachel Diebboll, Paul Barry Wilson, Jeff Wilson, Brad Winn, Corey Wisneski, DonnaDoherty, Laura Dominguez, Terry Doyle, Jeff Drahota, Mark Withers, Mark Woodrey, Marilet Zablan, Tara Zimmerman,Drever, Diane Drigot, Kim Dryden, Susan Earnst, Chris Eber- Jim Zohrer.ly, Linda Elliott, Steve Emslie, Mick Erickson, C GregEsslinger, Mike Estey, Stewart Fefer, Suzanne Fellows, George We appreciate those who participated in the workshops thatFenwick, Richard Fischer, Sharon Fish, Jane Fitzgerald, Eliza- took place during the course of developing the Plan andbeth Flint, Robert Ford, Doug Forsell, Rod Fowler, Glen Fox, those who reviewed parts of early drafts of the plan or pro-Gail Fraser, Peter Frederick, Joseph Furbert, Lynn Gape, Lisa vided reports, analyses and information in support of theGelvin-Innaver, Richard Gibbons, Frank Gill, Eric Gilman, plan.Phil Glass, John Gobielle, Walker Golder, Paula Gouse, ToddGrant, Chris Grondahl, Scott Hall, Rob Hall, Keith Hamer, Research and Scientific Information Workshops: TrishJanelle Hancock, Fran Harty, Jeremy Hatch, Jeff Hatfield, Adams, Michael Avery, Cheryl Baduini, Robert S. Baker, JebKatie Haws, Chuck Hayes, Floyd Hayes, Lindsey Hayes, Below, Robert Bennetts, Silvano Benvenuti, Larry Bryan, RobLoren Hays, Greg Hellyer, Janos Hennicke, Gudrun Hilger- Butler, Venon Byrd, Ruth Beck, Sean Boyd, Julie Brashears,loh, Randy Hill,Thor Hjarsen, Cathleen Hodges, Roger Winnie Burkett, Phil Capitolo, Bianca Capuano, Harry Carter,Hollevoet, Bill Howe, Marshall Howe, Stan Howe, Darcy Hu, John Castrale, Heather Chaffey, John Chardine, Jean Cohn,Laura Hubers, Jay Huner, Chuck Hunter, Gary Huschle, Fred Cooke, John Croxall, Tony Diamond, Paul Doherty,David Hyrenbach, Larry Igl, David Irons, Gary Ivey, Sarah Laura Dominguez, Nancy Douglass, Terry Doyle, LaurenJamieson, Dave Jenkins, Heather Johnson, Stephanie Jones, DuBois, Erik Egensteiner, Stewart Fefer, Doug Forsell, GlenScott Kahan, Jeni Keisman, Caroline Kennedy, Judith Fox, Gail Fraser, Bryan Gates, Dale Gawlik, Scott Hall, KeithKennedy, Tommy King, Vern Kleen, Gregg Knutsen, Bill Hamer, Janelle Hancock,Anne Harfenist, Brian Harrington,Kolodnicki, Oliver Komar, Mark LaBarr, Pierre Lamothe, Jeremy Hatch, Jeff Hatfield, Janos Hennicke, Gudrun Hilger-Teodoro Lara, Linda Leddy, Richard Levad, Celia Lewis, Lake loh, Stan Howe, Nancy Hoffman, Jay Huner, David Hyren-Lewis, Steve Lewis, Carol Lively, Michael Langlois, Roy bach, David Irons, Sarah Jamieson, Dave Jenkins, Arthur Ket-Lowe, Andrew MacLachlan, Elizabeth Madden,Art Martell, tle, Judith Kennedy, Tommy King, Stephanie Koch, PierreSumner Matteson, David Mazurkiewicz, Joe McCauley, Cal Lamothe, Celia Lewis, Don Lyons, Rob MacDonald, DavidMcCluskey, Leonard McDaniel, Ronald McDonald, Laura Mazurkiewicz, Don McCrimmon, Laura McFarlane Tranquil-McFarlane Tranquilla, Joan McKearnan, Keith McNight, Will la, Joan McKearnan, Eric Mellink, Vivian Mendenhall, StevenMeeks, David Mehlman, Eric Mellink, Robert Mesta, R.L. Miller, Ken Morgan, Laurie Ness, Ian Newton, James Nichols,Miller, Andrew Milliken, Kyra Mills, Marc Minno, Amy Mor- Ian Nisbet, Donna O’Daniel, Leslie Evans Ogden, Heegan, Ken Morgan, Seth Mott,Allan Mueller, Pablo Munguia, Cheon Park, Cynthia Pekarik, Greg Robertson, Dan Roby,Tom Murphy, Luis