Conservation update from the American Bird Conservancy


Bird Conservation Updates from American Bird Conservancy – October 2, 2013

1.      Brochures to Prevent Bird Collisions Available for Distribution
2.      ABC Job Posting: Membership Manager
3.      Groups Unite in Urging Congress to Save Programs that Protect Fish and Wildlife Habitat
4.      Imperiled Red Knot Proposed for Listing as Threatened
5.      Good News for Endangered Species on Lower Mississippi River
6.      Buffalo RMP “Preferred Alternative” Not Enough to Conserve Greater Sage-Grouse
7.      Scientists Urge Protection for Northwest Forests

1. Brochures to Prevent Bird Collisions Available for Distribution

Collisions with glass constitute a huge source of bird mortality, as many as one billion each year. To help homeowners prevent birds hitting their windows by using a variety of treatments to the glass ABC has produced a flyer that can be downloaded at http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/pdf/collisions_flyer.pdf.

We have printed flyers available for distribution in boxes of 3,600 or lots of 1,000. If your organization is interested, please contact Christine Sheppard, csheppard@abcbirds.org with the amount you wish to distribute and a mailing address. The only cost to your organization is shipping $10 for 1,000 or $30 for a box of 3,600. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

For more information about ABC’s collisions program see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130912.html

2. ABC Job Posting: Membership Manager

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) seeks a motivated, high-energy, people-focused Membership Manager.  This is a full-time position with American Bird Conservancy (ABC) in The Plains, Virginia.  The Membership Manager’s principal responsibilities are:  1) to provide leadership, vision, and management for ABC’s membership and online fundraising programs; 2) to increase revenue generated by general membership and online fundraising; 3) to expand ABC’s membership program and online supporter base;  4) to manage ABC’s donor database through membership data entry for donor gifts and acknowledgments, 5) to develop and manage annual and long-term membership plans and budgets; and 6) to actively integrate ABC’s membership and online fundraising programs with other ABC division work, notably Communications, to  produce a consistent, strong ABC brand to the public.

For more details http://www.abcbirds.org/aboutabc/vacancies/membership_manager.html. Please send cover letter and resume by October 15, 2013 to: hr@abcbirds.org.

3. Groups Unite in Urging Congress to Save Programs that Protect Fish and Wildlife Habitat

More than 1,600 organizations representing tens of millions of birders, hikers, hunters, anglers, boaters and other conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts delivered a collective letter to Congress urging the restoration of funding for popular and effective fish and wildlife conservation grant programs. The letter is in response to efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to eliminate funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund next fiscal year.

A 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that more than 90 million U.S. residents age 16 years and older participate in wildlife-related recreational activities annually. Conservation grant programs also deliver some of the most direct benefits to the more than 70 million Americans who spend approximately $55 billion each year on watching and feeding birds.

“Wetlands protected and conserved by these programs do so much more than provide waterfowl and wildlife habitat. They lessen the effects of floods and hurricanes, prevent soil erosion and improve water quality,” said Paul Schmidt, chief conservation officer for Ducks Unlimited. “Conserved wetlands also provide opportunities for hunting, angling and other wildlife-dependent recreation that contributed more than $144.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011. Programs that provide such major returns on investment for our citizens and government should not be abandoned.”

The Teaming With Wildlife Coalition led by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies coordinated the letter available at http://teaming.com/sites/default/files/Letter%20to%20Congress%20Supporting%20Grant%20Programs%20SEPT2013-Final.pdf.  Our thanks to all the organizations that signed on!

4. Imperiled Red Knot Proposed for Listing as Threatened

American Bird Conservancy welcomes the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to formally propose an Endangered Species Act listing of ‘threatened’ for the highly imperiled rufa Red Knot, a shorebird which flies more than 9,300 miles from south to north every spring and repeats the trip in reverse every autumn, making this bird one of the longest-distance migrants in the animal kingdom.

“There is a compelling scientific case for ESA listing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the rufa Red Knot offers hope that future generations of Americans will be able to witness this migratory marvel,” said Darin Schroeder, Vice President of Conservation Advocacy for American Bird Conservancy. See http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130927.html for more details.

5. Good News for Endangered Species on Lower Mississippi River
What do a small fish-eating bird that nests on river sandbars, a four-foot dinosaur-like fish that can swim from Louisiana to Kentucky in a week, and a colorfully named mussel have in common? These three endangered species—the Interior Least Tern, the pallid sturgeon and the fat pocketbook mussel—will all benefit from recent changes in river engineering practices, which have been formalized in a landmark Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the Lower Mississippi River signed at the end of August by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

This CMP is believed to represent the first large-scale application of a powerful but seldom-used tool for proactive conservation in the Endangered Species Act (ESA): Section 7(a)(1). Under Section 7(a)(1), federal agencies work together and with partners to understand the effects of agency actions on endangered species and to formulate best management practices.

“When the Interior Least Tern (ILT) was first listed, it was widely believed that river engineering threatened the species’ continued existence. With this CMP, the FWS and USACE are successfully transforming ‘threats’ into conservation tools. Today, over 10,000 ILTs nest on the Lower Mississippi River, almost exclusively within dike fields, and more than 7,000 nest in hundreds of widely distributed colonies on regulated rivers throughout the mid-continent,” said Casey Lott, ABC’s Coastal and Waterways Program Coordinator and the corresponding author of a recently published peer-reviewed paper on the ILT in the journal Ecology and Evolution. For more details see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130909.html.

6. Buffalo RMP “Preferred Alternative” Not Enough to Conserve Greater Sage-Grouse

American Bird Conservancy has sent a comment letter (http://www.abcbirds.org/PDFs/buffalo_final_comment.pdf) to the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asserting that the proposed Buffalo resource management plan (RMP) for BLM-administered land in parts of northern Wyoming would lead to continued declines in Greater Sage-Grouse populations, and as drafted would not change the likelihood of the species being added to the Endangered Species list.

“Decision-makers did a good job of identifying opportunities to protect the sage-grouse and large blocks of habitat in the Buffalo RMP, but they now need to include these measures in the final preferred alternative. The species really won’t stand much of a chance without the safeguards of the conservation-focused alternative B and designated protected areas,” Holmer said. See http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130925.html for more details.
7. Scientists Urge Protection for Northwest Forests

In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden (http://www.abcbirds.org/PDFs/OandC_scientist_letter.pdf) (D-Ore.), more than 180 scientists expressed their strong support for retaining the protections of the Northwest Forest Plan that would otherwise be undermined if H.R. 1526, which passed in the House of Representatives in September, becomes law. The bill mandates a major increase in logging in national forests to pay for services in rural counties, placing habitat for the threatened Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet at risk.

In the open letter, the scientists state: “We are writing about attempts to increase logging on federal lands that would undermine the integrity of the Northwest Forest Plan, placing irreplaceable public values such as clean water, threatened fish and wildlife, carbon storage, and mature forests at risk.” See http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130926.html for more details.

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