Workshop 1

Phase 1: Identifying Causes of Bird Declines Virtual Workshop, 7-8 July 2020

Workshop 1

Phase 1: Identifying Causes of Bird Declines Virtual Workshop, 7-8 July 2020

The Road to Recovery Phase 1 virtual workshop in July 2020 convened 122 virtual attendees from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, representing NGOs, state agencies, U.S. joint ventures, and academic institutions, to garner their expert wisdom on the best approaches available for identifying limiting factors, including: 

  1. Priority taxa and specific threats to birds
  2. Current statistical approaches, such as integrated population modeling
  3. Data availability (especially tracking and vital rate information) necessary for identifying causes of declines.

In August 2020, a follow-up virtual Roundtable at the Puerto Rico North American Ornithological Conference featured new perspectives and gathered input from the ornithological community to identify key research needs.

This workshop highlighted the need to focus research and action on priority species that are (1) at risk of slipping into threatened or endangered status or (2) common, but whose declines make up a large percentage of the overall loss in bird abundance. To this end, we must first determine where each species is situated along the road to recovery, from a starting point of little knowledge of a species’ broad threats or specific limiting factors, toward an end goal of identifying limiting population factors, developing a full annual cycle conservation business plan, and implementing targeted conservation actions to address and reverse declines.

Cover of workshop 1 featuring Snowy Owl: The Road to Recovery- Phase 1: Identifying Causes of Bird Declines
Click photo above to access the report

Desired Outcomes for Phase 1

  • An inventory and urgency short list of declining bird species—based on criteria discussed prior to and introduced at the workshop—for which targeted research will be needed in order to identify causes of declines and initiate effective recovery actions.
  • Convergence on what it means to identify the specific causes of declines in bird populations—i.e., the critical pieces of evidence, or the “smoking guns.”
  • Consensus around a strategic approach for identifying causes of decline and proceeding down the road to species recovery.

Day 1: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Identify high-level scientific themes and concepts that contribute to our ability to understand the causes of avian declines

Day 2: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Share examples of recent approaches to full life cycle conservation of declining bird species, using various methodologies and techniques