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U.S. News Release


National leaders from Canada, Mexico, and the United States release landmark
tri-national conservation assessment for birds

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, May 11, 2010—Today the governments of United States, Canada, and Mexico, on behalf of Partner in Flight organizations, announced the release of a ground-breaking report articulating tri-national priorities for bird conservation. The report, Saving our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation, was unveiled at the XVth Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management annual meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The report--a collaboration by bird conservation experts from the three nations’ leading conservation organizations--is the first comprehensive conservation assessment of bird species in North America. Release of this report also coincides with International Migratory Bird Day 2010, which celebrates the power of bird partnerships.

The United States, Canada, and Mexico share 882 native landbird species, almost one-third of which depend substantially for their survival on at least two of the countries each year. The report identifies 148 bird species in need of immediate conservation attention because of their highly threatened and declining populations and the threats they face.

“This Partners in Flight report will help us build on the great work currently being done by the many federal agencies, conservation groups, academic institutions and individuals who care about birds throughout the Western Hemisphere. Our many bird conservation initiatives such as Partners in Flight and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act are already making a difference for birds,” said Rowan Gould, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We are committed to increasing our cooperation with Mexico and Canada and working together to help save our shared birdlife.”

“The release of this report illustrates our three countries’ commitment to the long-term conservation of biological biodiversity and to working with each other to protect our natural heritage through forums like the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and the International Year of Biodiversity,” said Virginia Poter, Canadian Wildlife Services’ Director General at Environment Canada. “The Government of Canada is proud to contribute to the conservation of our migratory birds and to collaborate with the United States and Mexico to protect our shared birdlife.”

“The winter ranges of shared migrants show a striking geographic overlap with the ranges of species at greatest risk of extinction,” said Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez, National Coordinator of Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO). “More than 100 of the migrants shared substantially among our three countries depend on the same tropical and pine-oak forests in Mexico that support highly threatened tropical resident.”

The report also includes the following key findings:

• The most imperiled birds include 44 species with very limited distributions, found mostly in Mexico, including the thick-billed parrot and horned guan.

• Also of high tri-national concern are 80 tropical residents with ranges in Mexico, which for some species extend as far as South America, such as the red-breasted chat and resplendent quetzal.

• In addition, 24 species that breed in the United States and Canada continue to warrant immediate action to prevent further declines, including the cerulean warbler, black swift, and Canada warbler.

• Forty-two common bird species have steeply declined by 50 percent or more in the past 40 years, including common nighthawk, eastern meadowlark and loggerhead shrike in the United States and Canada.

“Our continent’s spectacular birdlife extends from Canada’s boreal forests where billions of birds raise their young each year, to the stunning diversity of Mexico’s tropical forests, and the hemispheric migrations of birds that connect these distant lands,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who serves as the Partners in Flight Science Committee Chair. “Conserving our continent’s birdlife will require greatly increased international cooperation, among our nations’ governments, as well as our societies.”

Partners in Flight is a cooperative effort involving federal, state, and local government agencies, philanthropic foundations, professional organizations, conservation groups, industry, academic institutions, and private individuals. Partners in Flight achieves success in conserving bird populations in the Western Hemisphere through combining resources of public and private organizations in North and South America. This report is the latest effort by Partners in Flight to help species at risk and keep common birds common—its mission since 1990.

To learn more about Partners in Flight, visit