North American Waterfowl Management Plan-

 History/Background (from website)

In 1985, waterfowl populations had plummeted to record lows. Historical data indicated that since the first settlers arrived 53 percent of the original 221 million wetland acres found in the contiguous United States had been destroyed. The habitat that waterfowl depend on for survival was disappearing at a rate of 60 acres per hour. The picture was the same across Canada, where a large percentage of the United States’ wintering waterfowl nest. Wetland losses across Canada were estimated to be 29 to 71 percent since settlement.

Recognizing the importance of waterfowl and wetlands to North Americans and the need for international cooperation to help in the recovery of a shared resource, the Canadian and United States governments developed a strategy to restore waterfowl populations through habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement. The strategy was documented in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan signed in 1986 by the Canadian Minister of the Environment and the United States’ Secretary of the Interior, the foundation partnership upon which hundreds of others would be built. With its update in 1994, Mexico became a signatory to the Plan.

The Plan is innovative because its perspective is international in scope, but its implementation functions at the regional level. Its success is dependent upon the strength of partnerships, called Joint Ventures, involving federal, state, provincial, tribal, and local governments, businesses, conservation organizations, and individual citizens. Joint Ventures develop implementation plans focusing on areas of concern identified in the Plan. For a more detailed explanation of Joint Ventures go here-

Partners’ conservation projects not only advance waterfowl conservation, but make substantial contributions toward the conservation of all wetland-associated species. There are 11 Plan habitat Joint Ventures in the United States and 3 in Canada. One of those has international status, its boundaries stretching across the Canadian-United States border. Three species Joint Ventures have also been formed to address monitoring and research needs of specific species or species groups. The species Joint Ventures are also international in scope.

Resources available:

The NAWMP outlines the overall strategic direction, population objectives and status of waterfowl species, and administration for wetland/waterfowl conservation efforts through Joint Ventures. The original NAWMP document was created in 1986, and was updated in 1994, 1998 and 2012. The 2012 update is available online (.pdf format) here-

 Partners-In-Flight (PIF)-


PIF was launched in 1990 in response to concerns about many declining “landbird” species that were not covered in many of the other bird planning efforts. PIF is a cooperative, international partnership between multiple agencies, NGOs, foundations, etc. For a list of signatories, go to Originally, neotropical migrants were the focal species, but efforts eventually expanded to cover most species that require more terrestrial habitats. However, a key premise of PIF is that resources of North and South American partners must be combined in order to effectively conserve bird populations.

 Resources available:

Lots of planning documents available, most significant of which are Bird Conservation Plans (BCPs). These documents outline the long-term strategy for bird conservation by Physiographic Area, an internal stratification based upon similar bird species/habitat types. BCPs are available online here-

U.S Shorebird Conservation Plan

History/Background (from website)

Partners from state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations from across the country pooled their resources and expertise to develop a conservation strategy for migratory shorebirds and the habitats upon which they depend. The plan provides a scientific framework to determine species, sites, and habitats that most urgently need conservation action. Main goals of the plan, completed in 2000, are to ensure that adequate quantity and quality of shorebird habitat is maintained at the local level and to maintain or restore shorebird populations at the continental and hemispheric levels. Separate technical reports were developed for a conservation assessment, research needs, a comprehensive monitoring strategy, and education and outreach. These national assessments were used to step down goals and objectives into 11 regional conservation plans. Although some outreach, education, research, monitoring, and habitat conservation programs are being implemented, accomplishment of conservation objectives for all shorebird species will require a coordinated effort among traditional and new partners. National and regional plans and other plan-related documents are available on this website. Updates and subsequent documents will be posted on this website.

The U. S. Shorebird Conservation Plan Council serves as the steering committee for the U. S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and oversees the implementation of the regional, national, and international goals of the Plan. The Council is open to all private and public organizations who support implementation of the goals and objectives developed in the Plan. Meetings of the Council are held twice a year. Minutes of the meetings will be posted on this website. The Terms of Reference that govern the operation of the Council can also be found on this website.

Resources Available:

The national plan, which outlines the national vision, goals and strategies, and conservation status/priorities for shorebird species is available online here, along with a variety of other useful documents-

The regional plan that includes Missouri (Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes) is available here-

North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP)-


The NAWCP, published in 2002, is a product of Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, a partnership developed to support the conservation of waterbirds. The plan provides a “continental framework” for the management and conservation of waterbirds. Species defined as “waterbirds” are wading birds (herons, cranes, etc.), coastal waterbirds, seabirds (gulls, auks, albatross, petrels, etc.), and marshbirds (rails, coots, etc.). The plan covers a total of 210 species in 29 countries.

Resources Available:

The NAWCP, which outlines the international vision, goals and strategies, and conservation status/priorities for waterbird species, and several other supporting documents are available here- Regional Waterbird Conservation Plans are currently being developed.

Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI)-

History/Background (from website):

The Southeast Quail Study Group (SEQSG) Technical Committee, an arm of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), completed in March 2002 the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI). The Initiative is the first-ever landscape-scale habitat restoration and population recovery plan for northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) in the U.S. NBCI was developed at the charge of the SEAFWA directors, in recognition of (1) the continuing serious decline of bobwhite populations across most of the species range, and (2) the necessity for large-scale coordinated, collaborative action at the regional level.

