For those not familiar with the ABA area, it is (currently) defined as this:
Specifically, the area encompassed is the 49 continental United States, Canada, the French islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon, and adjacent waters to a distance of 200 miles from land or half the distance to a neighboring country, whichever is less.
Excluded by these boundaries are Bermuda, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and Greenland. –American Birding Association
The Nearctic ecozone covers Greenland, Canada, the U.S. minus southern Florida and a large portion of Mexico (as seen in the map).
Currently the ABA breaks off at the U.S. political border but as the map shows, the ecozone does not follow that rule. Of course, Southern Florida is excluded from this region, something that would not be wise of the ABA.
We propose this to the American Birding Association:
Include all of North America in the ABA There really is no reason that all of Mexico can’t be part of the ABA. It would provide great incentive for U.S. birders to travel into Mexico to add lifebirds. The more demand for birding in Mexico, the safer and better it would be too. Conservation is infectious so if Mexican citizens realize their habitat provides a steady income, they will protect it.
Potential Drawbacks: Borderland birding could decrease – would birders not care to bird the Rio Grande Valley any more? Would southeast Arizona lose some of its appeal when some of the “rare” birds could be much more easily “gotten” a few hundred miles south? We think it would actually be the opposite. Anyone who’s birded along the border do so for one main reason – the birding is AWESOME! This wouldn’t change but would actually improve as the habitat south improved. And for anyone who keeps a state list, why not a U.S. list?
We feel the ABA could be a leading force in promoting bird conservation in Mexico.