At-Risk Birds - Lists and Chart
Proportion of U.S. Birds in Each Conservation Ranking Category*
The lists below show some highlights from ABC's new species and subspecies conservation analysis. We hope that these will be thought-provoking, and will lead to more conservation action for the featured birds.
Most At-Risk Birds
50 U.S. States
These are the most At-Risk birds not currently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including candidates (all are in the "At-Risk" () category, with scores between 17 and 20).
Sitka Sooty Grouse (ssp)
Black Rail (both ssp)
Gulf Snowy Plover (ssp)
Alaskan Marbled Godwit (ssp)
Eastern Red Knot (ssp)
S. CA Olive-sided Flycatcher (ssp)
S. FL & Is. Loggerhead Shrikes (ssp)
S. CA Pinyon Jay (ssp)
Eastern Bewick’s Wren (ssp)
SF Bay Common Yellowthroat (ssp)
Mangrove Prairie Warbler (ssp)
Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (ssp)
Eastern Painted Bunting (ssp)
Maui 'Alauahio (Maui Creeper)
These are the most At-Risk birds in the U.S. Territories. Those marked* are currently neither listed nor candidates for listing under the ESA (all are in the "At-Risk" () category, with scores between 17 and 20).
Puerto Rico (PR)
PR Broad-winged Hawk (ssp)
PR Plain Pigeon (ssp)
PR Common Ground-Dove* (ssp)
Puerto Rican Parrot
Puerto Rican Nightjar
Caribbean Black Swift (ssp)*
Puerto Rican Tody*
PR Grasshopper Sparrow* (ssp)
Puerto Rican Oriole*
Guam and Northern Marianas (NMA)
NMA Micronesian Scrubfowl (ssp)
Guam Common Moorhen (ssp)
Guam Micronesian Kingfisher (ssp)
Nightingale Reed Warbler
Rota Bridled White-Eye
Guam Micronesian Starling* (ssp)
Fastest Declining Migrants
These are the migrant species with the fastest rates of declines. Note that population trend is only one factor in assessing risk, so species with large ranges and populations (such as the Palm Warbler) can currently be regarded as Secure (), even though they are declining. This list addresses full species only.
Cape May Warbler
*Conservation Ranking Categories
Secure (4-8): Species/subspecies as a whole appears to have no immediate major conservation issues and can be regarded as safe at the present time. While some of these might be showing declines or likely declines/uncertain population trends (trend scores of 3 or higher), these are offset by their large ranges and populations. If these declines were to continue, some of these may later be upgraded to Potential Concern.
Potential Concern (9-12): While these species/subspecies can also be regarded as currently safe, they typically have smaller populations or ranges, or slightly higher threats or more negative population trends than Secure taxa, and need somewhat closer monitoring, especially those with a total score of 11 or 12. Local conservation actions may also be appropriate for some of these species, especially those that congregate in large numbers at key sites.
Vulnerable (13-16): These are species/subspecies that deserve conservation attention. They typically have limited ranges, smaller populations, higher threats or significantly higher declines (or a combination of these) and they should be considered in conservation planning and action for regions and habitats where they occur. These actions can often be delivered at a habitat/landscape scale to benefit multiple vulnerable taxa rather than through individual species/subspecies programs.
At-Risk (17-20): These are birds that need more urgent conservation attention and many of the highest risk taxa should be considered for ESA listing if they are not already listed. Those at the top end of this rank are most in danger of extinction, and those at the lower end should receive specific conservation attention to ensure they do not go in that direction.
The terms Potential Concern, Vulnerable, and At-Risk do not suggest necessarily that there is concern that a species may be threatened with extinction. Lower scoring species may instead face population declines or range contractions that could negatively impact their conservation status, while some are more vulnerable to threats due to low abundance or small ranges but still have stable populations at present. Those species in the very highest scoring categories (the highest scoring At-Risk species) are those currently considered at risk of global extinction.
While some taxa are currently regarded as Secure, we should still address threats that may reduce their populations, as some of these may later need to be upgraded to higher concern categories. Also, human-induced threats (e.g. collisions) typically affect birds in all threat categories.