Land Bird Conservation Plan Colorado  

Executive Summary
Overview of Colorado
Physiographic Region 36
Physiographic Region 62

  • Alpine Tundra
  • Aspen
  • Cliff/Rock
  • High Elevation Riparian
  • Lowland Riparian
  • Mixed Conifer
  • Mountain Shrubland
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • Sagebrush Shrubland
  • Spruce Fir
  • Wetlands


  • Physiographic Region 87
    Implementation Strategies
    Literature Cited
    Appendices

    Physiographic Region 62: Southern Rocky Mountains

    Low Elevation Riparian - Implementation Strategies

    Bird Monitoring

    Goal: To monitor or track all breeding birds in the lowland riparian habitat and document distribution, population trends, and abundance in a statistically acceptable manner.

    Objective: All species with AI > 2 will be monitored with count-based methods.

    Strategy: Monitoring will be accomplished through the combined efforts of agencies with primary responsibility for managing this habitat.

    Strategy: Monitoring will continue to rely on BBS data, with data from CBO's Monitoring Colorado's Birds (MCB) program incorporated as it becomes available.

    Status: MCB implemented lowland riparian habitat transects in 1999 and ran a total of 25 transects; trend data should be available for most species within 5-12 years.

    Objective: All species with AI 2 will be tracked through count-based methods or their presence/absence noted in the state.

    Strategy: CBO's MCB monitoring program will address this.

    Status: MCB implemented lowland riparian habitat transects in 1999 and ran a total of 25 transects; trend data should be available for most species within 5-12 years.

    Objective: All colonial-nesting species will be monitored or tracked with colony counts.

    Strategy: MCB will census all known colonies of Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Snowy Egret.

    Status: MCB demographic monitoring of colonial-nesters began in 1999.

    Objective: Population demographic monitoring will be instituted for all species in lowland riparian habitats with PT of 4 or 5.

    Strategy: CBO's MCB will address this objective.

    Status: MCB demographic monitoring will begin in 2001.

    Habitat Monitoring

    Goal: To document the amount, condition, and ownership of lowland riparian habitat in Colorado.

    Objective: Develop collaborative efforts to use GIS in mapping lowland riparian habitat, documenting amount, condition, and ownership.

    Status: This effort has not been initiated to date. Potential collaborators include CDOW, CNHP, CBO, USGS, USFS, and TNC.

    Habitat Core Areas

    Goal: To conserve unique representatives and/or large, ecologically-functioning examples of lowland riparian habitat in Colorado used by birds during the breeding season, during migration, or during the winter.

    Objective: Identify such areas, use agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving them, and work with the appropriate agency or organization to promote conservation activities.

    Status: None have been identified to date.

    Objective: Identify riparian core areas that are appropriate for designation as Important Bird Areas (IBAs), nominate them, and promote involvement of local groups in conserving these areas once they are designated.

    Status: Sites with lowland riparian habitat were nominated in 1999, and the IBA committee will make final selections in 2000.

    Objective: To maintain or increase the quantity and quality of lowland riparian habitat on private lands.

    Strategy: Promote collaboration/cooperation between agencies, organizations, and individuals in conserving unique representatives/core areas with multiple ownership

    Strategy: Encourage landowners to take advantage of funding opportunities for creating, restoring, and maintaining lowland riparian habitat on their properties. Suitable opportunities may include NRCS's WHIP and EQIP, USFWS's Partners for Wildlife program, and the Conservation of Private Grazing Land and Voluntary Debt-for-Nature Contract provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill.

    Strategy: Encourage private owners of existing mature and late-successional cottonwood-riparian communities along Colorado's lowland river systems to adopt grazing systems and other management practices that maintain and enhance stand conditions and ecosystem integrity.

    Strategy: Encourage private owners of Colorado's lowland riparian lands to replant native cottonwoods and willows along stream reaches that have become degraded.

