Proceedings of the Fourth International
Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics


   The 4th International Partners in Flight (PIF)     years) and long-term needs be identified rela-
Conference was held at the McAllen Convention         tive to five general categories:
Center, in McAllen, Texas, on 13–16 February              Education/Communication/Outreach
2008. The theme of the conference—Tundra to               Research
Tropics: Connecting Bird, Habitats and People—            Inventory/Monitoring
was also the theme of International Migratory             Capacity Building
Bird Day ( for 2008. Nearly               Public Policy
700 people attended the conference, with over             We acknowledged this as an ambitious
100 participants representing countries other         request, and recognized that not all sessions
than the U.S. There were nearly 500 oral and          would lend themselves to defining needs for
poster presentations among the conference’s           each of the five topics and for both time frames.
39 pre-planned sessions. The conference pro-          Nonetheless, 465 individual needs were identi-
gram is available on the PIF web site (www.           fied, compiled and reported on the PIF web site                                ( These were orga-
                                                      nized by session so that those particularly inter-
CONTENT OF PROCEEDINGS                                ested in one topic (e.g., Anthropogenic Causes
                                                      of Bird Mortality) could quickly find specific
   This proceedings comprises two principal           needs identified in that session.
sections: a Needs Assessment (see below), and             After reviewing and discussing these results,
papers contributed from those authors who             the PIF Implementation Committee determined
wished to further develop their content for           that it would also be useful to create a synthe-
inclusion in this proceedings. We included both       sis of needs within each of the above categories
full papers and “extended abstracts,” the lat-        and across all sessions. These syntheses would
ter allowing authors to provide a shorter paper       seek to identify major themes and priorities.
capturing information that may not otherwise          In the end, we found that the last two topics—
appear in print. The editors view proceedings as      Capacity Building and Public Policy—were too
a unique tool for sharing information that may        complex to deal with given the geographic scope
not always lend itself to publication in the tradi-   of the conference—the Western Hemisphere.
tional ornithological literature. Thus, it was our    Thus, the Needs Assessment presented herein
policy to accept, not reject, papers to the extent    includes summary analyses for only the top-
possible. Nonetheless, all papers were reviewed       ics of Education/Communication/Outreach,
by at least one editor and by at least one other      Research, and Inventory/Monitoring.
peer to ensure quality. Because not all aspects of        It is our intent that each partner in the PIF
the original program are represented by written       network examine these needs and determine
contributions to this proceedings, logical orga-      where they or their organization possess the
nization of contributed papers herein differs         capacities to best contribute. Various PIF com-
somewhat from that of the conference.                 mittees and working groups also will remain
                                                      vigilant for, or otherwise initiate, opportunities
NEEDS ASSESSMENT                                      to attract resources to particular needs through
                                                      ongoing strategic planning and budgeting
   Organizers wanted the 4th International PIF        activities.
Conference to result in something more than a
contribution of talks and papers—something            BRIEF HISTORY OF PARTNERS IN FLIGHT
that spoke more directly to the nagging ques-
tion, “so now what?”                                     Partners in Flight was formed in 1990 to
   Thus, the Steering Committee asked each            address long-term population declines among
Session Chair to facilitate a discussion wherein      bird species that breed in the U.S. and Canada
participants, within the context of the session       and winter in the Neotropics. With the advent of
topic, would identify priority needs that must        other national and international bird conserva-
be addressed in order to advance the conser-          tion initiatives addressing shorebirds and water-
vation of birds. We asked that both short- (≤2        birds, the primary activities of PIF increasingly
2              Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference

