For your information - john b -----Original Message----- From: CECIL, John [mailto:jcecil@xxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2002 10:29 AM To: BIRD-CONSERVATION-NEWS@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Audubon Bird Conservation News - Summer 2002 AUDUBON BIRD CONSERVATION NEWSLETTER The Audubon Bird Conservation Newsletter is an electronic periodical that brings you up to date on the accomplishments and work of Audubon's Bird Conservation Program, the progress of the Important Bird Areas Initiative, and issues and events in bird conservation. (To Subscribe please see instructions at the end of this newsletter) Please visit Audubon online at: www.audubon.org Bird Conservation Program Audubon Science Office 545 Almshouse Road Ivyland, PA 18974 **************************************************************************** ********* INDEX TO FEATURES SUMMER 2002 **************************************************************************** ********* **IMPORTANT BIRD AREA UPDATES** *IBA SCORECARD *IBA WEBSITE *IBA DATA MANAGEMENT *STATE PROGRESS 1. CONNECTICUT 2. GEORGIA 3. LOUISIANA 4. MISSISSIPPI 5. NORTH CAROLINA 6. UTAH **IBA SUCCESS STORIES** 1. CONNECTICUT - CATCHING SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS 2. PENNSYLVANIA - COUNTING FOREST BREEDING BIRDS 3. UTAH - PROTECTING WATERBIRD HABITAT **AUDUBON WATCHLIST** 1. FEATURED SPECIES - BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER **BIRD CONSERVATION NEWS AND POLICY UPDATE** 1. BRAZILIAN MANAKIN REDISCOVERED 2. AUDUBON AT HOME AND WILDLIFE HABITAT MANGEMENT INSTITUTE PARTNERSHIP 3. A GOOD YEAR FOR THE STORKS 4. UPDATE - SEARCH FOR THE IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER 5. ACT NOW - TELL THE EPA NOT TO ALLOW USE OF BIRD-KILLING PESTICIDE! 6. NABCI-US WEB SITE LAUNCHED 7. URBAN BIRD CONSERVATION TREATY **UPCOMING EVENTS & MEETINGS** **SUBSCRIPTION INSTRUCTIONS** ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ****************************************** **IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS UPDATE** ****************************************** The Important Bird Area (IBA) program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations. Birdlife International (www.birdlife.net) began the IBA program in Europe in 1985. Since that time, Birdlife partners in more than 100 countries have joined together to build the global IBA network. Audubon (BirdLife Partner for the U.S.) has been working since 1995 to identify and conserve hundreds of IBAs all across the United States. Important Bird Areas often support a significant proportion of one or more species total population. Through the IBA program, we're setting science-based conservation priorities and engaging local action to safeguard the most essential sites for America's bird populations. We work with local communities and stakeholder groups, scientists, local, state and federal governments, and non-governmental organizations. By cooperating on essential habitat conservation, we're building a healthier world for birds and all biodiversity-including our own species. *IBA SCORECARD - 45 State Programs Underway - 38 States With Paid Staff - 7 States With Volunteer Staff - 9 States With Documented Inventories - CA, FL, ID, MD, NY, NC, OH, PA, WA - 1500 IBAs Identified (State Level) - 36 Million Acres Encompassed in Identified IBAs - >6000 Participants Involved *IBA WEBSITE Changes and updates continue to be made to the Important Bird Areas web site. New state summaries as well as updated summaries are coming soon. Visit us online at: www.audubon.org/bird/iba *IBA DATA MANAGEMENT In April, Audubon's national IBA office distributed the World Bird Database (WBDB) to all state programs. The WBDB, developed by BirdLife International, is a tool for managing data relating to globally threatened species and IBAs. Audubon will be using the database to manage information for all sites identified as IBAs in the U.S. The WBDB allows for information about each IBA to be centralized at the state IBA office, Audubon's national IBA office, and BirdLife's global office in Cambridge England. Examples of the types of data collected for each site include geographic location, bird species occurrence and population size, threats to the site, land use, and habitat type. Bringing together IBA data at the state, national, and global level will allow sites to be prioritized for a variety of voluntary activities including: bird population monitoring, habitat management, conservation easements, property acquisition, advocacy, and education. *STATE PROGRESS 1. CONNECTICUT In Greenwich, the Great Captain's Island Heron and Egret Rookery Project (a Connecticut Important Bird Area and home of the largest wading bird colony in the state) began the third and final year of fieldwork. The research is being funded by the Geoffrey Hughes Foundation, the Fairfield County Community Foundation, The Town of Greenwich Conservation Commission, and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation's Sounds Conservancy Program. Overall the project should allow for a greater understanding of the biology of the wading bird colony. In particular foraging behavior, productivity, disturbance factors, and predator threats to the colony should become better understood. Management recommendations will be given to the Town of Greenwich at the conclusion of the study. In the Town of Westbrook, Audubon Connecticut's Important Bird Areas Program