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Regional-scale Waterbird Conservation

Waterbird planning regions were identified to allow for planning at a scale that is practical yet provides a landscape-level perspective. Planning region boundaries are based on a combination of political considerations and ecological factors.

Most waterbirds migrate! As such, waterbird conservation cannot succeed in just one country or region. Moreover, actions and involvement outside one’s immediate area is actually a good investment. We must have an inter-American (i.e., Hemispheric), multi-ocean, integrated approach, and ensure that regions are linked by an overarching framework.

View of globe with regions

Links to Planning Regions




Pacific Coast

Intermountain West

Southwest U.S.

Central Prairies

Northern Prairie and Parkland

Upper Mississippi Valley/ Great Lakes

Mid-Atlantic/New England/ Maritimes

Southeast U.S.


Pacific Islands

Central America


South America

The Plan area also includes the open waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in that these provide foraging and migration habitat for seabirds.

The Central American nations and their offshore zones are combined into one planning region, as are all of the Caribbean Islands.

In Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, planning regions are based on composites of Bird Conservation Regions (BCRS) and Pelagic Bird Conservation Regions (PBCRs).

BCRS are terrestrial geographic areas having similar habitats developed to provide a consistent spatial framework for the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. See the NABCI website.

PBCRs were created specifically for this Plan as marine analogs of terrestrial BCRS to address the conservation needs of seabirds. They are very similar to Large Marine Ecosystems with some practical modfications suggested by regional waterbird managers. See the Large Marine Ecosystem website.



Last Updated November 30, 2007
U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is supporting the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Home Page as part of its contribution to North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP). It is being served by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Information provided in this site does not necessarily have the endorsement of the USGS.