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A new reserve in northern Colombia 22 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in birds/nature, environment, migrants, wildlife.
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Creation of Reserve Offers First Protection for Threatened Colombian Ecosystem
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(Bogotá, Colombia -. July 22 2014) ProAves, Rainforest Trust and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) have announced the creation of the Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve, the first protected area in northern Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá mountain range.

ProAves has acquired 11 adjacent properties that form the 1,850-acre Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve. The reserve’s establishment is extremely timely, as 98 percent of the Serranía de Perijá’s rainforests have already been destroyed due to colonization and agricultural expansion. The reserve protects a pristine cloud forest environment that includes critical habitat for threatened wildlife.

“Without this reserve, the chances are high that within a few years nothing would be left of the spectacular forests that once covered Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust.

Due to a history of difficulties conducting research in the area, the Serranía de Perijá remains one of the least-known natural environments in the Northern Andes. Field research by ProAves, however, has confirmed its importance as a stronghold for many endemic and rapidly declining species.

“ProAves has been working in the Serranía de Perijá for almost a decade in an effort to protect its last forested areas. Thanks to our alliance with Rainforest Trust and GWC, we’ve finally achieved a lasting victory for the region’s imperiled wildlife,” said Luis Felipe Barrera, Director of Conservation for ProAves.

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New research has established the presence of three endangered and endemic species,the Perijá Thistletail, Perijá Metaltail, and the Perijá Brush-finch. Several other bird species have also been discovered, including a new Brush-finch, Tapaculo, Screech-owl, and Spinetail.

“The new reserve is globally important, as it is recognized as anAlliance for Zero Extinction site. The incredible fauna and flora include many species found nowhere else in the world,” said Dr. Wes Sechrest, Chief Scientist and CEO of Global Wildlife Conservation.

The Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve will protect one of the best-preserved tracts of forest remaining in Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá. It also protects two watersheds that are vital for the city of Valledupar and several towns in the otherwise arid Cesar Department.

“This reserve is a win for everyone. Not only is it going to be a permanent lifeline for the region’s many endemic species that have nowhere else to go, but it is also a major victory for nearby cities and towns that will benefit for years from the water it provides,” said Dr. Salaman.

ProAves, Rainforest Trust, and GWC would like to extend thanks to all donors and partners that helped raise funds, especially the Our Children’s Earth Foundation and the Sangreal Foundation.

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Rainforest Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving rainforest and endangered species in partnership with local conservation leaders and indigenous communities. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved nearly 8 million acres of rainforests and other tropical habitats in 73 projects across 20 tropical countries.

Global Wildlife Conservation GWC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit conservation organization whose mission is to protect endangered species and habitats through science-based field action. GWC conserves the world’s most endangered species and their habitats through exploration, research, and conservation. By maximizing effectiveness through collaboration, GWC unites with the world’s leading conservation organizations, universities, zoological and botanical organizations, and museums.

ProAves is a Colombian NGO dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats through research, outreach and direct conservation actions in collaboration with local communities.

Contacts

Fundación ProAves
Ivón Alzate, ialzate@proaves.org

RainforestTrust
Joe Lowe, joe@rainforesttrust.org

Global Wildlife Conservation
Ana Denman, adenman@globalwildlife.org

ABA Flight Calls #110 – Field Trip Opportunity to St. Paul 21 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
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Rarity Hunting in St. Paul, Alaska!
September 28-October 5

We’re putting the finishing touches on one of the most exciting trips we have planned for 2014, and there’s just enough time for you to join us. We’re heading out to far-flung St. Paul Island from September 28-October 5, known far and wide as one of the finest spot for vagrants in the ABA Area. And we’d love for you to come along.
It’s jackpot birding with the ABA! You never know what you might find in western Alaska in the fall, but on St. Paul the odds are pretty good that it will be something spectacular. In recent years birders have come across Pine Bunting, Rufous-tailed Robin, Willow Warbler, and last year’s ABA Area first Common Redstart, one of more than two dozen ABA firsts to which St. Paul can lay claim.

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What will we find this year? Who knows, but it could mean this year’s trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Join ABA Blog editor Nate Swick and a group of skilled local guides for a unique birding experience in the far reaches of North America.

For more information on this and other ABA events, see our comprehensive events website. We hope you’ll join us soon!

