Recruiting and unifying biologists from seven countries, VCE is developing a plan to guide and coordinate research and conservation priorities for grassland birds across the Western Hemisphere.
Our work unites north and south. It's a recognition that the conservation of migratory bird species cannot limit its focus to one country or region. Here are three examples of how VCE's Grasslands Program works across borders:
- Bobolink Conservation Plan – A bobolink spends more time in migration and in South America than in North America. It’s why VCE studies Bobolinks wherever they go. Our full life-cycle planning work, already underway on Bobolinks, will help inform the broader grassland bird conservation planning and conservation across the Americas.
- Midwest Landscapes Network – The rise of more intensive agriculture in the Midwest has for decades contributed to the degradation and loss of grasslands, resulting in population declines of most grassland bird species. In partnership with High Branch Conservation Services, VCE is leading the development of a network for promoting grassland landscapes in the Midwest. The project will generate new spatial information, strategic guidance, and cross-sector collaborations that uphold the many ecological and societal values of grasslands. Our goal is to provide the framework for a network of grassland landscapes that carry out state and regional objectives in a coordinated way and advance the ecological, economic, and societal benefits of native and restored grasslands.
- Prairies to Pampas: Hemispheric Grassland Bird Business Plan – The grasslands of North and South America are like mirrors. Their shared threats to grasslands and birds include: more intensive agriculture as well as replacement of grasslands with non-native pastures, crops, and forestry plantations. The avifauna in each system has consequently suffered population losses. Solutions are similar north and south. The Prairies to Pampas Business Plan provides a framework for international collaboration on grasslands conservation. The Plan identifies information gaps and conservation strategies that most effectively contribute to long-term sustainability of grassland bird populations.