Habitat Creation, Protection and Restoration

The single most important reason for population declines in migratory birds is loss of habitat. For this reason, a major component of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds is habitat creation, protection, and restoration (CPR) for wild birds in the urban setting. Although urban development often results in extensive modification or destruction of natural habitat, opportunities can be identified to create, protect, restore and manage habitat for migratory birds. Bird habitat CPR may be designed to provide nesting, feeding and resting habitat for all birds during migration, or to create watchable wildlife opportunities. It may also be created or enhanced to provide habitat for Species of Conservation Concern*, or species listed on National State Heritage Lists.

Examples of Habitat CPR projects include:
  • Planting native trees, shrubs and perennial flowers as well as native grasses in backyards by homeowners.
  • Planting of native, shelter or food-source vegetation along boulevards, parkways, and vacant lots.
  • Revise city park management plans to incorporate the needs of migratory birds.
  • Acquiring or protecting natural areas or other unprotected open space through easements.
  • Controlling invasive or nuisance species to create desired habitat conditions.
  • Enlarging the extent of an existing park or habitat area.
  • Providing habitat connections between parks and other habitat areas. Connections allow birds and other wildlife to move more safely among sites.

In order to evaluate a city program for Habitat CPR, follow the instructions on the application, to supply a general overview of the types of habitat that currently exist in the metropolitan area, their extent and distribution, and whether any of these habitats are or could be important for bird Species of Conservation Concern. Your application must describe the plans for habitat CPR and desired outcome, and how the proposed habitat projects fit in with other habitat patches or corridors in the area under consideration.

*Species of Conservation Concern are birds that are declining in number, considered rare, or warrant special conservation actions. Birds that have been de-listed, or removed, from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife List (List) are immediately placed on the Service list of Species of Management Concern.