The 2007 Audubon WatchList
One quarter of U.S. birds
need our help to keep them
from slipping toward extinction
A Call to Action
Audubon and the America Bird Conservancy have joined forces to rally conservationists around America's most imperiled birds. WatchList 2007, a new analysis from these leading bird conservation organizations, uses the latest available research from the bird conservation community along with citizen science data from the Christmas Bird Count and the annual Breeding Bird Survey to identify 176 species in the continental U.S. and 38 in Hawaii that are in need of immediate conservation help. It is a call to action to save species fighting for survival amid a convergence of environmental challenges, including habitat loss, invasive species and global warming.
A Tool for Conservation
Identifying the species at greatest risk is the first step toward saving them. It helps target public policies, funding support, conservation initiatives and public commitment on the species and habitats that need it most. The newest chapter in Audubon's ongoing State of the Birds Reports, WatchList 2007 lays the groundwork for an "industry standard" to guide conservation priorities among conservation organizations and government agencies. By dividing imperiled birds into 59 continental and 38 Hawaiian "red" species, and 117 "yellow" species, WatchList 2007 helps focus highest attention on the species of greatest concern (red), while also highlighting "yellow" species while there is still time to keep them off the red list. The names of these species may be less familiar than those on Audubon's roster of Common Birds in Decline, but WatchList birds need even more urgent attention. In many cases, by helping them we can also help many of the other birds at risk.
- RED: species in this category are declining rapidly and/or have very small populations or limited ranges, and face major conservation threats. These typically are species of global conservation concern.
- YELLOW: this category includes species that are either declining or rare. These typically are species of national conservation concern.
Which Species? Why?
Birds that rely on virtually every kind of habitat found in the U.S. are found on WatchList. Global warming threatens feeding grounds for seabirds like Xantus' Murrelet and breeding grounds for songbirds like the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Drought is having devastating consequences for grassland birds like Gunnison's Sage-Grouse and the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Hawaiian species are losing ground to invasive, non-native species of animals and plants. Meanwhile, coastal development, industrialized farming practices, pollution, energy development and suburban sprawl are eliminating and degrading the places many of these species need to feed, rest and breed.
Search species profiles for the Watchlist 2007 species (a printable list of the species is below).
Together We Can Make a Difference
WatchList is about the power of concerned people to make a difference for birds and for tomorrow. The citizen scientist volunteers who report their observations in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count and/or the U.S.G.S Breeding Bird Survey provided the data needed for this comprehensive analysis. Now, the same commitment and dedication that produced the findings is essential to addressing their cause. Only citizen action can fuel the changes that will improve the outlook for WatchList species.
WatchList Birds: What you can do