Minnesota's Legacy

Integrated, Operational Bird Conservation Plan for Minnesota

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Audubon Minnesota
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
July 2010
End Date
June 2012
Activity Type
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2010, Chp. 362, Sec. 2, Subd. 03d
Appropriation Language

$151,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota to develop an integrated bird conservation plan targeting priority species and providing a framework for implementing coordinated, focused, and effective bird conservation throughout Minnesota.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

There are many national, regional, and state conservation plans that broadly address Minnesota birds, but a consolidated and focused state conservation agenda for birds does not exist. Audubon Minnesota is using this appropriation to develop a single, clear operational plan that provides specific guidelines for Minnesota bird conservation. The project will build upon existing efforts and employ an inclusive, consensus-based planning process to deliver a plan that identifies and begins implementing the most strategic and effective conservation actions for Minnesota's priority bird species at both the local and statewide level.

Many national, regional, and state conservation plans broadly address Minnesota birds, but a consolidated and focused state conservation agenda does not exist. The goal of this initiative was to develop a clear operational plan for Minnesota conservation organizations and resource agencies that builds on existing plans, establishes priorities to guide conservation actions, and identifies conservation targets. Plans were prepared for Minnesota's four ecological provinces: the Tallgrass Aspen Parklands, the Laurentian Mixed-Forest, the Eastern Broadleaf Forest and the Prairie Parkland. The bird composition of each province is sufficiently distinct to warrant a different approach and different priorities. Three tasks were implemented in each province:

  • First Task: Delineated a pool of priority species and selected a subset of conservation target species.
  • Second Task: Decided where, among the suite of Minnesota's 48 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), it is most important to work to protect and manage these species.
  • Third Task: Developed a toolbox of conservation actions to insure these species maintain viable populations on the priority IBAs, as well as throughout Minnesota.

Titled An Implementation Blueprint for Minnesota Bird Conservation, the operational plan's components include:

  1. Implementation Blueprints for Bird Conservation in each ecological province, which identify clear priorities to guide conservation actions;
  2. conservation accounts for 78 priority species;
  3. detailed Conservation Blueprints for nine target species;
  4. a database compiling critical information on 434 Minnesota birds;
  5. a publication that highlights twelve of Minnesota's stewardship species (species that have >5% of their global population in the state and >5% of their North American breeding range in the state); and
  6. management plans for three of Minnesota's priority Important Bird Areas (Goose Lake Swamp IBA, the Twin Cities Mississippi River IBA, and the Vermillion Bottoms-Cannon River IBA).


  • The Conservation Blueprints were used in the development of Audubon's recently completed Guide to Urban Bird Conservation (Spring 2012): http://mn.audubon.org/twin-cities-bird-conservation.
  • A booklet, Stewardship Birds of Minnesota: Our Global Responsibility was published in June 2012.
  • Findings were presented at nine workshops and eleven additional statewide and regional meetings.
  • The Common Tern Minnesota Conservation Blueprint was used at a Structured Decision Making meeting to inform future Common Tern management at the Rice Lake National Wildlife refuge.
  • Audubon is exploring ways to make all project data available to resource managers in a GIS format; in the interim Conservation Blueprints for the nine conservation targets and Implementation Blueprints for each ecological province will be available on the Audubon Minnesota website.
  • Information is helping update Minnesota's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Audubon Minnesota
Street Address
2357 Ventura Dr, Ste 106
St. Paul
Zip Code
(612) 810-1173