is providing information which the town is using to establish a protected greenway. When completed the greenway will connect Salt Meadow Unit of Stewart B. McKinney NWR IBA to an existing undeveloped corridor to the north that includes Cockaponset State Forest. Protection of these lands will help to ensure migratory flyways between nesting areas to the north and this important fall landbird stopover area. Other projects in the planning stages at Audubon Connecticut include an informational kiosk at the Audubon Bent of the River Center, a wildlife observation blind at the Hartford Audubon Society's Station 43 Sanctuary and an education-related project at Cove Island Park in Stamford. All of these projects are supported by funds from General Electric's Elfun Society. Audubon Connecticut is one of three states receiving funds from General Electric for projects at IBAs. To provide assistance to Audubon Connecticut's IBA program, two interns have been brought on for the summer. An Important Bird Areas Program intern from the University of Connecticut was hired to develop information sheets on IBA sites and enter information into the World Bird Database. This position was funded by People's Bank and will help advance Audubon's IBA program from site nomination through the public announcement process. A second volunteer intern is working on converting IBA boundary information from our current system into ArcView. This will ultimately allow for better information sharing with other conservation organizations and government agencies. In addition it will allow for better organization of ornithological data and future habitat analysis efforts. For more information on Audubon Connecticut's IBA Program contact Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation, (203) 264-5098 or pcomins@xxxxxxxxxxx 2. GEORGIA The Important Bird Area Program in Georgia web site has recently been updated with a new list of identified sites. In addition you can also check the status of sites by reviewing the list of those nominated and see the distribution of Georgia's IBAs by evaluating a state IBA map. To learn more about Georgia's IBA program and how you can get involved visit: http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/pages/conservation.htm <http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/pages/conservation.htm> 3. LOUISIANA Orleans Audubon and Baton Rouge Audubon are working together to initiate the IBA Program in Louisiana. An informational meeting was held in late April to kickoff the program. In addition a website has been developed to promote the program and disseminate information. The site contains information about potential IBAs and materials for nominating sites. To learn more about the status of Louisiana's IBA program visit them on the web at www.jjaudubon.net or contact Michael Crago (mcrago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) or Dan Hendricks (dhendricks@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) for additional information. 4. MISSISSIPPI Audubon Mississippi has formally identified 29 Important Bird Areas with an additional 10 nominated sites to be identified soon. These 39 sites encompass more than 400,000 acres of important bird habitat in the state. With an expectation of identifying a total of 50 to 60 sites by years end, Audubon Mississippi and their conservation partners continue to accept nominations through an interactive, web based, nomination form. By visiting the following link you can learn more about Mississippi's IBA program and contribute to the process by nominating a site. To nominate a site see: www.lmvjv.org/audubon . For an overview visit: http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/ms.html <http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/ms.html> . 5. NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina's Mecklenburg County Division of Natural Resources has received an award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for their efforts to nominate and promote Mountain Island Lake as an Important Bird Area. This prestigious award was given in recognition of an innovative program that contributes to and enhances county government in the United States. More specifically, the award recognizes the county's effort for coordinating the compilation of existing bird research data through a partnership with three county governments and seven other organizations, for preparing the IBA application for consideration by Audubon North Carolina, and for developing and implementing a series of long term and comprehensive bird monitoring projects (e.g., point counts, winter waterfowl surveys, nest box monitoring). Mecklenburg County Division of Natural Resources recognizes that Audubon North Carolina and North Carolina Partners In Flight share in this award as all of the collaborative efforts serve the primary goal of promoting bird and habitat conservation. To learn more about the Important Bird Areas program and bird conservation in North Carolina visit Audubon North Carolina http://www.ncaudubon.org/ <http://www.ncaudubon.org/> and North Carolina Partners In Flight http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mbrooks/pif/ <http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mbrooks/pif/> . 