National & International Bird Conservation Initiatives

NABCI - North American Bird Conservation Initiative

Biological planning and conservation design for the NGPJV has evolved at the nexus of four major bird initiatives – North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan (USSCP), North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP), and Partners in Flight (PIF) initiative for landbirds. These initiatives join together on activities, such as State of the Birds and Farm Bill outreach, through the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI).

The major role of the four initiatives is to establish the continental foundation for bird conservation. JVs then translate continental conservation objectives to meaningful regional scales.

 North American Waterfowl Management Program (NAWMP)

NAWMP is an international agreement developed in 1986 that recognizes the recovery and perpetuation of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife that depend on the restoration of wetlands and associated ecosystems throughout North America. As a result, it established cooperative initiatives (Joint Ventures) to reverse declines in wetland habitats and associated wildlife.  JVs now implement all bird conservation in a variety of habitats.


The 2012 NAWMP Revision sets forth three overarching goals for waterfowl conservation:

1) abundant and resilient waterfowl populations to support hunting and other uses without imperiling habitat;

2) wetlands and related habitats sufficient to sustain waterfowl populations at desired levels, while providing places to recreate and ecological services that benefit society; and

3) growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

The first two goals have always been part of the NAWMP. The third goal underscores the importance of people to the success of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

A companion Action Plan will be completed in the summer of 2012.  A Spanish language version of the document will be available at:


Author, Source
North American Waterfowl Management Plan


 Partners In Flight (PIF)

PIF is a cooperative effort of federal, state and local government agencies, universities, industries and nonprofit organizations founded in 1990 to focus on the conservation of landbirds. PIF is well-known for its species assessment process which establishes priorities for conservation activities.  PIF follows a two-pronged approach of keeping common birds common and helping species at risk. 

Updates to Partners In Flight



The Partners in Flight Species Assessment and Population Estimates databases have been updated! These databases now provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on North American landbirds, to be used in conservation assessments and plans at the state/provincial, regional, national, and continental scales. To access the new PIF databases and associated user guides and to view news of updates and changes to both databases, please visit:




Yellow-headed blackbird.


PIF Species Assessment Database
The PIF Species Assessment Database now includes scores for all 887 native landbirds in Canada, the continental U.S., and Mexico, along with scores for well-established non-native species.  Between 2002 and 2006, the Mexican federal agency CONABIO, in cooperation with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, applied the PIF Assessment Process to the entire Mexican avifauna through a series of regional and national workshops involving over 100 Mexican biologists.  Between 2008 and 2010, the PIF International Science Committee updated and merged the two databases for all landbirds, forming the basis for Saving our Shared Birds: the PIF Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation (Berlanga et al. 2010).
All scores, data sources, and other information used for Saving our Shared Birds are contained in the PIF Species Assessment Database, maintained by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.  Scores can be viewed online and can be downloaded as .csv text files at  Changes to the database will be incorporated periodically and made available in updated versions. Any necessary revisions of the Handbook on Species Assessment will be made at the same time.  Older versions of the database and associated documentation have been archived and are also available on the website.
PIF Population Estimates Database
This update of the PIF Population Estimates Database corresponds with the updated Partners in Flight Species Assessment Database and Saving our Shared Birds: the Partners in Flight Tri-national Vision for Landbird Conservation (Berlanga et al. 2010).  It replaces the previous version, which corresponded with continental population estimates used in the PIF North American Landbird Conservation Plan (Rich et al. 2004) and stepped-down population estimates for each U.S. state in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Partners in Flight Landbird Reports (Rosenberg 2004).  The extensive work required for this update was primarily completed through the dedication of Peter Blancher, with Environment Canada.  Thank you Pete!
The updated database incorporates more recent data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (1998-2007), additional population data sources such as the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, new independent estimates, and other modifications.  Details related to changes in this update are provided in the Handbook to the Partners in Flight Population Estimates Database, version 2.0.  Partners in Flight continues to seek input and relevant data from throughout the bird conservation community to improve these estimates for future updates.  Range-wide (global) and regional (BCR) population estimates can be viewed online and can be downloaded as Excel files at  Changes to the database will be incorporated periodically into updated versions and any necessary revisions of the Handbook will be made at the same time.
Maintenance of these databases depends on voluntary support from bird conservation partners.  The recent update was completed with support from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.  Thank you partners!
For any questions or comments, and to support future updates of the databases, please contact Greg Levandoski, PIF Database Manager at



 The U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan (USSCP)

The USSCP is a partnership of organizations throughout the United States committed to the conservation of shorebirds. The partnership has developed conservation goals for each region of the country, identified critical habitat conservation needs, and proposed education and outreach programs to increase awareness of shorebirds and the threats they face.

The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP)



The Role of NGPJV

The role of the NGPJV is to synthesize National and International Bird Conservation Initiatives and translate bird population objectives to ecoregional scales within the Intermountain West. We use scientifically defensible means to identify the quantity and quality of habitat needed to support priority bird populations at goal levels.