Article in: Book Reviews
January 11, 2011
As bird conservation promoters we are always looking for resources that inspire, educate, and enthrall birders and nature lovers of every variety. To find a book that encompasses so much information about bird conservation in such an easily digestible way is almost a dream come true. But we’re not dreaming!
The American Bird Conservancy has produced our dream book for bird conservation: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation. This book is 400 plus pages of pure bird conservation.
The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation is the book for bird conservationists. If you like birds even a little you must get this book!
For starters, the guide includes all 212 WatchList bird species. These are the birds of highest conservation concern and the ones most needing our immediate attention. As conservationists (and birders) focused conservation is crucial because it makes the process more manageable and thus more successful.
The guide covers the United States which includes Hawaiian bird species. The guide also has a chapter on international bird conservation.
Four of the Hawaii bird species accounts
The species accounts include global population with the % of birds found in the U.S., population trends, WatchList status, and Endangered Species Act (ESA) status if applicable.
Also included in the species accounts are:
- distribution: habitat and geographical range
- threats: significant problems the species faces
- conservation: specific areas already protected as well as major conservation efforts
- actions: what must be done to improve conservation efforts
Color illustrations of the bird as well as a range map round out the species accounts.
The next section of The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation covers habitats. Habitat loss and degradation is still the biggest threat birds face as a whole. Reducing the loss and improving current protected lands is critical to conservation.
The guide covers in detail twelve birdscapes found in the U.S.
- Hawaiian Uplands
- Arctic Tundra
- Northern Forests
- Western Forests
- Eastern Forests
- Southern Forests
- Southern Arid Lands
- Western Arid Lands
- Human Birdscape
Amongst the birdscapes are 38 Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) which were defined through the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. Several globally Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are covered in detail and list the birds found there, threats they face, conservation efforts in place, and actions needed.
Western Forest Habitats
The artwork used for the habitat sections is stunning and provides a visual overview of each birdscape. The two page illustration includes representative birds as well as vegetation, mammals (sometimes), and threats.
Western Forest Habitats Identification Key
The smaller numbered key provides the names of what is featured in the illustration.
Next is the chapter on threats. The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation covers practically every conceivable threat birds face. The guide systematically explains the problem, the solution, and the actions needed.
The guide isn’t about pointing out problems and fueling despair; it is providing the foundation for real solutions. There is still time and still hope for many of even the most threatened bird species.
The fourth section covers international bird conservation, following the same format as United States bird conservation. Several viable solutions and actions are discussed from nature tourism to conservation coffee.
Lastly, the chapter on strategies and actions covers large scale planning efforts as well as state by state conservation priorities. Here you can find what your state’s top needs are and get involved today!
A Bird Conservation Directory finishes the guide with seven pages of info on key conservation agencies, programs, laws, programs for private landowners, conservation coalitions, and a U.S. map of the regional conservation plans.
Birdfreak.com is attributed for photographic usage! We were so excited to stumble upon this factoid! Highlighting was done in Photoshop for emphasis.
Order your copy of The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation today! It is the book for bird conservationists.
Disclaimer: We received The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation free from the publisher to review on Birdfreak.com.