In response to the bird crisis revealed by a landmark paper in Science by American Bird Conservancy staff and partners, we've committed to ABC's 50-50-5 Action Plan. It is ambitious and bold, but it is also possible — and deeply necessary to stem bird population declines and address the ecological crisis that these declines signal.
These 50 species are important in their own right, plus they represent major ecosystems across the Western Hemisphere as well as other species of birds, plants, and animals that share their habitat and suffer from many of the same threats. By focusing on 50 carefully selected flagship birds, we know we can make an enormous contribution to addressing our planet's loss of biodiversity and climate crisis. These are certainly not the only species that ABC will work to save, but they are emblematic of our work across a wide variety of important places.
CLICK: See all 50 Bird Species
Our list of flagship species includes iconic birds of western North America such as Greater Sage-Grouse and White-headed Woodpecker, enigmatic seabirds such as Black-capped Petrel and Marbled Murrelet, long-distance migrants such as Golden-winged Warbler and Red Knot, aerial insectivores such as Tree Swallow, nocturnal birds such as Flammulated Owl, and some of the rarest birds in South America, including Blue-throated Hillstar, Peruvian Plantcutter, and Blue-eyed Ground-Dove.
ABC has already identified areas across the Western Hemisphere that we call BirdScapes. Our BirdScapes cover more than 20 ecosystem types from Amazonian rainforest and Andean cloud forest to grasslands and freshwater wetlands.
Conserving and protecting these places will make a transformational difference for birds, help millions of additional species of animals and plants, and capture and store carbon and protect watersheds. To further increase the number of acres, ABC will encourage partners to match our commitment.
CLICK: See all 20 Ecosystem Types
Together, through on-the-ground action, public education, and advocacy, we will tackle ABC's Top 5 Threats to all birds, from the birds we love watching in our backyards to those we may never see. 1) Habitat loss 2) Climate change 3) Pesticides 4) Invasive species, especially outdoor cats, and 5) Collisions with windows, tall towers, power lines, and wind turbines.