Oak Habitat Conservation for Priority Birds
Golden Cheeked Warbler by Greg Lavaty

Golden Cheeked Warbler by Greg Lavaty


The Challenge

As a result of the decline in quality and quantity of oak habitats, there are a number of oak-associated birds with significantly declining population trends in the Pacific Northwest and in Latin America. In the United States, loss and degradation of oak habitats has accelerated in recent years, in part due to rapid development and pressures of agricultural, urban, and residential development. In Latin America, oak and oak-pine habitats are among the highest priorities for conservation, as they are threatened by potentially unsustainable resource extraction and land clearing for development and farming. Because land ownership of oak habitats is predominantly private, ecosystem-level conservation is problematic.


ABC Conservation Framework

Efforts to conserve the oak habitats fall under Conserving Habitats in ABC's conservation framework
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Primary Birds Impacted

Approximately 40 terrestrial migratory species winter in oak habitat, others pass through during migration, including the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Wood Thrush, Acorn Woodpecker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Oregon Vesper Sparrow, Western Scrub-jay, Western Wood-Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Townsend's and Black-throated Green Warblers, and Ovenbird.



Conserve and expand threatened oak and oak-pine woodlands and savannas and their bird communities along the Pacific Coast of North America and in Latin America through the Quercus and Aves program.

ABC Results

ABC Results Button Working with partners, ABC has acquired 725 acres in Klickitat County, WA and 120 acres in El Salvador, to preserve critical oak habitat that had been slated for development
ABC Results Button Nearly 40,000 acres of private reserve land are committed to conservation by landowners under government incentive programs in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
ABC Results Button Habitat management and restoration is ongoing at ten sites in western Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, including invasive species control, thinning, planting, and snag creation on more than 300 acres
ABC Results Button ABC-funded bird monitoring and research at sites in California, Oregon, and Washington, and extensive inventories at numerous sites for the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler in Latin America has resulted in significant expansion in the knowledge of the wintering range of this species.
ABC Results Button Extensive education and outreach activities in both North and Latin America including workshops, training, community and school presentations, and production of several booklets.


What Next?

What Next Button Continued acquisitions of priority oak habitat to maintain populations of priority bird species.
What Next Button Continued restoration of desired oak habitat conditions through management activities to increase populations of priority bird species.
What Next Button Bird and habitat monitoring and research to develop and refine bird-habitat models, assess predictions of bird population response to restoration, track changes towards priority species population objectives, and inform adaptive management for restoration.
What Next Button Develop and produce a Land Managers Guide to Bird Conservation in Oak Habitats in the Pacific Northwest as an education and outreach tool reflecting the cumulative efforts of ABC and many partners over the last ten years.

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