American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Environment for the Americas (EFTA) joined forces on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, to announce the launch of the Bird City Network, a bird conservation program that connects cities across the Americas in a unified effort to expand the conservation of birds.
The Bird City Network serves as a collaborative platform designed to promote sustainable urban planning, create bird-friendly communities, and raise awareness about the vital role people play in supporting bird populations. By fostering cooperation within and among communities, the program seeks to ensure the long-term well-being of birds by enhancing their habitats, safeguarding their migratory routes, reducing threats to their survival, and providing education to youth and adults. These steps help create healthy communities that also benefit people.
“With more than 50 percent of the global human population living in urban areas, it is essential that we recognize the critical role cities and other communities like towns and villages can play in protecting bird populations. By uniting cities across the Americas, we can create a powerful force for avian conservation,” said Michael J. Parr, President of ABC.
The program encourages participating communities to implement a range of conservation actions, such as the preservation and restoration of natural habitats, the reduction of hazards posed by built structures, and the promotion of community events that raise public awareness of birds and their protection. Bird City Network participants receive guidance and support from ABC and EFTA, including access to resources, educational materials, and best practices in urban bird conservation.
“Urban areas have the potential to provide habitat for birds that depend on our cities,” said Dr. Susan Bonfield, Executive Director of Environment for the Americas. “The Bird City Network offers cities a unique opportunity to collaborate, learn from one another, and adopt strategies that will ensure our urban environments become safe and welcoming spaces for birds.”
By engaging cities from North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean, the program fosters international cooperation and raises awareness about the conservation challenges facing migratory birds across the Americas.
"Many people do not like what they see happening to wildlife in the world around them and would like to make a change but do not know where to begin — Bird City is their guide,” said Dr. Bryan Lenz, ABC’s Bird City Network Director. “Recognizing that local partnerships are the heart of meaningful long-term change, the Bird City model seeks to empower relevant grassroots actions where neighbors work together to improve the spaces they share.”
In areas with existing regional Bird City programs, communities interested in becoming a Bird City can immediately reach out to those programs about starting an application through the Bird City Network website’s Program and Communities section. Communities in areas without an established regional program will need to help Bird City Network establish a regional program to which they can apply -- they can share their suggestions for regional organizations that might be willing to partner on a Bird City program with the Network via the “Interested in Bird City?” button on the upper right-hand side of the Bird City Network website.
Join us in celebrating the launch of the Bird City Network and learn more about the great work ahead in our webinar on Thursday, June 22, at 4 pm Eastern. RSVP for free via this registration form.