Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) works tirelessly with the Joint Ventures in the western and central United States and northern Mexico to support bird and habitat conservation priorities.

In the Rio Grande Joint Venture, RMBO has been a driving force in grasslands conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing data on wintering bird distribution and habitat selection. They have also determined rates of grassland loss through remote sensing and are implementing on the ground conservation actions to stem those losses. RMBO projects include radio tracking of selected species to determine over-winter survival, restoration of Aplomado Falcon nests, and outreach to ranchers and landowners.

In the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, RMBO has been an integral partner in conservation in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairie, supporting species including Lesser Prairie-Chicken and other grassland birds. They work closely with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to host Farm Bill biologist positions that have increased enrollment in wetland and grassland conservation programs. RMBO has also worked with the Joint Venture to complete essential research on playas and grassland birds in the region, providing important planning data to the Joint Venture about the densities of birds found in various habitats.

RMBO’s Stewardship Program has worked closely with the Intermoutain West Joint Venture to build the capacity needed to strategically implement Farm Bill conservation programs and address the needs of priority birds. RMBO has collaborated with the Joint Venture to establish cost-shared Private Lands Wildlife Biologist positions in NRCS Offices in Colorado and Wyoming. These positions have catalyzed millions of dollars of Farm Bill conservation program investments in priority habitats. Notably, RMBO was one of the first NGOs to commit resources to the Joint Venture’s landmark $14.7 million Sage Grouse Initiative Strategic Watershed Action Team partnership with NRCS which included field delivery, science, and communications capacity for the Initiative. RMBO’s leadership in this arena has spurred investments by other bird observatories and conservation organizations that likely would not have materialized without the foresight and focus of this extraordinary organization.

RMBO also manages and serves the data in the Partners in Flight Species Assessment Database, a huge accomplishment in its own right, and serves on the Management Board for the Sonoran Joint Venture. For their unwavering commitment to the Joint Ventures and bird conservation, we are honored to present the North American Migratory Bird Conservation Champion Award for an NGO to Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

Joint Venture Communications, Education, and Outreach Team Chair Jennie Duberstein (left) presents the award to RMBO Executive Director Tammy Vercauteren (right).