Bobolink Conservation Planning

For decades, grassland bird research and conservation happened in large part in the prairies and fields of North America. Yet for many grassland birds, particularly Bobolink, this was only half the story. VCE is completing the Bobolink's story.

A Bobolink spends twice as much time in South America than in North America. It's why VCE studies Bobolinks wherever they go. And it's why the US Fish and Wildlife Service selected us to write the blueprint for the conservation of Bobolinks not only across North America, but South America as well—by gathering input from partners in both continents.

Like many grassland birds in North America, the Bobolink has suffered significant population declines due to threats that continue unabated. Our conservation options are limited on agricultural and other privately owned habitats.

In response to these and other challenges, the US Fish and Wildlife Service designated Bobolink as a focal species, and it called for a conservation plan that would address threats to Bobolinks as well as other grassland bird species. With input from North and South American partners, the Bobolink Conservation Plan considers the “full life-cycle” of Bobolinks: north, south, and in migration.

Developing a plan for Bobolink challenges us to address socioeconomic factors affecting grassland birds. In the process, we have strengthened our collaboration between North and South American partners. The Conservation Plan will include guidelines for carrying coordinated conservation at multiple scales to meet population objectives set forth in the Plan.