ABC is partnering in a new, innovative project with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and several of its Program Participants—Weyerhaeuser, Resource Management Service, Plum Creek Timber Company, Hancock Timber Resource Group, and Enviva—to deliver bird conservation across millions of acres of managed forest land in the U.S. and Canada.
With a vision to create a new long-term partnership, ABC, SFI, and the partners are working to help improve prospects for migratory birds across large areas of North America's forests. In total, SFI Program Participants manage more than 270 million acres of forest certified to SFI in North America benefiting many species of birds.
The project is aiming to better understand how current forest management practices benefit birds and then look for additional opportunities or “sweet spots” where bird conservation and commercial forest management goals can be further integrated to enhance bird conservation across large areas of the continent.
The project also includes the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and NatureServe, which are providing data, mapping tools, and other technical advice to support the effort. Klamath Bird Observatory and the Avian Research and Conservation Institute are also assisting in identifying specific habitat recommendations for priority bird species and geographies.
The project is starting in two focal areas in the United States—one in the Pacific Northwest and one in the Southeast, where ABC and its project partners aim to develop pilot projects focused on understanding, maintaining, and potentially creating desired habitat conditions for priority birds such as the Swallow-tailed Kite, Prairie Warbler, and Olive-sided Flycatcher that can later be expanded on a larger scale.
Mike Parr is ABC's Chief Conservation Officer. He joined ABC in 1996 after graduating from University of East Anglia, UK, and working for BirdLife International. He has authored three books: Parrots – A Guide to the Parrots of the World, Important Bird Areas in the United States, and The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation, along with numerous articles and papers. He is on the committees of ProAves Colombia and is Chair of the Alliance for Zero Extinction.