Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roundup: "The State of the Birds -- The 2009 Report"

On Thurs., March 19, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released "The State of the Birds -- The 2009 Report," the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the nation's bird populations. The report used data and expertise from North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee; American Bird Conservancy; Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Klamath Bird Observatory; National Audubon Society; The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and U.S. Geological Survey.

From the report's homepage:
Birds are a priceless part of America’s heritage. They are beautiful, they are economically important—and they reflect the health of our environment. This State of the Birds report reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems.

At the same time, we see heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.
You can watch Secretary Salazar's comments in this 4:20 video.

Birders were not the only ones who noticed the report's release and data. Mainstream media covered "The State of the Birds," too -- a welcome observation.

Granted, many appear to have used a newswire article, but they still devoted space to the report (and I like noting how they did or didn't add photos, audio, video or a link to the report). Does that coverage signal an increased interest in wildlife conservation among the general public?

"Nationally, many bird species fluttering" Baltimore Sun
"US birds in 'widespread decline'" BBC News
"One third of US bird species are in peril" Christian Science Monitor
"Many bird populations in trouble, report says" CNN.com
"Report Warns Many Bird Species Declining In U.S." NPR
"The state of birds in the U.S." San Francisco Chronicle
"One-Third of U.S. Bird Species Endangered, Survey Finds" The New York Times
"Report showing threats to birds spurs call for conservation" Greenwire/The New York Times
"Nearly One-Third of U.S. Bird Species Seen at Risk" The Wall Street Journal
"Major Decline Found In Some Bird Groups" The Washington Post

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Blogger Hugh said...

Hi Amy - we have a roundup of State of the Birds coverage over at Round Robin, including a few sources that aren't on your list. Check it out here: http://birdsredesign.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/brand-new-state-of-the-birds-report/

In all, I was gladdened by the media coverage, particularly a big interactive piece by the Washington Post. The only questionable story was filed by an AP reporter who seemed to be trying a little too hard (and for what reason?) to link bird declines with alternative energy sources. - Hugh

March 24, 2009 2:36 PM  

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