Bird Conservation Regions



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 What are Bird Conservation Regions?

Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) are ecologically distinct regions in North America with similar bird communities, habitats, and resource management issues. BCRs are a single application of the scale-flexible hierarchical framework of nested ecological units delineated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The CEC framework comprises a hierarchy of 4 levels of ecoregions. At each spatial level, spatial resolution increases and ecoregions encompass areas that are progressively more similar in their biotic (e.g., plant and wildlife) and abiotic (e.g., soils, drainage patterns, temperature, and annual precipitation) characteristics. BCRs may be partitioned into smaller ecological units when finer scale conservation planning, implementation, and evaluation are necessary. Conversely, BCRs may be aggregated to facilitate conservation partnerships throughout the annual range of a group of species, recognizing that migratory species may use multiple BCRs throughout their annual life cycle. BCRs also facilitate domestic and international cooperation in bird conservation because these areas of relatively homogenous habitats and bird communities traverse state, provincial, and national borders.  Read more about BCRs....More>

The Development of Bird Conservation Regions

A mapping team comprised of members from the United States, Mexico, and
Canada assembled at the first international NABCI workshop held in Puebla, Mexico,
in November 1998, to develop a consistent spatial framework for bird conservation
for North America. After agreeing on general principles, they adopted a
hierarchical framework of nested ecological units delineated by the Commission for
Environmental Cooperation.

The team’s U.S. members met in December of that year in Memphis, Tennessee, to
apply the framework to the United States and develop a proposed map of BCRs.
The map and its BCR descriptions, along with an explanation of the ecological
framework and philosophy behind their development, was published in a
Proposed Framework for Delineating Ecologically-based Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation

Units for Cooperative Bird Conservation in the U.S.

This document was widely distributed for review in March 1999. Shortly after the comment period
closed in October, the team evaluated the comments received and produced a
revised map. The map was presented to and approved by the U.S. NABCI Committee
during its November 1, 1999, meeting.

The NGPJV = BCR 17. Badlands and Prairies

This semi-arid rolling plain is dominated by a mixed-grass prairie
that lies west and south of the glaciated Prairie Pothole region,
east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the true shortgrass
prairie. Due in large part to the continued dominance of ranching
as a land use, many contiguous grassland tracts of significant size
persist in this area. As a result, this area is habitat for some of the
healthiest populations of high priority dry-grassland birds on the
continent, including Mountain Plover, McCown’s Longspur, and
Long-billed Curlew. The relatively small number of wetlands in
the region, including small impoundments created to serve as
livestock water sources, receives intensive use by upland nesting
waterfowl and broods.