Naranjo, Maura Naughton, Neal Neimuth, Robert Powell, Nancy Read, Kim Rivera, Sharon Roberts,Eric Nelson, S. Kim Nelson, Scott Newman, Ian Newton, Jim Marie Ryan, Pierre Ryan, Ellen Saksefski, Jean-Pierre Savard,Nichols, Ian Nisbet, Fernando Nunez, Paul O’Conner, Leslie Ann Schaupf, Paula Schneeberger, Stan Senner, Nanette Seto,Ogden Evans, James Ortego, Eduardo Palacios, Barbara Pardo, Leslie Slater, Jeff Spendelow, Anne Storey, Dennis Summers-Hee Cheon Park, David Pashley, Don Paul, Cynthia Pekarik, Smith, Julie Thayer, Angeline Tillmanns, Mark Tobin, TimDiane Pence, Cyndi Perry, Bruce Peterjohn, Daniel Petit, Mila Towles, Troy Wellicome, Francis Wiese, Brad Winn, RicardoPlavsic, Gary Popotnik, Tim Post, Fritz Prellwitz, Tim Prior, Zambrano.Rocky Pritchert, Cynthia Ragland, Jean-Francois Rail, Barnett76 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Monitoring Workshops: Jon Bart, David F. Brinker, Vernon Nanette Seto, Bill Shepherd, Mark Shieldcastle, NelsonByrd, Harry Carter, John Chardine, Malcolm Coulter, Tina de Shilders, Victoria Siowik, David Smith, David A Smith, TashaCruz, Francie Cuthbert, Diane Drigot, Beth Flint, Doug Smith,Thorn Smith, Eliser Socarrás Torres, Art Sowls, BobForsell, Colleen Henson,Thor Hjarsen, Cathleen Hodges, Strader, Ann Sutton,Akiuori Takahashi, Julie Thayer, SteveNancy Hoffman, Darcy Hu, David Irons, Dave Jenkins, Terrell Thomas, Jocelyn Thrace, Lance Tikell,Adrianne G. Tossas,Kelley, Leilani Leach, Roy Lowe, Kyra Mills, Maura Kim Tripp, Barry Truitt, Lindsay Tudor, Bill Uihlein, R. Eduar-Naughton, Jim Nichols, Tony Palermo, Sheldon Plentovich, do Vasquez, Loidy Vazquez Ramos, Bill Vermillion,AnthonyJohn Polhemus, Katharine Parsons, Rich Paul, Bruce Peter- Viggiano, Kate Wallace, Carolyn Wardle, Sharon Ware, Craigjohn, Diann Prosser, Mark Rauzon, Sharon Reilly, Jim Watson, Keith Watson, David Wege, Linda Welch, ChipRodgers, Betty Anne Schreiber, Jorge Saliva, John Sauer, Weseloh, Tony White, James Wiley, Emily Jo Williams, KevinJoshua Seamon, Mike Silbernagle, David Smith, Graham Willis, Barry Wilson, Jeff Wilson, Randy Wilson, DavidSmith, Katie Swift, Tom Telfer, Kim Uyehara Wingate, Donna Withers, Joseph Wonderle, Mark Woodrey, Marilet A. Zablan, Tara Zimmerman.Regional Workshops: Brad Allen, David Allen, Bob Altman,Ghisselle M.Alvarado Quesada, Julia Ambagis, Maurice First North American Waterbird Conference: David H.Anselme, Donald Anthony, Adrianna Araya, Portia Aruntun- Allen, Ghisselle M.Alvarado Quesada, Dan Anderson, Jon M.ian,Aileen Bainton, Charles Baxter, Carol Beardmore, Brian Andrew, Jennifer Arnold,Theodore H. Below, Glenn Belyea,Bell, Dade Bell, Marcia Beltre, Brian Benedict, Dwight Berg- Thurman Booth, Jennifer A. Boyce, Joseph B. Buchanan,eron, Laurel Bernard, Doug Bertram, Hans Blokpoel,Thur- Winifred Below Burkett, Rob Butler, George Vernon Byrd,man Booth, Steve Bouffard, Jennifer Boyce, Andrew Boyne, Harry Carter, John S. Castrale, Gilles Chapdelaine, TheresePatricia Bradley, Joel Brice, Laura Burford, Vernon Byrd, Ann Conant, Francie Cuthbert, Jill Andrae Dechant, StevenAmaury Camacho Saura, Montserrat Carbonell, Harry Carter, D. Emslie, Clinton Greg Esslinger, Mike Estey, Stewart I.Mike Carter, Daniel Casey, Juan Castillo, Andrea Cerovski, Fefer, Sharon Marie Fish, Jane Ann