The plan focuses on population and habitat objectives needed to achieve the overall goal of recovering bobwhite densities to 1980 levels on remaining improvable portions of the landscape. The plans building blocks are the Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) developed for and utilized by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). The plan consists of separate chapters for each of 15 BCRs, with population and habitat objectives for each. Another important foundation of NBCI is the land-use data collected and analyzed every five years by the National Resources Inventory (NRI), a database of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The intent of the BCR-based structure of the NBCI is to facilitate seamless integration of bobwhite habitat restoration efforts with those for migratory songbirds, and other wildlife that share the bobwhite’s habitats. The SEQSG and the SEAFWA directors anticipate mutual cooperation and collective action by bobwhite and songbird advocates ultimately will result in more effective and more substantial habitat restoration efforts for all early successional species.

Resources Available:

Go to and scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to the NBCI plan document. Other documents relating to bobwhite/early successional bird species management are also available here.

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI)-


NABCI was created in recognition of the fact that many bird species, across taxa and habitats, are experiencing significant and in some cases severe population-level declines. A variety of bird conservation partnerships (see above) have been initiated to address the needs of various groups of bird species. While these partnerships have generated many notable successes, it is apparent that there is a great deal of overlap amongst the interests of these efforts, and thus the common interests of all can be better achieved through more integrated planning and delivery. In short, the goal of NABCI is to better coordinate the efforts of multiple bird conservation partnerships on a landscape level. In order to facilitate the integrated conservation of all bird species on a regional scale, NABCI developed a geographical network of Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs), based upon relatively similar habitats and bird species. For a map on description of BCRs go here-

Resources Available:

There are a multitude of helpful documents, as well as links to other bird initiatives, at the NABCI website at- Also, the Central Hardwoods BCR (24) has generated a map of “Focus Areas”, identifying the sites which are the highest priority within the BCR for bird conservation efforts.

Important Bird Areas (IBA) program-


BirdLife International, a partnership of organizations in Europe, initiated the IBA program in 1981 in response to the continuing loss, degradation, and fragmentation of bird habitat worldwide. To address this problem, the IBA program is identifying the areas that are the most important to all bird species on a population level. The IBA program is unique among other bird conservation planning efforts in that it identifies it’s focus areas from both the analysis of ornithological experts and through the on-the-ground efforts of “citizen scientists”. To be designated an IBA, a site must meet at least one of the following general criteria-

1) Provide habitat for species of conservation concern

2) Provide habitat for species with restricted ranges

3) Provide habitat for species associated with a rare habitat type

4) Provide habitat for species vulnerable because they congregate in large numbers

Once sites are identified, conservation efforts should be focused on these areas. The National Audubon Society is partnering with BirdLife to implement the IBA program in the United States. In Missouri, the IBA program was initiated in 2002 and 47 sites have been identified as IBAs.

Resources Available:

The Audubon IBA website is listed above. A description of the IBA program in Missouri can be found at

The Grasslands Coalition-


The Grasslands Coalition (GC), assembled by the Missouri Prairie Foundation, is a partnership of public and private organizations for grassland conservation. The GC identified nine focus areas in Missouri to focus the efforts of the GC partners on grassland habitat restoration. The areas were identified using the Greater Prairie-chicken as the flagship species. The prairie-chicken is species of conservation concern in Missouri that requires large tracts of high quality grassland habitats. Thus, restoration efforts targeted towards prairie-chickens will also benefit many other grassland wildlife species. The GC has raised over $500,000 in additional funds for grassland habitat restoration over the last few years, mostly through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant program.

Resources Available:

For a more detailed explanation of the GC Focus Areas go to-                  

The Nature Conservancy Ecoregional Planning

Other available data of interest:

 Missouri Breeding Bird Atlas- htt://

National Breeding Bird Survey data-

Christmas Bird Count Data-

Cornell Lab of Ornithology-

Missouri Natural Heritage Database –


Other Links of Interest-

  1. (Checklist of Missouri Birds).
  2. American Waterfowl Management Plan).
  3. (Northern Bobwhite Quail Conservation Initiative).
  4. Shorebird Conservation Plan).
  5.   (Partners In Flight).
  6. American Bird Conservation Initiative).
     (Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative).
  8. (Montana Bird Conservation Initiative).
  9. (Nebraska Bird Conservation Initiative).
  10. (Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative).
  11. (Virginia Bird Conservation Initiative).
  12. (Joint Ventures in United States and Canada).
  13. (Iowa Bird Conservation Regions).
  14. Important Bird Area Program).
  15. The Audubon Society of Missouri (Audubon Society of Missouri).

You may also contact Audubon Missouri at MoBCI PMB 117, 2101 W. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203  (573) 751-4115  X3353

Missouri Bird Conservation Resources: (Management Recommendations / Pamphlets)

Note: member organizations are encouraged to provide electronic versions of management guidelines or practices pamphlets.

© 2003–2024 Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative