Bird Conservation Regions
Map of Bird Conservation Regions
What are Bird Conservation Regions?
Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) are ecologically distinct regions in North America with similar bird communities, habitats, and resource management issues. They are based on the scale-flexible hierarchical framework of nested ecological units delineated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). These ecoregions encompass areas that are similar in their biotic (e.g., plant and wildlife) and abiotic (e.g., soils, drainage patterns, temperature, and annual precipitation) characteristics.
BCRs may be partitioned into smaller ecological units when finer scale conservation planning, implementation, and evaluation are necessary. Conversely, BCRs may be aggregated to facilitate conservation partnerships throughout the annual range of a group of species, recognizing that migratory species may use multiple BCRs throughout their annual life cycle. BCRs also facilitate domestic and international cooperation in bird conservation because these areas of relatively homogenous habitats and bird communities traverse state, provincial, and national borders.
How were BCRs developed?
In order to plan, implement and evaluate conservation actions across the whole of North America, a common framework was needed. NABCI partners from United States, Mexico, and Canada, supported by the CEC, developed a common, ecologically based set of 'ecoregions' appropriate to birds throughout North America. After agreeing on general principles and considering numerous ecoregion delineations, they adopted CEC's hierarchical framework of nested ecological units. The BCRs now provide the bird conservation community with a convenient scale for priority setting, planning, and evaluation.
For integrated bird conservation purposes in North America, Bird Conservation Regions function as the primary units within which biological foundation issues are resolved, the landscape configuration of sustainable habitats is designed, and priority projects originate.