The Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) is a partnership of organizations that “get excited about birds,” care about bird conservation, and/or have formal legal responsibilities for bird conservation. It is an organization of organizations, a diverse partnership dedicated to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats. The MoBCI was formally established August 16, 2003 following the written commitment of 28 organizations to unite in the pursuit of integrated all-bird conservation. A series of communication and consensus building meetings preceded the MoBCI’s official formation. Now 72 organizations have agreed to participate in the initiative.
MoBCI has as its primary purpose to work together to conserve, restore, and protect bird populations. MoBCI members realize that our respective organizational interests in birds are varied, but also that these diverse interests, if unified, represent a powerful force of action and voice on behalf of birds and their habitats. Further, member organizations recognize that much more can be accomplished if we jointly engage in what are truly common goals. Moreover, communication and cooperation promote an understanding of our respective individual and organizational interests in birds. Accompanying that understanding is appreciation for the motivations of others. MoBCI is Missouri’s “step down” of the hemispheric and international integrated bird conservation partnership–the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). The NABCI vision is one where “Populations and habitats of North America’s birds are protected, restored, and enhanced through coordinated efforts at international, national, regional, state, and local levels, guided by sound science and effective management.” Like the NABCI, the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative is about conserving birds across geopolitical boundaries, across taxonomic groups, and across landscapes. Also, like NABCI, the MoBCI is a partnership based affiliation; however, it is designed for delivery of conservation at the state and local levels.
The following principles guide MoBCI operations:
- Bird conservation depends upon the coordination of diverse skills and resources of landowners, government agencies, businesses, private and public institutions, and all citizens who care for birds.
- Bird conservation demands that attention be focused on the full array of wild bird species.
- Bird conservation is based on the best available science.
- Voluntary partnerships are essential for the effective delivery of integrated bird conservation.
- Knowledge is shared widely to encourage voluntary stewardship and further bird-based recreation.
Consider the following:
- In Missouri, 26 percent of bird species exhibited significant declining trends from 1980 to 2000. This is an increase of 9 percent over the 1966-1979 time period. (Source: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center — Analysis of Breeding Bird Survey data).
- Abundance indices for important Missouri game birds–northern bobwhite, mourning dove, and American woodcock — have declined sharply along Breeding Bird Survey routes from 1966-2000. Meanwhile, indices of ruffed grouse abundance in Missouri dating to 1960 reached record lows in 2000.
- Fifty-two birds are listed on the Missouri Species of Conservation Concern Checklist. Species listed include: American bittern, marsh wren, Swainson’s warbler, king rail, Cerulean warbler, greater prairie-chicken, Northern harrier, Henslow’s sparrow, Bachman’s sparrow and interior least tern.
Missouri is located at the confluence of the nation’s largest river systems. These rivers and their associated wetlands provide critical migration stopovers and breeding and wintering habitat for many species of birds. However, over 90 percent of the wetlands once present in Missouri have been destroyed. Their loss has had profound, but largely unquantified, impacts on these species.
MoBCI Permanent Mailing Address:Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation c/o David Erickson 2101 West Broadway, #122 Columbia, MO 65203-1261