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VI Meeting Report PDF Print E-mail

Migratory Birds and Wetlands Working Table


Mexico: Eleazar Loa Loza
United States: Jon Andrew
Canada: Steve Wendt (meeting chair)


John Andrew, FWS
Humberto Berlanga, NABCI/Conabio
Loney Dickson, CWS - Edm
Herb Raffaele, FWS / DIC
Doug Ryan, FWS / DBHC
Jürgen Hoth, CEC
Maria Pia Gallina , CONANP / SEMARNAT
Milton Friend, Salton Sea Science Office
Robert Mesta, Sonoran Joint Venture
Cyndi Perri, USFWS
Garry Donaldson, , CWS
Judith Kennedy, CWS
Kathryn Dickson, CWS
Paul Goossen, CWS
William Eldridge, USFWS
Jeff Haskins, USFWS
Frank Rivera, USFWS
Francisco Abarca, Arizona Game & Fish Dept.
Eduardo Carrera Gonzalez, DUMAC
Eleanor Loa Loza,
Steve Wendt, CWS
Margarita Astralaga, RAMSAR
Clayton Rubec, CWS/ RAMSAR

Special Session on North American Bird Conservation Initiative

NABCI coordinators presentation by Humberto Berlanga, NABCI/CONABIO

Tri-national committee functions. The role of the tri-national committee is to provide guidance using NABCI as a conceptual framework to integrate efforts at national and international levels. The primary way the tri-national committee operates is to ensure effective communication and coordination among the 3 national NABCI committees. The significant decisions for NABCI occur within the national committees.


Issue—The website (managed by the CEC) currently provides information about NABCI meetings but in a limited manner

Further steps ( NABCI communications coordinators assisted by CEC)—By June 2001, the website will be ready to promote communications, consolidate information from the countries, and convey the vision of NABCI

Species status assessment

Issue—Need to address different bird conservation efforts (IBAs, landbirds, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds, etc.) conservation problems, and country priorities in a consistent fashion based on the best biological understanding available.  Setting priorities should not be a NABCI top-down controlled action, but conceptual coordination is desirable

Action—Pending discussion (Steve Wendt, Jon Andrew, and Eleazar Loa Loza, with the NABCI coordinators of the 3 countries), a proposal will be developed how to coordinate species assessments within NABCI by June 2001. The proposal will be made available for discussion at the next Trinational NABCI ctte. Meeting

NABCI International Agreement

Issue—Discussion among countries is needed to identify the steps for preparing the accord as defined at Queretaro.

Action—After consultation with Executive Table, prepare a draft process to produce the document.  By June 2001, form national writing subcommittees with a mechanism for coordination among the 3 countries. Identify major issues that need to be resolved to the Executive table.

Demonstration projects

Issue—Project demonstrations are needed to show how NABCI works on the ground

Action—US and Canada have named sub-committees to work on this, but Mexico still has to designate such.  Discussions for development of a framework for demonstration projects will be initiated prior to June 2001

Ministerial statements on NABCI for the CEC meeting, June 2001

Ministerial statements should be based on the recommendations from Queretaro, as summarized by the national coordinators for NABCI.

Some suggested topics for the meeting of the Trinational Committee (NABCI coordination) on June 14,15 in Ottawa

· Ministerial statement at the June CEC meeting
· The international accord for NABCI (process)
· Species assessment
· Demonstration projects
· Functions of the Trinational committee
· Funding opportunities

Migratory Birds Conservation Issues and programs

WHSRN in Canada presented by Loney Dickson, CWS/EDM (included an update on the process underway among the 3 countries to develop a strategy for shorebirds that reaches throughout the birds’ ranges).

Mexico Shorebird Conservation Plan (DRAFT) presented by Eduardo Carrera, DUMAC .

Status report on US Shorebird Conservation Plan given by Jon Andrew, USFWS/DMBM.

Status report on North American Colonial Waterbird Conservation Plan (NACWCP) given by Loney Dickson (CWS/EDM), Humberto Berlanga (NABCI/CONABIO), and Doug Ryan (FWS/DBHC)

Information on impact of pesticides on birds given by Cyndi Perry, FWS/DMBM

Issue—The document (Migratory birds and pesticides in the Western Hemisphere: transboundary issues, activities, and recommendations, Steve Sheffield from FWS/DMBM and Alain Baril from CWS/NWRC, 25/04/01) was commissioned by this table, but was first received at the meeting and therefor it has not yet been  reviewed by the wildlife agencies in U.S., Canada, or Mexico. Many thanks to those who worked on this document!

