Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) are part of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). The purpose of NABCI is to ensure the long-term health of North America’s native bird populations through joint ventures among governments, non-governmental organizations, and the citizens of Mexico, the United States and Canada. BCRs are ecologically defined units that provide a consistent spatial framework for bird conservation across North American landscapes. By employing broad scale units that are ecologically meaningful to bird populations – rather than arbitrary political units – conservation efforts can be tailored to support groups of species throughout the heart of their range, e.g., grassland-dependent birds within a BCR dominated by grassland habitat.
BCRs are being used to help assign "conservation priority" scores for bird species. Each BCR, regardless of internal political boundaries, will have its own unique list of "priority" species. Species contained on a given BCR list will be ranked by conservation importance according to a standardized set of criteria determined by partners from Mexico, the United States and Canada. Derived BCR lists of priority species will help guide conservation activities throughout the continent. With partners from all three countries utilizing a common spatial framework, and a shared priority-setting tool, the potential for increased efficiency and conservation effectiveness is great.