Audubon’s new strategies in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada represent a new chapter in the evolution of Audubon in which we broaden our focus to protecting birds and the places they need over their entire life cycles.
This hemispheric approach stems from the recognition that the majority of vulnerable bird species found in the U.S. spend most of their lives in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean, which have some of the world's most biodiverse landscapes and seascapes. The Neotropical Realm alone has 41% of all bird species on Earth, and Canada is North America's bird nursery. Throughout the region, this biodiversity is at risk by habitat loss and environmental degradation. And in most countries, conservation efforts have not kept pace with economic growth and intensifying pressure on natural resources.
Audubon Americas has developed an ambitious plan to address conservation shortfalls in Latin America and the Caribbean, by applying Audubon’s conservation expertise and regional experience in innovative new ways. Over the next five years, we are targeting 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of prime ecosystems that are important for priority birds and wildlife, and human well-being.
In Canada, we are striving to be allies to Indigenous governments and communities across the Boreal Forest region and to elevate public support for millions of acres of proposed Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and for Indigenous Guardians programs through science and communications efforts.
And just as we develop our strategy through local and national conservation projects and initiatives, we know that our efforts would only be sufficient with decisive action at the hemispheric level. In late 2022, Audubon Americas, in partnership with BirdLife International and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America), launched the Americas Flyways Initiative to address the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change through effective nature-based solutions rooted in community development.
Our Four Strategies
Our conservation strategies address and mitigate the most critical threats to wildlife and biodiversity and deliver lasting economic and environmental benefits for people. These strategies are based on innovative, proven models that can achieve impact at scale with the highest return on conservation investment.
Strategy 1: Protected Areas
Well-managed protected areas are essential to sustaining bird populations and reversing their decline. They also serve to mitigate climate change and help local communities thrive sustainably. Audubon will work with partners to establish more than 80 new protected areas covering 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) and improve management of an additional 2 million hectares.
Strategy 2: Working Lands
Audubon’s Working Lands Strategy is designed to create healthier habitats for birds and other wildlife. Audubon Americas and partners will work with farmers to create these healthier habitats while expanding productivity and profit on 5 million hectares (12 million acres) of agricultural lands in once-natural landscapes.
Strategy 3: Coastal Resilience
All along the coast lines of the Americas, the rapid disappearance of mangroves, mudflats, other wetland habitat is threatening shorebird populations, situation especially dire along the Pacific Americas Flyway. Audubon and partners will restore or improve the management of 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres) of coastal habitat while integrating nature based solutions
into development and water sanitation agendas.
Strategy 4: Building A Constituency For Birds
Birds are persuasive ambassadors. In Latin America and the Caribbean awareness and popularity of birds and birding have been growing at extraordinary pace. By supporting the development of National Plans for the Conservation of Birds, community science, educational programs, and community mobilization, Audubon and its partners will build public commitment to conservation by engaging one million people across the hemisphere.
Audubon Americas new strategies are designed to deliver conservation results at an unprecedented scale and pace. By capitalizing on the emerging green economy as well as growing public interest in birds, we intend to mainstream wildlife conservation into development agendas while involving a range of NGO partners, business interests, policymakers, and community leaders. By prioritizing ecological connectivity, our solutions will increase the mobility and range of wildlife in natural-area networks that will be more resilient to emerging environmental challenges.
Want to know more? Read Audubon Americas' business plan executive summary.
Read More About Our Strategies
Audubon’s new strategies are designed to deliver conservation results at an unprecedented scale and pace. Read about our plans to capitalize on the emerging green economy as well as growing public interest in birds to mainstream conservation while involving a range of NGO partners, business interests, policymakers, and community leaders.
Birds and Beyond: Elevating Our Conservation Impact
Although the National Audubon Society is known for its longstanding commitment to birds, the challenges to the region’s biodiversity affect much more than birds. Habitat loss and degradation, combined with the effects of climate change, are expected to increasingly affect water, energy and food security, coastal resilience, economic prosperity, and human health.
That’s why our new goals extend beyond birds to focus on essential areas that birds share with endangered or threatened species and important fisheries. In addition, our strategies will provide broader conservation, economic, and human well-being benefits.
Targeting a portfolio of prime ecosystems that cover a combined area roughly the size of Mexico, our strategies are based on:
Incorporating conservation into national and local development plans. The Audubon Americas approach prioritizes efforts that protect wildlife while promoting sustainable economies, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and human well-being. Via a comprehensive set of initiatives, we aim to mainstream nature-based solutions into development plans throughout the region, to achieve conservation impacts at an unprecedented scale. We will also support national conservation efforts driven by each country’s climate commitments.
Extending our impact through innovative partnerships. Migratory birds connect the people and places of the Western Hemisphere. Through strategic multi-sector partnerships, we intend to drive change at a hemispheric level. By involving more than 100 NGO partners as well as a diverse range of business interests, policymakers, and community leaders, we aim to build a science-based and human-focused conservation effort that is unprecedented in magnitude, scale, and transformational impact.
Our conservation plan targets 10 million hectares of important bird and wildlife habitat by 2026, and 40 million hectares by 2030. Discover our first-phase initiatives in five core countries:
Audubon envisions a resilient future in which the people, birds, and nature of the Americas thrive. We look forward to your participation in this unprecedented conservation effort, and we thank you for your support. Together, we can create a brighter future for the birds, wildlife, and human communities of the Americas.