There is plenty to explore in the latest update from the American Bird Conservancy, but they’re most excited this week about the launch of their fancy new website.
We’re excited to announce the launch of the new American Bird Conservancy website: a brighter, more colorful, easier to navigate, and mobile-friendly way to stay connected with our bird conservation efforts. From showcasing our results for birds to featuring our focus species, it’s a great way to see out how we’re protecting birds across the Western Hemisphere. Visit us on the new abcbirds.org >>
Pesticides and Birds
Pesticides Harmful to Birds and Bees Found in Congressional Cafeteria Food
Insecticides toxic to birds and bees are pervasive in the foods we eat, including in the dining halls of the U.S. Congress. A new study by ABC and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found these chemicals, neonicotinoids, in 91 percent of food tested in Congressional dining halls.
Want to Help Save Pollinators? Take Action!
Neonicotinoids, the nation’s most widely used insecticides, have been banned in some parts of Europe and restricted in Ontario, Canada because of their connection to the large-scale disappearance of pollinators. Add your voice to the call to suspend the use of these toxic pesticides in the U.S. Ask Congress to save America’s pollinators! >>
ABC Editorial: White House strategy downplays pesticide threat to pollinators
Coalition Criticizes Gov’t Suppression of Research on Pesticides & Bees
Following reports that scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture are being harassed and their research on bee-killing pesticides is being censored or suppressed, a broad coalition of farmers, environmentalists, fisheries and food-safety organizations urged an investigation in a May 5 letter sent to Phyllis K. Fong, USDA Inspector General.
ABC Editorial: To Save Birds, Change the Rules on Wind Turbines
Check out the recent Philadelphia Inquirer column by ABC’s Mike Parr, which highlights the potentially serious impact of taller, larger wind turbines on birds. “Developing renewable energy sources is important,” he wrote. “But right now, our policies treat birds and other wildlife as collateral damage in that quest.”
Feral Cats Threaten Endangered Birds at Popular N.Y. Beach
ABC is urging New York State officials to remove a large colony of feral cats from a popular Long Island park where federally threatened Piping Plovers nest. ABC learned earlier this year of the cats’ presence at Jones Beach State Park, just outside New York City.
“Piping Plovers are scarce and are federally protected,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of ABC’s Invasive Species Programs. “Keeping predatory cats out of the park is an obvious conservation priority, and the nesting season is particularly critical. Baby birds on the beach stand zero chance against these cats.”
Although indoor cats are popular, much-loved pets, feral cats are an invasive species that often prove fatal for birds and other wildlife. Recent peer-reviewed research has found that outdoor cats are a leading source of predation on young birds and that even brief appearances of cats near nest sites can lead to increased nest failure.
ABC launched a petition in early April asking for immediate removal of the feral cats at Jones Beach. The petition has generated more than 2,400 letters. Let the state of New York know that you want Piping Plovers protected from the threat of feral cats by signing our petition: https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=189
Help Congress Pass the 2015 Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act
Did you know that collisions with glass claim the lives of hundreds of millions of birds in the United States each year? Please urge your U.S. Representative to support HR 2280, the 2015 Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, which would help prevent the deaths of millions of birds, like this Painted Bunting.
ESA and Public Lands
Colorado Sage Grouse Conservation Plan Leaves Species at Risk of Endangerment
To prevent the Greater Sage-Grouse from sliding toward endangerment, the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Final Environmental Impact Statement needs significant improvements to stop habitat loss, says American Bird Conservancy (ABC). This assertion is part of a comment letter on the Colorado Plan ABC and Prairie Hills Audubon Society submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The letter makes science-based recommendations that can be adopted to better conserve the species.
Over 100 Groups Call on Feds to Step up Efforts to Remove Deadly Threat to Birds at More Than 3 Million Mining Claims
PVC pipes used to mark boundaries at over 3 million mining claims and other pipes are deadly traps for birds, say more than 100 groups in a joint letter to the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service (FS). In the letter, the groups call on the two agencies to accelerate efforts to address this longstanding threat to birds at mining claims they govern.
“Much work remains to be done to remove existing hazards, and long-term policies and procedures still need to be established to prevent this form of bird mortality from continuing to occur on public lands in the future,” the letter says.
Put Your Stamp on Conservation! New Federal and Junior Duck Stamps are on Sale Now
The 82nd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is now available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and at some post offices and national wildlife refuges. Go to http://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/buy-duck-stamp.php for all buying options.
Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition and conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge that charges an entry fee.
This year’s Federal Duck Stamp will cost $25 — up from $15 last year. This is the first price increase for the stamp in 24 years— the longest single period without an increase in the program’s history. The increased price of the duck stamp will allow the Service to devote more funds to conserving wetlands habitat that benefits birds and many other species.
Senior Policy Advisor
American Bird Conservancy &
Director, Bird Conservation Alliance