IUCN – Highlighting the role of ecotourism on World Migratory Bird Day

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Another article related to World Migratory Bird Day. This one highlights the importance of ecotourism in avian conservation.

IUCN – Highlighting the role of ecotourism on World Migratory Bird Day.


Ways to Help Migratory Birds

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Today is World Migratory Bird Day so I would like to share a couple of  links with tips on how to help migratory birds.

10 Ways to Help Migratory Birds – National Wildlife Federation.

Noise from Our Electronics and Radio Signals Disorients Migratory Birds – Scientific American.

Plain Talk: Let’s do a little to save a lot of birds : Ct

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As spring is upon us and migration is underway I wanted to share this article I found about birds colliding with windows. This is one of the greatest sources of mortality for birds, other than predation by feral or free ranging pet cats. The article lists a couple of ways to prevent these fatal collisions. I would take this a step further and ask that you do not let your cat run free, especially this time of year.

Plain Talk: Let’s do a little to save a lot of birds : Ct.

Why we don’t need pandas – Yahoo! News

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The following link is to an interesting and slightly controversial article on yahoo. To some extent I must agree with the author. Charismatic megafauna such as lions, eagles, and pandas do receive much more attention than less charismatic yet more critically endangered species. On the other hand, these charismatic species are often umbrella species. This means that conservation funding and efforts to protect these species has an umbrella effect by preserving the environment to benefit other species that were not the target. For example, there may be a species of salamander that occupies much of the same habitat as pandas. By protecting and restoring panda habitat we are benefiting the salamander, which on its own would not be a species that could capture the hearts of the public and generate funds to pay for the conservation efforts.

It may be true that we need to adjust how we spend conservation funding. Maybe the charismatic species are getting way to much when there is a less charismatic, but ecologically more important species, that is getting nothing. All that is certain is that conservationists need to reassess how we determine which species are of priority.

Why we don’t need pandas – Yahoo! News.

New Zealand: Experiment in Ecosystem development

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New Zealand is a beautiful place. Emerald hills, rugged mountains, and lush forests all mixed together to create unique habitats. But probably the most interesting aspect of New Zealand is that it has no native species of land based mammals. In fact the only mammals native to this island country  are a few bats.

Mountains in New Zealand

Mountains in New Zealand

This may seem weird as New Zealand has become somewhat famous for the size of its red deer. While these islands are now home to several large mammals these species are not supposed to be there. They were imported by Europeans as they began to settle the area. Since then many species of game animals, particularly red stags and fallow deer have thrived in this lush country.

Ever since humans arrived on these islands we have been manipulating the ecosystem. The Giant Moas were among the first victims of humans in New Zealand. These relatives of ostriches were easy prey for the first settlers of New Zealand and were quickly wiped out. Later, when the first Europeans arrived bringing along land based mammals the ecosystem was again drastically altered leading to further declines in bird life.

Giant Moas

Giant Moas

Until the intervention of man, these islands were the only place in the world where birds had won the evolutionary arms race against mammals. Across all other land masses mammals were the dominant life forms. This was the one great stronghold of birds in which they were the dominant taxa. All ecological niches had been filled by the evolution of some adaptation or another within birds. Even to this day birds dominate the landscape outside of those areas which man has aided his mammalian stock in taking hold.

Former ‘Rat Island’ in Alaska has whole new look – Yahoo News

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Former ‘Rat Island’ in Alaska has whole new look – Yahoo News.

Can Backpacks Save Our Birds? – ABC News

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Can Backpacks Save Our Birds? – ABC News.

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