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Partners In Flight

Partners In Flight is an alliance of state and federal agencies, private conservation organizations, universities, biologists, educators, private citizens, land managers and many others in the US, Canada and Latin America who are committed to the conservation of migratory land birds.

The goal of Partners In Flight, founded in 1990 by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is to halt population declines of migratory land birds, like the wood thrush, scarlet tanager, and many species of warblers, and prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered.

Over the past two to three decades, biologists have documented declines in populations of migratory land birds, particularly those that breed in the temperate northeastern US and migrate to the New World tropics, or "Neotropics", to overwinter (Mexico, Central and South America and Caribbean Islands). Many factors, including loss of habitat on breeding and wintering grounds, and brood parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird, are likely contributing to population declines. We also know very little about what happens to these birds during migration. Loss of "stopover" habitats -- places where birds can stop during migration to find food, rest, and avoid predators -- may also impact survival.

Cooperators in the Partners In Flight network are working toward the conservation of these species by informing the public of the plight of neotropical migratory land birds; developing education materials for grades K-12; carrying out the inventory of large land areas to find out where populations of birds are breeding, wintering, and stopping over; performing research that will help answer questions about long-term habitat needs of many species; working locally to manage and conserve habitats for these birds and monitor their abundance; and finally, "stepping down" the regional plans to the state level and incorporating the goals and objectives of the regional plan into the state Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.

Toward these goals, nearly every state in the US, Canada, and Latin America are working cooperatively on the development of an international conservation strategy for neotropical migratory birds. In October, 1995, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program hosted the second international conference of Partners In Flight. Nearly 530 persons representing many organizations from the US, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America attended the five-day conference in Cape May, New Jersey, to build consensus on the most urgent research, monitoring, education and management needs and conservation objectives. These needs and objectives will form the framework for an international migratory bird conservation strategy.

The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is committed to migratory bird conservation and New Jersey has become a "Model State" -- we have drafted a long-term strategy that will build on inventory, monitoring, and research of birds and habitats, and dynamic, long-term management of land areas critical for sustaining source populations of forest, scrub/shrub and grassland-nesting species.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2005
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 16, 2004