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Great Blue Heron and Mottled Ducks on water

Mission Statement

The Florida Bird Conservation Initiative is a voluntary public-private partnership that seeks to promote the sustainability of native Florida birds and their habitats through coordinated efforts that strategically address critical needs related to conservation planning, delivery of conservation programs, research and monitoring, education and outreach, and public policy.


Goals, Objectives and Strategies

Flock of Pelicans at Sunset on Beach

With respect to Florida's native birdlife, and in concert with other local, regional, national, and international efforts, the Goals of the Florida Bird Conservation Initiative are to

  1. Promote the conservation and restoration of bird populations and habitats deemed to be most vulnerable or in need of conservation attention.
  2. Ensure the continued sustainability of bird populations and habitats that are presently secure.
  3. Improve coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders to more effectively align and leverage resources in support of mutual priorities and objectives.
  4. Increase awareness and support among the public and conservation community regarding issues, challenges and opportunities related to the conservation of birds.


In support of stated Goals, the Objectives of the Florida Bird Conservation Initiative are to:

  1. Develop and foster collaborative projects among individuals and entities having complementary or shared conservation interests and expertise.
  2. Develop and employ a strategic framework for defining and systematically addressing critical bird conservation activities, emphasizing habitat conservation as a key factor in restoring and maintaining bird populations.
  3. Define realistic population and/or habitat objectives (amounts, configurations, and conditions) meant to ensure population sustainability and ecosystem integrity.
  4. Identify and promote research, monitoring and evaluation needs that address the most critical assumptions and information gaps pertaining to FBCI's and partners' conservation decisions.
  5. Improve the targeting and effectiveness of public and private habitat conservation efforts in support of bird population and habitat objectives.
  6. Facilitate partner and public engagement in public policy decisions having significant relevance to bird and habitat conservation.
  7. Objectively assess the conservation vulnerability and socio-economic importance of native Florida bird species and identify species and habitat priorities accordingly.
  8. Promote interest and enthusiasm for birds and bird conservation through appropriate education and outreach tools, and by promoting ecotourism and other commerce reliant on sustainable natural communities.

To accomplish stated Objectives, the Florida Bird Conservation Initiative will employ the following Strategies:

  1. Characterize past, current, and future states of land use and habitat availability as it relates to bird population sustainability.
  2. In conjunction with other landscape based conservation efforts adjoining Florida (e.g., East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture, South Atlantic Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, etc), utilize GIS-based decision tools to recommend and direct habitat conservation efforts.
  3. Assemble relevant data and expertise to assess the potential implications of pending policy decisions.
  4. Consolidate the positions of FBCI partners on various issues and advocate or otherwise seek support for the enactment of policies informed by FBCI's recommendations.
  5. Improve coordination and integration among existing monitoring programs in providing data to address priority information gaps and to evaluate progress in achieving stated objectives.
  6. Identify needs for building capacity of existing monitoring programs and/or developing new monitoring efforts.
  7. Compile and evaluate existing conservation assessment protocols and corresponding data for Florida birds.
  8. Develop and maintain a web presence that serves to articulate the mission, goals and objectives of FBCI; links potential partners to each other and to essential conservation information; and encourages public awareness regarding pressing bird conservation issues.


Steering Committee

Committee Member Organization
David Hallac National Park Service - Everglades NP
Phil Gornicki Florida Forestry Association
Al Begazo U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-Vero Beach
Robin Boughton Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Mark Cook South Florida Water Management District
Sonny Bass National Park Service - Everglades National Park
Monica Folk The Nature Conservancy
Karen Bareford Florida Department of Environmental Protection -Coastal & Aquatic Managed Areas-Tallahassee
Rob Fletcher University of Florida
Patty Kelly U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-Panama City
J.B. Miller St. Johns River Water Management District
Katy NeSmith Florida Natural Areas Inventory-Tallahassee
Reed Noss University of Central Florida
Charlie Pedersen Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Florida Forest Service
Craig Watson U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Atlantic Coast Joint Venture
Julie Wraithmell Audubon of Florida