Land Bird Conservation Plan Colorado  

Executive Summary
Overview of Colorado
Physiographic Region 36
Physiographic Region 62
Physiographic Region 87
Implementation Strategies
Literature Cited
Appendices

Implementation Strategies and Summary

Statewide Implementation Goals and Objectives

Based on the key concepts identified by the Colorado Partners in Flight bird conservation planning team, we have identified the following statewide goals and objectives which must be met to achieve our overall goals of "keeping common birds common" and "reversing the downward trends of declining species" in Colorado. These statewide goals and objectives will be fleshed out and expanded within the habitat writeups.

l. Bird Monitoring

Goal: All breeding birds in Colorado will be monitored or tracked to document distribution, population trends, and abundance in a statistically acceptable manner.

Objective: All species with an area importance (AI) score > 2 will be monitored with count-based methods. We will continue to use BBS data, but will incorporate Monitoring Colorado's Birds data as they become available.

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

Objective: Some species such as colonial nesters and nocturnally-active species will be monitored or tracked using special techniques such as colony counts and nocturnal transects.

Objective: All species with a population trend (PT) score of 4 or 5 will be tracked with demographic monitoring methods.

2. Habitat Monitoring

Goal: To monitor all major habitats in Colorado in order to document amount, condition, and ownership. This goal is crucial to the implementation of all parts of the bird conservation plan since it will allow us to determine the current state of things and the potential partners available to implement activities on any particular habitat.

Objective: Develop collaborative efforts (potential partners include Colorado DOW, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado Bird Observatory, The Nature Conservancy, USGS) to use GIS in mapping all major habitat types in the state, documenting amount, condition, ownership, etc.

3. Habitat Core Areas

Goal: To conserve unique representatives and/or core areas in each major habitat in Colorado. Specific candidates or foci may be identified in the habitat writeups. This goal considers the importance of such areas to birds during breeding, migration, and winter.

Objective: Identify unique representatives and/or core areas in each major habitat type in Colorado that should be conserved.

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

Objective: Identify additional means of designating and conserving unique representatives and/or core areas in each major habitat type in Colorado.

Objective: Identify agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving unique representatives and/or core areas (e.g., state management areas, refuges, wilderness areas, and possible purchase by private or public entities, etc.). Identify areas that are appropriate for such designations, work with the appropriate agency or organization to designate them, and promote conservation activities.

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

4. Site-based Conservation

Goal: To conserve local sites that are important for the conservation of priority species. These sites may include key nesting spots (e.g., cliffs, nest colonies, individual nest sites for rare species, etc.), lek sites, migration staging or stopover spots, or concentration sites. This goal considers the importance of such areas to birds during breeding, migration, and winter.

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.

Objective: Identify additional means of designating and conserving key local sites.

Objective: Identify agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving key local sites (e.g., exclosures, protocols in management plans, exclusion of certain activities during important times of the year, and possible purchase by private or public entities, etc.). Identify areas that are appropriate for such designations, work with the appropriate agency or organization to designate them, and promote conservation activities.

5. Management Practices

Goal: To promote management practices that benefit birds on all lands. This goal is not meant to encourage the impression that someone can manage a single piece of land to benefit all birds, but rather to encourage all land managers to understand that there is something they can do on any piece of land to benefit birds.

Objective: Best Management Practices (BMPs) manuals will be produced and distributed for each priority habitat in Colorado. In some cases, existing documents such as Birds in a Sagebrush Sea (Paige and Ritter 1998) will be used to avoid duplication of effort. The focus on priority habitats rather than priority species is meant to promote management using a community approach, recognizing the range of needs expressed by the suite of species using a particular habitat.

Objective: Identify key landowners and/or land managers and ask them to incorporate best management practices to conserve priority species and their habitat in Colorado. Work with land managers to develop practices that meet their needs and those of the birds, and evaluate effectiveness.

Objective: Monitor the quantity and quality of acres managed under each BMP.

6. Interstate/International Wintering Grounds

Goal: To conserve the wintering ground habitat used by Colorado migratory birds outside of the state and the country.

Objective: Identify the wintering distribution and key habitat associations of all priority Colorado species. Some of this information is already available and presented in the habitat and species writeups.

Objective: Monitor all major wintering habitats for priority species in order to document amount, condition, and ownership.

Objective: Develop collaborative efforts with other states and countries to monitor wintering habitats and conserve them for wintering migrants and resident species.

Objective: Develop collaborative efforts with other states and countries on projects (e.g., education, research, fund-raising, donations, etc.) which benefit species on their winter grounds.

7. Migration Concerns

Goal: To conserve the migration habitat used by priority Colorado species, and to conserve those species themselves as they migrate. This goal focuses particularly on migration corridors, concentration areas, and staging areas.

Objective: Identify key migration habitats of priority Colorado species.

Objective: Monitor key migration habitats for priority species in order to document amount, condition, and ownership.

Objective: Develop collaborative efforts with other states and countries to monitor migration habitats and conserve them for migrants and resident species.

Objective: Develop collaborative efforts with other states and countries on projects (e.g., education, research, fund-raising, donations, etc.) which benefit species on their migration grounds.

8. Outreach and Education

Goal: To provide information about priority species (conservation, habitat needs, natural history, etc.) and habitats to the public, resource managers, and other interested parties with emphasis on school children, teachers, naturalists, landowners, and natural resource professionals. The habitat writeups may identify priority species and habitats on which to focus.

Objective: Develop and make educational materials and information booklets about priority species or habitats available to local nature centers and organizations, landowners, natural resource agency offices, and teachers. This might include producing materials for the agricultural extension service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or the timber industry.

Objective: Integrate information on priority species or habitats into existing education programs (Project Wild, Balarat, other programs for children and adults).

Objective: Hold workshops and field programs for teachers, natural resource professionals, and landowners.

Objective: Present information at education, natural resource professional, and land manager (timber and ranching) association meetings and conferences.

Objective: Submit manuscripts to popular magazines for children and adults, and also those targeting landowners and managers.

Objective: Use the annual International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) to supply local media outlets with information on priority species and habitats, organize informational activities for school children and the public, provide guided natural history viewing opportunities, and promote local conservation activities in which people can become involved.

Objective: Collaborate with Mexican and Central American colleagues in translating and/or developing informational and educational materials on priority species and habitats in Spanish.

9. Research Priorities

Goal: To fill the voids in scientific information needed to conserve Colorado's birds.

Objective: Identify the top ten research needs in each major habitat in Colorado. See the habitat writeups for these developing lists.

Objective: Facilitate investigations to answer these questions by providing information about priority needs to universities, and public and private research entities, identifying funding sources, promoting collaboration between management and research agencies, etc.

10. Adaptive Management

Goal: To evaluate the success of the Partners in Flight bird conservation program and to incorporate the lessons learned and the new information produced into an improved program for the conservation of Colorado's birds.

Objective: Convene an annual meeting where progress on the above goals and objectives is presented. This may be accomplished with a sort of "score card" based on the previous nine categories of goals and objectives.

Objective: Based on the results of the score card and annual meeting, redraft objectives to reflect progress or what has been learned in the previous year.


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