The ABA and the NABCI, Securing a Future for North America’s Birds


Established in 1999, the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Committee is a forum of government agencies, private organizations, and bird initiatives helping partners across the continent meet their common bird conservation objectives. The Committee is working to secure a bright future for North America’s more than 1,150 species of birds, in conjunction with NABCI partners in Mexico and Canada. The Committee is dedicated to advancing integrated bird conservation, based on sound science and cost-effective management, to benefit all birds in all habitats.
The working group consists of 23 member organizations, and the ABA is proud to be a member as of this past January.

The NABCI working group discusses strategies for bird conservation earlier this week. The ABA’s Director of Conservation and Community Bill Stewart is on the far side of the table to the right.

The Committee’s overarching strategy is to foster coordination and collaboration on key issues of concern, including bird monitoring, conservation design, private lands, international collaboration, and state and federal agency support for integrated bird conservation. While these issues are often on the periphery for many hobby birders, nearly every individual with binoculars around their neck or a scope on their shoulder cares deeply about the welfare of the birds we love, and the initiatives undertaken by NABCI manifest themselves in ways that improve the satisfaction we take in out shared avocation.
The Committee is dedicated to promoting conservation design, improving bird monitoring and supporting international partners, and it is the NABCI is responsible for producing the annual State of the Birds report.
The meeting earlier this week was a gathering of committee member organizations to review the implementation of the NABCI Strategic Plan’s Goals – 1) Support healthy bird populations through habitat conservation, management, education, monitoring and sound science, 2) Maintain a well-coordinated bird conservation community, 3) Inform and support effective funding and policy to advance bird conservation.

Huge progress is being made towards all of the goals but unequally matched by government resources and funding opportunities.  Another deep concern of the committee is getting out the message of the annual findings concerning bird population trends, habitat loss, conservation efforts and 3 to 5 year projections.

Even in the face of those challenges, the energy among member organizations and agencies is strong. Birders, more than most, know that conservation works. We see the results of conservation decisions, good and bad, every time we are out in the field. We’re dedicated about contributing to citizen science initiatives like eBird, the Christmas Bird Count, and the Breeding Bird Survey, that help to provide the raw data than informs many conservation policies. And thanks to the ABA’s continued involvement in the NABCI, we’re excited to amplify the voice of ABA members in these decisions.

Thanks to Bill Stewart for his help in preparing this report.

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