The 2017 State of the Birds reports links future reports to specific policy initiatives that influence bird conservation. This report focuses on Farm Bill conservation programs.
The State of the Birds Reports represent political, popular, and scientific recognition that birds serve as high-level indicators of the health of the country’s natural resources. Our diverse habitats provide us with abundance – clean air, clean water, and fertile soils. These habitats are what support the natural resources on which birds depend; we also depend on these natural resources.
The State of the Birds Reports present broad-scale indices that account for the health of America’s habitats. These comprehensive reports document important and troubling messages about the state of our environment. Fortunately, the reports also find cause for optimism and identify conservation success stories plus opportunities for conservation action.
The State of the Birds Reports are based on various bird monitor efforts that provide a scientific foundation for identifying conservation opportunities. Using bird monitoring data the reports explain why bird populations are in decline and identify ways to reverse declines. Bird monitoring provides the scientific means used to identify problems and solutions, and helps us to identify where conservation investments are most likely to result in conservation success. By acting on the conservation opportunities identified in The U.S. State of the Birds Reports we can protect and re-build resilient landscapes, landscapes that will better provide society with the natural resources we need to thrive in the face of climate change and continued population growth.
To commemorate the Centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty in 2016, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative U.S. Subcommittee teamed up with NABCI partners in Mexico and Canada to produce the first State of North America’s Birds Report focused on full life-cycle bird conservation, migratory connections, and international cooperation to ensure the health of the continent’s birds.
The 2013 report highlights the enormous contributions private landowners make to bird and habitat conservation, and opportunities for increased contributions. Roughly 60% of land area in the United States (1.43 billion acres) is privately owned by millions of individuals, families, organizations, and corporations, including 2 million ranchers and farmers and about 10 million woodland owners. More than 100 species have 50% or more of their U.S. breeding distribution on private lands.his State of the Birds report reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. At the same time, we see heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.
The 2010 report considers one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, climate change. How will the impacts of climate change influence our bird populations and their habitats? Accelerated climate change as a result of human activities is altering the natural world as we know it, diminishing the quality of our environment. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.
The 2014 State of the Birds assesses the health of our nation’s bird populations through a set of habitat indicators, a Watch List of species most vulnerable to extinction, and a list of the Common Birds in Steep Decline. Habitat indicators are based on the population changes of obligate bird species—those birds restricted to a single habitat—where long-term monitoring data is available. This year’s indicators repeat the method from the original 2009 State of the Birds.
The 2011 report provides the nation’s first assessment of the distribution of birds on public lands and helps public agencies identify which species have significant potential for conservation in each habitat. The state of our birds is a measurable indicator of how well we are doing as stewards of our environment. The signal is clear. Greater conservation efforts on public lands and waters are needed to realize the vision of a nation sustained economically and spiritually by abundant natural resources and spectacular wildlife.
This original State of the Birds report reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. At the same time, we see heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.