Project Purpose


The Wisconsin All-bird Conservation Plan synthesizes the requirements and conservation issues of 116 priority bird species and provides recommendations for habitat protection, restoration, and management that will have the greatest impact on state bird populations.

The Need

There are more than 260 bird species that breed in Wisconsin and additional species that migrate through or winter here. High avian diversity is due in part to the ecological tension zone that transverses Wisconsin, which results in two distinct floristic provinces: the prairie-forest province in the south and the northern hardwoods province in the north. However, the state’s noteworthy stewardship and land management efforts also help to sustain diverse bird populations.

Addressing the needs of this diverse avifauna requires both long-term planning and short-term conservation action. The state of Wisconsin currently lacks one unifying document that designates the highest priority bird species and their associated habitats and provides detailed conservation and management prescriptions. Therefore, land managers, property owners, and agency officials faced with the difficult task of balancing bird conservation with recreational, economic, and political pressures do not have the necessary tools for decision making. The Wisconsin All-bird Conservation Plan provides this missing link and establishes a framework to develop unique partnerships, new research, effective management, and improved communication to benefit the state’s bird population.

Existing Bird Conservation Plans

There are numerous conservation plans available at the continental, national, regional, and state level. At the national level, the Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, and the North American Waterfowl Conservation Plan have identified bird species of national conservation priority. Some of these national plans have been stepped down to regional planning documents, which cover multiple states. State plans vary from a single species focus such as the Wisconsin Greater Prairie-Chicken Management Plan to a habitat-specific focus such as Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds.  The objective of the Wisconsin All-Bird Conservation Plan is to summarize the relevant information from all of these planning efforts into one comprehensive bird plan for Wisconsin.

How the Wisconsin All-bird Conservation Plan can be used

    1. Initiate a coordinated approach to bird conservation in Wisconsin between diverse partners.
    2. Develop new partnerships and projects to advance bird conservation in Wisconsin.
    3. Direct funding sources to the highest priority conservation and research needs.
    4. Provide technical outreach to land managers, agency personnel, and other WBCI partners that will benefit state and regional bird populations.
    5. Guide habitat acquisition, restoration, and management efforts throughout the state.

Kreitinger, K., Y. Steele and A. Paulios, editors. 2013.
The Wisconsin All-bird Conservation Plan, Version 2.0. Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Madison, WI.

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