Get Your Limited Edition Bird of the Year T-shirt!
Rufous Hummingbirds are starting their slow journey south, making their presence known as they chase off all comers to hummingbird feeders across the west. It’s an appropriate time to, once again, bring the 2014 ABA Bird of the Year back front and center.

To that end, we’re really excited to offer a brand-new limited edition t-shirt, designed by Toronto-based graphic artists Paul Riss (an ABA member) and Rachel Riorden, both of PRBY Apparel, and featuring the 2014 Bird of the Year, Rufous Hummingbird.

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The shirt is distributed by the excellent custom printing service, Fed By Threads. A small amount of the proceeds go to the ABA and another portion is donated to local and national hunger relief groups. So not only will your purchase help some worthy organizations, but you’ll be getting a cool bird t-shirt besides.

Check it out! Spread the word! We’d love to see as many people as possible wearing the Rufous Hummingbird this fall!

American Birding Association, Inc.
1618 W. Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Phone: (800) 850-2473 | Fax: (719) 578-1480 | Email: lgordon@aba.org
Copyright © American Birding Association, Inc.. All Rights Reserved

Cornell Lab eNews, July 2014 15 July 2014

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Latest Cornell Lab eNews newsletter!

Highlights include the Snowy Owl cam, “Birds Got Swing”, and much more.
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Ecology vol. 95, #7 – what do birds and mammals eat? 15 July 2014

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There are many great titles in the latest issue of Ecology. My favorite, however, was this one:

EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world’s birds and mammals

Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz
Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 7, July: 2027-2027.
Abstract | PDF (55 KB)

This paper is simply an abstract describing a linked dataset to something really cool: a complete record of diets for every species of bird and mammal on Planet Earth. It’s a more complex question than you might realize. Many of our birds, for instance, switch diets throughout the year depending on food availability, what’s best to collect for their young, whether or not individuals are packing on fat for migration, etc. A one-stop shop for an objective accounting of avian diets is really quite a boon to a researcher’s ability to quickly and efficiently access life history information.

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These American Avocets are doing what Wilman et al. (2014) predict they’d be doing 80% of their foraging time: skimming the water for invertebrates.

Anyway, that one’s my favorite, but there are many other great titles. Check them out:

Ecology Issue Alert

Volume: 95, Number: 7 (July)
A new issue is now available online from the Ecological Society of America at: http://www.esajournals.org/toc/ecol/95/7?ai=rv&ui=1kjl&af=H

Ad: Don’t miss the exciting new research in Ecosphere!

Reports

Species-level and community-level responses to disturbance: a cross-community analysis

Sarah R. Supp and S. K. Morgan Ernest
Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 7, July: 1717-1723.
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (561 KB)

Grass invasion increases top-down pressure on an amphibian via structurally mediated effects on an intraguild predator

Jayna L. DeVore and John C. Maerz
Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 7, July: 1724-1730.
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (1090 KB)

Morphological variability in tree root architecture indirectly affects coexistence among competitors in the understory

Erik T. Aschehoug and Ragan M. Callaway
Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 7, July: 1731-1736.
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (388 KB)

Articles

How the timing of weather events influences early development in a large mammal

D. K. Hendrichsen and N. J. C. Tyler
Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 7, July: 1737-1745.
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (1537 KB)
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ESA Bulletin – 14 July 2014 14 July 2014

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THESE ARTICLES AND MORE ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE IN ESA BULLETIN 95, NO. 3, JULY 2014

Candidates for 2014 ESA Elections

Minutes of the November 2013 Governing Board Meeting

The Paper Trail

Rereading Polis: Viewing Our Multi-Colored World from Space Is an Ecological Starting Point by Elizabeth T. Borer

Buzz Holling and the Functional Response by Mark Denny

The Correlated Random Walk and the Rise of Movement Ecology by William F. Fagan

How to Become a Forest Ecologist In Only 40 Years by Lee E. Frelich

From Community Ecology Back to the Riddle of Mimicry by Peter Grant (more…)

Christianity is the McDonald’s of worldviews 13 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in editorial, skepticism and science.
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I was reading this story about science and religion that included a link to this pie chart of world religious affiliation.
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The point of Adam Frank’s commentary is to highlight the need to address the “science vs religion” question specifically: which religion under consideration can have important implications for the direction of that conversation. Of course the mere recognition that there is an entirely different worldview presented in Buddhism or Hinduism – and that there are millions upon millions living those faith traditions every day – is precisely the mental kick-in-the-pants that so many raised in the Western traditions could really use. Still, I was surprised to see that Christianity occupied the biggest slice of that pie.