Action—Eleazar Loa Loza, INE, is the contact person  at this point for Mexico.  The document will be reviewed technically by toxicologists and other personnel from agencies in US, Canada, and Mexico if possible by the end of July 2001, at which time the co-chairs will be in a position to discuss next steps in this area.

Information on bird electrocution in electric power lines given by Robert Mesta (FWS/SJV) and Jeff Haskins (FWS/Region 2)

Bird electrocution electric in power lines is impacting bird populations, most notably raptors, and can pose an environmental hazard due to fires or result in power failures

Action—Tri-lateral table continues endorsing actions to deal with the problem of bird electrocutions.  FWS shared a proposal with SEMARNAT at the table.  Within 60 days, FWS and SEMARNAT will find a Mexican organization to involve in discussion of a possible joint project.

Lead shot poisoning of waterbirds

Issue—Lead poisoning is a problem that has not been well researched in Mexico

Action—Within 30 days, Milton Friend (USGS/SSO) will send a copy of a lead poisoning video to Jon Andrew.  Jon will explore the possibility of producing a Spanish version of the video to share with Mexico.  Eleazar Loa Loza (INE) pointed out that Eduardo Carrera (DUMAC) will be the contact for Mexico on this issue. Many information materials have already been produced in Spanish for use in Puerto Rico; within 30 days Frank Rivera-Milán will provide these materials to Eduardo Carrera.

Action—Within 30 days, contacts will be initiated in the 3 countries in order to establish a network of experts to maintain contact on  the problem - Canadian and U.S. experts will be able to provide information to Mexico on survey techniques, and diagnostics procedures.

Information on the Salton Sea project given by Milton Friend (USGS/SSO)

Action—Tri-lateral table endorses efforts of the Salton Sea Office to make contacts with agencies and organizations from the 3 countries. Many contacts into existing processes, JVs, etc. should be explored. The co-chairs will assist in getting this information to Milton. For example - Jon Andrew (FWS/DMBM) will provide information about CEC contacts to Milton Friend (USGS/SSO)

Treaty implementation and regulations respecting the protection of migratory birds

Information on incidental take and country responsibilities under Migratory Birds Treaties provided by Steve Wendt (CWS) and Jon Andrew (USFWS/DMBM)

Incidental take

Issue—Compliance with MB treaty responsibilities and possibility of legal actions by private groups for alleged noncompliance (such as the Article 14 action with the CEC)

Action—Steve Wendt will send copies of the presentation he has used with Canadian industry groups to other co-chairs by the end of April 2001

Action—US and Canada have contact persons, but a contact person on “incidental take” of migratory birds is needed for Mexico

Regulatory Coordination - Hunted Species

Action - Standing item for the Trilateral Migratory Birds co-chairs —Each year, Canada, Mexico, and US will share information about harvested waterfowl populations- including population trends, harvest - and they will coordinate on regulatory controls for selected priority species. This coordination should occur at the Trilateral meeting.

Overabundant species

Information about FWS environmental impact assessments for geese and cormorants given by Jon Andrew (FWS/DMBM).  Information on geese regulations in Canada was also provided by Steve Wendt (CWS).

Overabundant goose populations

Issue—Overabundant goose populations need to be managed in the 3 countries

Action—Mexico can better participate in the scientific grounding of this issue by taking up the Arctic Goose Joint Venture’s offer of membership.  Contact person in Mexico for developing this participation will be Eduardo Carrera.

Issue - The Arctic Goose Joint venture has produced a new report on the status of Ross’s geese. (Copies were circulated). It may become necessary for the Trilateral Committee to consider whether  the Ross’s goose should be designated overabundant.

Discussion - Steve Wendt described the Canadian Wildlife Service reaction to the review of Ross’s goose status. It is apparent that:

· Ross’s geese are numerous in comparison to their historical numbers, the population continues to grow and its range is expanding remarkably.