6. UTAH Audubon Utah is please to announce the launch of the Utah Important Bird Areas website. The site contains general information about the program, criteria for the identification of IBAs in Utah and materials to nominate a site. To learn more go to http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/utah/ <http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/utah/> or contact Wayne Martinson (wmartinson@xxxxxxxxxxx). ************************** **IBA SUCCESS STORIES** ************************** 1. CONNECTICUT - CATCHING SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS As reported on in the Winter 2002 Issue of the Bird Conservation Newsletter, Audubon Connecticut and the University of Connecticut received funding for a jointly sponsored research project entitled "Saltmarsh-Breeding Sparrows in Long Island Sound: Status and Productivity of Globally Important Populations." Support is provided by funds from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency's Long Island Sound Study Program. Overall, the project will provide critical information about globally significant populations of WatchListed Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows as well as locally important populations of WatchListed Seaside Sparrows at three Connecticut locations including Audubon's Guilford Salt Meadow Sanctuary. Preliminary results are looking good, primarily for Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows. The Principle Investigator, Chris Elphick, reports that bird banders are having much success capturing Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows. In one morning of banding at the East River Marsh in Guilford they were able to band 27 birds, on two one-hectare plots, of them there were only three recaptures. These densities do not hold up for the entire 300 hectare marsh, but they are indicative of extremely high densities for the prime areas of the marsh. During the first two weeks of the study 180 birds have been banded on 15 one-hectare plots, the bulk of them being Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows. Eventually researchers will be crunching the numbers to estimate overall density and abundance, but the early success is encouraging. For more information visit http://www.menunkatuck.org/pages/smbirds.html <http://www.menunkatuck.org/pages/smbirds.html> and look for updates in future issues of the Bird Conservation Newsletter. 2. PENNSYLVANIA - COUNTING FOREST BREEDING BIRDS Audubon Pennsylvania is mobilizing birders throughout the state to conduct monitoring of forest bird populations on Pennsylvania's Important Bird Areas (IBAs). During the first week in June, Audubon PA organized point counts and Special Area Project (SAP) surveys on the St. Anthony's Wilderness IBA northeast of Harrisburg. Sixteen volunteers conducted counts at 50 points. In addition, eight SAP surveys were completed. A good mix of forest birds were tallied, including Hooded Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatchers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Broad-winged Hawk, as well as the following Audubon WatchListed species: Golden-winged Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler. Thanks to the hard work from members of both the Appalachian ( http://www.appaudubon.org/ <http://www.appaudubon.org/> ) and Quittapahila ( http://www.geocities.com/qasaudubon/ <http://www.geocities.com/qasaudubon/> ) Audubon Societies, the weekend event was a huge success! The point counts will be replicated two more times this season and both Audubon chapters will continue to conduct inventories and expand the monitoring efforts. The primary purpose of this work is to establish a baseline for measuring long term trends in breeding populations of forest birds (to supplement what is already being gathered by the government-sponsored Breeding Bird Surveys along roadsides), and to encourage citizen science and stewardship of each IBA. In total there are now 675 points established in 15 IBAs across the state, and Audubon PA is looking forward to working with volunteers throughout the state to continue monitoring the breeding bird populations in "Penn's Woods" for decades to come. Thanks to all of the volunteers for their hard work and tremendous support. Particular thanks to members of both the Appalachian & Quittapahila Audubon Societies for their work at the St. Anthony's Wilderness IBA, the weekend event was a total success. Similar volunteer monitoring efforts have occurred at the Pine Creek Gorge IBA and the Southern Sproul State Forest IBA. If you have an interest in participating in Audubon Pennsylvania's IBA monitoring activities or would like to learn more visit http://pa.audubon.org/ <http://pa.audubon.org/> 3. UTAH - PROTECTING WATERBIRD HABITAT Thanks to the support of BioResources, Inc., Bridgerland Audubon Society (a key partner in the UT IBA program) has acquired 80 acres of mud, sluggish water and saline soils formally known as the Amalga Barrens. The area was formerly slated for dam development but in its current form provides important habitat for a variety of waterbird species. The site is likely to be identified as a Utah Important Bird Area. In particular this area is part of an almost 18 square mile complex of fields, salt playa and shallow emergent wetlands. There is open water along the Clay Slough, some deep enough that during spring migration thousands of dabbling ducks, such as Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, and Gadwalls, use the site. Other open water areas are shallow and attract Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, and Willets. There are broad expanses of mud flats, which