Fitzgerald, Beth Flint,Farfan M. Cervantes, Michiyo Chochi,Therese Conant, Kevin Robert P. Ford, Doug Forsell, Lisa Gelvin-Inna, Richard Gib-Connor, Jorge L. Coppen, James Daley, Suzanne Davis, Jill bons, John Gobeille, Walker Golder, Scott Hall, JeremyDechant, Dennis Denis Avila, James Daley, Reggie David, Hatch, Katie V. Haws, Chuck Hayes, Thor Hjarsen, BillDiane De Luca, Marcelo Del Puerto, Kate Devlin, Tony Dia- Howe, Jay van Huizen Huner, William C. Hunter, Davidmond,Andrew Dobson,Anthony Donald, Terry J. Doyle, Leo Irons, Gary Ivey, David Jenkins, Stephanie Lee Jones, JeniDouglas, Jeff Drahota, Diane Drigot, John Drury, Kim Dry- Keisman, Stephanie Koch, William Joseph Kolodnicki, Oliverden, Susan Earnst, Linda Elliott, Michael Erickson, Greg Komar, Mark LaBarr, Regina G. Lanning, Linda Leddy,Esslinger, Luis A. Espinosa G., Mike Estey, Norman Famous, Richard Levad, Steve Lewis, Carol Lively, Roy Lowe, AndrewStewart Fefer, Beth Flint, Bob Ford, Joseph Furbert, Lynn MacLachlan, Jeff Marcus, Art Martell, Sumner Matteson, CalGape, Eric Gilman, Jim Glahn, Walker Golder, Wing McCluskey, Will Meeks, David Mehlman, Eric Mellink,Goodale, Terry Goodhue, Jose Jaime Gonzalez, Todd Grant, Robert Mesta, Bob Miller, Steve Miller, Andrew Milliken,Dedreic Grecian, Rob Hall, Scott Hall, Christine Hamilton, Kyra Mills, Marc Minno, Ken Morgan, Seth Mott,AllanFran Harty, Jeremy Hatch, Lindsey Hayes, Laird Henkel, Mueller, Thomas M. Murphy, Maura Naughton, Eric C. Nel-Randy Hill, Osuel Hinojesn, Cathleen Hodges, Tom Hodg- son, Scott Newman, Ian C. T. Nisbet, Paul J. O’Connor,man, Roger Hollevoet, Bob Houston, Laura Hubers, Jay George Oliver, James Brent Ortego, Eduardo Palacios, BarbaraHuner, Gary Huschle, Larry Igl, Gary Ivey, Ariam Jimanez J. Pardo, David Pashley, Don Paul, Diane Pence, Cyndi M.Reyes, Brad Keitt, Paul Kelly, Vernon Kleen, Hugh Kuechtel, Perry, Bruce Peterjohn, Cynthia Ragland, Jean-François Rail,Jasper Lament, Michael Langlois, Teodoro Lara,Anthony James Rodgers, Kenneth Rosenberg, Elizabeth A. Schreiber,Levesque, Lake Lewis, Steve Lewis, Rob MacDonald,Andrew Heather Johnson Schultz, Graham W. Smith, David A. Smith,MacLachlan, Elizabeth Madden, Jeremy Madeiros, Chad Laura Sommers, Jeffrey A. Spendelow, Ken Stromborg,AnnManlove, Ruben Manogula Hores, Saenz Mariella, Sumner Sutton, Michael G. Tansy, Steve Thomas, Barry Truitt, BillMatteson, David Mazurkiewicz, Joe McCauley, Gerry McCh- Vermillion, J. Keith Watson, J. Craig Watson, David Wege,esney, Mark McCollough, Donald McDougal, Keith McK- Linda Welch, Jeff Wells, D.V. Chip Weseloh,Alexandra L.night, Matthew McKowan, Will Meeks, Luis Omar, Melian Wilke, Barry C. Wilson, Bradford Winn, Tara Zimmerman.Hernandez, Elen Miller, Jose Morales Leal, Slade Moore, TomMoorman, Leal Jose Morales, Seth Mott, Romualdo Mtz, Marshbird workshop: Bob Altman,Alison Banks, CarolAllan Mueller, Susana Mugeria Aguila, Lourdes Mugica Beardsmore, Gerard Beyersbergen, Pamela Bilbeisi, HeidiValdes, Luis G. Naranjo, Maura Naughton,Anselme Naunce, Bogner, Andree Breault, John Bruggink, Daniel Casey, JohnMarcia Neltre, Scott Newman, Neal Niemuth, Paul O’Con- Cecil, Gregory Clune, Courtney Conway, Jorge Correa San-nor, Don Orr, Eduardo Palacios, Michael Parker, David Pash- doval, Miguel Cruz, Jill Dechant, Dean