Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

WHSRN: A Strategy for Saving Shorebirds

En français (.doc)

During the mid 1980s, scientists from around the Americas were documenting serious population declines in shorebirds. Recognizing that these birds were in trouble prompted the science community to take action and develop the framework for an international strategy to protect shorebirds and their habitats.ruddy turnstone

The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN, pronounced "whissern") is a conservation strategy launched in 1986 with the designation of the first site, Delaware Bay in the United States.  The Network aligns with the simple strategy that we must protect key habitats throughout the Americas in order to sustain healthy populations of shorebirds. To date, WHSRN site partners are conserving more than 36.9 million acres (14.9 million hectares) of shorebird habitat in 15 countries.

WHSRN works to:

  • Build a strong system of international sites used by shorebirds throughout their migratory ranges.
  • Develop science and management tools that expand the scope and pace of habitat conservation at each site within the Network.
  • Establish local, regional and international recognition for sites, raising new public awareness and generating conservation funding opportunities.
  • Serve as an international resource, convener and strategist for issues related to shorebird and habitat conservation.

WHSRN General Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.7 MB)    
Available in French: Fiche d'information générale du RRORHO (PDF, 1.2 MB),
and in Portuguese: Ficha geral do RHRAL (PDF, 1.3 MB)

The Shorebird Strategy” (PDF, 2 MB) Article by Dr. Peter Stangel, Wildbird Magazine, Sept/Oct 2006.

The Manomet is a lead partner in WHSRN and implements program strategies and operations under the direction of the WHSRN Hemispheric Council.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supports the laudable goals and objectives of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and values the incredible accomplishments of the network. The Service will continue to support WHSRN as an important tool in the conservation of these long distance travelers, shorebirds."

Paul Schmidt
Assistant Director, Migratory Birds (retired)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service