Birds of Conservation Concern

What are Birds of Conservation Concern?

The 1988 amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act mandates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to “identify species, subspecies, and populations of all migratory nongame birds that, without additional conservation actions, are likely to become candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973.”  Birds of Conservation Concern 2008 is the most recent effort to carry out this mandate.  Bird species considered for the BCC include:

  • nongame birds
  • gamebirds without hunting seasons
  • subsistence-hunted nongame birds in Alaska
  • ESA candidate, proposed, and recently delisted species

The overall goal of the Birds of Conservation Concern is to accurately identify the migratory and non-migratory bird species (beyond those already designated as Federally threatened or endangered) that represent our highest conservation priorities.  Bird species considered for inclusion on lists in this report include nongame birds, gamebirds without hunting seasons, subsistence-hunted nongame birds in Alaska; and Endangered Species Act candidate, proposed endangered or threatened, and recently delisted species.

Birds of Conservation Concern 2008 encompasses three distinct geographic scales including at the National level (United States in its entirety, including island "territories" in the Pacific and Caribbean), at the  North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs), and at  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regions level. This is primarily derived from assessment scores from three major bird conservation plans: the  Partners in FlightNorth American Landbird Conservation Plan, the  United States Shorebird Conservation Plan , and the  North American Waterbird Conservation Plan

The Birds of Conservation Concern includes some non-MBTA-protected species because their conservation status and efforts are of concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

To maximize the usefulness of this report to multiple partners, the Birds of Conservation Concern 2008 lists are presented in 46 separate tables, comprising 37 BCR lists (Tables 2 to 38), 8 USFWS Region lists (Tables 39 to 47) and 1 National list (Table 48).  Summaries of the status of each species at each of the three distinct geographic scales are provided in Appendix B, and a list of scientific names of all species mentioned is found in Appendix C.  The BCR lists range from 10 to 53 species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region lists range from 27 to 78 species, and the National list consists of 147 species.  The number of priority species represents roughly 10 to 15 percent of all bird species of any given geographic unit.  View  table (342.6KB).

Last Updated: September 25, 2015