entire ecosystems. Produced by the Partners in Flight Infor-
 mation and Education Working Group, the guide will be
 particularly helpful to bird clubs and other grassroots groups
 working for habitat conservation. It will be available in
 January 1994 from the National Fish and Wildlife Founda-
 tion (address below).

 ^ Directory of Volunteer Opportunities for Birders—a listing of
 projects, surveys, and censuses in which birders can partici-
 pate across the United States. Many of the projects involve
 neotropical migratory birds. Send $2.00 to: American Birding
 Association, P.O. Box 6599, Colorado Springs, CO 80934.


 Partners in Flight Is preventive medicine—a program to save
 species and habitats before they become endangered. By
 addressing problems before they reach crisis proportions, we
 can solve them with less cost and effort. Furthermore,
 Partners in Flight ignores political boundaries—it promotes
 joint conservation efforts between agencies, organizations,
 states, and nations.
    Your understanding of the problems facing neotropical
 migratory birds, and your support of efforts to conserve their
 populations, will ensure the success of this historic conserva-
 tion program.
           National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
         1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900
f&               Washington, DC 20036


Migrant birds herald the changing seasons. Each spring brings
the warbles, chips, and trills of songbirds galore; each fall brings
squadrons of hawks moving south. Birds by the millions
embark on migrations across the Americas each year, traveling
thousands of miles to complete a passage older than history.
    In recent years, though, spring has grown noticeably
quieter and the fall skies more still. According to the Breeding
                               Bird Survey, a volunteer
                               bird count conducted each
                              June by 2,000 birders
                               across North America,
                               many species of migratory
                               birds declined during the
                              pastsdecade. Rose-breasted
                              grosbeaks decreased by
                              more than 40 percent;
                              blackpoll warblers by more
                              than 60 percent. And these
                              are just two examples from
                              a lengthy list.
                                Scientists are most
concerned about neotropical (New World) migratory birds—
more than 200 species that migrate north each spring to
breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, then fly
south to spend the bulk of the year in Mexico, Central or
South America, or the Caribbean. This group Includes such
                 familiar birds as orioles, hummingbirds,
                  swallows, thrushes, warblers, vireos,
                    and tanagers.

                                WHY ARE

                     The destruction of natural habitat on
                      breeding grounds, wintering areas,
                         and along migration routes is
                           devastating migrant songbird
                           populations.  Deep forest birds
                           have been particularly hard hit
                           because most virgin forests
                           have been cleared for human
                        development, and much of the
                     remaining undeveloped land has been
 broken into small parcels—a process known as forest
 fragmentation. Although small woodlots may look like good
 habitat for forest birds, woodlots are easily accessible to  '
 predators that destroy eggs and young, and to brown-headed
 cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

              THE  GOOD NEWS

 Songbird populations can be saved. A comprehensive bird
 conservation program can turn around the declines of most
 migratory species. "What's more, such a program has already
 been started. It's called Partners in Flight!Aves de las Americas,
 and its goal is to maintain populations of forest and grassland
 neotropical migratory birds throughout the Americas. Its
 tools? Habitat protection, management, professional training,
 and public education.
    We know that with encouragement the birds will do their
 part. We just have to do ours—and that's what Partners in
 Flight is all about.
    Partners in Flightis unprecedented hi scope. It brings
 together more than a dozen government agencies, including
 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service,
 National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management,
 Department of Defense, and Environmental Protection
 Agency. It includes all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies.
 More than 20 nongovernmental organizations have signed
 on, including The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon
 Society, American Birding Association, Colorado Bird
 Observatory, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Tennessee
 Conservation League, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
 Partners in Flight ^so includes dozens of universities and the
 forest products industry. Biologists, educators, and policy
 makers from all these groups are working together to enhance
 migratory bird populations and the vital habitats that sustain

    ;      WHAT'S  BEING  DONE?

Althpugh Partners in Flight is still a young program, success
stories are already surfacing. Here are some examples.

