Conservation discrimination against female birds


This 2012 video says about itself:

The Golden-winged Warbler is uncommon in the northeastern United States and rare in southern Ontario. It can be found in birch and other young deciduous growth and in abandoned pastures. It has a gray back with white below. There is a yellow on the crown and yellow wing patch. It exhibits a black throat and ear patch. This warbler nests on ground.

The song is a buzzy “beee bz bz bz”.

These birds hybridizes with the Blue-winged Warbler to produce the Brewster’s and the Lawrence’s Warblers.

This warbler is decreasing in numbers probably due to habitat reduction. There is also thought that the Blue-winged Warbler is less finicky about its habitat and is thus replacing the Golden-winged.

From Cornell University in the USA:

Study finds sex bias in bird conservation plans

Overlooking habitats used by females adds risk for declining species

November 7, 2019

After pairing up and raising chicks, males and females of some bird species spend their winter break apart. At the end of their journey to Central or South America, you might find mostly males in one habitat, and females in another. Yet conservation strategies have typically overlooked the habitats needed by females, putting already-declining species in even more peril, according to a new study in the journal Biological Conservation.

“Among the small songbird species that have been studied, the general rule seems to be that females occupy lower elevation, shrubbier, drier sites,” says lead author Ruth Bennett. “Mid-elevation and high-elevation sites that are more humid and have better quality forest are occupied by males.” Bennett conducted the research while at Cornell University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

This male-female split is pretty common, Bennett says, but the study found that in conservation plans for 66 declining migratory species, only 3 made any mention of his-and-her-habitats — those being plans for Golden-winged Warbler, Bicknell’s Thrush, and Back-capped Vireo. Bennett concludes that female birds are definitely being overlooked.

“When conservation plans don’t explicitly address the habitat requirements of both sexes, there’s no guarantee both sexes will be protected. Overlooking habitats females use can lead to unforeseen population loss, which is especially critical for species of conservation concern,” says Bennett.

“Our research is an important reminder that ‘one size fits all’ conservation does not accommodate the needs of both male and female birds any more than a one-size-fits-all approach would work in meeting the needs of all genders at work and at home,” adds co-author Amanda Rodewald, senior director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Using declining Golden-winged Warblers as their case study, the researchers also found that the habitats where female birds spend the winter are being lost more rapidly than those inhabited by males. Field crews surveyed more than 1,100 locations for the warblers during 3 wintering seasons in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Researchers then used Global Forest Watch data to see what percentage of areas with the most birds had been deforested between 2000 and 2016. Male golden-wings lost 4% of their habitat during that time span. Females lost twice as much, at 8%. Despite the higher threat faced by females, the study found that habitats for the males got all the conservation attention.

“To counteract the bias in favor of male birds, researchers and conservation planners need to identify and report the sex of birds, model female distributions, and include female habitats in conservation plans,” says Bennett.

Female birds are often harder to find with their muted colors, and both sexes are quieter while on their wintering locations. But making the effort to consider the needs of female birds could pay off in the long run.

“Yes, it requires more investment and care on the survey portion of any conservation effort when you’re trying to acquire information to guide action,” Rodewald says. “But that could actually allow us to be much more strategic and save money on the back end. Conservation plans are stronger — and more likely to be effective — when they explicitly consider the needs of females.”

Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17-20


This 2014 video from Toronto in Canada is called The Great Backyard Bird Count.

From BirdLife:

Help conservation by counting birds this weekend

By Audubon, Bird Studies Canada & Cornell Lab, 13 Feb 2017

Birdwatchers around the world are taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 17-20. Join us to participate in one of the biggest citizen science projects in the world.

A lot has changed since the first Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was held in 1998. But the enthusiasm of its growing number of participants for this now-global event has never wavered. The 20th annual GBBC is taking place February 17-20 in backyards, parks, nature centres, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches – anywhere you find birds.

Birdwatchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org – All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.

“The very first GBBC was an experiment,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird programme. “We wanted to see if people would use the Internet to send us their bird sightings. Clearly the experiment was a success!” eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.

That first year, birdwatchers submitted about 13,500 checklists from the United States and Canada. Fast-forward to the most recent event in 2016. An estimated 163,763 birdwatchers from more than 100 countries submitted 162,052 bird checklists reporting 5689 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.

“The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to introduce people to participation in citizen science,” says Audubon (BirdLife in the US) Vice President and Chief Scientist Gary Langham. “No other programme allows volunteers to take an instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations that can contribute to our understanding of how a changing climate is affecting birds.”

Varying weather conditions so far this winter are producing a few trends that GBBC participants can watch for during the count. eBird reports show many more waterfowl and kingfishers remaining further north than usual because they are finding open water. If that changes, these birds could move southward.

Also noted are higher than usual numbers of Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. And while some winter finches have been spotted in the East, such as Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra, Redpoll Acanthis flammea, Evening Grosbeak Hesperiphona vespertina, and a few Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator, there seem to be no big irruptions so far. A few eye-catching Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus have been reported in the northern half of the United States.

Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Programme Director, reminds participants in Canada and the US to keep watch for snowies. He says, “The GBBC has done a terrific job of tracking irruptions of Snowy Owls southward over the past several years. We can’t predict what winter 2017 will bring, because Snowy Owl populations are so closely tied to unpredictable ‘cycles’ of lemmings in the Arctic. These cycles occur at intervals between two and six years.  Nevertheless, there are already reports of Snowy Owls as far south as Virginia.’

In addition to counting birds, the GBBC photo contest has also been a hit since it was introduced in 2006. Since then, tens of thousands of stunning images have been submitted. For the 20th anniversary of the GBBC, the public is invited to vote for their favourite top photo from each of the past 11 years in a special album they will find on the GBBC website home page. Voting takes place during the four days of the GBBC.

Learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count at birdcount.org where downloadable instructions and an explanatory PowerPoint are available. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada. The GBBC is made possible in part in Canada by sponsors Armstrong Bird Food and Wild Birds Unlimited.

Editors: See the winners of the 2016 GBBC Photo Contest. If you find a winner from your coverage area, please let Birds Studies Canada know if you would like a copy of the image for web or print (if high resolution is available).

Stop wildlife extinctions


This video says about itself:

30 September 2016

Formed in 2000 and launched globally in 2005, the Alliance for Zero Extinction(AZE) engages non-governmental biodiversity conservation organizations working to prevent species extinctions by identifying and safeguarding the places where species evaluated to be Endangered or Critically Endangered under IUCN-World Conservation Union criteria are restricted to single remaining sites.

To learn more, visit here:

Video and stills by (in order):

Mike Parr
Aditi Desai
Dan Lebbin
Greg R. Homel
Milivoje Krvavac
David Haring
Peter Paul
Melanie Dammhahn
Matthias Liffers
Benjamin Skolnik
Debbie Grant
Jorge Luis Brocca
Ciro Albano
Thomas H. Kaminski

Music: Pond5

Copyright 2016 American Bird Conservancy

‘THIS IS HOW A SPECIES GOES EXTINCT’ Warning: some of these photos are graphic. [Nick Visser, HuffPost]

COULD EXTINCTION RISKS BE UNDERESTIMATED Due to the “systematic overestimation” of the size of the habitat where animals can thrive? [HuffPost]

Bad wildlife news, good wildlife news


This video says about itself:

26 October 2016

Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International, discussing the key findings of the 2016 Living Planet Report.

From the 2016 Living Planet Report:

WWF’s Living Planet Report is the world’s leading, science-based look at the health of our amazing planet. The latest edition shows the devastating impacts humans are having on the world’s wildlife and natural world. It also shows we can solve these problems.

There is much disastrous news:

Global wildlife populations have fallen an average of 58 percent from 1970 levels, with human activity reducing the numbers of elephants in Tanzania, maned wolves in Brazil, salamanders in the United States and orcas in the waters of Europe, researchers say.

The report notes some bright spots:

Tiger numbers have increased from 3,200 in 2010 to around 3,900 today. …

There are around 70 adult Amur leopards in the wild – up from 45 in 2007. …

There are around 1,860 giant pandas in the wild – nearly 17% more than in 2003. …

Better legal protection has resulted in species such as the Eurasian lynx either increasing in number or even returning to European regions that they’ve been absent from for decades.

New conservation green list


This video is called Part 1 of 6, Workshop 0245: IUCN Green List of Protected Areas.

From Wildlife Extra:

IUCN’s new green list celebrates successes

The IUCN has launched a new list, but this time it is one to aspire to be on as it celebrates conservation success not conservation failures. Called the Green List, it is the only global standard of good practice for protected areas, and aims to recognise and promote success in managing some of the most valuable natural areas on the planet.

So far there are 23 sites listed, from 50 put forward by eight countries. These include two protected areas in KenyaOl Pejeta Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – as well as others in Australia, South Korea, China, Italy, France, Spain and Colombia.

Nominated protected areas, says the IUCN “ will need to meet a full suite of minimum standards, including for conservation objectives, for legitimate establishment, for management effectiveness, for governance and for visitor experience before being listed.”

Paul Hotham, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Eurasia Regional Director and head of FFI’s delegation at the Congress, said, “The Green List will define success for protected areas in much the same way that IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species has highlighted the species most urgently in need of action.

“Conservation challenges in the 21st century continue to grow and we as a global community need to respond to these challenges, and contribute positively, both to the lives of others and to our natural world. The Green List will ensure that protected areas have real conservation impacts that benefit people, economy and the environment.”

Countries next in line for Green List assessment include Mexico, Croatia and several countries in North Africa and Micronesia.

New conservation Internet site


This video from Jamaica says about itself:

Protecting Pedro – Building Conservation Capacity

24 July 2012

Starting in 2005, The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, has been working on the Pedro Bank to develop conservation solutions; including thorough environmental and social assessments, a management plan and the establishment of a fish sanctuary surrounding Southwest Cay (Bird Cay).

From BirdLife:

New online resource to help meet global conservation challenges

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 30/09/2014 – 20:45

A new online resource, capacityforconservation.org has been launched that aims to support and strengthen conservation organisations and help them to achieve – and sustain – their conservation and organisational development goals.

The free online tool, created collaboratively by BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Tropical Biology Association and the University of Cambridge, will help conservation organisations to build and expand on existing knowledge and skills, ultimately helping them to better accomplish their conservation goals.

Capacityforconservation.org already contains tools, resources and case studies gathered by the world’s leading conservation NGOs from around the world. It encourages users to upload their own practical tools, resources and case studies covering various aspects of strategic conservation planning, from finance management, fundraising and communications to organisational governance and project development. These tools allow users to learn from best practice, while sharing their own examples so conservationists around the world can learn from each other, ultimately helping to address the complex conservation challenges faced today.

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, BirdLife International’s Interim Chief Executive said, “many organisations within the BirdLife Partnership are seeking to become an even stronger force for nature conservation, both nationally and internationally. I believe that capacityforconservation.org is a fantastic platform to help BirdLife Partners to continue to develop and grow, and achieve their organisational goals.”

Two hundred and forty people have already registered on the website, logging on from 103 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe. Resources are available in 18 languages, with more being added by users, and work is underway to translate the site into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Capacityforconservation.org was created by with support from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.