The four pillars of BirdLife
BirdLife News Round-up: February 2010
The BirdLife International Partnership has four core conservation objectives: Saving species, protecting sites, conserving habitats and empowering people and February’s news reflected these.
In its final year as Global Sponsor of the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme, the British Birdwatching Fair delivered a cheque for £263,000 (US$411,500), taking the three-year total to £754,000 (US$1.18 million) (Birdfair continues to prevent extinction). Viking Optical, joint main sponsors of Birdfair, has stepped forward as Species Champion for Seychelles Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone corvina.
Less good news from Portugal, where after years of uncertainty and inaction, the government has begun building a military radar on top of Madeira’s Pico do Areeiro, the only known breeding site of Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira. SPEA, (BirdLife in Portugal) is keeping a very close eye on the situation (Radar station in Madeira threatens Zino's Petrel).
A call for citizen caretakers and citizen scientists has come from BirdLife's Canadian co-partners Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada, who have launched a new website for the Canadian Important Bird Areas (IBA) Programme (New website for Canada's Important Bird Area Programme). The tools on the website, in French and English, will help IBA partners and volunteers monitor birds and assess conditions at key sites, and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation activities.
Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. (SOPI, BirdLife in Puerto Rico) had cause for celebration with the decision to reject the permit for an industrial windfarm development in Karso del Sur Important Bird Area (IBA), home to 19 restricted-range species, including the largest known population of Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus (Industrial windfarm development in Puerto Rican IBA rejected by government).
For this year's World Wetlands Day, BirdLife highlighted the contribution wetlands can make to combating climate change (BirdLife cares for wetlands). In Tanzania, however, World Wetlands Day celebrations focused instead on Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor (Near Threatened) through the completion of a National Single Species Action Plan (Celebrating Natron's Flamingos with action). These flamingos drew global attention when a proposal to build a soda ash processing plant at Lake Natron came to light in 2006. Actions were agreed aimed at ensuring that the species is protected at Lake Natron and eleven other lakes in Tanzania.
Both citizen and professional scientists, and anyone else with an interest in the impact of climate change in Africa, can turn to the Africa Climate Exchange (ACE) website, which uses birds and BirdLife's Important Bird Area (IBA) network to demonstrate how biodiversity in Africa will respond to Climate Change, and what can be done to mitigate its impacts (BirdLife launches Africa Climate Exchange).
Since 2007, BirdLife has been working with the Société Audubon Haïti (SAH) to develop sustainable livelihoods for communities in the southern buffer zone of the Macaya National Park. With local help, SAH reopened the only school in the area, furnished it and staffed it with eight teachers (New Haitian school under strain). Now BirdLife is working with SAH, Nature Canada (BirdLife co-Partner) and others to find ways to expand the school to accommodate victims of January's earthquake.
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