· The species is not at present threatened by actions being taken in the 3 countries to reduce the numbers of specified snow goose populations.

· Ross’s geese contribute proportionately to some of the habitat damage that is observed in conjunction with snow geese.

CWS has also been looking at evidence that Ross’s geese may be more vulnerable to harvest than snow geese. Given the interest of all parties to use the overabundant species designation only when necessary, and only in extraordinary circumstances related to the long-term health of wildlife populations, CWS was not prepared to support a designation of Ross’s geese as overabundant at this meeting. CWS does wish to maintain the ability to undertake discussions with the Trilateral  as required, possibly on short notice.

Action - The 3 agencies will review the status report on Ross’s geese that was distributed, and, should any of these agencies request a decision on the potential “overabundance” of Ross’s geese (in support of regulatory actions) that will be carried out within 30 days of  the request (without waiting for a meeting of the Trilateral). In the meantime, the 3 agencies acknowledge that the current measures in place to reduce snow goose populations are not posing a threat to Ross’s geese.

Information was presented  about subcommittees formed under a system of  Advisory Councils to promote collaboration between federal and state agencies and organizations in Mexico given by Eleazar Loa Loza (INE)

Action- Linkages should be established among key groups in North America that deal with the management of hunted species; notably the new Mexican advisory committee on water birds and the US Flyway Councils. Co-chairs will review progress in this area at the next Trilateral meeting.

Surveys and Research on Migratory Birds

Breeding Bird Survey in Mexico

Issue—The use of volunteers for BBS has been attempted, but to date has had only limited success in Mexico

Action—Within the next 60 days, Humberto Berlanga (NABCI/CONABIO) and Robert Mesta (FWS/SJV) will contact Bruce Peterjohn (USGS/BRD) to share perspectives on such activity in Mexico, and to determine whether a strategy could be formed to establish and survey BBS routes in Mexico. A report should be given at the next Trilateral meeting.

Briefing on harvest data collected in Mexico given by William Eldridge (FWS/Region 7).  CWS and University of Chihuahua are collaborating in this effort. Dan Nieman will be working on this project towards the east coast of Mexico in the coming year, subject to his finding funding.

Waterfowl surveys and banding. Information on survey projects in Mexico given by Jeff Haskins, FWS/Region 2 and William Eldridge, FWS/Region 7, Eduardo Carrera, DUMAC, and also for Dan Nieman, CWS, who could not be present.

Issue—There has historically been difficulty in obtaining banding data from waterfowl in Mexico

Action—Seek assurance that Bird Banding Laboratory will accept the idea of implementing a 800 number in Mexico that ties into existing data system (actual mechanism does not have to be computer-based).  Eduardo has a DUMAC proposal ready (1-800-BANDING).  Jon Andrew will make contact with USGS/BRD within the next 30 days to further explore feasibility. Report to next Trilateral.

Issue—Need to evaluate and improve waterfowl population and habitat surveys and databases for Mexico, and assist in capacity building for such surveys in Mexico.  (DUMAC is developing a GIS database on waterfowl areas - they should review possible linkages to NABIN & CONABIO)

Action—Agreement was reached among Canada, Mexico, and US to meet and discuss the design of winter surveys as well as capacity building in Mexico in October 2001 [note: post meeting it has developed that a better time might be in Monterey, Mexico, in November, due to other survey conflicts.]  Within 60 days, each country will identify contacts to  plan the meeting, including discussion about additional specific agenda items. Dan Nieman to coordinate development and circulation of the agenda for this workshop. This initial workshop could lead to further specific workshops and activities.

Further discussion - the meeting proposed in Monterey should be 1) to develop a comprehensive wintering survey for arctic nesting geese in Mexico and 2)  discuss other ways to cooperate with Mexicans on surveys of interest to them and 3) discuss a program for training Mexican biologists and/or pilots for survey work. The intention is to retain the value of historical database of surveys (primarily for Brant and ducks). That meeting should lead to plans for a future waterfowl workshop to train Mexicans in survey techniques.

