About our Program
The Pacific Coast Bird Conservation Program is one of San Diego Zoo’s field-based initiatives to preserve birds and their habitats along the Pacific Flyway. Our collaborative program is based at the Institute for Conservation Research in Escondido, California, adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. In support of San Diego Zoo Global’s vision to fight extinction, and our Institute’s strategies in Recovery Ecology, we are adaptively managing seabird and shorebird species at risk in the wild.
Our program’s roots initiated with recovery efforts focusing on two federally-listed species, endangered California Least Terns (small, colonial, migratory seabirds), and threatened Western Snowy Plovers (small dune-nesting shorebirds). In collaboration with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Naval Base Coronado in San Diego County, California, the program has supported adaptive management and research for almost two decades to conserve breeding populations, which are among the largest remaining along the Pacific coast. The Program has continued to expand to support partnerships in Orange County and elsewhere in California, and range-wide, for these species. New local and international collaborations are being established to include non-breeding grounds for both species. Concurrent research and conservation efforts are already benefiting other species, and planning is underway to include other seabirds and shorebirds that are in decline and that breed or over-winter locally, including at least some Arctic breeders. Adaptive management is also improving habitat for rare plants and native biodiversity.
SDZ Pacific Coast Bird Conservation
San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido, CA, 92027 USA