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Promoting new levels of communication and cooperation.

California All-Bird Workshop

Catherine Hickey and Kim Kreitinger


Shorebirds such as American Avocet are included in "all-bird" conservation. Photo © Peter Latourrette www.birdphotography.com

With the development over recent years of bird conservation plans that are regional to international in scope, agencies responsible for conservation management recognize the need to provide habitat not just for waterfowl or shorebirds but for all birds.

Coordinating the activities recommended in various bird conservation plans calls for unprecedented levels of communication and mutual understanding. To orient themselves to major findings of the pertinent plans, identify priority species, and develop statewide objectives for populations and habitats, those tasked with managing public lands and conservation programs have participated in more than 20 U.S. workshops for "all-bird" conservation.

In California, PRBO co-sponsored an All-Bird Workshop held in Sacramento in November 2004. The event successfully brought together 147 representatives from 44 different agencies and organizations. In addition to the goals mentioned above, its aims were to:

· identify opportunities for integrated all-bird conservation projects within particular habitats of interest;

· provide opportunities to identify common objectives between Joint Ventures (Observer 135, Winter 2004), bird conservation initiatives, e.g. California Partners in Flight, and other programs; and

· identify "all-bird" priorities to support the State Wildlife Diversity Project, a comprehensive wildlife conservation strategy being developed in California.

The workshop began with an overview of bird conservation planning on national, regional, statewide, and habitat scales. One session focused on opportunities for integrating all-bird conservation within major habitat types, from marshlands to grasslands to forests; another on resources available to wildlife biologists and managers, from monitoring and evaluation tools to funding opportunities for bird conservation projects.

Existing partnerships were strengthened as a result of this workshop, and many new partnerships were formed. Those responsible for wildlife conservation in California became better informed about threats to bird species and their habitats, and about resources available to them for more effective on-the-ground conservation efforts.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and PRBO Conservation Science with financial support from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, CDFG, Central Valley Joint Venture, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, DMARLOU Foundation, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. We thank these supporters and all who participated, and we look forward to future collaborative opportunities to help ensure conservation of all bird species throughout California.