Audubon Ohio News - December 23, 2002 HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT AUDUBON OHIO! CONTENTS 1. Comment Period Opens on Cerulean Warblers 2. Birding Trails & Festivals Project Comes to Successful Completion 3. WINTER ON THE WILDS-an Important Bird Area 4. NAS Educational Farm Symposium, January 30-February 1, 2003 1. Comment Period Opens on Cerulean Warblers The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has opened a comment period to allow the general public to provide information on listing the cerulean warbler as "threatened" on the Endangered Species List. This is a positive step towards getting this songbird the protections it needs to survive! The comment period will close on January 21, 2003. The cerulean warbler - a small woodland songbird known for its bright blue plumage and distinctive song - was once common in eastern forests. But over the last 30 years, the species has declined more than 70%, and 80% in the core of its range! Cerulean warblers range across eastern North America, from the Great Plains, north to Minnesota, east to Massachusetts, and south to Louisiana. It breeds primarily in the Ohio and Mississippi River basins - and spends winter months in the Andes Mountains of South America. Unfortunately, due to habitat destruction in both its breeding and wintering ranges, primarily because of development, logging, roadbuilding and, more recently, mountaintop removal mining, the cerulean warbler has become one of the fastest disappearing birds in the United States! Now the general public has until January 21, 2003 to provide additional information to the USFWS as to why the cerulean warbler should be included as "threatened" on the Endangered Species List. Such listing will provide the species protections under the Endangered Species Act and an earnest effort at recovering the species can begin. If you have information on present or threatened destruction or modification of cerulean warbler habitat, or other information illustrating the need to protect the species, please do not miss this opportunity to share it with the USFWS! Be sure to submit your comment by the January 21 deadline! Comments and any supporting materials should be directed to: Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 608 East Cherry Street, Room 200, Columbia, MO 65201, or FAX: 314-876-1914. For more information on the process, log onto the USFWS website at: http://midwest.fws.gov/Endangered/birds/cerw_find.html 2. Birding Trails & Festivals Project Comes to Successful Completion To assist communities in capitalizing on this trend and deriving economic benefits from conserving their natural areas, Audubon Ohio in January 2000 launched its Birding Trails and Festivals (BT&F) Project. The goal of the project was to promote birding trails and festivals throughout Ohio. Audubon Ohio provided workshops to help communities develop these tourist activities. Workshops were funded with the assistance of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF), and the Cleveland Foundation. The Audubon Ohio BT&F Project accomplished its goals more rapidly than we thought was possible. A number of Ohio birding events are firmly established or well developed, and the birding trails and festival movement is now self-sustaining. We send many thanks to Joe Jennings (BT&F Program Coordinator), whose last day with Audubon Ohio was November 21. Please forward any questions regarding Birding Trails and Festivals to ohio@xxxxxxxxxxxx 3. WINTER ON THE WILDS-an Important Bird Area Bring the family and spend a day at the Wilds having fun in the winter sun! Shop at the Wilds unique gift market, enjoy a bite to eat at the Overlook Cafe, enjoy the Johnson Visitor Center, watch wildlife, and explore nearly 10,000 acres of the Wilds with naturalist Al Parker. Jan 11, 2003 - WinterHawk - Watching Birds of Prey From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Free for members of the Wilds, non-members: $3 per person. To register or for more information, call toll-free at 866-444-WILDS, or Email: aparker@xxxxxxxxxxxx or visit www.thewilds.org Join in the fascination of watching wintering hawks and owls in a spot that is rapidly becoming known as one of the best in the state. The Wilds-an Audubon Important Bird Area in Muskingum County-was highlighted in the December issue of Audubon magazine and is home to many types of raptors in the wintertime. The open grasslands attract short-eared owls, harriers, rough-legged and red-tailed hawks, and even golden eagles. We never know what we will see, but the birds are always sure to please. Bring along binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them and join in the search. 4. NAS Educational Farm Symposium National Audubon Society's Educational Farm Symposium January 30 - February 1, 2003 Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm Dayton, Ohio The symposium is designed for directors, educators, or farmers who operate educational farms. This symposium will provide an opportunity to share with colleagues, celebrate our successes, learn from our failures, recognize and prepare for challenges ahead, network, mentor, and renew our vision. Participants learn and recharge through workshops, facilitated discussion, open space sessions, and ongoing exchanges with their peers. For more information, contact Larry Brown at (937) 890-7360 or email at lbrown@xxxxxxxxxxxx **************************************************************************** ***************** AudubonOH-NEWS is sent to Audubon chapter leaders, board members, and others interested in Audubon activities in Ohio. If you do not wish to receive further editions, it is easy to unsubscribe: simply send an e-mail message to audubonoh-news-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx In the subject of your e-mail, write UNSUBSCRIBE. We can be reached through e-mail at ohio@xxxxxxxxxxx, phone at (614) 224-3303, or mail at 692 N High St Ste 208, Columbus, OH 43215.