Wyoming Partners in Flight: Wyoming Bird Conservation Plan
Sharon H Nicholoff
Tags: WLCI Related Publication
Continental and local declines in numerous bird populations have led to concern for the future of migratory and resident bird species. The reasons for declines are complex. Habitat loss, habitat modification and fragmentation, loss of wintering and migratory habitat, and nest parasitism have been implicated. In 1990, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation brought together federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, conservation groups, industry, and the academic community to form a program to address the problem. Thus, Partners In Flight was conceived as a voluntary, international coalition dedicated to “keeping common birds common” and reversing the downward trends of declining species. Participants in Wyoming Partners In Flight, the state working group of Partners In Flight, developed the Wyoming Bird Conservation Plan as part of the international Partners In Flight effort.
Effective and efficient ecological management involves determining which species and habitats are most in need of conservation. This Plan identifies priority species and habitats, and establishes objectives for bird populations and habitats in Wyoming. The Plan not only focuses on microhabitat requirements of priority species, but also identifies landscape scale requirements. Conservation actions are recommended and partnerships are identified to accomplish the objectives.
Of the 246 breeding bird species in Wyoming, 91 priority species in 15 major habitat types are addressed in this version of the Plan. If known, associated species that will benefit from management actions are listed with each priority species. Coordinating conservation by habitat enables land managers and landowners to efficiently focus on a set of priority birds and specific habitat characteristics they need.
Objectives and Strategies
Biological objectives are identified for each priority species in each habitat type to provide a target for ecological planning and implementation, and a bench mark for measuring success. Population objectives identify endeavors needed to ensure adequate, science-based population trend data is available for each priority species. Habitat objectives are identified to support the population objectives and describe the condition, amount, and/or location of the habitat where management is needed. Recommendations for achieving these objectives follow.
Evaluation of Progress
Inventory, monitoring, and research needs are listed that relate directly to management questions. We intend this to be a dynamic document that will be updated and revised as new information surfaces. Thus, we envision inventory, monitoring, and research fulfilling a critical link in the adaptive nature of this Plan.
Many partners were instrumental in writing this document. However, coordination among existing and new partners is needed for the Plan to succeed. As we progress in Plan implementation, we will integrate with other initiatives. Information in the Plan can easily be linked with other landscape-level management programs. Discussions regarding integration have already begun nationally with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and Colonial Waterbird and Shorebird groups. International coordination is well under way with Canada and Mexico, and coordination of projects across international boundaries is planned for the implementation phase. Although this Plan is specific to birds, coordination with other species groups will be a natural progression of implementation.