A Threatened Species
Each spring, across a small section of northeastern North America, dawn comes with an event witnessed nowhere else on Earth. It happens in a zone of mountainous and coastal forest sites scattered across southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. As the day begins, these forests come alive with the swirling song of the Bicknell’s Thrush.
Arriving after a 2,000-kilometer migration from wintering grounds in the Greater Antilles, the thrushes will breed and raise young in these forests, not far removed from population centers with millions of people. A scant four months later, they will depart and migrate south before the onset of winter. With each journey, north or south, Bicknell’s Thrush flies toward an uncertain future.
A Coordinated Response
Already one of the continent’s rarest breeding songbirds, Bicknell’s Thrush now faces threats at nearly every stage of its life. In response, a coalition of scientists, natural resource managers and conservation planners, forming the International Bicknell’s Thrush Conservation Group (IBTCG), has been working to study and conserve this enigmatic, captivating songbird. The IBTCG’s efforts have culminated in an innovative plan of action designed to keep Bicknell’s Thrush from becoming endangered.
The Conservation Action Plan for Bicknell’s Thrush
The IBTCG held its fourth annual meeting, in conjunction with the Black-capped Petrel Working Group, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on 2-4 November 2010. Sixty conservation biologists from seven countries representing three languages spent three days focused on increasing cooperation between Caribbean and North American IBTCG partners through hands-on engagement in implementing the Conservation Action Plan.
Conservation Action Planning for Bicknell’s Thrush and Black-capped Petrel: Flagships for Montane Forest Conservation on Hispaniola