Understanding Trusts & Birds

Survey of Land Trusts

In 2014, we conducted an online survey of regional and local land trusts throughout the United States. The purpose of this survey was to understand how to best work with land trusts on bird and habitat conservation.

The survey focused on:

  • Understanding the current state of bird and habitat conservation by land trusts
  • Assessing how bird conservation information currently informs land trusts
  • Exploring motivations and barriers for bird and habitat conservation
  • Determining how best to share information
  • Identifying other ways to support land trusts
Online survey we conducted in 2014
Online survey we conducted in 2014 of regional and local land trusts throughout the United States

Interviews were conducted to inform survey questions and response options. The survey was sent to land trusts in the Land Trust Alliance database, with 42% responding (614 land trusts total).

A few key findings emerged from our analyses:

  1. Land trusts largely believe they are benefiting birds and habitats (especially forests).
  2. Nearly ½ of land trusts put land under conservation easement due to birds, and nearly ⅔ considered birds in management plans.
  3. Availability of funds would best ensure that land trusts conserve more bird habitat, followed by monitoring support.

More information about this survey and complete survey results can be found here. Our survey also resulted in a journal article publication about the extent to which land trusts focus on wildlife conservation.

These results have guided the formation of the Cornell Lab’s Land Trust Initiative and this website.

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