The WHSRN Hemispheric Council designated Padre Island National Seashore as a member of the existing binational Laguna Madre Site of International Importance to shorebirds. The councilâs decision was based on the tremendous number of shorebirds using the site, its ecological significance for the integrity of the Laguna Madre system, and consent of Padre Island National Seashore's management team to make shorebird conservation a priority. WHSRN is a world-wide organization formed by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and encompasses 66 sites in 9 countries. To become a WHSRN site of International Importance, a site must contain over 100,000 shorebirds annually or at least 10% of a shorebird population. Among the impressive shorebird counts that led to the designation are those of 588 Piping Plovers, Charadrius melodus, representing roughly 10% of the worldâs population, and 373,000 Western Sandpipers, Calidris mauri, seen just outside the parkâs boundary. Padre Island National Seashore is the first National Park Service unit to join WHSRN. The existing binational Laguna Madre Site includes Laguna Atascosa NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, portions of South Padre Island managed by The Nature Conservancy, and portions of the Laguna Madre de Tamaulipas in Mexico, managed by Pro Natura. A designation ceremony will be scheduled for late summer.