Habitat Throughout theHemisphere: An International Conservation Priority
Millions of migratory birds fly along the entire western border of the Americas each year in search of wintering and nesting grounds. Silhouetting the length of the continents, this flyway traces a path of more than two thousand miles—from the north slope of Alaska all the way to Peru. Throughout the year, these migratory birds require resources of many different habitats and ecosystems. Breeding grounds must offer sufficient food, nesting habitat, and nursery habitat for successful clutch rearing. Stopover sites and staging areas must provide abundant, accessible, high-quality food. Wintering areas must have sufficient food and safe roosting areas for the birds to survive to the breeding season. Most importantly, stable bird populations require conditions to be good at the right time. Unfortunately, development pressures, pollution and changes in land uses have led to deteriorating habitat along the flyways—leading to waning populations of many bird species.
It is complex to protect thousands of acres of habitat which cross jurisdictions—from private to state ownership, across state and even national boundaries. An effective way to conserve this critical habitat is by creating partnerships. The good news is that scientists, land owners, state and federal government agencies, environmental non-governmental organizations are working together. The Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative (CRIMBI) is an example of a successful partnership.