    Objective: To maintain or increase the quantity and quality of lowland riparian habitat on public lands.

    Strategy: Integrate the BCP into management plans for public lands in the physiographic area.

    Strategy: Encourage public managers of existing mature and late-successional cottonwood-riparian communities along Colorado's lowland river systems to adopt grazing systems and other management practices that maintain and enhance stand conditions and ecosystem integrity.

    Strategy: Encourage public managers of Colorado's lowland riparian lands to replant native cottonwoods and willows along stream reaches that have become degraded.

    Site-based Conservation

    Goal: To conserve local breeding sites, wintering sites, and migration stopover sites that are important for the conservation of priority species of lowland riparian habitats.

    Objective: Identify agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving key local sites. Work with appropriate agencies and organizations to designate such sites, and promote conservation activities.

    Objective: Identify key local sites that are appropriate for designation as IBAs, nominate them, and promote involvement of local groups in conserving these areas once they are designated.

    Status: Sites with lowland riparian habitat were nominated in 1999, and the IBA committee will make final selections in 2000.

    Management Practices

    Goal: To promote management practices that benefit birds in lowland riparian habitat.

    Objective: Produce Best Management Practices manual for lowland riparian habitat.

    Status: Not yet implemented.

    Objective: Identify key landowners and land managers and encourage them to incorporate BMPs into management plans for public and private lands.

    Interstate/International Wintering Grounds

    Goal: To conserve the wintering ground habitat used by Colorado's lowland riparian birds that migrate outside of the state.

    Objective: Identify the wintering distribution and key habitat associations of priority species.

    Objective: Track amount of available habitat on the wintering grounds.

    Strategy: Utilize GIS (state GAP projects, Heritage Program, and/or CBO).

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to obtain data.

    Objective: To protect wintering habitat for lowland riparian birds.

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to protect wintering habitat through Habitat Core Areas and Site-based Conservation goals and objectives.

    Migration Concerns

    Goal: To protect migratory stopover habitat for lowland riparian birds.

    Objective: Identify important migratory stopover areas for priority species that breed in Colorado, and key sites for priority species that breed elsewhere.

    Objective: Track amount, condition, and ownership of key migratory stopover sites.

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to protect migratory habitat through Habitat Core Areas and Site-based Conservation goals and objectives.

    Outreach and Education

    Goal: To provide information on lowland riparian habitat birds (conservation, habitat needs, natural history, etc.) to children, teachers, naturalists, landowners, natural resource professionals, and other interested parties.

    Strategy: Make educational materials available at local nature centers and natural resource agency offices.

    Strategy: Hold workshops and field programs for teachers.

    Strategy: Hold workshops and field programs for natural resource professionals (CDOW, BLM, and USFS staff).

    Strategy: Present information at Teacher Association meetings, conferences, other annual meetings.

    Strategy: Submit manuscripts to popular magazines for children and adults.

    Research Priorities

    Goal: To identify and facilitate research that will aid in understanding and managing riparian habitats for Colorado's birds.

    Objective: To identify the top ten research needs in lowland riparian habitat in Colorado.

    Strategy: Update the list of research needs annually to reflect shifting conservation priorities and to remove research needs from the list as they are investigated.

    Strategy: Solicit input from researchers and managers on research needs and accomplishments.

    Status: The following research needs have been identified:

    1. The impact of Brown-headed Cowbird nest parasitism on the reproductive success of riparian species.

    2. The impact on Lewis's Woodpecker reproductive success of competition for nest cavities with European Starlings.

    3. The influence of exotic plant species (especially Russian-olive and tamarisk) on habitat suitability during breeding, wintering, and migration periods.

    4. The impact on habitat suitability during breeding, wintering, and migration periods of livestock grazing in lowland riparian habitat.

    Objective: Facilitate investigations to answer these questions.

    Strategy: Provide information about priority needs to universities, public and private research entities, identify funding sources, and promote collaboration between management and research agencies.


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