Partnering with landowners to protect birds
Black-necked Stilt flying by granary.
Audubon California's Working Lands Program increases the scope and scale of bird-friendly practices on farms, wetlands and other managed lands in the Central Valley. We do this by cultivating relationships with landowners, advocating for statewide policies that secure water and habitat for birds, and through engaging our grassroots network in their communities. Our work provides protection for focal species like the Long-billed Curlew, Tricolored Blackbird, and Western Grebe.
California’s Central Valley has 205,000 acres of managed wetlands, less than 5 percent of what was historically on the landscape. The region has some of the most fertile land in the nation and boasts 7 million acres of irrigated farmland. Some types of farms – particularly those with rice and other flood irrigated field crops – provide an important alternative to wetland habitat for birds and other wildlife. The synergy of flooded farmland and wetlands fundamentally links the health of Pacific Flyway bird populations and California’s farms and Audubon California has worked for 15 years to build partnerships with farmers to protect, enhance, and restore bird habitat on farmland in California’s Central Valley.
The Pacific Flyway is a major migratory pathway for birds and stretches from Alaska through South America. The Central Valley is a major stopover site for birds to feed and rest. Wetland habitat provided by Central Valley farms, refuges, and other managed areas support between 5-7 million waterfowl and 350,000 shorebirds each year. That’s over 60% of the Pacific Flyway and 20% of the nation's waterfowl population. Over the long-term, the best opportunities to ensure the long-term conservation of birds and other wildlife in the Central Valley is to protect and enhance working landscapes for birds and wildlife while also ensuring a vibrant system of managed wetlands on public and private lands.
Examples of Audubon California's private lands work includes:
Audubon California News comes to your email inbox every month with updates on our activities throughout the state, as well as other important conservation news.