MILESTONE: Newest (and Last) Joint Venture Boosts Prospects for Threatened California Birds and Other Wildlife

The Threatened Western Snowy Plover and other wildlife will get increased conservation support through the recently launched California Central Coast Joint Venture. Photo by Dan Behmn

In January 2020, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and lead partners the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) – acting on behalf of 23 partnering agencies and organizations – launched the California Central Coast Joint Venture (C3JV). This conservation initiative targets one of the country's most biologically important regions, and achieves Joint Venture (JV) coverage of the entire U.S.

JVs are collaborative groups of agencies, organizations, and individuals working in a geographic region to conserve habitats for priority bird species, other wildlife, and people. The C3JV covers beaches, estuaries, mountains, deserts, chaparral, and forests that are home to hundreds of species. It stretches from Santa Cruz and Monterey down toward Point Conception.

“Finally, we did it,” said David Younkman, ABC's Vice President for the Western Region. “The U.S. map is filled in and JV coverage is complete. Now the real work begins.”

Collaborating C3JV members will develop and implement science-driven conservation plans focused on the region's wildlife and habitats. The January meeting attendees established the JV and its bylaws and board of directors. The next step is to recruit and hire a coordinator who will work with the board, the C3JV Science and Conservation Committee, and others in the region on a strategic implementation plan outlining priorities, goals, objectives, and key actions.

“With the challenges California faces from increased human demands, climate change, and other threats, it is incredibly important to organize a coordinated conservation effort focused on the ecosystems and the wildlife of this region,” said Cal Poly Biological Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Clinton D. Francis.

The C3JV was made possible thanks to a key group of donors, including Cal Poly, Department of Defense, FWS, Bureau of Land Management, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Big Sur Land Trust, and ABC.

Among the many birds of concern in the region are federally listed subspecies such as the Western Snowy Plover, Least Bell's Vireo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Marbled Murrelet, and California Least Tern. California's Central Coast not only boasts incredibly important birds, but also other magnificent and globally significant wildlife species and ecosystems – both terrestrial and marine.

Joint Ventures have a long history of success in leveraging public and private resources to bring together partners and focus on regional conservation needs. Since the first JV was established in 1987, 5,700 JV partnerships have leveraged every dollar of appropriated funds with $31 in nonfederal partner funds, helping conserve 27 million acres of critical habitat for birds and other wildlife.

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Media Contact: Jordan Rutter, Director of Public Relations, 202-888-7472 | jerutter@abcbirds.org | @JERutter
Expert Contact: David Younkman, Vice President Western Region, 619-206-6708 | dyounkman@abcbirds.org

American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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