As a Migratory Bird Joint Venture, our goal is to conserve habitat to benefit birds, other wildlife, and people. That message – bird conservation benefits wildlife, people, and entire ecosystems – is the focus of the 2022 U.S. State of the Birds Report.
There are many opportunities to not only conserve birds and their habitats but also benefit people and strengthen economies.
The report shows birds in the United States are declining overall in every habitat except wetlands, with grassland birds experiencing the fastest decline with 34% loss since 1970. However, the report demonstrates there are many opportunities to not only conserve birds and their habitats but also benefit people and strengthen economies. It highlights stories of how bird conservation work is contributing to climate resilience and environmental justice as well as protecting biodiversity.
One of the stories, on page 25, is about how PLJV is working with the City of Clovis in New Mexico to conserve playas as part of their water management plan. As the Ogallala aquifer is declining, many small towns and communities in our region are at risk for continuing groundwater loss and are searching for solutions to continue providing abundant and clean water for residents.
In the story, Clovis Mayor Michael Morris is quoted: “The Ogallala Aquifer decline is something that a lot of mayors are going to be faced with. My advice to other towns and other mayors would be have a plan, and be ready to implement new ideas such as leveraging playa lakes as a way to recharge the aquifer.”
Because playas are a primary source of groundwater recharge, they can be an important part of a water management plan for these communities. PLJV is also working with communities in Kansas and Texas to implement this model of incorporating playa conservation into broader water management efforts to benefit people. You can hear more about this from Bill Simshauser in the short video below.