NCEAS Project 2400

Cowbird Management (Hosted by NCEAS)

  • Stephen Rothstein

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Workshop30th—31st August 1999Participant List  

A number of North American passerine birds have shown significant declines in recent decades and several species are recognized as federally endangered. In addition to habitat loss and heightened nest predation, brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird has been identified as a possible cause of these declines and as a target for management efforts. Two national meetings on cowbird ecology and management in the 1990s have resulted in the exchange and synthesis of a great deal of new knowledge and have also identified a continuing need for dissemination of the latest research findings in this active area of conservation biology. Another need is a national database that will maintain records on the numerous cowbird management efforts currently underway. The National Cowbird Advisory Group has been formed to meet these needs. This group consists of researchers engaged in studies of the biology of cowbirds and their hosts and representatives of governmental agencies concerned with endangered species management and the protection of migratory songbirds. The group has been endorsed by the American Bird Conservancy, a consortium of conservation groups and governmental agencies, and will provide a focal point for integrating insights, methods and effective practices related to cowbird management as part of endangered species recovery efforts or more broadly as part of efforts to enhance overall passerine diversity and conservation. These results will be disseminated to the research and management communities to maintain high professional standards in initiating, managing, and reviewing cowbird control programs and to facilitate effective information exchange among regional and local programs and among the scientific, management, and conservation communities. Initial goals of the group will be achieved by holding two workshops at NCEAS funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and designed to produce documents that synthesize the latest results from the research and management communities and that provide guidance for federal, state and non-governmental organizations concerned with the conservation of passerines. In addition a database will be developed with aid of NCEAS and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.