Priority Birds

To facilitate communication among stakeholders, partners, decision makers, and land managers, a list of avian species in need of conservation across the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem has been developed by the taxa-based working groups. To compile the list, two rule sets were used: (1a) a species must be identified on ≥50% of the five gulf State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs): Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas; (1b) species that met criteria for rule 1a, were further reviewed and vetted to remove any non-coastal species; and (2) a sub-set of (pelagic) seabirds were identified and vetted through the GoMAMN Seabird Working Group; due to the fact many States did not consider seabirds in their respective SWAPs.  Additional information can be found within the respective State SWAPs or by contacting a working group leader.

The final list includes 67 bird species that warrant special attention with regards to designing and implementing restoration and management actions across the northern Gulf of Mexico due to their population status (i.e., declining population trends). This list differs fundamentally from the list of birds published within the DWH-PDARP and subsequent Bird Strategic Framework due to method of derivation and intended uses. In that, the list generated by GoMAMN is intended to take a more holistic approach and identify avian species of greatest conservation concern in the Gulf-region, whereas the DWH-PDARP and Bird Strategic Framework list only identifies those species injured during the DWH oil spill. Nevertheless, there is considerable overlap between the two lists.  As such, decision makers and land managers now have two complimentary lists: one that provides a holistic overview of avian species in need of conservation and one that speaks directly to the recovery of injured resources to guide their decision making.