Bird Conservation Region 37

Gulf Coastal Prairie

Description: Flat grasslands and marshes hug the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from northern Tamaulipas across the mouth of the Río Grande up into the rice country of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana and across the great Louisiana marshlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The Laguna Madre on both sides of the border (an IBA in Mexico) is dominated by dunes, beaches, and black mangroves. This BCR features one of the greatest concentrations of colonial waterbirds in the world, with breeding Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Pelican, and large numbers of herons, egrets, ibis, terns, and skimmers. The region provides critical in-transit habitat for migrating shorebirds, including Buffbreasted Sandpiper and Hudsonian Godwit, and for most of the neotropical migrant forest birds of eastern North America. Mottled Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, and Purple Gallinule also breed in wetlands, and winter numbers of waterfowl are among the highest on the continent. These include dabbling ducks (especially Northern Pintail and Gadwall), Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and White-fronted Geese from both the Central and the Mississippi Flyways. The most important waterfowl habitats of the area are coastal marsh, shallow estuarine bays and lagoons, and wetlands on agricultural lands of the rice prairies. Loss and degradation of wetland habitats due to subsidence, sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, freshwater and sediment deprivation, saltwater intrusion, oil and gas canals,and navigation channels and associated maintenance dredging are the most important problems facing the area’s wetland wildlife.

Bird Conservation Plans
Landbirds - Coastal Prairies
Shorebirds - Lower Mississippi/West Gulf Coast
Waterbirds - Southeast U.S.
Waterfowl - Gulf Coast Joint Venture Plans
All Birds -
Gulf Coast Joint Venture Plans

Joint Venture areas: Gulf Coast

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Note: Hawaii (not shown) is BCR 67

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