After a precipitous drop in the wild eastern loggerhead shrike population in the 1990s, Environment Canada invited Wildlife Preservation Canada to lead the multi-partner recovery effort in 2003. Since then, the wild population size has fluctuated. Studies have shown that although the recovery effort has prevented the species from disappearing from Canada, more work is required to identify and address the causes of the species’ decline.

WPC and partners have been involved in conservation efforts for the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike for over 20 years. Although our efforts have maintained the breeding population in Ontario, continued range-wide collaboration is needed to ensure the future of this migratory bird species. At the end of January, WPC staff participated in the last of a series of workshops planning conservation actions for Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes across their North American range.

Workshop participants at Toronto Zoo

Workshop participants at Nashville Zoo

Previous workshops involved defining success for the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike in the creation of a vision statement, producing a full-annual cycle model for the species across its breeding and overwintering range, and conducting a population viability analysis to better understand how the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike population may change over the next decade. 

This time around, a dedicated team of experts, decision-makers, and on-the-ground implementers worked together for three days to hammer out the nitty-gritty details of how to conserve this amazing bird. This involved information-sharing, identifying and prioritizing threats in breeding and overwintering grounds, and drafting action plans for addressing these threats over the next ten years. 

With participants in both the U.S. and Canada, this final workshop involved two in-person working groups hosted at Toronto Zoo in Ontario, and at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee as well as participants joining in online, all facilitated by the CPSG (Conservation Planning Specialist Group)

The results of this workshop will bring all the threads together to develop an integrated binational conservation plan for Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes that addresses their conservation needs across their range. It’s been a journey to get to here, but seeing everyone around the table working towards our common goal of Loggerhead Shrike conservation was both inspiring and energizing, and we’re looking forward to turning all this planning into action!

Enormous gratitude goes out to all the workshop participants, our hosts, the workshop facilitators, and the organizing team from African Lion Safari, American Bird Conservancy, Queens University, Wilder Institute and WPC.

Stephanie Winton, the Canadian Species Initiative Coordinator gives a travelogue presentation on her experience working on reptile conservation projects in Mauritius as the 31st Canada’s New Noah.

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