Pacific Flyway Evaluation



The long-term objective of the shorebird approach under Packard’s Marine Birds Strategy is to build conservation and monitoring capacity together with effective action in key shorebird sites.

Different from other approaches of the Marine Birds Strategy, the shorebird approach’s theory of change is explicitly based on capacity building. For a decade, Packard has been investing in organizational capacity building at five priority sites: Chiloé Island, Chile; northwest Mexico (upper Gulf of California, Guerrero Negro, Santa Maria Bay); and Panama Bay, Panama (hereafter, referred to as the Packard sites). Using a mixed-methods approach, we are trying to inform the hypothesis that investments in organizational capacity building can lead to improvements in shorebird conservation outcomes. Unlike many capacity-building programs, the Packard Foundation has been making investments at sites along the Pacific Americas Flyway for over a decade, providing a unique opportunity to explore relationships between capacity building and environmental outcomes at a landscape scale. Using mixed methods, the evaluation is a collaborative effort, leveraging expertise and previous work from several Packard partners.

Resultados del Proyecto

The goal of the project is to test the core assumption of the shorebird approach’s theory of change after a decade of investment in capacity building. It will inform a learning question that is at the core of the shorebird approach: Does capacity building improve outcomes for shorebird conservation? While, the evaluation is summative in the sense that it is focused on the focal outcome of the shorebird approach (i.e., capacity building), it will be formative in the sense that it will be integrated with other planned activities to improve learning and inform the Marine Birds Program. The objective of the evaluation is to inform the larger Marine Birds Strategy and allow for sense-making on how capacity-building objectives are contributing to the protection and restoration of key coastal habitats and shorebird populations along the Pacific Americas Flyway and elsewhere.

Medidas de Éxito

The project will be a success if we are able to use multiple methods (i.e., habitat remote sensing, structured shorebird surveys, and citizen science data) to evaluate the impact of capacity building on shorebird outcomes through time at the Packard priority sites compared to established counterfactuals across the Pacific Americas Flyway. Further, we will publish the evaluation after a series of external reviews and activities focused on sense-making that will include the greater shorebird conservation community.

Organización a Cargo del Proyecto

Advanced Conservation Strategies


Asociación Calidris, Centro de Estudio y Conservación del Patrimonio Natural, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Point Blue Conservation Science.


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Fecha de Comienzo – Fecha de Finalización

2020 – 2021


Los Lagos (X)


The evaluation is focused on fives shorebirds sites, along with multiple control sites: Chiloé Island, Chile; northwest Mexico (upper Gulf of California, Guerrero Negro, Santa Maria Bay); and Panama Bay, Panama.


A main challenge of the project is creating a time-series of different estimates (e.g., habitat quantity, shorebird trends, and relative shorebird trends) through time and space (i.e., multiple sites), along with uncertainty of those estimates. A further challenge is creating the appropriate counterfactuals (e.g., control sites) to be able to compare estimates across space and time.


The project’s main need will be soliciting input from the shorebird community to help in the sense-making of the results of the evaluation. Our goal is to hold an event at the 2021 Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group bi-annual meeting to discuss the results of the workshop with interested stakeholders and partners.


Josh Donlan

Advanced Conservation Strategies


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