Shorebirds are among the most amazing of migratory birds, generally traveling very long
distances and being on the move the greatest amount of time each year. They seem to "follow the
sun," with many species traveling routes that extend from the Arctic Ocean to the southern tip of
South America. Their natural histories are distinctive because they depend upon wetlands for
much of their life cycles and a series of critical stop over sites along routes of migration. A series of problems resulting from habitat loss, human disturbance, pollution, food depletion, and
increasing threats from predators led to the initiation of the USSCP in 1996. The goals of this
plan are to protect populations of all shorebird species and to restore such populations to a
healthy condition. The plan was completed in April 2000 and lays out conservation goals for 11
shorebird management regions of the United States. The plan also identifies critical habitat
conservation needs as well as proposes outreach programs to increase awareness of shorebirds
and their needs. Regional plans and national technical reports can be downloaded.
What is a Shorebird?