Shorebird Illustration Competition: 28 February 2014

Written by Meredith Gutowski Morehouse/WHSRN
San Antonio Bay, a WHSRN Site of International Importance, will celebrate its 5th Annual Shorebird Festival on 22–23 March 2014 in Las Grutas, Rio Negro, Argentina. The Inalafquen Foundation and the festival’s organizing committee have launched an International Illustration Competition to encourage artwork that depicts the subject of shorebirds and illustrates the contest’s slogan:

Flights that inspire, skies that connect.

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The deadline is 28 February 2014, and winners will be announced 14 March 2014. A maximum of 2 entries per participant. The top prize is a cruise to Antarctica!, departing from and returning to the City of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, during the 2014-2015 season. The jury will also select a second- and third-place winner, and three honorable mentions.
For all other details and information on the contest, visit the International Illustration Competition web page.
Good Luck!
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Proposal for the World Shorebirds Day

Written by Gyorgy Szimuly/WorldWaders
There is no better time to set the bar for the next level in raising global public awareness about the conservation of and research on shorebirds than today. About half of the world’s shorebird populations are in decline, and the rate of habitat loss is worse than ever before.
Healthy populations of shorebirds mean healthy wetlands, what thousands of human lives depend on. Actions on a global level need to be organised to get people connected with shorebirds, their spectacular life and their habitats.
To celebrate shorebirds around the world, one commemorative day should be set, World Shorebirds Day, dedicated to special events.

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Here is my proposal to launch the World Shorebirds Day for the first time in 2014. You are more than welcome to comment or review it and share it within your network.
Note: this is not a confirmed event! The final decision to be announced widely.

Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey: Making wintering shorebirds count

Written by Point Blue Conservation Science
MGilbert2-photo_by_Steve_German

Citizen scientists and partner biologists are helping us figure out how large-scale environmental changes, like urbanization, extreme weather, climate variation as well as agricultural flooding, wetland restoration and management, are affecting shorebirds and their habitats throughout the Pacific Flyway. We still have a lot to learn about species population trends, which species are at greatest risk, and which habitats they most depend upon. To answer these questions Point Blue is leading the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey.
Western and Least Sandpiper. © Ryan DiGaudio
Western and Least Sandpiper. © Ryan DiGaudio

Filling in the Gaps

Past surveys of shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway, led by Point Blue and others, provided a valuable snapshot of population and habitat conditions through the 1990’s, but do not reflect more recent landscape level changes. Our revived annual Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey strives to fill existing information gaps and provide guidance to resource managers on how best to conserve shorebird habitats in the face of environmental change.

Data Innovations

The Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey is a coordinated multi-partner monitoring program led by Point Blue Conservation Science designed to guide the management and conservation of wintering shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway. Data is collected by both professional biologists and citizen scientists and is stored online at the California Avian Data Center. Within this Data Center, state of the art analytical approaches are providing partners with robust annual summaries of incoming data as well as interactive tools to visualize results, including population trends, spatial distribution of birds, and the relative abundance of birds by habitat type or location.
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© Steve German

Get Involved!

Visit our project website to learn how to volunteer and explore our findings.

Oystercatchers see strength in numbers

Written by Vineyard Gazette

A coalition of 35 conservation groups formed five years ago to protect habitat and aid recovery. © Myer Bornstein
A coalition of 35 conservation groups formed five years ago to protect habitat and aid recovery. © Myer Bornstein

The American oystercatcher population is recovering following a decline documented a decade ago, a Cape Cod science center said.

A comprehensive aerial survey of the oystercatcher population done last year from Long Island to the Mexico border found the population had increased steadily since 2009.

A coalition of 35 conservation groups formed five years ago to protect habitat and aid recovery. — Lanny McDowell
Ten years ago the harlequin-colored shorebirds were in a decline. Habitat loss and human encroachment were blamed. A survey that year showed there were about 10,900 oystercatchers and that the population was dwindling. In 2009 a coalition of 35 groups from Canada to Texas formed to protect the birds, calling itself the American Oystercatcher Working Group.

Read more…