These four birds, an American Oystercatcher, a Greater Sage-Grouse, a Reddish Egret and a Mountain Plover are all facing the risk of extinction without serious conservation measures to reduce declines in populations and habitat destruction.
The news doesn’t get better for other bird species either, of 1,154 native bird species found in the U.S., Canada and Mexico 432 of them are on the Watch List.
What is the Watch List? These are species that are at risk of extinction if we don’t take measures to save them. If we don’t take steps to reduce habitat destruction. If we don’t take steps to do something about climate change and the effects it will have on the birds, wildlife and humans.
- 57% of ocean species are on the Watch List because of small or declining populations and habitat destruction
- 56% of bird species are on the Watch List because of small or declining populations and habitat destruction
- 37% of birds found on our coasts, 28% of birds that live in aridlands and 27% of birds that live in our grasslands are in steep decline. Long distance migratory shorebirds have lost 70% of their populations since 1970.
There are 144 species from the temperate forests, 78 species from the tundra, 171 species from wetlands, 73 species from boreal forests and 65 generalists species that are also on the Watch List.
So what can we do?
We can elect representatives who believe in the concepts of conservation and science based legislation, who understand that healthy environments aren’t just good for people but also for birds, wildlife and the economy.
We can tell corporations that we will not buy their products if they pollute, aren’t sustainable or are careless with our natural resources. Our money talks.
And as individuals we can introduce the wonder of birds to our friends, family, and the general public. Teach our children how important it is to be good stewards of our planet.
We can use our voices to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves.
We can support bird conservation. Become active in organizations who support clean air, birds and nature. Be informed.
We need support keeping public lands in public hands because those lands are refuges for the birds, the wildlife and for us.
We have to do something. Now. There is so much more we can do.
Species Assessment Summary and Watch List
State of the Birds (PDF with information)
2016 State of the Birds Calls for Continent-wide Commitment to Bird Conservation (ABA)
State of North America’s Birds Report Released to Commemorate Centennial of the First Migratory Bird Treaty (nature.org)
For more information on supporting bird conservation