March 01, 2013

Ecology-Based Habitat Management: Letting the Birds Dictate the Planning Unit

Jane E. McBride

Region-based conservation is an approach to wildlife research, planning, and species preservation based on the geography of natural habitat—not state or other political boundaries. Habitat-based conservation requires resource managers to undertake cooperative efforts that cross boundaries of traditional jurisdictions. Today’s trend toward region-based conservation management is well illustrated by use of the approach in bird conservation. The North American continent has been divided into Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). BCRs “are ecologically distinct regions in North America with similar bird communities, habitats, and resource management issues” and are part of a larger “scale-flexible hierarchical framework of nested ecological units.” North American Bird Conservation Initiative—United States, Bird Conservation Regions (U.S. Bird Conservation Initiative).

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