Birds at Risk and How We Can Help

By April Gaydos

Over 350 species of birds that live or winter in Mexico are at the highest level of conservation concern, according to the findings in the State of North American Birds 2016 report. As if this news isn’t bad enough, the report’s Watch List identifies 432 species (more than one-third of all North American bird species) as being of highest conservation concern. These are the species most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats.

Audubon de Mexico Nature Matters Presentation
“Birds at Risk and How We Can Help”
Tue, Sept 20, 1:30pm–3 pm
El Nigromante, Bellas Artes, M. Malo Auditorio
Hernández Macías 75
415 119 4671
60 pesos (Audubon members free)

Audubon de Mexico birding guide Luke Rich has synthesized this report and will present its key elements and findings and what birds we see around San Miguel that fall in the category of high concern. The talk, accompanied with photos and animated graphs showing birds and their migratory habits, will take place Tuesday, September 20, at 1:30pm at El Nigromante/Bellas Artes.

For over 80 years, Mexico, the United States, and Canada have had treaties and agreements to protect birds and their habitats. These agreements have been unevenly enforced. However, in the past 20 years all three countries have stepped up their efforts. As an example, Mexico has received international recognition for its effort to preserve forest habitat. Of course, more can be done, and the talk will discuss how efforts of the governments of the three countries and we, as concerned citizens and residents, can have an impact on the situation that has caused this alarming trend.

The State of North American Birds 2016  report is the work of The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). Created by the governments of Canada, the US, and Mexico in 1999, NABCI is an innovative tri-national agreement that recognizes the critical biological roles of birds and their standing as an international “natural economic resource.” Under the terms of the agreement, the three nations have pledged to cooperatively protect, restore, and enhance populations and habitats of North America’s birds.

The report is based on the first-ever vulnerability assessment for all 1,154-bird species that occur on the North American continent, compiled by a team of experts from all three countries.

Citizen science played a key role in producing the report. Literally thousands of North Americans contributed bird sightings to an international database, known as ebird, that provided scientists with data that would have otherwise taken them decades to compile.

Following Luke’s presentation, I will present a brief talk about efforts that Audubon de Mexico has been conducting over time to contribute to scientific research and habitat protection. I will also introduce a relatively new citizen science bird-monitoring program, which focuses on collecting information on our urban birds.

April Gaydos is the president of Sociedad Audubon de México, A.C.

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