Demarest, Jamesley, Don S. Paul, Diane Pence, Cyndi Perry, Clive Petrovic, Dinsmore, David Dolton, Sam Droege, Frank Durbian, BillRoberto Phillips, David Pitkin, Gary J. Popotnik,Ana Preda, Eddleman, Jules Evens, David Evers, Helen Hands, StephenRocky Pritchert, Julio Ramos, Mark Rauzon, Fritz Reid, Ron Hanus, Bill Howe, Marshall Howe, Gary Ivey, Scott Johnson,Reynolds, Terry Rich, Kim Rivera, Steve Rockwood, Jim David Klute, Meg Laws, Michael Legare, Rich Levad, SochRodgers, Nora Rojek, Karen Rowe, Cory Rubin, John Ryder, Lor, Jim Mattsson, Jon McCracken, Eric Mellink, RobertLori Sargent, William Scharf, Ann Schnapf, Bill Schultze, Mesta, Tamara Mills, Maura Naughton, Eric Nelson, NealWAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S 77
    • Niemuth, Dan Niven, Charles Paine, David Pashley, Diane Day, Anthony Diamond, George Divoky, David Duffy,Pence, Cyndi Perry, Ken Rosenberg, Robert Russell, Todd Jeanette Dumas, Erica Dunn, Richard Elliot, Michael Erwin,Sanders, David Sharp, Mark Shieldcastle, Nathaniel Stricker, Troy Ettel, Pete Ewins, Janey Fadely, Beth Flint, Bob Ford,Steven Timmermans, J. Craig Watson, D.V. Chip Weseloh, Glen Fox, Gill Fraser, Peter Frederick,Anthony Gaston,Jennifer Wheeler, Alexandra Wilke, James Woehr. Richard Gibbons, Grant Gilchrist, James Glahn,Thomas Good, Christopher Haney, Mike Harris, Jeremy Hatch, ScottWe wish to acknowledge those who provided information, Hatch, Lindsey Hayes, Helen Hays, Caroline Herziger,wrote preliminary reports and analyses, and reviewed data Michelle Hester, Thor Hjarsen, Keith Hobson, Mark Howery,and findings and reviewed drafts of the plan: Ghisselle M. Falk Huettman, Jay Huner, Chuck Hunter, David Irons, GaryAlvarado Quesada, Jennifer Arnold, Carol Beardmore, Brad Ivey, Joseph Jehl Jr., Bill Kolodnicki, Steve Kress, KathyBlodget, Joanna Burger, Rob Butler, Vernon Byrd, Harry Kuletz, James Kushlan, David Lee, Steve Lewis, ElizabethCarter, John Castrale, John P. Cecil, Gilles Chapelaine, Peter Logerwell, Roy Lowe, David Manuwal, Terry Master, DonDoherty, Troy Ettel, Suzanne D. Fellows, Robert Ford, James McCrimmon, Martin K. McNicholl, Jennifer Megyesi, EricF. Glahn, Karla Guyn, Mike Harris, Jeremy Hatch, Floyd Mellink, Robert Mesta, William Montevecchi, Ken Morgan,Hayes, John Herron,Thor Hjarson, Mark D. Howery, Jay Ralph Morris, Allan Mueller, Maura Naughton, S. Kim Nel-Huner, David Irons, Gary Ivey, Dave Jenkins, Stephanie Jones, son, Steve Nesbitt, Scott Newman, Kenneth Niethammer,D. Tommy King, Oliver Komar, Ron Lambeth, Steve Lewis, I.C.T. Nisbet, Michael North, Gary Nuechterlein, PaulKevin Loftus, Roy Lowe, Brent Ortego, Laurie Maynard, O’Connor, John Ogden, Brent Ortego, Katharine Parsons,Robert Mesta, Ken Morgan,Allen Mueller, Maura Naughton, Michael Patten, Rich Paul, Bruce Peterjohn, Ray Pierotti, PamS. Kim Nelson, Ian C. T. Nisbet, Robin Niver, Paul O’Connor, Pietz, James Quinn, Kim Rivera, Gregory Robertson, JamesBruce Peterjohn, Daniel Petit, Jen-Francois Rail, Barnett Rat- Rodgers, Michael Rodway, Ken Rosenberg, John Ryder, Jorgetner, Terry Rich, Kim Rivera, Jay Roberson, Jeff Spendelow, Correa Sandoval, Elizabeth Schreiber, Nanette Seto, DavidEileen Dowd Stukel,Ann Sutton, Brian Swift, John Tautin, Shealer, Mark Sheilds, Doug Siegel-Causey, Theodore