    :          SAN  PEDRO RIPARIAN
The San Pedro River runs northward through the Sonoran
Desert of southeastern Arizona. Vegetation along its banks

  With cattle fenced out, this 40-mile stretch of the San Pedro
          River is once again excellent bird habitat.

provides food and cover for hordes of migratory birds, some
that travel onward, some that stay to nest.
    Much of the area around the river is public land man-
aged by the Bureau of Land Management, which until
recently allowed grazing on the river banks. But in 1989 the
Bureau designated a 40-mile section of the river as the San
Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and fenced cattle
out. Within four years, many species of neotropical migrants
increased gready as a result of the unproved riverbank
habitat. For example, nesting summer tanagers increased by
100 percent, while yellow warblers and western wood
peewees each increased by 400 percent.
 Vital bird habitat along the coast of Texas and Louisiana will
      be improved and protected, by these new initiatives.

Thousands of exhausted songbirds that arrive along the
Gulf Coast during spring migration will soon gain more
room to rest and recuperate; Early in 1993, Houston
Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy announced
the High Island and Gulf Coast Conservation Initiatives,
long-range efforts to improve and protect habitat along the
Texas and Louisiana coasts.
  :  The initiatives will preserve part of the Chenier Plain,
which extends east from High Island, Texas, into Louisi-
ana, and offers wooded patches of land where neotropical
migrants can rest and feed. Degraded habitat will be
restored at High Island and Litde Pecan Island, Louisiana,
including 155 acres of land recently donated by Amoco
Production Company. Other partners  include the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department, National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Phillips
Petroleum Company.

  !             PROJECT TANAGER
How does forest fragmentation affect the breeding success of
migrant songbirds nesting throughout  North America? We
may know die answer soon, at least for the four species of
tanagers that nest there. Project Tanager, coordinated by the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is sending hundreds of birders
afield to count tanagers in forest tracts  of varying sizes. Parti-
cipants come from a variety of birding and  natural history
organizations such as Audubon chapters and bird clubs.

    Birders are putting their skills to work for research in
                   Project Tanager.
   Project Tanager is one of the most highly organized
efforts ever made to enlist volunteers in the study of birds,
and is supported by the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The
U.S. Forest Service is a special partner, and plans to use
findings from the project to help design land-management
strategies for migratory bird conservation.

South of the U.S. border, Partners in Flight is an interna-
tional partnership, involving numerous Latin American
participants, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and both the
Pacific Southwest Forest Experiment Station and Interna-
tional Forestry Program of the U.S. Forest Service. The
partnership is empowering Latin American biologists by
providing the techniques and tools they need to monitor
neotropical bird populations.
   The partnership began by drafting a handbook of field
methods to use in monitoring landbirds, Manual de
Metodos de Campo para elMonitoreo deAves Terrestres, and
   Through extensive
   training programs,
 Partners in Flight is
   providing the tools
 that Latin American
   researchers need to
study t birds effectively.

an accompanying training syllabus. Cooperators have also
begun training workshops throughout the Americas to
exchange and evaluate monitoring methods. The U.S. Forest
Service has offered internships to Mexican biologists, who
receive advanced training in bird population studies. In
addition, the group plans to set up demonstration research
stations in Latin America, which will serve as centers for
training and dissemination of the handbook and syllabus.

               FIND OUT MORE

The future of Partners in Flight depends largely on public
support and involvement. You can help! To learn more, send
for a free copy of the Partners in Flight Newsletter, which
includes plans, progress reports, resource listings, and
a comprehensive roster of contact people in both govern-
ment agencies and conservation organizations. Write:
Partners in Flight, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900, Washington,
DC 20036.

                OTHER  RESOURCES:
<^ Migrant Birds: A Troubled Future?—a slide presentation
explaining the plight of neotropical migrants and the Partners
in Flight program. Produced by the Information and
Education Working Group of Partners in Flight, the program
can be ordered from the Crow's Nest Birding Shop, Cornell
Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca,
New; York, 14850 (607/254-2400). Price: $50.00 plus $3.95
& Save the Birds: A Guide to Neotropical Migratory Bird
Conservation —an easy-to-understand booklet listing dozens
of bird conservation opportunities from the backyard to