American Bird Conservancy’s Viewpoint: Birds and the Choice for Our Next President

by Larry on October 22, 2008

Bald Eagle - USFWS photoIn November, Americans go to the polls to elect the 44th President of the United States. According to surveys by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), as many as 46 million people watch birds. This makes the bird watching community a potentially powerful force in any election–if it makes itself heard. From budgets to energy policy, many executive decisions will impact birds; so what should we be requesting of our next President when it comes to addressing our conservation priorities?

American Bird Conservancy’s report, American Birds: An Endangered Species Act Success Story, demonstrates how a strong Endangered Species Act can help restore populations of our most threatened birds. The next President needs to commit to a fully funded Act, and provide FWS with the direction, tools, and resources it needs to assess, protect, and recover endangered species and their habitats.

The next Administration’s energy policy will surely focus on the critical issues of global warming and energy independence, but it must also incorporate the immediate, direct effects that generating power has on our birds and other wildlife. Expanding corn ethanol production stands to drastically impact bird habitat; oil and gas drilling operations could continue eating away at our last pristine wildernesses; the growth of unregulated wind farms will kill more and more birds through collisions, and impact ever more grassland and forest species through habitat alteration unless addressed; and the coal industry is turning thousands of acres of bird habitat and miles of clear mountain streams in the Appalachians into desolate moonscapes through mountaintop removal/valley fill operations. Each of these and other energy issues must be comprehensively addressed by the next President.

Excerpt from the ABC site.  See full text of post here at American Bird Conservancy .  You can get American Bird Conservancy updates on my “Birds In The News” page.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas October 22, 2008 at 7:46 pm

That’s a comprehensive view of situation today…well said

Thomass last blog post..Birding in India @ Forest Hills, Masinagudi

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Larry October 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Hi Thomas, yes, we have a lot to think about in the near future. We definitely need to look at the candidates environmental views and make sure we can sustain or improve our environment for future generations.

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sara October 25, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Bird deaths by turbine are reported to be negligible compared to everything else (e.g. architecture and power lines). Actually, wind power presents risk more to bats, not by physical collision, but by barotrauma (respiratory trauma induced by rapid drop in air pressure).

Also, there was the “homeland security” issue, that U.S.-Mexico wall project, that was feared to fragment habitat for birds. Maybe they just fly over regardless? In any case, the construction process would have been unfavorable.

I do not think that any candidates care about birds right now. I have not heard one utterance of the meal worm crisis during this campaign :)

saras last blog post..Joshing around at Joshua Tree

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Larry October 25, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Hi Sara, I didn’t know about the bat problem in regards to wind turbines. I am in favor of wind as well as other alternative energy sources, I just think we need to make it as safe as possible. I agree this problem seems unimportant to many folks wondering where their next meal will come from.

Speaking of meals, mealworms are here http://www.nyworms.com/mealworms.htm
and they tell you how to grow your own!

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