Simons,Barry Truitt, William Vermillion, J. Craig Watson, David Jeff Spendelow, Charla Sterne, Bryan Swift, William Syde-Wege, Scott Werner, Bill Wichers, Robert D. Williams, man, Raymond Telfair, Thomas Telfer, Bernie Tershy, BruceWilliam Whitman, Brad Winn. Thompson, John Trapp, Barry Truitt, Nicolaas Verbeek, Bill Vermillion, George Wallace, David Wege, Scott Werner, D.V.The assessment of conservation status of 166 waterbird (Chip) Weseloh, William Whitman, G.C. Whittow, R. Havenspecies contained in the plan would not have been possible Wiley, Bill Williams.without broad participation from the ornithological andwildlife management communities in North America, Cen- We wish to thank colleagues who made special contributionstral America, and the Caribbean.The following contributed to the Plan. We owe special thanks to Craig Johnson for hisvaluable time and expertise to the development of species design of the Plan logo. We also wish to thank colleaguesinformation and conservation status assessment: Dave Allen, associated with U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent WildlifeGhisselle Alvarado, Dave Anderson, Jennifer Arnold, Stephen Research Center and Manomet Center for ConservationBailey, Guy Baldassarre, Jon Bart, Carol Beardmore, Marc Sciences: Kinard Boone, Stephen Brown, Patty Hoban, JeniBélisle, Gerard Beyersbergen, Keith Bildstein,Anthony Bled- Keisman, Regina Lanning, Sky Lesnick, Lois Loges, Carmensoe, Brad Blodget, Dee Boersma, Larry Bryan, Francine Buck- Rivera, Marilyn Whitehead, Corey Wisneski and Alex Wilke.ley, P.A. Buckley, Joanna Burger, Gary Burness, Dee Butler, We also thank Merrie Morrison of American BirdRobert Butler, Ron Butler, Vernon Byrd, David Cairns, Harry Conservancy for her work in coordinating and Sue Dodge forCarter, John Castrale, Gilles Chapdelaine, John Chardine, designing the publication.Malcolm Coulter, Sean Cullen, Francie Cuthbert, Robert78 WAT E R B I R D C O N S E RVAT I O N FOR THE A M E R I CA S
    • Agencies and Organizations Providing Special SupportWe thank the organizations that permitted the authors to work on this project:BirdLife International, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Environment Canada—Canadian Wildlife Service, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies,Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, National Audubon Society, Point ReyesBird Observatory, Pronatura, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Universi-ty of Havana, University of Virginia, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and WildlifeService, U.S. Geological Survey, Wetlands International, and Wisconsin Departmentof Natural Resources. We also thank those organizations that provided resources forthe project:Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, British Airways, Ducks Unlimit-ed, International Association of Game and Fish Agencies, Manomet Center for Con-servation Sciences, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. We thank American BirdConservancy for overseeing the publication of the Plan. VNIVERSIDAD DE LA HABANA BACK COVER:Clockwise from top left:White Ibis, © Walker Golder;Sora,© Peter LaTourrette; Common Tern, © Walker Golder;Laysan Albatross, © Melanie Steinkamp;Brown Pelican, © Walker Golder