Loggerhead Shrike Working Group
The Loggerhead Shrike Working Group seeks to develop, support and implement coordinated, multi-jurisdictional research and conservation efforts for Loggerhead Shrike and their habitat through collaborative initiatives guided by the Loggerhead Shrike Conservation Action Plan and recommendations of the Working Group’s membership.
Why the Working Group Was Formed
As shrike numbers kept dropping decade after decade, it became clear that a collaborative approach among multiple states and provinces was required to better understand the factors driving those declines and ensure the long-term survival of the species.
Because of the geographic scale of population declines and the migratory nature of northern populations, effective conservation must involve local, regional and multi-national initiatives with collaboration among a variety of stakeholders.
That’s why the Loggerhead Shrike Working Group was established in at the 2013 meeting of Partners in Flight to facilitate international collaboration on Loggerhead Shrike conservation across North America. It brings together government agencies, academic collaborators, non-profit and other organizations in Canada and the United States.
Although we have initially focused on eastern North America, where the greatest need for collaboration was identified, our goal is to establish partners across the species’ range.
Goals and Objectives
The Working Group has identified the following conservation and management priorities:
Identify the factors limiting population growth and sustainability, with a focus on winter mortality
Determine the genetic identity of shrikes in the Northeastern United States
Quantify population demographics and shrike movements on a regional scale throughout the year
Develop habitat models identifying habitat requirements on both the breeding and non-breeding grounds
Identify possible sites and goals for stewardship and research
Working Group Accomplishments
The Working Group is building partnerships among government agencies, academics and NGOs and pursuing conservation priorities under the Loggerhead Shrike Conservation Action Plan.
To date, we have:
Established a multi-state banding project designed to improve understanding of shrike genetics and the connections between breeding and wintering populations in order to identify the factors driving shrike population declines
Developed predictive occupancy/distribution models
Currently we are working toward developing standardized protocols for shrike surveys and monitoring.
Opportunities for Involvement
Loggerhead Shrikes may disappear from many parts of the continent unless we take action. The Working Group formed with a focus on eastern North America, where the species is most at risk, but we need to expand and include populations across the full range of this species, so we can compare behaviours and trends among habitats and regions.
We invite government agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional groups and academics to join us in our vital work.
We need citizen scientists to help with on-the-ground work. Become a Shrike Force member and help Loggerhead Shrikes!
If you're a landowner, there may be steps you can take to support shrike habitat. We encourage landowners to read through our Shrike Landowner's Guide to understand what you can do to help shrike conservation in your own backyard.