The State of the Birds San Francisco Bay 2011

PRBO Conservation Science and the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture

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Purpose and Summary

The first-ever State of the Birds Report for San Francisco Bay summarizes the current state of knowledge on the Bay’s bird populations and details the actions needed to keep birds and their habitats thriving as sea levels rise and extreme storm events increase due to global climate change.

The messages delivered through the report aim to enhance bird conservation in San Francisco Bay by (1) guiding habitat restoration, management, and acquisition; (2) increasing knowledge of the population status of San Francisco Bay’s birds and the threats to their habitats; and (3) influencing public policy and public awareness of bird and ecosystem conservation needs.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Most bird populations are stable while others are still struggling.
    • Riparian [streamside] birds and two endangered species [CA Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover] have increased.
    • Grassland and coastal scrub [low shrub] birds are declining due to loss and alteration of habitat.
  • The state-listed California Clapper Rail, the iconic SF Bay tidal marsh bird, still struggles because of habitat loss, predator pressure, and invasive species. Sea level rise and strong storms will make it even harder for rails to persist as they are pushed into marginal, exposed habitat.
  • All habitat types harbor species that are declining. Species to watch in addition to the California Clapper rail are: Western Sandpiper, Forster’s Tern, Caspian Tern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Snowy Egret, Canvasback, Northern Pintail, scaup and scoters.

Please cite as: Pitkin, M. and Wood, J. (Editors). 2011. The State of the Birds, San Francisco Bay. PRBO Conservation Science and the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture.

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