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Southeast U.S.

Southeast US map

Description: The Southeastern Region of the United States encompasses a wide range of habitat types from lowland coastal wetlands to high elevation forests. Many of these habitats are critically important to waterbirds during some portion of their annual cycle. From the expansive coastal wetlands of Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic salt marshes and the barrier islands of Georgia and the Carolinas; from freshwater wetlands in peninsular Florida to the pocosins and great swamps of the central Atlantic States; from the pelagic areas in the Atlantic to the semi-arid prairies of Texas, this Region is nothing if not diverse.

Geographic Extent: The Southeastern Region extends from eastern Texas and Oklahoma, through the Florida peninsula, and northward into eastern North Carolina and Virginia. It extends into the Gulf of Mexico and pelagic areas off both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

BCRs: The region is comprised of ten BCRs:

  • Edwards Plateau (BCR 20)
  • Oaks and Prairies (BCR 21)
  • West Gulf Coastal Plain-Ouachita Mountains (BCR 25)
  • Mississippi Alluvial Valley (BCR 26)
  • Southeastern Coastal Plain BCR 27)
  • Appalachian Mountains (BCR 28)
  • Piedmont (BCR 29)
  • Peninsular Florida (BCR 31)
  • Tamaulipan Brushlands (BCR 36)
  • Gulf Coastal Prairies (BCR 37)
    And extends into the waters of two Pelagic BCRs:
  • Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf
  • Gulf of Mexico

Bird Habitat Joint Ventures: Planning boundary includes segments of Atlantic Coast, Lower Mississippi Valley, Gulf Coast, East Gulf Coastal Plain, Rio Grande Valley and Oaks and Prairies/Edwards Plateau (the latter under development) Joint Ventures.

Political Units: Altogether, the Southeast U.S. region overlaps all or part of 21 states. However, based on the distribution of important waterbird habitat, some states have a more significant role in waterbird conservation in the region. Thus, this Plan focuses on the following 13 states:
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Waterbird Conservation Plan

The Southeast U.S. Waterbird Conservation Plan Now AvailableSE US Plan Cover

Download files:

  • 4-page Brochure/Summary(PDF - 362 KB)

  • Text of Plan(PDF - 632 KB )

  • Tables of Plan(PDF - 860 KB - print 8.5"x14" landscape)

  • Appendix 1 – issues papers(PDF - 287 KB)
    Provides detailed information on Recommendations for Monitoring Long- Legged Wading Birds, Great White Heron Taxonomy, Wetland Losses by BCR, Contaminants, Beneficial Use of Dredged Material, and Depredation Control Issues.

  • Appendix 2 – plan tables(PDF - 524 KB - print 8.5"x14" landscape)
    Contains table with all of the scores used to prioritize waterbirds into conservation categories.

This version of the plan is “final,” insofar that plans are ever truly finalized. It is undergoing review for endorsement by the Waterbird Conservation Council. Ongoing input from any stakeholder is welcome.

Yet To Come: Species Profiles


Regional planning contacts:
Stefani Melvin at USFWS, 404-679-7227, (
Chuck Hunter at USFWS, 404-679-7130, (
Walker Golder at North Carolina Audubon, 910-798-8376, (


Implementation also requires a network of partners to coordinate and facilitate projects, track accomplishments, measure and celebrate successes and facilitate future updates of the plan.

A listserv (electronic mailing list) has been created to assist communications across this network. To subscribe, an email with the word "subscribe" in the subject line to






Last Updated November 30, 2007
U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is supporting the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Home Page as part of its contribution to North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP). It is being served by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Information provided in this site does not necessarily have the endorsement of the USGS.