Making room for seabirds

Over the last few weeks I’ve described some of the problems facing colonial seabirds around the world (and some of them are pretty serious), but I’ve also pointed out that we are making progress at fighting some of these challenges. Birds in general get a lot of attention from researchers and the public- they are charismatic, some of them have adapted well to living side by side with us, and you don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate them- so they are also getting a lot of attention on the conservation front. This is great for seabirds, and also for us because it means that there are many ways we can get involved and help seabird populations.

Looking to help out without leaving the comfort of your computer?
• American Bird Conservancy has a petition to remove feral cats from nesting areas at Jones Beach in New York
• Pacific Seabird Group has a variety of policy letters just waiting for your signature
• You can also donate to a variety of organizations, including BirdLife, Forest and Bird, Alaska Sealife Center, and Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds

Seen some seabirds on a birding trip?
Ebird is just waiting to hear about all of the birds you saw

Planning a vacation and wondering if your trip could help birds in some way?
• Audubon’s Project Puffin in Maine has a visitor’s center and the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands run an art gallery- maybe Maine should be part of the itinerary
• There is a Caribbean Birding Trail that will help you use your tourist dollars in support of birds
Trogon Tours and Cape Town Pelagics have single- and multi-day trips to expand your life-list and support conservation efforts

Want to take a more active role in seabird conservation?
• Seattle Audubon’s next Puget Sound Seabird Survey is February 6th and they would welcome your help
• If you are near Moss Landing, CA, the annual Mud Stomp to help create nesting habitat for western snowy plovers is coming up- register by March 29th
Birds Caribbean has regular monitoring surveys, including right now until February 3rd
• Many of the organizations listed above also have volunteer and intern programs, as do the Kauai Seabird Habitat Conservation Program, the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, and the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary

Much like the seabirds themselves, this is a wide-ranging list of opportunities to get involved with seabird conservation, and I’m sure there are many other options I haven’t mentioned- if you feel like your area or interest isn’t represented here, a great place to start is by contacting your local Aubudon group- they are bound to have ideas!

Posted January 24, 2016 by Mirka Zapletal in Birds

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