Priority Species

OBCI’s Priority Species

© Mike Meier
© Mike Meier

The goal in prioritizing Ohio’s birds is to identify species of highest conservation concern based on state, regional, and continental threats. We quantified an area importance factor that helped identify species that Ohio has high responsibility to protect. By prioritizing our species list, we will be able to identify those species that we should target to achieve goals set at the regional and national level. This will help direct limited funding resources towards species that need more immediate attention.

Data for the species prioritization came from peer-reviewed information directly obtained from the national bird conservation plans: The U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, North American Waterfowl Plan, Waterbird Conservation Plan for the Americas and the North American Landbird Conservation Plan. Ohio Responsibility scores were obtained from Swanson and Dettmers (2002) or through expert opinion for those species not included in the paper.

Priority species were placed into one of five categories: Highest, High, Moderate, Low, or State. The table below summarizes the decision rule and criteria for species prioritization.



Highest Priority Species for Ohio

Ten species fell into the Highest Priority tier. These species require immediate conservation action, and when possible, funding and effort should be directed towards these species. Highest Priority species have high conservation threats and concern across their range and are also regionally threatened.

highestpriorityHigh Priority Species for Ohio

Twenty-six species were categorized as High Priority. These species have widely decreasing populations, but the current threat is not as strong as for species in the Highest Priority tier. These species are perceived to be threatened at both regional and continental scales.


Moderate Priority Species

Ohio has 68 species of Moderate Priority. In general, these species have slightly more stable populations or Ohio has lower responsibility for these species. However, Moderate Priority species may have a high concern within one or two of the BCRs and Ohio needs to pay attention to their population trends.


To view State Concern and Low Priority species, please visit Appendix G of the Ohio All-Bird Conservation Plan.