Bicknell's Thrush gets a conservation action plan
By David Wege, Fri, 30/07/2010 - 11:46
An international conservation group has unveiled a plan to protect one of North America’s rarest songbirds, the Vulnerable Bicknell’s Thrush, across its entire range from Canada to the Caribbean. The International Bicknell’s Thrush Conservation Group (IBTCG), an alliance of scientists, conservationists and governments, proposes to increase the global population of Bicknell’s Thrush by 25% over the next 50 years, mostly by preventing further loss of its breeding and wintering habitats. The globally threatened thrush breeds in specialized mountainous habitat in eastern North America and winters in threatened forests of the Caribbean's Greater Antilles. Threats to the songbird, which is declining over portions of its range, include atmospheric pollution, climate change and loss or degradation of its forest habitats. “We now have an opportunity to save this remarkable species, a migratory songbird found in such limited numbers that its future is in doubt,” said Chris Rimmer, director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and a lead author of the conservation plan. “This innovative plan offers tangible actions based on sound science and measurable results.” A Conservation Action Plan for Bicknell’s Thrush establishes a course of conservation and research over the next five years designed to boost the Bicknell’s Thrush population. Actions include:
- Partnering with timber companies and managers of public lands in North America to develop and implement practices that enhance Bicknell’s Thrush breeding habitat, which includes high-elevation forests of New England, New York, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
- Conducting scientific research to monitor and predict the impacts of climate change on Bicknell’s thrush habitat.
- Improving the protection of currently occupied winter habitat and develop management plans for key forested areas on Hispaniola, including restoration of degraded habitats.
- Strengthening links with local partners in the Caribbean and expand funding for on-the-ground conservation projects throughout the winter range.