Our Conservation Approach
Each spring and fall, billions of migratory birds follow the flyways of the Americas, the age-old migratory paths that lead them from wintering to breeding grounds and back again. Some migrate as far north as the Arctic Circle and others as far south as Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America. By protecting the web of life that represents the Western Hemisphere’s richest veins of biodiversity, Audubon is safeguarding our great natural heritage for future generations, preserving our shared quality of life, and fostering a healthier environment for us all.
As part of our 2012-15 strategic plan, Audubon is implementing five main conservation strategies—Putting Working Lands to Work for Birds & People, Sharing Our Seas & Shores, Saving Important Bird Areas, Shaping a Healthy Climate & Clean Energy Future, and Creating Bird-Friendly Communities—that are crucial to tackling the key issues facing birds across the Americas.
In Latin America and the Caribbean we face many challenges including a huge push for increased infrastructure, the growth of sprawling urban areas, and, in many cases, few government protections. Fortunately we can turn to our vast network of 22 state offices, 465 Chapters, and 47 nature centers, which provide the foundation for sustainable conservation projects that aid our avian friends. We also work with BirdLife International, 19 BirdLife partners, and numerous other organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to expand the scale of bird conservation in the Americas to the flyway level.
IAP helps strengthen the effectiveness of local conservation partners in Latin American and Caribbean by equipping them with the tools and resources necessary to engage, educate, and empower local citizens and decision-makers who hold the key to the survival of IBAs and other critical habitat. For example, in collaboration with the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), we have improved conservation efforts at four IBAs in the Joulter Cays and the remote Berry Islands, helping BNT educate residents and other landowners about the importance of Bahamian wetlands to bird conservation. The Piping Plover, a tiny shorebird federally listed under the Endangered Species Act, has far better protection thanks to these IBAs.
In Chile, IAP works closely with Centro de Estudios y Conservación del Patrimonio Natural (CECPAN) to address threats to the Hudsonian Godwit (99% of the Alaskan population and 29% of the global population visit the area) and Whimbrel (61% of the Pacific Coast population visit the area). We have begun a long-term initiative with landowners on Chiloé Island to establish healthier ecosystems and protect the wintering grounds for the Hudsonian Godwit. This project focuses on implementing better stewardship of key natural resources on private lands, improving watershed quality, managing livestock and agricultural production in environmentally sustainable ways, and protecting the bays of Chiloé, which provide important wintering habitat for Alaska shorebirds.