Bald and golden eagle populations / surveys

Issue—Population surveys are planned within the US range of the species

Action—Within 60 days, the co-chairs will identify contacts in the 3 countries to explore the idea of  sharing information and possibly conducting joint  golden eagle (breeding) population surveys

JOINT SESSION WITH SHARED SPECIES TABLE (Note- this part of the table was also presided over by the Shared Species Table co-chairs - Lynda Maltby, Susan Jewell, Mauro Ivan Reyna)

Migratory Birds at Risk

Update of Bald Eagle Sonoran Project by Robert Mesta (FWS/SJV)

Issue—Population surveys and ecological studies of a small bald eagle population

Action—Co-chairs endorsed continuation of the project

Information about status of burrowing owl populations given by Paul Goossen for Geoff Holroyd (CWS/CBORT)

Issue—Determine continental status of this declining and in some localities potentially endangered species; determine causes for decline; identify conservation actions needed to reverse the declines; and coordinate co-operative implementation

Action—Within 30 days, the 3 wildlife agencies will identify contacts of people working with burrowing owls and start an evaluation of the continental status of the species.  Several contacts in Mexico were suggested

Piping plover conservation - Information about status and concerns for wintering piping plover populations given by J. Paul Goossen (CWS/PPPRT)

Issue—Document threats to piping plovers in their wintering grounds in Mexico and USA, protect wintering grounds, locate additional wintering sites and learn more about the plover’s winter ecology

Action—Within 60 days, the USA and Mexico will identify a representative from the wintering ground to sit on US and Canadian recovery teams

Information about peregrine falcon management given by Steve Wendt (CWS)

Issue—Peregrine falcon permits for falconry in Mexico

Action—Within 60 days, Mexico will provide information to US and Canada about the number of permits available for falconry in the country

[Added post-discussion - CWS will look into providing information on the 2000 breeding surveys of peregrine falcons to the US and Mexico].

Information about recovery program for golden eagles in Mexico given by Mauro Reyna (INE)

Update of meeting about eagle feathers use by indigenous people and transport across US, Canada, and Mexico borders given by Patricia Dwyer (CWS/AATW)

Eagle feathers transport

1. Issue—Eagle feathers transport between US, Canada, and Mexico, and culturally sensitive issues

2. Action—The migratory bird table supports the recommendation already given to the Executive Table that a subcommittee be established to explore issues and options related to transport of eagle feathers across US, Canada, and Mexico borders.  Mauro Reyna was designated as the contact person for Mexico

Presentation about CEC Biodiversity Programs given by Jürgen Hoth (CEC)

CEC activities providing a forum for tri-national collaboration for shared species and their habitats, particularly grasslands

1. Issue—Need for tri-national collaboration to conserve shared species of concern and their habitats

2. Action—Shared Species Table and the Migratory Birds and Wetlands Table both endorse activities conducted by CEC such as meetings and other activities facilitating tri-national collaboration towards the conservation of shared species, particularly those listed as common concern and their grassland habitats.  Also, endorse recommendations made by the Workshop on Grassland Species of Common Conservation Concern conducted in Chihuahua, Mexico, in March 2001.

WETLANDS (note: Canadian co-chair for this section was Clayton Rubec)

Comments and information about Wetland Table Mandate and Ramsar activities given by Clayton Rubec (CWS/Ramsar) and Margarita Astralaga (Ramsar)

Information about and activities conducted under NAWCA by Doug Ryan, FWS/DBHC

Wetland Table

1. Issue—The Wetland Table does not have enough time to discuss important wetland issues.

2. Action—Tables will continue to meet together but time will be divided equally between them

3. Action—In years were there is a COP, additional time will be allocated to discuss Ramsar COP issues

4. Action—US, Canada, and Mexico will request to be invited to the sub-regional meeting in Costa Rica in September 2001.  In this meeting, North American collaborators will have the opportunity to discuss key issues in preparation for the COP in 2002

Trans-border Ramsar designation of Laguna Madre and linking of wetland sites in Mexico, Canada, and US

Linking wetlands and other protected areas in US, Mexico, and Canada

1. Action—Within 30 days, Canada, Mexico and US will identify contacts within government agencies for protected areas (to include federal and where possible state and provincial / territorial). One longer term objective will be to identify sites to be  considered for links (Ramsar sites and other protected areas) to promote tri-national collaboration.


Facilitating international cooperation for conserving the living heritage of North America.

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