So I looked up some data on the number of franchises of fast food burger joints in the US and made my own pie chart. It confirmed my suspicion: Christianity is to worldview as McDonald’s is to hamburgers.

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*Oklahoma* Waterfowl Stamp competition open 11 July 2014

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July 10, 2014
A Service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

STATE WATERFOWL STAMP DESIGN CONTEST SEEKS ENTRIES

The pintail duck has been selected as the subject for this year’s Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp design competition. Artists have until 4:30 p.m. Aug. 29 to submit artwork for this prestigious contest that has been conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation since 1980.
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The winning artwork will serve as the design for the 2015-16 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp, which is purchased by waterfowl hunters in the state and collectors nationwide. The winning artist will receive a $1,200 purchase award courtesy of NatureWorks, a Tulsa-based conservation organization.
“This is really much more than an art contest,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department. (more…)

Michigan Merlin, No. 2 10 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside.
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Check out the 2nd installment of the Michigan Merlin, the newsletter of the Michigan Young Birders’ Club.

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Michigan Merlin #2 pdf

Wilson Journal of Ornithology: table of contents for vol. 126, #2 9 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in animal behavior, bird banding, bird evolution, birding, birds/nature, environment, evolution, life, Links, migrants, skepticism and science, wildlife.
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The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
(formerly The Wilson Bulletin)
15594491-126.2.cover
Journal of the Wilson Ornithological Society

Volume 126, Number 2 CONTENTS
June 2014

Major Articles
179

The avian biogeography of an Amazonian headwater: the Upper Ucayali River, Peru
Michael G. Harvey, Glenn F. Seeholzer, Daniel Cáceres A., Benjamin M. Winger, Jose G. Tello, Flor Hernández Camacho, Miguel A. Aponte Justiniano, Caroline V. Duffie, Sheila Figueroa Ramiírez, Ryan S. Terrill, Clare E. Brown, Luis Alberto Alza León, Gustavo Bravo, Mariela Combe, Omar Custodio, Alessandra Quiñones Zumaeta, Abraham Urbay Tello, Willy Antonio Garcia Bravo, Aaron Z. Savit, Frans Willy Pezo Ruiz, William M. Mauck III, and Olivier Barden

192

150 years of changes in bird life in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1860 to 2012
Michael W. Strohbach, Andrew Hrycyna, and Paige S. Warren

207

The historical distribution of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Colorado
Clait E. Braun, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Jennifer A. Nehring, Michelle L. Commons, Jessica R. Young, and Kim M. Potter

218

Phylogeography of the Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) of western North America
Damon Williford, Randy W. Deyoung, Rodney L. Honeycutt, Leonard A. Brennan, Fidel Hernández, James R. Heffelfinger, and Louis A. Harveson

236

Range expansion and the breakdown of Bergmann’s Rule in Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus)
Jeremy J. Kirchman and Kathryn J. Schneider

249
(more…)

OSNA news update – July 2014 8 July 2014

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Here’s the latest from the Ornithological Societies of North America:

A NEW ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
MARK C. PENROSE, has been appointed to The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications, by the joint publication office of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society (the Central Ornithology Publication Office–COPO). Mark will support the authors, editors and reviewers in the publication of articles in The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

AOU-COS-SCO 2014 DEADLINE APPROACHES
Only one week remains to take advantage of the lowest available registration rates for the AOU-COS-SCO 2014 Annual Meeting to be held in Estes Park Colorado, September 23-27, at the YMCA of the Rockies. Early Bird meeting registration rates expire on Tuesday, July 15. Save money, and don’t miss out on the meeting’s plenaries, sessions, symposia, workshops, and various events by registering today!

orn-header-logo

To access online meeting registration, simply go to the website: http://www.birdmeetings.org/aoucossco2014 and follow the links for registration. We recommend making your reservations early for your stay at the YMCA of the Rockies by visiting: https://www.ygroupres.org/AOU/.
(more…)

Dual purpose kiosk/swift housing 7 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in animal behavior, birding, birds/nature, IUCN, life.
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The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has installed its latest information kiosk, and it comes with a cool option: a central tube designed to provide nesting opportunities for Chimney Swifts.

