A new ranching generation is taking cues from historical bison herds to help prairies, wildlife, and their businesses survive the next century.
Audubon’s Working Lands Strategy aims to bring bird-friendly practices to 4.7 million hectares of productive lands in Latin America and the Caribbean, increasing habitat and connectivity across landscapes. This will boost the overwinter survival rate of migratory birds while increasing the abundance of local wildlife, including endemic and threatened birds.
In landscapes that were once natural, enhanced agricultural lands can serve as migratory corridors for wildlife. They connect wetlands, forest blocks, and protected areas and provide environmental benefits to people, including food and water security, flood prevention, and climate mitigation. Audubon is scaling up nature-based solutions such as habitat restoration, silvopasture systems, and crop-rotation models. Already prototyped in Colombia, these solutions have boosted yields and income for farmers and communities while demonstrating significant environmental benefits.
Cattle ranching is the region’s the greatest agricultural threat to biodiversity, but this sector also provides the greatest opportunity for rapid progress. Silvopasture systems incorporate trees and shrubs into pastureland, providing habitat for birds and improving connectivity in landscapes fragmented by ranching. By incorporating bird-friendly flora into ranch lands and reducing chemical use, we can protect wildlife, soil, and water while improving farmers’ productivity and profitability.
Audubon is also working with farmers to incorporate nature-based adaptations into cropland. For example, innovative rotation systems for sugarcane and rice crops create intermittent wetlands that provide bird habitat, mitigate flooding, boost biodiversity, and increase farm productivity.
Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Audubon intends to work with landowners, community leaders, protected-area managers, environmental authorities, and local NGOs to expand knowledge and use of these bird-friendly practices. Demonstration projects in prioritized countries are already showing that development that integrates nature-based solutions can achieve conservation and sustainable-development impacts at a significant scale.
Working Lands Approaches by Country
Birds That Depend on Working Lands
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