Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan: The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (Physiographic Area 44)
The mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain was the site of the first successful European settlement in North America and its landscape has been subject to influence by European culture for nearly four centuries. Currently, the urban crescent from Baltimore south to Richmond and east to Norfolk is experiencing one of the fastest human growth rates in North America. Managing this population growth while maintaining functional natural ecosystems is the greatest conservation challenge faced by land managers within the region. Despite these important management challenges, the potential for successful conservation of priority bird populations remains optimistic. This optimism stems from 1) the fact that a large number of lands critical to priority bird populations are currently protected or held by PIF partners, and 2) many priority species remain relatively abundant
and widespread within the region.
The avifauna of the mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain is transitional containing a mix of species centered in the southeast or the northeast with some additional species spilling over from more inland physiographic regions. More than 180 species breed regularly within the region. These include many species associated with water and wetland habitats, as well as, species of upland forests and open grasslands. Within this large pool, 80 (44.4%) species are considered priority species of conservation concern. Some of the most vulnerable species that serve as focal points for conservation planning include the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Piping Plover, Salt Marsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Swainson’s Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Bachman’s Sparrow, and Henslow’s Sparrow.