[audubon-news] Audubon At Home Website Launched

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 15:05:49 -0500

Contact: John Bianchi


Program to Create Healthy Habitats Ties into Great Backyard Bird Count

Ivyland, Pennsylvania, Thursday, February 5, 2004 - You know where you live, 
but do you know your "ecological address?"  Audubon At Home, a new program made 
possible in part by the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources 
Conservation Service (NRCS), is bringing conservation home through an exciting, 
interactive website designed to give guests useful information on making their 
backyards more bird-friendly, and their homes healthier and safer for their 
families.   It accomplishes this by helping users identify the natural 
characteristics of their property and its role in local ecology.

As the centerpiece of this year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 
www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ <http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/>, Audubon is 
stressing the value of backyard habitat and asks participants to make their 
yards not only bird-friendly, but also bird-safe.  The new Audubon At Home 
website, <http://www.audubon.org/bird/at_home/index.html>, contains a treasure 
trove of information that gives users the tools they need to create backyards 
that will attract birds and safeguard them as well.

"Each yard, no matter the size, has the potential to help birds," said Sally 
Conyne, Director of the GBBC.  "By providing just a few neccessities, your home 
landscape will attract birds, beneficial insects, and other wildlife.  You'll 
be rewarded with a low-maintenance yard bustling with the variety of colors and 
textures you would find in far wilder places."

Historically, conservation efforts have focused on open space and wilderness 
tracts.  Fragmented by development and industry, natural lands, especially 
those near metropolitan areas, are dwindling even as you read the words on this 
page.   In the United States suburban sprawl increases by more than 2 million 
acres every year.

Audubon At Home is an innovative program designed to mitigate some of the 
problems created in suburban areas.  Birds and other wildlife don't recognize 
property lines and travel into yards where food and shelter are provided.  What 
individuals do in their own yards can make a difference in the lives of birds; 
the healthier American yards are, the better for the health of the environment.

The GBBC, conducted by Audubon and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in 
cooperation with Bird Studies Canada - and sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited 
and the NRCS - takes place February 13-16.  People throughout the Americas are 
being asked to count birds in their backyards or local parks so that Audubon 
and partners can assess the health of wild bird populations and the value of 
backyards as bird habitat.  By helping with the seventh annual count, 
participants can help protect our great natural heritage.

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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