The Deepwater Horizon spill was a horrific event that impacted the lives of many families as well as the gulf environment. But there are bright spots that periodically emerge, such as a report from American Bird Conservancy (ABC) on a Gulf-wide, multi-partner bird conservation effort that continues to gain momentum and deliver important successes in protecting wild birds impacted by the spill.
2014 was by far our best year in terms of delivering bigger conservation results for beach-nesting birds. We worked at 58 sites with 21 partners providing some combination of protection, monitoring, and outreach on more than 2,400 acres of coastal habitat that supported 950 nests and 1,400 breeding pairs of our target species: primarily Least Terns and Wilson’s and Snowy Plovers,” said Kacy Ray, ABC’s Gulf Conservation Program Manager.
“We all love the beaches of the Gulf – they are economically vital to our coastal communities – so our project goal is not to restrict public access. Instead, we hope to engage the public in helping us with beach bird recovery by sharing this beautiful shoreline during nesting season,” she said. http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/150422.html
New York Times – April 17, 2015 – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/nyregion/a-battle-over-cats-and-birds-on-a-long-island-beach.html?_r=0
New York Announces Lights Out Initiative to Protect Migratory Birds
Hawaiian Birds Threatened by Wind Development
ABC files letter of concern with US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential impacts of planned Hawaiian wind energy project. This would potentially impact bird species like the Maui Parrotbill and Hawaiian Petrel (pictured) and would be the largest wind development in the state – a 120 MW facility on Maui. News story below fails to even reference the environmental concerns such a project might create, http://www.greentechlead.com/wind/nextera-energy-build-120-mw-wind-project-hawaii-21859
To read ABC’s comment letter, visit: www.abcbirds.org/PDFs/KahikinuiWindProjectComments.pdf
ABC is pleased to announce that its first Leon Levy Award for Innovation in Bird Conservation has been presented to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in recognition of its eBird program, a widely-used citizen-science-driven bird database that enables sophisticated mapping and analysis of bird distributions that support conservation planning and decision-making.
“eBird is a game changer in the field. It enables site-specific and time-specific strategies to enhance bird conservation,” said ABC President George Fenwick who presented the award to John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Cornell Lab.
“eBird was an audacious idea, the notion that humans can act as biological sensors through bird watching. Today, that idea is reality, with more than 200 million observations and data points in the biggest biological database in existence. By instantly recording trends in bird populations, eBird acts as a real-time monitor of ecosystem health around the world,” said Fitzpatrick. For more see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/150427.html.
A 100-day, cross-country trip that conjures images of famed American naturalist, writer, and photographer Edwin Way Teale has been announced by another American naturalist, Dr. Bruce Beehler, whose trip will focus on changes taking place in the spring migration of billions of songbirds from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great North Woods of Canada. As an ornithologist who has served on the Board of American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and has had ties to numerous scientific and conservation organizations such as The Smithsonian Institution and Conservation International, Beehler brings a substantial scientific and conservation background to this adventure.
Embarking on a journey from the Gulf to Canada, Beehler left his home in Maryland on March 28 and headed to Texas for what promises to be a remarkable journey. His first major stop will be at High Island, Texas, where he’ll spend the first two weeks of April. He will complete his northward journey on July 5 in Ontario, Canada.
“This will be a story of one of nature’s most compelling spectacles, the amazing songbird migration up the Mississippi Valley in the spring. I hope that by documenting this adventure, through frequent blog posts and eventually a book, I can help even more people understand the wonderous dynamic that unfolds annually in the backyards of millions of us living in the Americas,” Beehler said.
Endangered Species Day May 15th
By Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Huffington Post-Apr 20, 2015
Farm Bill Guide to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Now Available
This user-friendly guide provides an overview of the Conservation Title in the 2014 Farm Bill, as well as Farm Bill history, program delivery, the role of partnerships, and priority setting. The guide includes case studies and details on the following programs: the Conservation Reserve Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Innovation Grants, Conservation Stewardship Program, Healthy Forests Reserve Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. Click here to access this guide.