Birds of Management Concern and Focal Species

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Birds of Management Concern and Focal Species

Birds of Management Concern are a subset of Migratory Bird Treaty Act-protected species which pose special management challenges because of a variety of factors (e.g., too few, too many, conflicts with human interests, societal demands). These species are of concern because of:

  • documented or apparent population declines,
  • small or restricted populations, 
  • dependence on restricted or vulnerable habitats, or
  • overabundant to the point of causing ecological and economic damage.

The current Birds of Management Concern list of 437 species, subspecies, or populations are divided into four categories:

  1. birds listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act,
  2. nongame Migratory Birds Treaty Act-protected birds that have been determined to be of conservation concern (as published in Birds of Conservation Concern 2002;247 including all National, Regional, and Bird Conservation Region species),
  3. birds that are considered overabundant in part or all of their range and thus potentially damaging to natural ecosystems or human interests, and
  4. high-priority migratory game birds, as determined by factors such as their population status, their socio-economic value, and our ability to manage them based on sound information.

Furthermore, Birds of Management Concern species of birds are:

  • protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (USFWS 1985);
  • regularly found in the continental U.S., Hawaiian and U.S. Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • regular breeders or winter residents in one of the above geographical areas;
  • hunted species, that are not currently hunted for sport under provisions established by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  
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A large bird with brown feathers, white head, and yellow beak flies against a pale blue sky
The Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds,...
Subject tags
Migratory birds