Tuesday, June 30, 2009

bird conservation news, carbon footprints and travel, more ornithology notes

Bird Conservation News Items

There is news on the American Bird Conservancy BirdWire newsletter: links to news stories are here.

News from the Point Reyes Bird Observatory is here.

BirdLife International news stories are here.

You can subscribe to ABC's electronic newsletter here.


Traveling Far?

If you're traveling a long distance this year, consider rail travel to reduce your carbon footprint. Although we don't have many high-speed rail lines in the US as yet, here's an example from HSR in Europe: a rail passenger in Spain on the Madrid-Barcelona line accounts for only one-sixth of the carbon emissions of an airplane passenger traveling the same distance. Regular rail travel via AMTRAK in this country still moves a lot of people at lower carbon emissions than air travel. There is admittedly some disagreement about this. Learn more about the carbon footprint of your mode of travel (and more) here at the Nature Conservancy calculator webpage.


Research News from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is available at this link. Other items from the SMBC are found here, and a scientific paper relating to one of this past winter's famous news stories is here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

conservation, environment & ornithology news

News from BirdLife International can be found at this link.

If you've never looked at it before, try the site of the Great Lakes Information Network, here -- lots of valuable information.

The United Nations Environment Programme website has some new features worth investigating. One interesting feature is the Atlas of Biodiversity, for example. Set up the world map in any one of several ways - to see the distribution of threatened bird species, click on making that feature the active layer.

A long list of pdf documents on birds and conservation is available at the online "Conservation Library" of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, here. An excellent resource!

Learn about the development of wind power in the Great Lakes: whether you're for it or against it, you can see presentations and an agenda from the recent conference of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative at this link. I attended this conference - it was very worthwhile.

Learn about Great Lakes United, an international advocacy organization promoting stewardship of the Great Lakes, at their website.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

information on lead and wildlife, wind power and bird populations

Two important items:

Please help move us forward in 2009 in the effort to eliminate lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. Lead continues to be threat to birds and other wildlife. Read an excellent editorial here.

Secondly, look for information from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the coming weeks and months regarding wind power and assessing its effects on bird populations. Last evening I attended a presentation by Dr. Ken Rosenberg and Dr. Andrew Farnsworth, at a "Cornell on the Road" series. Along with a group of other ornithologists, they are meeting in southeastern Wisconsin over the next three days to discuss "State of the Art Technology for Predicting Broad-Scale Migration and Pinpointing Local Concentrations in Real Time". This meeting is intended to discuss the uses of acoustic monitoring, radar, other monitoring methods, weather data, correlations of radar with avian density and species identification, and how models can predict both movements and concentrations of birds. The meeting will produce a "draft consensus statement" with one stated goal being the planning of research that will help in quantifying risks to birds, among others - this information will be disseminated to the ornithological community and the public in the coming months.

Friday, June 12, 2009

favorite passerines: news, research, other items


One of my favorite warbler species, Kentucky Warbler, is very uncommon in Wisconsin, and is listed as a Threatened species here. I seldom see this species because I rarely go to Wyalusing and the other better-known haunts of this bird. I tracked a singing male for nearly an hour in Baxter's Hollow, once - and then finally found him. I recall once finding one in fall in Buckhorn State Park, in Juneau County - that was unexpected - fall records are few and far between. Read about the Kentucky here, and about some research here. Then, this link takes you to the Wisconsin All-Bird Plan species account.

Another of my favorite warbler species, Yellow-breasted Chat, is probably not a warbler after all. Some genetic research indicates this species possibly has more affinities with tanagers and/or other groups, although it remains in the AOU Check-List (for now) under warblers.

See some online resources as follows: here. See a video of a singing Yellow-breasted Chat here.
A detailed range map is available here. A gallery of images from the Visual Resources for Ornithology website is here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

conservation news - early June, '09

See recent news from BirdLife International here.

The organization NatureServe has a new initiative to study the vulnerability of species to climate change. Read about it here.

The USFWS has a climate change strategic plan also; they've set up a wide array of resources to help their own staff and the public learn more. See it here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

BirdLife International position paper on climate change

The staff of BirdLife International has prepared a 24-page position paper on climate change. You can find it at this link. A quote: "The scientific evidence is overwhelming: climate change is happening, it is largely caused by human activities, it presents very serious global risks for people and biodiversity around the world and it demands an urgent global response. The direct and indirect impacts of climate change are of central concern to BirdLife’s objectives and targets, in terms both of biodiversity and of human development. The BirdLife Partnership operates in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide with over 2.5 million members, 10 million supporters and over 1 million hectares owned or managed. Together the BirdLife Partnership forms the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting bird life. BirdLife has a significant contribution to make to the climate change debate."