The Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative has announced the launch of an exciting new interactive mapping tool designed to aid northeastern conservation practitioners and organizations, including regional conservation partnerships and land trusts in advancing conservation.

Using birds as its guide, the conservation mapping tool will support activities such as habitat management plan and stewardship development, land prioritization and acquisition strategies, and landowner and community engagement.

This unique and novel tool showcases Cornell Lab of Ornithology eBird Status & Trends (S&T) data for 43 priority bird species across five different habitat types, including forest, shrub/young forest, coast/shoreline, grassland, and wetland/marsh, as GIS data layers. The S&T data can be downloaded to add into preexisting GIS and land prioritization projects or overlaid with layers such as protected open space, National Audubon’s Important Bird Areas, and The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Landscapes data, helping paint a clear picture of the relationship between the land and birds.

The tool was created by partners in the Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative, a collaborative effort between The Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network, Audubon groups, Highstead, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. GIS experts at Harvard Forest and Highstead and scientists from the Cornell Lab created simplified versions of the eBird modeled abundance bird data and made it freely available.

eBird is among the world’s largest biodiversity-related science projects, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed annually by eBirders around the world. A collaborative enterprise with hundreds of partner organizations, thousands of regional experts, and hundreds of thousands of users, eBird is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.