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August 2021

Vol. 49, No. 4

Zaps: 49-4

Zaps are notes of awareness and pleas for action that appear in the corresponding print edition of Bird Observer. Here they are from the current issue.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Birds of Conservation Concern 2021

Report Identifies 269 Species for Highest Conservation Priorities

In continuing proactive efforts to protect migratory birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released its Birds of Conservation Concern 2021 report. The publication identifies 269 species of birds that represent high conservation priorities for the Service and deserve proactive attention. This science will be used for cooperative research, monitoring and management actions that can directly or indirectly affect migratory birds with the help of international, federal, state, Tribal and private partners.

“This report serves as an early warning indicator for bird species in trouble and will help stimulate the collaborative conservation action needed to bring back declining bird species well before they become threatened or endangered, said Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams. “Almost 3 billion birds have been lost in North America since 1970, and this scientific information will help focus conservation efforts where they are most needed.”

The species that appear in Birds of Conservation Concern 2021 include migratory bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that the Service considers to be in greatest need of conservation attention. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act directs the Service “to identify species, subspecies and populations of all migratory nongame birds that, without additional conservation actions, are likely to become candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

The Service’s goal is to eliminate the need for additional ESA protections for birds by implementing proactive management and conservation actions that sustain populations well above thresholds of endangerment.

The conservation assessment was based on several factors, including population abundance and trends, threats on breeding and nonbreeding grounds and size of breeding and nonbreeding ranges. It encompasses four distinct geographic scales: the Continental U.S., including Alaska; Pacific Ocean islands, including Hawaii; Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Navassa; and continental Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) and Marine Bird Conservation Regions (MBCRs). Of the 269 species identified, 134 are of conservation concern at the Continental scale, 85 at the BCR scale, 30 on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and 33 on Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The report was last updated in 2008.

Inclusion in the Birds of Conservation Concern 2021 does not constitute a finding that listing under the ESA is warranted, or that substantial information exists to indicate that listing under the ESA may be warranted.

The report and additional information is available online at <https://www.fws.gov/birds/management/managed-species/birds-of-conservation-concern.php>.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit <www.fws.gov>.  Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.


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Our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England.