Saturday, March 21, 2009

"A Gloomy Assessment"

One of the joys of our morning walk this time of year is the wonderful collection of songbird calls that are almost continuous. It always encourages me to learn which song comes from which species of bird.

There fore it was upsetting a few minutes later to pick up the paper and see this headline: Nearly a Third of Bird species In US Are Found Declining. The New York Times article stated that nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species were endangered, threatened, or in serious decline, most due to habitat destruction, pollution, urban sprawl, and "a barrage of exotic forest pests and disease."

But there was also an upbeat side to the news conference. The study found that herons, egrets, ducks and other birds that benefit from wetlands conservation were rebounding. Findings like this “show us that conservation can really work,” Mr. Salazar said.
The report urged ordinary people to assist conservation by:
  • drinking shade-grown coffee
  • donating unused binoculars for distribution to biologists in the tropic
  • keeping pet cats indoors
  • landscaping with native plants
Education is urgently needed to make the public aware of the toll of pet cats,” Darin Schroeder of the American Bird Conservancy said at the news conference.

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