Tricolored Blackbird

Keeping the Tricolored off the Endangered Species List

California is home to 95% of all Tricolored blackbirds in the world, which are listed as a state species of special concern.

Due primarily to losses in native wetland habitat, Tricolored Blackbirds have been steadily declining for a century. Current population estimates are 250,000 birds, but it is believed the population once numbered in the millions.

Twice, the tricolor has been petitioned for listing at the state and federal levels, first in 1994 and then again in 2004. As a result of the pressure for listing and in the face of a dramatic population decline, a cooperative working group of industry, conservation, and wildlife organizations formed to proactively intervene to prevent the need for listing.

A New Breed of Species Protection

As part of a diverse alliance of environmental, agricultural and government leaders, Sustainable Conservation authored a groundbreaking Conservation Plan to guide the recovery of the species. The Plan lays out a comprehensive strategy to boost populations through long-term conservation planning and short-term action-oriented intervention.

The Plan outlines goals and tasks for recovery oriented activities in the areas of conservation, research, data management, and outreach. A signed Memorandum of Agreement implementing the Conservation Plan demonstrates the highest level of commitment and support from the Working Group’s 16 stakeholder members.

The preventive efforts outlined in the Plan preserve management options, minimize recovery costs and reduce the potential for restrictive land use policies. In addition, as the threats to the Tricolored blackbird are reduced, focus can shift to other California species in more in need of state and federal protective measures.

The alliance and Conservation Plan, ultimately, help promote a new paradigm of species recovery – one that focuses on cooperative conservation benefiting Tricolors, farmers, wildlife agencies and conservation organizations.

Click here to download a copy of the Tricolored blackbird Conservation Plan.

From our blog

Conversations from the Field: Adapting to Extremes

Missed the live stream of our thought-leader panel, Conversations From the Field: Adapting to Extremes? Click below to hear diverse experts explore on-the-ground strategies for managing California’s rivers and runoff to protect human health, safety, and a sustainable water supply for people, wildlife and our economy.   Moderated by Ashley Boren Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation…

Read more

Celebrating 25 Years of Successful Calif. Land, Air and Water Stewardship

Keeping California Leading When Sustainable Conservation opened its doors in 1993, we pledged to help California build a flourishing environment and economy by bringing diverse interests together, not diving them. Over the past 25 years, we’ve worked with everyone, from community business owners to legislators and farmers to corporations, to protect our most important resources…

Read more

Reconnecting Fish to Historic Habitat

Location: Quiota Creek, Santa Barbara County Project: Fish passage improvement Restorationist: Tim Robinson, Ph.D., Senior Resources Scientist and Fisheries Division Manager, Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board Endangered Southern California steelhead are getting a big boost thanks to Tim Robinson, who’s working with his colleagues in the Santa Ynez Watershed in Santa Barbara to restore access…

Read more