CalPIF Bird Conservation Plans

CalPIF Bird Conservation Plans now available:

  • Coniferous Forests: Version 1.1 available for download.
  • Coastal Scrub & Chaparral: Version 2.0 available for download and in print.
  • Desert: Version 1.0 available for download.
  • Grasslands: Version 1.0 available for download.
  • Oak Woodlands: Version 2.0 available for download and in print.
  • Riparian: Version 2.0 available for download and in print.
  • Sagebrush: Version 1.0 available for download.
  • The Sierra Nevada Range: Downloadable and HTML versions of the plan.
  • Habitat Enhancement Guide: Available for download and in print.
  • The California Partners in Flight program has completed eight habitat and bioregion based Bird Conservation Plans (BCP's) for Riparian, Oak Woodlands, Coastal Scrub and Chaparral, Grasslands, Coniferous Forests, Sagebrush, Desert, and the Sierra Nevada Bioregion. These BCPs are for every land manager and researcher interested in improving habitat for landbirds. These plans are dynamic documents that will follow a continous process of developing and updating conservation recommendations for California's habitats based on the latest scientific monitoring and research data. Combined with the associated CalPIF study areas database and focal species breeding status database, these plans provide the foundation for adaptive conservation management in California's habitats.

    Adaptive Conservation in California's Habitats
    In adaptive management, land managers implement science-based recommendations through their restoration and management activities and scientists monitor the consequent effects. As new data on the impact of management activities on wildlife and native plants become available, scientists revise managment recommendations and managers amend their work plans accordingly. Thus, scientists and managers work together to create a steady feedback loop and consistently improve their methods for conserving native habitats and species. For more information on Adaptive Management, please read the Guide to Adaptive Conservation Planning by PRBO Conservation Science.

    Population Objectives
    California Partners in Flight seeks to develop population targets that will guide avian and habitat conservation efforts and provide them with a gauge of success. Although ambiguous and based on assumptions difficult to test, numerical population targets provide a compelling means of communicating with the public and policy makers. Furthermore, they provide: 1) monitoring objectives and an evaluation procedure of project success ("accountability"); 2) ranking criteria for project proposals that allow reviewers to determine which sites or projects will be more advantageous for a particular species or suite of species; 3) current data for scientifically sound biological objectives; and 4) integration and comparison with population objectives of larger regional, national, and international schemes.

    Population targets for California Partners in Flight focal species can be found within the individual plans. The Western Purple Martin Working Group has recently developed population objectives for the Pacific Coast population of Western Purple Martin. Read more here.

    BCP Implementation
    BCPs have now been distributed to over 130 different agencies and organizations. There are numerous implementation examples for these habitat-based bird conservation plans. The following are a select few:

  • USDA Forest Service biologists use the BCPs to address management concerns for many of the focal species identified in the plans. USFS has specifically used the Sierra Nevada Bioregion, Coniferous Forest, and the Oak Woodland plans to help identify appropriate bird species to include on the Management Indicator Species list revision efforts.

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Private Lands Office has used primarily the Riparian Plan in planning for Partners for Fish and Wildlife habitat restoration program project selection and construction/implementation.

  • The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District uses the information within several of the BCPs to guide land acquisition.

  • Prunuske Chatham, Inc., an environmental consulting and ecological restoration firm, uses the Riparian Plan as a resource for their environmental assessment documents and for the management and restoration recommendations.

  • The Department of Defense is referencing the BCPs in the revision of their Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans.

    If you would like to contribute to this list of BCP uses, please email the CalPIF Coordinator, Ryan DiGaudio (

    Click here to download a Powerpoint presentation about the CalPIF Bird Conservation Plans