Recent news items relevant to local, regional, and national conservation issues. If you are aware of any conservation news items that you feel deserve attention on this page, please let us know.
A new report by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative – State of North America’s Birds 2016 – indicates that one-third of North America’s bird species are in urgent need of conservation action. In crisis: species of the ocean and tropical forests; coastal, arid land and grassland birds are also in steep decline.
Wind Turbines and Eagles
Controversy continues over the effects of the growing wind energy industry on the number of birds killed by
wind turbines. Informative news articles about the recent Golden and Bald Eagles Study include “Federal Study Highlights Spike in Eagle Deaths at Wind Farms” from National Geographic and “Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years” from Yahoo! News. Also see “Windmill farm seeks permit to kill eagles” from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lead in Ammunition and Fishing Gear:
Efforts continue to ban the use of toxic lead ammunition and fishing sinkers. California recently passed “Groundbreaking Legislation to Require the Use of Non-Lead Ammunition“. Background information on “Lead Bullet Risks for Wildlife and Humans” is available from the National Park Service.
Spotted vs. Barred Owl Controversy:
Conservation strategies surrounding the Spotted Owl habitat in old-growth forests have been an issue of concern for a number of years. The controversy over heavy logging and loss of habitat is now compounded by the threat of Barred Owls. NBC news reports that “Feds move ahead with plans to kill barred owls – to save spotted owls“. King5.com includes a video news report with “Experts take sides over plan to save spotted owls”. Perspectives concerning the Spotted Owl controversy can be found at the Smithsonian’s “The Spotted Owl’s New Nemesis“.
Bird Songs Altered by PCB Contamination:
A study conducted at Cornell University has determined that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are affecting the behavior of the way that birds sing their songs. Their article “Bird Songs Altered by PCB Contamination, Study Finds” describes the subtle ways that this can occur. A Cornell Chronicle article “Even low-level PCBs change bird songs” includes a video about the study.