The Second All-bird Conservation Plan

Over the last 25 years, conservation plans have been developed for waterbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and landbirds at national and regional scales. In 2010, the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative (OBCI) produced the state’s first All-bird Conservation Plan. The Second Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan (2023) provides a state-level assessment of avian populations and prioritizes the conservation of focal bird species and habitats in Ohio. As with the 2010 plan, our purpose is to review existing national and regional plans and provide guidance for current and future conservation efforts. Additionally, we aim to help conservation partners identify opportunities for the development of collaborative conservation plans and targeted habitat delivery to support populations of focal bird species.

The Second Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan (2023) is a collaborative effort among individuals representing numerous organizations that serve on the OBCI’s Conservation Planning and Research Committee. This plan has two main functions: to identify ways to “stepdown” regional conservation plans to the state level, and to provide guidance for bird conservation efforts in Ohio.

The Second Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan (2023) integrates data and recommendations from conservation plans developed by national bird conservation initiatives,
the regional migratory bird joint ventures, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. We identified focal bird species (i.e., those prioritized for conservation efforts) by
using conservation decision support tools from Partners in Flight and priority species from regional joint venture lists (UMGL JV and AMJV). Focal species may also include species for which Ohio has high conservation responsibility, species that use unique habitats within the state, and species of greatest conservation need as identified in the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP, ODW 2015).

To provide local land managers with practical information and recommendations for bird conservation, we have organized this version of the plan using a habitat approach. The plan is divided into two main chapters: Birds Associated with Land (chapter 2) and Birds Associated with Water (chapter 3).


The main goals for the Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan:

  • Establish habitat and population conservation priorities for Ohio birds with guidance and information from other avian conservation plans.
  • Identify at-risk bird species and prioritize conservation needs for bird species whose range includes Ohio during one or more stages of their full annual cycle.
  • Identify needs and opportunities to conserve habitats that are essential to sustaining viable bird populations long-term, and support opportunities for bird-based recreation in Ohio.
  • Identify research and monitoring needs to address information gaps for science-based conservation and management of bird populations and their habitats in Ohio.
  • Identify species and places in Ohio where public agencies, non-governmental organizations, and stakeholders may collaborate to improve bird conservation.
  • Identify opportunities to include Human Dimensions (the cultural, legal, political, economic, and social constraints and opportunities in influencing wildlife populations) in conservation efforts in recognition that birds and the habitats they use provide ecosystem services and improve the quality of human life.


  • Kelly A. Williams, Ohio University
  • Matthew B. Shumar, The Ohio State University
  • Laura J. Kearns, ODNR-Division of Wildlife
  • Brendan T. Shirkey, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy
  • Jay N. Mager, Ohio Northern University
  • Joseph M. Lautenbach, ODNR-Division of Wildlife
  • Mohammed A. Al-Saffar, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • August M. Froehlich, The Nature Conservancy
  • Robert J. Gates, The Ohio State University
  • Daniel G. Kovar, Great Parks of Hamilton County
  • Michael J. Kravitz, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Stephen N. Matthews, The Ohio State University
  • Cotton K. Randall, ODNR-Division of Forestry
  • Nick A. Schell, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Mark C. Shieldcastle, Black Swamp Bird Observatory
  • Mark J. Wiley, ODNR-Division of Wildlife
You can download the entire plan HERE.

Suggested citation:

Williams, K. A., M. B. Shumar, L. J. Kearns, B. T. Shirkey, J. N. Mager, J. M. Lautenbach, M. A. Al-Saffar A. M. Froehlich, R. J. Gates, D. G. Kovar, M. J. Kravitz, S. N. Matthews, C. K. Randall, N. A. Schell, M. C. Shieldcastle, and M. J. Wiley. 2023. The Second Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan (2023) . Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, Columbus, OH.

The first Ohio All-bird Conservation Plan (2010) is available here.