Highlights from the Partners in Flight Conference
By John D. Alexander, Klamath Bird Observatory Executive Director
Klamath Bird Observatory took a leadership role last week at the 5th International Partners in Flight meeting in Snowbird, Utah. This meeting involved a broad set of collaborators, including more than 225 conservation leaders from 120 federal, state, and non-governmental organizations and academic institutions representing 14 countries. Participants worked together to develop continental-scale bird conservation business plans that are based on groups of migratory birds, the habitats where they occur throughout their life cycle, and the human communities that also depend on these habitats for their natural resource needs.
Klamath Bird Observatory’s John Alexander, Jaime Stephens, and Sarah Rockwell worked with partners to develop a conservation business plan for birds that breed in western forests and winter in high elevation pine-oak habitats and cloud forests in Mexico and Central America. Through collaborative dialogue, a diverse set of high-priority conservation projects emerged. These projects focus on improving sustainable forest management and landscape conservation practices through the use of science-based bird conservation objectives. Importantly, these projects also give attention to the needs of local communities.
Here are some highlights that Jaime Stephens—Klamath Bird Observatory’s Science Director—shared from the meeting:
“It was extremely valuable to speak with new Mexican partners who work in the high elevation pine-oak habitats and cloud forests in Mexico where many of our Pacific Northwest breeding birds spend their winters. I gained a better understanding of the conservation challenges that exist south of the border, and we identified common opportunities to restore fire regimes and other natural processes that increase the resiliency of forested landscapes. These are important steps in achieving full life cycle conservation of our shared migratory birds.”