Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is Audubon misleading?

The recent promotional materials from National Audubon Society arrived in an envelope that depicted a Bald Eagle on the front with the words "Is their time running out?" That struck me as kinda... ironic.

Our national symbol has recovered sufficiently that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering the removal of Bald Eagle from the federal endangered species list. The biologists who monitor the raptor apparently have enough data to argue that the population in the lower 48 states is secure enough to warrant "delisting."

Then isn't it inaccurate to give the impression that the eagles are in danger and that their time might be running out? Your thoughts?


Blogger birdchick said...

That is misleading! The longer the bald eagle stays on the Federal Endangered Species List the bigger tool it becomes for those who don't want it in place to say, "See, the Endangered Species Act doesn't work. We should just get rid of it."

Just because the bald eagle is taken off the federal list, doesn't mean that each individual state can't put it on their own endangered species list. There is not need for the eagle to be on the endangered species list in places like Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin--there are plenty.

Free the bald eagle of the endangered species list now!

July 27, 2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger John said...

I found that promotion strange as well. Bald eagles are in pretty solid shape at the moment. I can understand the push to use charismatic species for recruitment promotions, but the latest mailing went too far. If they wanted to push species whose time is running out, there are plenty of other worthy choices like red knots and cerulean warblers.

July 27, 2006 9:03 PM  
Blogger janet said...

Yes, strange. Delisting the bald eagle would provide proof that the Endangered Species Act works! This would be a good thing!

National Audubon came out with a list of the 10 most endangered bird species in North America in March. They were:
Ivory-billed Woodpecker
California Condor
Whooping Crane
Gunnison Sage-Grouse
Kirtland’s Warbler
Piping Plover
Florida Scrub-Jay
Ashy Storm-Petrel
Golden-cheeked Warbler
Kittlitz’s Murrelet

The problem is that, with the possible exception of the Whooping Crane and the California Condor, those species are not charismatic and not instantly recognizable by the general public so they don't make an attention grabbing "poster child" species.

John, I agree that it would just as worthy (if not more so) to use the campaign to get the red knot ON the endangered species list.

July 28, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for your comments. Glad I'm not the only one who disagreed with the slant.

July 28, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger birdchick said...

Hey, who says a gunnison sage grouse can't be charismatic?

You know, they need to take these birds out for programs like they do the eagle and peregrine. Okay, okay so a whooping crane is a little dangerous to have on the fist--but a scrub jay--c'mon that would be a great program bird!

July 28, 2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yeah, I thought the scrub-jay and Golden-cheeked Warbler are vivid enough to make good poster birds for promotional materials.

July 28, 2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

I have a picture up if anyone hasn't seen the mailing.

July 28, 2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Being charismatic and instantly recognizable by the general public sells. The bald eagle is the John Wayne of birds. Joe Citizen's unfamiliar with bird species, however he knows eagles. It's a good seller, but it is misleading.

July 28, 2006 7:32 PM  

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