Focal Species

To better measure its success in achieving its bird conservation priorities and mandates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program initiated a Focal Species strategy for migratory birds. The Focal Species strategy involves campaigns for selected species to provide explicit, strategic, and adaptive sets of conservation actions required to return the species to healthy and sustainable levels.

The goal of the Focal Species strategy is to measure the success
in achieving bird conservation and to increase accountability. This is one of several ways that the Service measures bird conservation success. The Service remains committed to landscape-scale, integrated bird conservation for the full array of species of management concern. The Focal Species approach is just one component of the  Migratory Bird Program and complements other work on migratory birds and their habitats.

To select Focal Species, the Migratory Bird Program identifies species from the Birds of Management Concern list that need
investment because they: 1) have high conservation need, 2) are
representative of a broader group of species sharing the same or
similar conservation needs, 3) act as a potential unifier for partnerships, and/or 4) have a high likelihood that factors affecting status can be realistically addressed.

Focal Species are identified over the short term to receive specific attention. These species/populations are not the only ones that meet the criteria, but are species the Migratory Bird Program will focus conservation efforts over the next five years.

 Fact Sheet (140.5KB)
 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (72.4KB)

Focal Species List

 American Black Duck (5.6MB)
 American Oystercatcher(14.8MB)
 American Woodcock (991.6KB) (Eastern and Central management unit)
Audubon's Shearwater
Bald Eagle
Bendire's Thrasher
 Bicknell’s Thrush (932.3KB)
 Black Brant (791.9KB)
 Black Oystercatcher (1.1MB)
 Black-capped petrel (1005.9KB)
Black Rail
Black Tern
 Buff-breasted Sandpiper (5.3MB)
Burrowing Owl
 Cerulean Warbler (547.8KB)
Common Eider (Atlantic)
 Common Eider (1.8MB) (Pacific)
Common Tern (Great Lakes pop.)
 Dunlin (2.9MB)
 Dusky Canada Goose (351.6KB)
Emperor Goose
Golden Eagle
 Golden-winged Warbler (11.3MB)
 Grasshopper Sparrow (1.6MB)
 Greater Shearwater (2.9MB)
 Gull-billed Tern (6.7MB)
 Henslow’s Sparrow (3.8MB)
 Hudsonian Godwit (1.6MB)
 King Rail (4.3MB)
 Kittlitz’s Murrelet (1.3MB)
 Kittlitz’s Murrelet (1.3MB)
 Laysan and Black-footed Albatross (1009.9KB)
Lesser Scaup (and Greater)
 Long-billed Curlew (2.4MB)
 Marbled Godwit (5.3MB)
Mottled Duck
 Mountain Plover (474.3KB)
Northern Pintail
Painted Bunting
 Red Knot (7.5MB) (C.c. rufa and C.c. roselaari)
Reddish Egret
 Rusty Blackbird (604KB)
 Semi-palmated Sandpiper (1.4MB) (eastern pop.)
Snowy Plover (in part)
 Sprague’s Pipit (1.4MB)
 Tricolored Blackbird (736.5KB)
 Trumpeter Swan (4.9MB) (Rocky Mountain pop.)
 Upland Sandpiper (1.7MB)
 White-winged Scoter (4.4MB)
 Wilson's Plover (1.4MB)
Wood Thrush
Yellow-billed Loon
Yellow Rail

Last Updated: November 23, 2015