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SPECIES ASSESSMENT DATABASE: PROCESS

The Partners In Flight (PIF) Species Assessment Database is the repository for biological information used and generated by the PIF Species Assessment Process, a scientific methodology for analyzing, evaluating, and categorizing information related to the conservation of birds. The PIF Species Assessment Database is the most comprehensive North American bird conservation database in existence. Rocky Bird Observatory, through grants from numerous supporting agencies, foundations, and institutions, manages this database for Partners In Flight.

The PIF Species Assessment Process evaluates six factors relating to biological vulnerability and two measures of area importance for each North American bird species. It then and applies various combinations of this information to generate either global or regional status assessments of birds. The six biological vulnerability factors considered include Population Size, Breeding Distribution, Non-breeding Distribution, Threats to Breeding, Threats to Non-breeding, and Population Trend. These factors are evaluated for each species at the global or continental scale to produce an overall status assessment of each species. The two Threat factors and Population Trend factors are also evaluated at regional scales, and combined with selected global factors and the two measures of area importance (Relative Density and Percent of Population) to produce regional assessments, both for breeding and non-breeding seasons. Scores for each of the factors (except for Percent of Population, which is not scored but instead considered in its raw form) range from 1, to reflect low concern or importance, to 5, to reflect the highest concern or importance. An important aspect of the PIF Species Assessment Process is that all scores are determined independently, i.e., knowledge of one variable does not bias the scoring of another. Each score is based on the best available science and is heavily reviewed by experts both within and outside the PIF science committee. 

In addition to the process briefly described above, the database of species, areas, and assessment scores can be sorted, and sorts can be nested using several variables at once. These various manipulations of the assessment database can result in objective yet dynamic priority-setting processes. More complete information on the PIF Assessment process can be found in:

Any user of the PIF Database should have a copy of this document on hand, which clarifies all aspects of the database and the processes in developing and using the species assessment scores. 






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