This time of year, there are lots of cliches out about helping and giving and remembering those in need. I hope to avoid that while still reminding your that there are ways we can help save some birds from extinction. Even if we aren’t on the front lines, fighting to save important habitat lands and nesting sites, even if we aren’t conducting artificial insemination on endangered birds in captive breeding, there are many things we can do.
One of the easiest things to do is do your holiday shopping at the best of the conservation sites. Who on your list couldn’t use a calendar from National Wildlife Federation? For a donation, you can adopt an actual wild animal in their name and get a card and various other cute things to go with it. https://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Wildlife/Endangered-Species.aspx
Some of the other ways are not as fun and easy, but equally important. Somewhere near you there is bound to be a wildlife refuge or preserve. Volunteer to help there, even clean up after visitors or help build any project they need done. Pulling weeds is good exercise, gets you out in the wonderful fresh air, and can help a native plant take root in place of the weeds.
The above link has a list of great things to do, and I totally agree with the Support a Zoo, Aquarium, and even Sea World. No one is perfect, but these places have done a lot of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and release. Does anyone remember Gigi the Grey Whale? And what would we know about penguins without the Encounter at Sea World? http://forums.whale-web.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=57040&Main=53815 (True, Gigi was removed forcibly from the wild, but what we learned from her in the year she stayed in San Diego may help other young whales who need our help.)
And of course, be a law-abiding citizen of the world. Don’t buy ivory. Don’t buy parrots unless you know they were bred in captivity by a respectable breeder. Don’t buy products from the jungle unless you see the FSC label. That guarantees the lumber was harvested in legal operations, no harmful pesticides were used, and not only are tigers helped in this way, so many birds live in the jungle too.
While you are buying calendars and such for those on your list, pick one up for yourself, and mark February 12 – 15 2016 for the Great Backyard Bird Count. This impressive movement is actual citizens tracking numbers of various kinds of birds, and reporting to Cornell and the National Audubon Society. This input is important and valuable, and really worth your time watching nature. It’s a great way to help save local birds. http://gbbc.birdcount.org/
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.