[audubon-news] Audubon Calls on Congress to Control Invasive Species Hot Spots

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipients:;
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 16:11:44 -0400

Contact: Perry Plumart
202-861-2242
<mailto:pplumart@xxxxxxxxxxx>
<http://www.stopinvasives.org> 

INVASIVE SPECIES A MAJOR THREAT TO AMERICA'S DECLINING BIRDS

Audubon Society Calls on Congress to Control Invasive Species "Hot Spots"

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - Today, the National Audubon Society 
launched a major effort to control and contain invasive species, emphasizing 
that invasive species are the world's leading cause of bird extinctions and a 
major threat to America's declining bird populations.  Like the proverbial 
canary in the coalmine, birds are primary indicators of environmental health.  

"Invasive species are like a buzz-saw cutting through some of America's most 
valuable bird and wildlife habitat," said Bob Perciasepe, Audubon's Senior Vice 
President for Public Policy. "If invasive species are not controlled, they will 
continue to wreak havoc on America's already declining birds and the natural 
places they inhabit."

A new report released today by Audubon, "Cooling the Hot Spots," recommends 
immediate investments to protect ten critical areas from invasive species.  The 
ten Hot Spots highlighted by Audubon are: Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge 
in Florida, Willapa Refuge in Washington, Wertheim Refuge in New York, Aransas 
Refuge in Texas, San Luis Refuge in California, Browns Park Refuge in Colorado, 
Waubay Refuge in South Dakota, Bosque del Apache Refuge in New Mexico, 
Blackwater Refuge in Maryland, and Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuge in 
Mississippi.  

"We need to target federal efforts in the most critical areas, where progress 
can be made toward meaningful conservation results," said Perciasepe.  "That is 
why we identified these ten invasive species Hot Spots: it is a science-based 
road map toward meaningful protection of America's birds, wildlife, and 
habitat, on the ground where it counts." 

Invasives like the northern snakehead fish, kudzu, and saltcedar have infested 
more than 100 million acres of the American landscape and continue to spread 
across 3 million additional acres yearly - the equivalent of a strip of land 
two miles wide stretching coast to coast.  Migratory shorebirds like the 
Short-billed Dowitcher, grassland-dependent birds like the Short-eared Owl, and 
wetland species like Black Rail, are all experiencing population declines while 
much of their remaining habitat is lost to invasive species.

For more information visit Audubon's invasive species website: 
www.stopinvasives.org <http://www.stopinvasives.org>.

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat 
that supports them.  Our national network of community-based nature centers and 
chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas 
sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages 
and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.

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