Water is the lifeblood of natural systems: it delivers nutrients, enhances productivity, and concentrates biodiversity. Whether in lush groves of vegetation along a river bank, in marshlands where groundwater saturates the land, or in coastal lagoons where ocean tides mix with stream run-off: wildlife follows water. Nowhere is this more evident than in the arid West, where rivers and marshes are critical islands of habitat.

Point Blue Conservation Science has prioritized bird monitoring to evaluate the health of streamside and wetland ecosystems for the past forty-plus years. We play a key role in conservation partnerships across California, bringing scientific expertise about habitat health as indicated by bird populations. With water now an increasingly critical resource, meeting the needs of both people and wildlife from natural systems will call for Point Blue’s information and foresight.

Climate change and continuing land-use changes add to the stresses on interior natural systems reliant on water. At Point Blue Conservation Science, we help resource managers implement climate-smart conservation action. We use our studies of birds as indicators of success, and we work through partnerships to achieve win-win solutions. We are helping ensure that private agricultural lands – by far the greatest portion of remaining open land in California – can be wildlife friendly! We participate in restoration projects with multiple benefits, and we translate our science into planning tools to ensure healthy natural systems, for wildlife and for people, into our future.