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Dominic Sherony photo

Dominic Sherony photo

 

 

Why is this important? Check it out:

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Though still common, Chimney Swifts have been experiencing steady declines in our state for decades.  Our landscapes tend to lack the giant dead trees that these birds nested in originally, and increasingly our urban landscapes lack the open chimneys that the birds took to so readily following European settlement of North America.

 

July 7, 2014

A Service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Information Kiosk Added to Great Plains Trail

Chimney swift towers are going up across western Oklahoma as the Oklahoma Wildlife and Prairie Heritage Alliance (OWPHA) and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) partner to promote the wildlife watching and outdoor recreation opportunities found along the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma.

A Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma kiosk was recently installed at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Photo provided by Sharon Bennett.

A series of 13 road-based driving loops, the Great Plains Trail showcases the unexpected landscapes and unique wildlife found in western Oklahoma. Over 100 public and privately owned destinations are featured on the loops, including 11 Oklahoma state parks and 16 areas managed by the Wildlife Department.

The most recent kiosk installation at Red Rock Canyon State Park near Hinton marks the fourth of 14 planned kiosks. The park is on the Caddo Canyon driving loop. Melynda Hickman, a Wildlife Department biologist, said, “The construction process for each tower begins when students with the Treasure Lake Job Corps, a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, cut and pre-assemble some parts of the kiosk.” Final construction is completed over a two-day period at the predetermined installation site.

(more…)

Birding Community E-Bulletin, July 2014 7 July 2014

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130

Thanks to Paul Baicich and Wayne Peterson for the latest Birding Community E-Bulletin. In addition to the normal reports of abnormal bird occurrences, this E-bulletin features the exciting news of the apparent first nesting attempt of California Condor in Utah since the experimental Arizona population was released at Vermillion Cliffs in 1996!

July 2014
The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.

This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:

http://sportsoptics.zeiss.com/nature/en_us/home.html

You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):

http://refugeassociation.org/news/birding-bulletin/

RARITY FOCUS

There were some wonderful rarities in Alaska last month (e.g., Common Greenshank, Temminck’s Stint, Common Cuckoo, Oriental Cuckoo, Common House-Martin, and Common Rosefinch), however most of them were at remote locations, like Adak, Gambell, and St. Paul. These are locations where birders could not readily catch up with the birds to see them.

With this in mind, we chose Berylline Hummingbird as our rarity pick of the month.
(more…)

Ecology and Society Vol. 19, #2 3 July 2014

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Table of contents for the latest issue of the always-fascinating Ecology and Society:
New Issue Announcement

Volume 19, Issue 2| June 2014

Editors-in-Chief Carl Folke and Lance Gunderson are pleased to announce the publication of Volume 19, Issue 2 of Ecology and Society. This issue sees the closure of four special features: 1) Bridging Conservation and Development in Latin America and Africa: Changing Contexts, Changing Strategies edited by Claudia Romero and Lisa Seales, 2) Vulnerability and Adaptation to Oil Spills edited by So-Min Cheong, 3) Exploring Opportunities for Advancing Collaborative Adaptive Management (CAM): Integrating Experience and Practice edited by Jim Berkley and David Galat, and 4) Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Cultural Landscapes: Analysis and Management Options edited by Tobias Plieninger, Claudia Bieling, Christian Schleyer, and Dan van der Horst. We are also pleased to publish the first manuscripts in the following special features: 1) Urban Water Governance edited by Lennart Olsson and Brian Head, 2) Rebuilding Fisheries and Threatened Communities: the Social-Ecology of a Particularly Wicked Problem edited by Barbara Neis and Rosemary Ommer, 3) REDD+ national policy networks: information flows, influence and coalitions for change edited by Maria Brockhaus, Monica Di Gregorio, and Rachel Carmenta, 4) Exploring Feedbacks in Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS) edited by Jianguo Liu, Vanessa Hull, and Mao-Ning Tuanmu, 5) Multicriteria Assessment of Food System Sustainability edited by Hugo Alrøe, Henrik Moller, Jeppe Læssøe, and Egon Noe, and 6) Coupled Human-Coastal Ecosystems: Building Resilience Through Teaching and Research Partnerships edited by Anne Salomon and Ken Lertzman.