harbor a variety of invertebrates and therefore provide for a healthy shorebird diet. Some species use the Barrens as a staging area in spring prior to reaching their more northern breeding grounds, and again in the fall to fuel up for the migration south. On the edges of the mud flats are fields of wild and cultivated grasses, which provide hunting grounds for many birds of prey including: Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks, and even Peregrine Falcons. Bridgerland Audubon is now focused on identifying the boundaries of the sites, developing maps and conducting soil, plant, and animal surveys. To learn more about this exciting project and to find out how you can get involved visit: http://www.bridgerlandaudubon.org/ <http://www.bridgerlandaudubon.org/> *************************** **AUDUBON WATCHLIST** *************************** The WATCHLIST identifies North American bird species that need our help. WatchList species are those faced with population decline, limited geographic range, and/or threats such as habitat loss on their breeding and wintering grounds. A centerpiece of conservation at Audubon, the WatchList is an early warning system that focuses attention on at-risk bird species before they become endangered. The WatchList is compiled by Partners in Flight ( http://www.partnersinflight.org/ <http://www.partnersinflight.org/> ), a coalition of state, federal, and private sector conservationists working together to protect the birds of the western hemisphere. Partners in Flight updates the WatchList yearly to reflect the most current research and data. Saving species pushed to the edge of extinction is difficult, costly and politically charged. The WatchList shifts the agenda from reactive, last-minute rescue attempts to preventive action. Harnessing the synergy that results when individuals and groups work collaboratively for birds and their habitats, the WatchList message is clear -- together, we can keep common birds common. 1. FEATURED SPECIES - BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER Buff-breasted Sandpipers ( http://www.audubon.org/bird/watch/buf/buf.html <http://www.audubon.org/bird/watch/buf/buf.html> ) winter along the Atlantic coast of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay from mid-September through early February. In the spring, they fly through central South America, across the Gulf of Mexico, and travel through the central flyway as they make their way to their breeding grounds. While migrating, Buff-breasted Sandpipers rest and feed in short-grass prairies, such as those found in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Nebraska. They also frequent cemeteries, intensively grazed pastures, sod fields, airport runways, golf courses, and newly planted fields. Their breeding destination is the Alaskan and Canadian coast of the Beaufort Sea, islands in the Canadian arctic, and northeastern Russia. Buff-breasted Sandpipers are listed as a WatchList species due to a variety of reasons. Based on historic and current information, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper has declined from hundreds of thousands of individuals to as few as 15,000 to 20,000. In the 1920's commercial hunting brought the species to near extinction. As a result, they now have a highly restricted range with large segments of the population localized at vulnerable spots. With this restricted range comes a variety of human induced threats including general disturbance by people, construction of roads and the availability of garbage have caused increases in predators such as Common Ravens and foxes, and overall loss of habitat on the wintering grounds due to expansion of agriculture cattle ranching in Argentina and overgrazing in Bolivia. In an attempt to further understand this increasingly rare species researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are recruiting birders, students, and teachers to help look for and report the number and location of Buff-breasted Sandpipers. This study will help document the migration patterns and identify areas and habitats important to the species. This information will be used to evaluate where conservation actions are most needed. To facilitate this project, a new easy and quick on-line reporting system has been developed by the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Shorebird Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Shorebird Sister Schools Program as a way to allow citizens to contribute to important on-going research. For more details on this project, to get involved, and to report you sightings of Buff-breasted Sandpipers visit http://sssp.fws.gov <http://sssp.fws.gov> and click on 2002 Spring Tracking Projects or contact Hilary Chapman (sssp@xxxxxxx). **************************************************** **BIRD CONSERVATION NEWS AND POLICY UPDATE** **************************************************** 1. BRAZILIAN MANKAKIN REDISCOVERED A Golden-crowned Manakin was recently re-discovered by bird researchers, forty-five years after it was last seen and first discovered. However, the finders fear that its survival could be threatened by continued destruction of the rainforest for timber extraction, creation of pasture, and road development. Found again in the Pará region of Brazil, the bird is considered to be one of the most enigmatic species of South American bird-life. First discovered by ornithologist Helmut Sick in 1957, and officially recognized as a species