Loss of riparian habitat is the single greatest cause of recent declines in songbird populations in the western U.S. New possibilities for preserving this critical habitat--through partnerships--prompted California Partners In Flight in 1994 to launch the Riparian Habitat Joint Venture, modeled on the waterfowl JVs but funded solely by its member organizations.
Current priorities include projects on the Sacramento, Owens, South Fork Kern, San Joaquin, and other California rivers. The Riparian Bird Conservation Plan, summarizing current scientific knowledge on the requirements of 14 focal bird species, provides recommendations for habitat management and monitoring; the new Version 2 is available at www.prbo.org.
From the Riparian Plan
Some recommendations for restoring habitat with complex "structure," which best supports nesting birds.
Plant a minimum of two or more species of native shrubs or trees.
Plant in a mosaic design, with dense shrub patches interspersed with trees for a semi-open canopy.
Ann Chrisney is Coordinator of the Riparian Habitat Joint Venture.