Bird Conservancy of the Rockies collaborates with partners in the United States and internationally to assess the conservation status of birds using the Partners in Flight (PIF) species assessment process.
The Bird Conservancy began working in 2014 with partners from the seven Central American countries, Mexico and the U.S. to conduct the first-ever conservation assessment of the birds of Central America. We are applying the PIF species assessment process to all 407 bird species unique to Central America, as well as 500-plus species shared between Mexico and Central America. This includes landbirds, shorebirds, waterbirds and waterfowl.
This assessment is indicating strong or severe population declines in more than half of the species being investigated though this process, a worrying situation. The population declines are associated with high rates of deforestation, agricultural expansion and urban growth of the last four decades in Central America. Another major threat identified by the experts is the lack of legal protection and forest rangers in many natural areas of the isthmus.
In cooperation with the Mexican “National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity” (CONABIO) and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Bird Conservancy began in 2002 applying the PIF species assessment process to the Mexican avifauna. This project was the culmination of several years of discussions about improving international cooperation to increase, better prioritize and coordinate resources for bird conservation.
Over three years, the Bird Conservancy helped lead and facilitate three national and four regional workshops involving more than 100 Mexican biologists to systematically evaluate the biological vulnerability of each Mexican bird species at regional and continental scales.
These data have been used to develop the first of many products to come from this work: the “PIF Tri-national Vision: Saving Our Shared Birds”. It is also expected that CONABIO will publish the all-bird assessment for Mexico. Through building a strong biological foundation of conservation threats and statuses, we hope to increase recognition and resources for shared conservation responsibilities throughout the continent. The Mexican Species Avian Assessment Database can be accessed at avesmx.conabio.gob.mx.