in 1959, several unsuccessful attempts had been made to find the bird again. The manakin was found while making surveys along the Cuiabá-Santarém Road which is planned to be paved as part of the Avança Brasil Development Program to ease transport access for the logging industry. This area is located between the Tapajós and Xingu rivers. There are no protected areas for habitat conservation in this region of Brazil. Existing National Forests and Indian Reserves do not guarantee the integrity of the ecosystem, as timber exploitation along with other potentially destructive activities are allowed. To learn more about the Golden-crowned Manakin visit http://www.birdlife.net/news/Newsitem_display.cfm?NewRecID=556 <http://www.birdlife.net/news/Newsitem_display.cfm?NewRecID=556&NewType=N> &NewType=N 2. AUDUBON AT HOME AND WILDLIFE HABITAT MANGEMENT INSTITUTE PARTNERSHIP The Wildlife Habitat Management Institute (WHMI) has formed a partnership with the Audubon At Home program to work in collaboration to raise awareness about the need -- and opportunity -- to enhance habitat for birds and other wildlife on their properties. Through this partnership, Audubon At Home and WHMI will work together to reach out with new tools and information that people need to protect, enhance and restore habitat for birds and other wildlife on urban, suburban, and rural lands. An underlying goal is to broaden the conservation support system across the country. The mission of the WHMI is to develop and disseminate scientifically based technical materials that will assist Natural Resources Conservation Service field staff in working with their customers and others to promote conservation stewardship of fish and wildlife and deliver sound habitat management principles and practices to America's land users. More information will be available at the Audubon At Home website in the weeks and months ahead: http://audubon.org/bird/at_home/index.html <http://audubon.org/bird/at_home/index.html> , or visit WHMI website at: http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/whmi/ <http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/whmi/> 3. A GOOD YEAR FOR STORKS One of nature's most awe-inspiring events is now unfolding at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's Lettuce Lake, a popular wildlife viewing area off the Sanctuary's boardwalk. Majestic Wood Storks, large adults alongside just-fledged chicks, are feeding at Lettuce Lake, along with Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets and a dozen gators. The Wood Storks, who favor Corkscrew as a nesting site, rarely make an appearance for visitors near the Sanctuary's boardwalk. The presence and reproductive success of these birds is a meaningful sight since they are an endangered species and their nesting habits are an indicator of the health of the environment. Plus, Corkscrew is known for hosting Wood Stork nests in its 11,000 acres in years past, but rarely within view of visitors on Corkscrew's boardwalk. The 2001-2002 season has been Corkscrew's best year for Wood Stork chick productivity since 1976, with 3,162 chicks produced from 1,240 nests. The wading birds and gators are lured to Lettuce Lake by a concentration of fish and other food sources caused by lower water levels in the Swamp. Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located near Naples, in southwest Florida. To learn more about the birds, the sanctuary, and how to visit go to: http://www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/corkscrew/ <http://www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/corkscrew/> . 4. UPDATE - SEARCH FOR THE IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER: Ornithologists, bird watchers, and conservationists have been holding out hope that the last element in the recent search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker would shed some light, or rather sound, on the question of the species existence in a southern Louisiana swamp. Well the results are in and analysis of more than 4000 hours of digital data, captured by 12 acoustic recording units, have shown no indication of the woodpeckers presence. From late January through mid-March, the acoustic units recorded sounds, natural and otherwise, from 12 different positions throughout the forests of the Pearl River drainage. At one point during the exploration, two different research teams independently heard loud double raps that sounded suspiciously like the distinctive display drum of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Sadly, analysis of the data proved that the sounds were distant gun shots, with reverberations that sounded to human ears like drumming on a hollow snag. Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were known to be highly mobile, sometimes moving great distances as their principal resources (large, recently-dead trees) became available or aged beyond use. The bottomland hardwood forests of the lower Pearl River are extensive, and they are in better condition to support large woodpecker populations today than they have been for 100 or more years. "We do not view it as impossible that one to several pairs of Ivory-bills could be using portions of the Pearl River forests that were outside the geographic scope of our search," says John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a leader of the expedition. As a result of the expeditions, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers are working with others to draft recommendations on how best to manage the habitat for continued regeneration toward old-growth conditions. "Today's generation of Louisianans will never see bottomland forests of the stature that were occupied by Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. Nor will their children, nor their grandchildren," says Fitzpatrick. "Conditions in the Pearl River are steadily improving but they have a long way to go before they reach the age-classes and volumes of standing dead wood that were present when the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was active. And, these forests are still at our mercy. We need to treat them as such." For more information about the expedition, visit www.birds.cornell.edu or www.zeiss.com. 5. ACT NOW - TELL THE EPA NOT TO ALLOW USE OF BIRD-KILLING PESTICIDE! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted an emergency request by Louisiana rice growers to combat rice weevils. If granted, this request will allow for the use of 1,500 pounds of granular carbofuran - one of the world's most potent bird-killing pesticides-on 10,000 acres of rice fields. An additional 4,500 pounds of the deadly pesticide may be produced to meet the rice growers' demands. The EPA is soliciting public comment for five days from 27 June to 2 July. Laboratory data verify that carbofuran is among the most highly toxic pesticides to birds. One granule can kill a songbird, and more than fifty species, including Bald and Golden Eagle, Eastern Bluebird, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Pintail, and Blue-winged Teal, have been documented as having died from carbofuran poisoning. Prior to cancellation of the granular formulation, the EPA estimated that up to two million birds were killed each year by carbofuran. No other substance listed under the EPA 's Ecological Incident Investigation System has killed more birds. In October 1999, for example, nearly 27,000 migratory birds, including red-winged blackbirds and horned larks, were killed on a 13-acre plot when a farmer illegally applied carbofuran to wheat seed and spread it between rows of wheat crop intentionally as bait for the birds. Scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have stated that "there are no known conditions under which carbofuran can be used without killing migratory birds. Many of these die-off incidents followed applications of carbofuran that were made with extraordinary care." In southwest Louisiana, where the rice farmers want to apply the poison, hundreds of species of birds could be at risk, including the threatened Bald Eagle. The proposed carbofuran poisoning could have a particularly devastating impact on bird species that are often found in large numbers in rice fields, such as wading birds and neotropical migrant shorebirds. A single exposure to the deadly pesticide of a large group of Buff-breasted Sandpipers or Short-billed Dowitchers, for example, could wipe out a globally significant number of their remaining populations. Both species are listed on Audubon's WatchList and would be migrating through southwest Louisiana at the time the pesticides are to be applied. Four pesticides are registered for use against the rice water weevil that are not nearly the potent bird-killer that carbofuran has proven to be. According to Louisiana State University, these pesticides work as well or better than carbofuran and for equal or lesser cost. Please send a message, by clicking on the following link, to the EPA immediately and urge them to deny any further use of carbofuran http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?subject=56 <http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?subject=56> 6. NABCI-US WEB SITE LAUNCHED The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) in the U.S. has launched a new website http://www.nabci-us.org/ <http://www.nabci-us.org/> . Visit the site to learn more about NABCI efforts in the U.S., the various bird conservation plans and how you can get involved. 7. URBAN BIRD CONSERVATION TREATY One of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's newest and most exciting programs, the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds, is a grant and outreach program designed to address a sometimes overlooked area of bird conservation -- the need to work with cities to preserve habitat and educate citizens about birds in an urban environment. Currently, New Orleans, Louisiana and Chicago, Illinois are signed on. Future participating cities include, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Anchorage, Alaska, and Houston Texas. Audubon chapters including the Orleans Audubon Society, Audubon Chicago, Anchorage Audubon Society, and Houston Audubon Society have been key participants in their respective cities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be accepting grant application for additional cities until October 15, 2002. To learn more or to obtain an application visit http://birds.fws.gov/urbantreaty.html <http://birds.fws.gov/urbantreaty.html> . *****UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS***** * INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT will take place on August 8-24, 2002, and will be hosted by the University of Montana in collaboration with Colorado State University and the University of Idaho. Participants will discuss and see examples of innovative approaches to critical protected area management issues, including resource assessment