emphasized landbirds. The partnership’s land-        Coro Arizmendi, Universidad Nacional
bird interests quickly expanded to include all          Autónoma de México
landbirds that regularly breed in the U.S. and       Ernie Arredondo, McAllen Convention and
Canada (448 species) and now addresses all              Visitors’ Bureau
landbirds that regularly breed in Canada, the        Humberto Berlanga, Comisión Nacional para
U.S., and Mexico (898 species). In addition, PIF        el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad
is now represented in Mesoamerica and Canada         Susan Bonfield, International Migratory
where activities may include taxa other than the        Bird Day
landbirds. The mission and goals of PIF can be       Carol Beardmore, Sonoran Joint Venture
found on the back cover.                             Carol Beidleman, National Park Service
    Partners in Flight holds international confer-   Brenda Dale, Environment Canada–Canadian
ences only periodically, when developments in           Wildlife Service
bird conservation or a need to rekindle interna-     Dean W. Demarest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
tional cooperation warrant a convening to share      Chris Eberly, Department of Defense Partners
the latest information and plan for the future.         in Flight
Three major international PIF conferences were       Joni Ellis, Optics for the Tropics
held prior to McAllen:                               Rich Fischer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
                                                     Geoff Geupel, PRBO Conservation Science
                                                     Wendell Gilgert, Natural Resources
             Estes Park, Colorado                       Conservation Service
             21–25 September 1992                    Dave Krueper, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
                                                     Linda L. Long, U.S. Forest Service
             Cape May, New Jersey                    Nancy Millar, McAllen Convention and Visitors’
               1–5 October 1995                         Bureau
                                                     Rebecca M. Olaguibel, McAllen Convention
              Asilomar, California                      Center
               20–24 March 2002                      C. J. Ralph, U.S. Forest Service
                                                     Cecilia Riley, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
    While each conference has had a diverse con-     Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
tent, as evidenced by the respective conference      Janet Ruth, U.S. Geological Survey
programs and proceedings, there typically has        Sandy Scoggin, San Francisco Bay Joint
been a focus in each one. For this conference, we       Venture
not only addressed the hemispheric theme of          Cliff Shackelford, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Tundra to Tropics, we also included an unprec-          Department
edented number of sessions on education and
outreach. The education and outreach emphasis        PROGRAM COMMITTEE
was an explicit acknowledgement regarding the
third component in our title, “connecting birds      Terrell D. Rich, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
habitats and people.” Indeed, if we don’t con-          Chair
nect people—to each other, to the habitats, and      Brenda Dale, Canadian Wildlife Service
to the birds—we cannot succeed, no matter how        Linda L. Long, U.S. Forest Service
compelling our research, monitoring, and other       C. J. Ralph, U.S. Forest Service
scientific accomplishments.                           Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
                                                     Eduardo Santana, Universidad de Guadalajara
CONFERENCE COMMITTEES                                Ann Sutton, Society for Conservation and
                                                        Study of Caribbean Birds
   Partners in Flight greatly appreciates the        Xico Vega, Western Hemisphere Shorebird
considerable time put in by members of the              Reserve Network
conference Steering Committee and Program
Committee.                                           ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

STEERING COMMITTEE                                      In addition to the committee members listed
                                                     above, we also thank the following for contribu-
Terrell D. Rich, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service      tions to the proceedings.
   and Partners in Flight, Chair                        Erik A. Garcia Trejo, César A. Ríos Muñoz,
Mary Gustafson, Texas Parks and Wildlife             Luis A. Sánchez González, and Claudia I.
   Department and Rio Grande Joint Venture,          Rodríguez Flores provided reviews of Spanish-
   Chair of the Local Committee                      language papers. Fermín Alvarez (fafkuva@
                                           PREFACE                                              3 translated numerous abstracts from     SUGGESTED CITATION
English to Spanish.
   We are also indebted to the many peer          RICH, T. D., C. ARIZMENDI, D. W. DEMAREST
reviewers who helped us ensure that the con-         AND C. THOMPSON [EDS.]. 2009. Proceedings
tent of the papers was of high quality.              of the 4th International Partners in Flight
   We greatly appreciate the assistance of Mark      Conference. 13–16 February 2008. McAllen,
Penrose in the tracking, organizing, layout,         Texas. Partners in Flight.
design and production of the final document.
The editors simply could not have done it with-   THE EDITORS
out Mark’s considerable experience and skill.
   Finally, we will forever be in the debt        Terrell D. Rich, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
of Cecilia Riley and the Gulf Coast Bird             (
Observatory for handling the finances of the       Coro Arizmendi, Universidad Nacional
conference and the proceedings from 2006 to          Autónoma de México
2009. Cecilia maintained good humor through       Dean W. Demarest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
a seemingly endless gauntlet of budgets, agree-   Craig Thompson, Wisconsin Department of
ments, contracts and adjustments. If Cecilia         Natural Resources
asks you for something, say “yes!”

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