Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

Why Sites Should Join

En français (.doc)

A total of 117 shorebird species occur in the Western Hemisphere. Of the 53 species that breed in North America, more than half are at grave risk. Seven are classified as "highly imperiled" and 21 are "species of high concern." The 27 South American shorebird species are one of the least-understood groups of shorebirds in the world.

Just as their survival depends on highly productive food stops along their hemispheric migration routes, shorebird conservation relies on the collective efforts of partnerships and collaborations throughout their range. WHSRN embodies the synergy of each of these sites and partnerships working together, sharing resources and knowledge, and achieving a far greater result than the mere sum of its parts. 

"The WHSRN initiative demonstrates the vision and leadership it takes to foster the international cooperation essential for the protection of wetlands and the migratory birds that depend on them for survival."

Dr. Nick Davidson
Deputy Secretary General
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

WHSRN is a network of key shorebird sites throughout the Americas—in sufficient number, quality, and location—managed to sustain all native shorebirds. The strength of the network lies in its ability to communicate the urgency of shorebird conservation to the public based on sound science and the most up-to-date conservation tools. As the quality and number of sites in the Network grows, so too grows its strength and chances of success.

The challenge of sustaining and restoring shorebirds from the brink of extinction is an enormous task, and success requires that we transcend seemingly insurmountable barriers of language, political jurisdiction, and scientific uncertainty.

© Stuart Mackay

That journey starts by growing the local, regional, and international recognition of sites, each raising awareness and generating passion for shorebird conservation. For many species, such as the globally imperiled Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus), Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus), and Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis), swift action is the watchword to survival.

Sites qualify if they meet minimum biological criteria and have agreement from the landowner(s). We encourage all qualifying sites to join this powerful and well-known international conservation effort through our nomination process.