Editorial: News from the BirdLife Partnership, February 2007
Welcome to this, our second, monthly news round-up from BirdLife International. This Editorial is an opportunity for you to catch up on events and stories coming from the BirdLife Partnership that you may have missed.
As always, February’s range of stories reflect the diversity you would expect from the world’s largest alliance of conservation organisations. This month, BirdLife's stories spanned many continents, with news ranging from apparent bird declines in the Italian Alps (Winter sport threatens Alpine wildlife, 6th February) to reintroduction projects on the Auckland mainland (Hihi returns home after 125 years, 23 February). The BirdLife Partnership is truly global.
From the Americas, there was news that “freak-storms” caused the death of all but one juvenile Whooping Crane in a captive-reared flock being trained to fly from Wisconsin to Florida (Single Whooping Crane survives Florida tornadoes, 6 February).
In Asia, the work of the Cambodia Vulture Conservation Programme received worldwide coverage after their discovery of a Slender-billed Vulture nesting site – proclaimed “the first of its kind in South East Asia” by BirdLife in Indochina, one of the organisations involved in the programme (Slender-billed Vulture nests found in Cambodia, 15 Feb).
For Africa, there was another discovery: the mystery over where Aquatic Warbler spend their winter was solved by conservationists from BirdLife’s Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT), among a number of organisations. Next step? - “helping ensure these wintering grounds are adequately managed and better protected.” say BirdLife Africa. (Expedition solves Aquatic Warbler mystery, 22 Feb).
Partnerships are often the lifeblood of conservation, so it was of real encouragement to conservationists internationally to hear of China and Japan’s recent unity in efforts to save Crested Ibis, an enigmatic Asian bird threatened with extinction. (Prime Ministers of China and Japan united in efforts to conserve Endangered Ibis, 2 Feb).
'The BirdLife Partnership is truly global...'
Another story of partnerships encompassed Europe this month, this time for migratory birds (Spring Alive in Europe, 23 Feb). BirdLife Partners in Europe are asking their members to take part in ‘Spring Alive’ – BirdLife’s Europe-wide project aimed at getting children, teachers and parents to observe and log the movements of four European migratory species – more at www.springalive.net
Who knows how far-reaching the results of Spring Alive could be: increased knowledge of species distributions or migrations routes? More interest and awareness in wildlife? Better well-being for humankind...?
Actually, we might be onto something: “The conservation of wildlife is critical for the prosperity and quality of life of EU citizens” said the President of the European Commission this month on the release of BirdLife’s ‘Well-being for Wildlife in the EU’ report. (President Barroso recognises biodiversity conservation, 12 Feb). The BirdLife report highlights the importance of biodiversity for the health, quality of life and prosperity of all EU citizens.
February was also about feedback, as we reported on some of the BirdLife stories covered on www.birdlife.org throughout late 2006:
Good news came from Nature Canada (BirdLife in Canada) on the Canadian government’s decision to pull their inadequate recovery strategy for Piping Plover. (Piping Plover lawsuit: Canadian government reverses decision, 14 Feb)
Likewise, there was good news from Forest & Bird (BirdLife in New Zealand), as the government announced their decision to put in place three actions to reduce the high levels of albatross bycatch reported (by BirdLife and others) in December. (New Zealand takes action on longlining, 27 Feb).
There was less encouraging news from the Caribbean where there continues to be uncertainty over the future of Grenada Dove (Grenada government defiant as dove sanctuary protest grows, 16 Feb). And from Europe, there was the announcement that work would start on Poland’s Via Baltica Expressway to the detriment of the pristine Rospuda wetlands, home to a host of threatened birds and mammals (Via Baltica Expressway: Construction to destroy Poland’s Rospuda Valley set to start, 22 Feb). First covered by BirdLife four years ago, this development has been deplored by a number of BirdLife Partners and their governments, led by BirdLife’s European Community Office (ECO). There have been swift recent actions from the European Commission on the development – watch this space for updates.
So, as well as being the centre-point for stories coming out of the BirdLife Partnership, BirdLife news stories are also about updates and feedback, covering the ongoing work being undertaken by the one-hundred or so organisations within the BirdLife Partnership.
We look forward to keeping you informed of future developments, news and insights within the Parnership and thank you for all of your support.
Here’s to a few more Piping Plovers…!
Jules Howard, Communications Officer.
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