To read the full text of the articles in these features, or to access all other articles published in this issue, please see the table of contents below or online.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Volume 19, Issue 2

Special feature manuscripts are accompanied by a link (sf) which may be clicked to view the full table of contents for that Special Feature.
Guest Editorial

(sf)
Introduction to exploring opportunities for advancing collaborative adaptive management (CAM): integrating experience and practice
David L. Galat and Jim Berkley
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(sf)
Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes
Tobias Plieninger, Dan van der Horst, Christian Schleyer, and Claudia Bieling
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Prairie-Chickens up just a bit from last year 3 July 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in animal behavior, birds/nature, Endangered Species Act, environment.
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Here’s some rare good news about Lesser Prairie-Chickens from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation:

 

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is distributing this information as a courtesy to interested parties in Oklahoma on behalf of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.)

July 3, 2014
A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

AERIAL SURVEY SHOWS LESSER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN POPULATION INCREASED 20 PERCENT IN 2014
Biologists Note Regional Populations Fluctuate, Emphasize Value of Improved Habitat

The third annual lesser prairie-chicken aerial survey shows a nearly 20 percent increase in the bird’s range-wide population, up from an estimated 18,747 birds in 2013 to 22,415 this year. While wildlife biologists are encouraged by the increase, they note that prairie-chicken numbers can fluctuate up and down from year to year, mainly due to grassland habitat conditions influenced by rainfall.
The range-wide increase was not evenly spread across the bird’s four habitat regions distributed among five states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The mixed grass prairie region showed the biggest gain, a region that includes the northeastern Texas Panhandle, northwestern Oklahoma and south central Kansas, an area where more rain produced better prairie habitat. The sand sagebrush region in southwestern Kansas, southeastern Colorado and the northwestern Oklahoma Panhandle, where persistent drought continues to take a toll, showed a significant population decline.

(more…)

New species of Sengi (Elephant Shrew) from Namibia 2 July 2014

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Focusing on Wildlife is reporting today on the naming of a new species of sengi from Namibia: the Etendeka Round-eared Sengi.  It’s an unlikely-looking creature in a group of unlikely-looking creatures.  For this and other great stories and photos, check out Focusing on Wildlife.

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Center for Conservation Biology eNewsletter Apr.–Jun. 2014 1 July 2014

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Here’s a great update from the Center for Conservation Biology.

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The Bugle: World Cup 2014! 1 July 2014

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Tim O'Connell:

It’s Team USA vs Belgium today. Forecast? Delicious!

Originally posted on The Waterthrush Blog:

I don’t profess to be such a fan of football, or as we Americans call it “soccer”, but few things get me as excited to enjoy any sporting event as much as Andy Zaltzman’s and John Oliver’s World Cup coverage on The Bugle Podcast.  Please enjoy this sublime 5 minutes of World Cup coverage from my favorite podcast:

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Right – here we go.  I give you the T-shirt cannon and the jet ski as the most quintessentially American things ever:

captain-america-jetski

Our precious American values, nay our God-given right to fire T-shirt cannons from jet skis, are threatened this day by a European menace bent on destruction via carmelized sugar:

Gaufre_liege

It’s America vs Belgium in the WORLD CUP!

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International Migratory Bird Day – News From the Flyway, June 2014 30 June 2014

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It’s already time to vote for your favorite theme for the 2015 International Migratory Bird Day!

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Turtle Season in South Carolina 29 June 2014

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Back in 2011, I had occasion to visit Isle of Palms in South Carolina, and I wrote this post about what a great visit that was.  Especially memorable were the loggerhead sea turtles that nest on those beaches, closely monitored by the South Carolina DNR and dedicated teams of volunteers. Today, I’m reporting that the 2014 turtle nesting season is well underway.  Check it out!

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Volunteers comb the beach for evidence of new nests laid the night before.

 

 

ABA Flight Calls #108 – buy your Federal Duck Stamp to support conservation today 28 June 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
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Stand Up and Be Counted: Buy Duck Stamps Through the ABA!

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(Actually, click here!)
It cannot be denied that the Duck Stamp, formally called the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, is a wonderfully effective conservation program. It also cannot be denied that many birders have been hesitant to go all-in on this conservation tool for understandable reasons. Some birders find waterfowl hunting distasteful and don’t want to feel as though they’re supporting it. But mostly, it is the concern that the numbers of non-consumptive users of National Wildlife Refuges are not tallied, and the true support of birders for habitat and bird conservation is not accurately assessed.
(more…)

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