Bird Conservation Plan
The Sonoran Joint Venture Bird Conservation Plan (Plan) provides the biological foundation for the activities of the Sonoran Joint Venture (SJV). The Plan summarizes the status of avian species, prioritizes these species, provides habitat discussions and conservation recommendations, and lists Focus Areas for conservation action. This Plan will be a blueprint for regional bird conservation. It will guide the SJV staff, Board, and committees in their actions and inform SJV partners of beneficial activities. Finally and most importantly, this Plan demonstrates and emphasizes the need for conservation action and for the resources to achieve the SJV’s biological objectives.
There are approximately 740 species documented in the SJV area. Of those, about 667 occur regularly. An avifaunal analysis that assesses the status and prioritizes the birds found in the SJV area is one of the main purposes and unique features of the Plan. At a continental level 155 species are considered Concern Species that merit conservation attention. In addition, there are 152 Regional Concern Species.
The SJV is divided into four ecological Regions, each of which has unique habitats, birds, and conservation issues. Each Region is discussed separately as a chapter of this Plan. Continental Concern Species, assessed at the binational scale, are listed for each Region. Species found in each Region are assessed separately for the Regional Concern level. Stewardship Responsibility Species (i.e., species for which the Region has a large percent of those species’ populations and thus a high degree of “responsibility” to conserve) are also presented. Concern Species are listed and ranked in Habitat Tables according to need and population objective. The habitats found within each Region have plant community, biological/physical characteristics, and threat descriptions as well as conservation actions and opportunities listed.
The Arid Borderland Region primarily comprises Mojave, Sonoran, and Vizcaino Desertscrub and the many wetland and island habitats associated with approximately 2,000 miles of coast line. In this Region there are 88 Continental Concern Species, 83 Regional Concern Species, and 20 additional Stewardship Responsibility Species. The primary habitats containing Concern Species are desertscrub, mesquite bosque, riparian, and fresh/coastal wetlands.
The Californian Coast and Mountains Region is known for coastal scrubland, chaparral, and various forest types found in the sharply rising mountains. There are also critically important coastal wetlands and breeding bird islands in this Region with several islands having distinct species and subspecies in considerable peril. Eighty-two Continental Concern Species, 41 Regional Concern Species, and 12 additional Stewardship Responsibility Species were identified. In addition to wetlands and breeding bird islands, the coastal scrublands and chaparral host a number of Concern Species.
The Mexican Highlands Region is characterized by high elevations and complex topography, where various forest types are interdigitated with desert grasslands, desertscrub, and thornscrub. There are 71 Continental Concern Species, 60 Regional Concern Species, and 30 additional Stewardship Responsibility Species. The majority of the Concern Species are found in pine-oak and mixed conifer forests, riparian, and grasslands.
The Pacific Lowlands Region is primarily an area of thornscrub, tropical deciduous forest, and coastline where several continentally important wetlands are found. There are 88 Continental Concern Species, 51 Regional Concern Species, and an additional 11 Stewardship Responsibility Species. Most Concern Species are found in tropical deciduous forest and the various coastal wetlands.
Carol J. Beardmore
DOI-US Fish and Wildlife Service
9828 North 31st Ave #C3
Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517