JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A recent study from prominent bird researchers in the U.S. and Canada, including Cornell Lab of Ornithology, found that North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years, and those declines are also occurring in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is partnering with other conservation agencies and organizations to address population declines in the state and offer solutions.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of these widespread bird declines because many birds are migratory and they breed here but winter out of the country,” said MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick. “But one of the threats birds are facing is loss of breeding habitat and managers of public and private land can help reverse these declines.”
MISSOURI BIRD CONSERVATION PLAN
Over the past year, MDC has been working with the U.S. Forest Service, regional bird conservation group Joint Ventures, Missouri River Bird Observatory, and other land-management agencies and organizations to develop the Missouri Bird Conservation Plan. The plan is a tool created to help reverse dwindling bird populations by focusing statewide conservation efforts across agencies and organizations toward shared goals.
The Missouri Bird Conservation Plan outlines the state’s most threatened bird species and their level of statewide concern, their land management needs, and threats to the species and their habitats. With this information, land management agencies and organizations, and property owners can work together to enhance breeding habitats for these priority bird species.
For more information on the Missouri Bird Conservation Plan, bird species at risk, and land management needs, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/ZAF.
There are roughly 335 bird species that commonly occur in Missouri. Of that number, 29 are included in the Missouri Bird Conservation Plan. The list includes the eastern meadowlark, prairie warbler, northern bobwhite, eastern whip-poor-will, and red-headed woodpecker.