The Central Flyway extends from the grasslands of the Great Plains, the heartland's wetlands and rivers, and the majestic Rocky Mountains to the western Gulf Coast. Many of its migratory bird species winter in Central and South America; some migrate across the Western Hemisphere as far north as the Arctic Circle and others south to Patagonia, in southern South America. To survive these arduous journeys, they rely on stopover habitat all along the flyway. The Central Flyway region is also renowned for its iconic western species, the Greater Sage-Grouse and the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, and their spectacular breeding displays.
Habitat loss and degredation threaten birds of the Central Flyway. Water diversions and development are taking a toll on riparian and wetland habitats that many birds, including the critically endangered Whooping Crane, rely on each spring. Energy exploration and extraction has fragmented sagebrush landscapes of the intermountain West, with grim consequences for sage-grouse and other dependent wildlife. Grassland birds and habitat are vanishing at an alarming rate as native prairie is erased by agricultural and urban development.