and planning tools, techniques to address visitor interests and impacts, and mechanisms to reconcile resource protection with development pressures. For further information contact: Dr. James A. Burchfield, Tel: (406) 243-6650, Email: jburch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; or visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/global/is/ispam/welcome.htm <http://www.fs.fed.us/global/is/ispam/welcome.htm> . *SHARON AUDUBON FESTIVAL, 10-11 August, at the Sharon Audubon Sanctuary in Sharon, Connecticut. This is the 35th festival presented by Audubon Sharon and will include activities to fit all age groups and skill levels. See live animals, participate in a bird, wildflower, fern or tree walk (just to name a few), see one of the featured performers, or simply browse the exhibits. The Sharon Audubon Festival strives to increase people's awareness of nature. Programs for children expand upon the child's natural sense of discovery, programs for adults rekindle that sense that may have been temporarily lost, and programs for families enable parents and children to make the connection together. Admission to the Festival is only $6 for adults and $4 for children. For more information contact Scott Heth (860) 364-0520/sheth@xxxxxxxxxxx, or visit: www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/sharon *THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED RESTORATION CONFERENCE will be held 24-26 September 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference will address efforts to protect and restore wetland and riparian habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region. For more information regarding registration and the call for papers contact Chesapeake Bay Watershed Conference, c/o Hannah Kirchner, P.O. Box 144, Paoli, IN 47454, (812-723-0088), hannahk@xxxxxxxx, www.potomac.org *CELEBRATE THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES from 17-21 September at the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky Montana. The meeting site is in the Madison Range of the Rocky Mountains overlooking the breathtaking Gallatin River Canyon. Join visiting dignitaries on Sep 17th to celebrate a century of North American wildlife conservation. Then from September 18-21 help set the stage for the next hundred years of wildlife conservation at the 2002 convention meetings. For more details visit http://www.iafwa.org/ <http://www.iafwa.org/> *THE 3rd NORTH AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGICAL CONFERENCE: BIRDS ON THE BAYOU: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF AUDUBON, 24-30 September 2002, will be held at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. The main venue will be the Intercontinental Hotel, located just 3 blocks from the famous French Quarter. Societies involved will include: the American Ornithologists' Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Raptor Research Foundation, and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists | Société des Ornithologistes du Canada. The Conference will consist of symposia, workshops and roundtables, contributed oral presentations, and poster sessions. To learn more visit http://www.tulane.edu/~naoc-02/ <http://www.tulane.edu/~naoc-02/> . *THE 29th ANNUAL NATURAL AREAS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE, 30 September - 5 October, Asheville, North Carolina. The conference will be comprised of a variety of symposia including: Adaptive Ecosystem Management; Aquatic Conservation Initiatives; Invasive Species Management; Building Local Capacity for Long-term Stewardship; Placing a Value on Nature; and Site Conservation Planning to name a few. For more details visit http://www.naturalarea.org/ <http://www.naturalarea.org/> *ORGANIZATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE INFORMATION MANAGERS FIRST NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE DATA SUMMIT, will take place from 1-5 November 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Summit will provide a valuable forum for fish and wildlife biologists and data managers from across the nation. Participants will work together in breakout sessions to determine the most pressing data management issues facing fish and wildlife managers. They will assess their agencies' data management capabilities and how the community can improve its ability to process the information flowing through their agencies.. The Summit Proceedings will become a roadmap for state, federal, and other conservation organizations to improve their data management potential. For more information and to register visit http://www.ofwim.org/ofwim2002.html <http://www.ofwim.org/ofwim2002.html> . AUDUBON BIRD CONSERVATION NEWSLETTER The Audubon Bird Conservation Newsletter is an electronic periodical that brings you up to date on the accomplishments and work of Audubon's Bird Conservation Program, the progress of the Important Bird Areas Initiative, and issues and events in bird conservation. *TO SUBSCRIBE to Audubon's Bird Conservation newsletter send an e-mail to LISTSERV@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the following text in the body of your e-mail: SUBSCRIBE Bird-Conservation-News Please visit Audubon online at: www.audubon.org National Audubon Society Bird Conservation Program Audubon Science Office 545 Almshouse Road, Ivyland, Pa 18974, PH: 215-355-9588 FX: 215-355-2353 copyright 2000, 2001, 2002 by National Audubon Society, Inc. All rights reserved.