Ecological Units

Bird Conservation Regions are planning units that were developed under the auspices of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). BCRs are ecologically defined units that provide a consistent spatial framework for bird conservation across North American landscapes. By employing broad scale units that are ecologically meaningful to bird populations, rather than arbitrary political units, conservation efforts are tailored to groups of species in the heart of their ranges. For example, efforts to protect forest-dependent birds will be concentrated within BCRs dominated by forest habitat, and short-grass prairie birds in BCRs in short-grass prairie regions of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Planning within the Central Hardwoods BCR typically follows Bailey's Ecoregions, another classification of North America into ecologically distinct areas. The hierarchical classification steps down from Domains to Divisions to Provinces and then to Sections and Subsections. Efforts are being made to divide Subsections into even smaller (higher resolution) units of distinct communities called Land Type Associations (LTAs) that delineate landscapes ranging from 10,000 – 100,000s acres with similar characteristics and ecological potential.