17% of North American Birds Facing Rapid Decline

cerulean warbler photo

Cerulean warbler photo: Eddie Callaway via flickr.

A new report from Partners in Flight shows that about 17% of North American land bird species (148 of 882 species) are facing rapid declines, due not in small part due to habitat loss in their winter grounds in Mexico--84% of the imperiled species spend much of their time. New York Times sums it up:

The imperiled birds include 124 species that are mostly found in Mexico like the thick-billed parrot, the horned guan and the resplendent quetzal, a green, red and white bird with long tail feathers that feeds on avocados.

The study also identified 24 species from the United States and Canada as imperiled, including the cerulean warbler, the black swift and the Canada warbler.

resplendent quetzal photo

Resplendent Quetzel photo: Victoria Porter via flickr.

Partners in Flight has outlined a three-nation plan to help protect North American bird species. The top two steps: 1) Prominent steps include: Developing a network of protected areas, "especially in tropical and pine-oak forests of Mexico," to support land birds of high concern; and 2) Use sustainable agriculture, forestry and urban planning practices to protect core areas of habitat in the midst of working landscapes.

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