Payments for ecosystem services are used by the federal government and are quickly becoming an important conservation tool available in Mexico today. However, lack of data on how to distinguish which habitats are most important for wildlife is still prevalent. El Cúbajo microwatershed is a key area in Southern Sonora and one in which Pronatura Noroeste has been pursuing several conservation strategies. Along with its high species diversity, El Cúbajo is an important area due to its close proximity to a natural protected area and its inclusion within several classifications for areas of high natural resource management priority. The purpose of this proposal is to define the value of habitats for wildlife within the El Cúbajo microwatershed using birds as indicators of habitat value and diversity. This proposal will provide a functional framework for ecosystem services that will support compensation tools used in conservation programs and can be applied to other areas throughout the Sonoran Joint Venture region. It will also facilitate the application of the ecosystem services rationale to local communities through monitoring, capacity building, environmental education, and ecotourism experiences, providing valuable data on more than a dozen priority bird species identified in the SJV Bird Conservation Plan.