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Calling All Conservation Milestones!

If you didn’t see the Conservation Milestones in the May 2015 Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community, take a moment to read them here. Dare you not to be inspired!

And now, we’re doing it again! If you know someone who has gone out of their way to help bird conservation, please tell us about it.

This is a twist on the familiar listing “milestones” feature that appears regularly in Birding. The idea behind Conservation Milestones is to highlight people who tackle projects that build a better future for birds—backyard birdscaping, education efforts, monitoring projects, self-directed research, local land conservation, grassroots campaigns, bird-themed events… No project is too small!

For instance, when Dr. Henry Ingersoll and his siblings inherited a 320-acre farm on the east side of Chesapeake Bay in 2007, they decided to re-establish a seasonal wetland that had formerly been drained on the property. Wetlands have been under siege with recent agricultural practices in that area, and marshland bird species have declined as a result. In cooperation with an organization called Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, Dr. Ingersoll designed a plan to re-create the wetland by building a berm and to bring back meadows with native vegetation. This was a success; the wetland emerged as a 20-acre seasonal pond and soon attracted 14 species of waterfowl and shorebirds. To study the birds using this new habitat, Dr. Wayne Bell from the nearby Washington College Center for Environment and Society, along with two undergraduate students, conducted bird surveys. In 2015, they found a 46% increase in avian abundance and a 10% increase in avian diversity at the site. More than 130 species have been documented on the property, including a rare Connecticut Warbler in September 2015.

Dr. Ingersoll's wetland

Dr. Ingersoll’s wetland

Have a milestone to share? Please send a 250- to 350-word description to Conservation Milestones Editor Noah Strycker at noah.strycker AT gmail.com. Attach several photos to help illustrate the story (high resolution if possible), and include the photographer’s name and caption information. You can nominate someone else, or tell us about your own project! These milestones will be published in the 2016 issue of Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community. The sooner we hear from you, the better. To be included, we must receive your information no later than February 15.

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Noah Strycker

Noah Strycker

Noah Strycker, Associate Editor of Birding magazine, is author of Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica (2011) and The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human (2014). In 2015, Noah completed the ultimate big year, traveling through 41 countries to see 6,042 species of birds between January and December.
Noah Strycker

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