State of the Birds

Just Released: State Of the Birds Report on Private Lands

WASHINGTON DC – The first-ever comprehensive report on State of the Birds Report on Private Lands was released on July 2nd, 2013.

The bottom line: Private lands and private landowners are essential to the conservation of our nation’s birds.

The scientific data indicate a very high dependence on private lands among grassland, wetland, and eastern forest birds as well as the tremendous potential for bird conservation. More than 100 species have 50% or more of their U.S. breeding distributions on private lands. The science team relied on high-performance computing techniques to generate detailed bird distribution maps based on citizen-science data reported to eBird and information from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Protected Areas Database of the United States.

  • Wetlands support more than 75% of the breeding and wintering distributions of waterfowl such as American Black Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintails, and Wood Ducks.
  • Seven breeding obligate grassland bird species, including Eastern Meadowlark and Dickcissel, have more than 90% of their distribution on private lands.
  • Coastal areas constitute only 9% of the total land area of the U.S. (excluding Alaska and Caribbean and Pacific Islands), but 25% of all bird species in North America use coastal habitats for some part of their annual cycle.
  • Hawai`i accounts for approximately 0.2% of the area of the U.S., yet it contains 33% of all federally endangered bird species.

State of the Birds Report Partners

The State of the Birds Report on Private Lands is a collaborative effort as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative, involving federal and state wildlife agencies, and scientific and conservation organizations. These include North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee, American Bird Conservancy, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ducks Unlimited, Klamath Bird Observatory, National Audubon Society, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., The Nature Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, University of Idaho, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Press release by Alicia F. King, USFWS (571) 214-3117