A new report based on 40 years of data analysed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, state government wildlife agencies, and non-governmental organizations including Audubon (BirdLife in the USA), shows that birds are sending an important and troubling message about the state of the environment.
The report also shows that investment in conservation works, exemplified by the remarkable recoveries of waterfowl after more than 30 million acres of wetlands were restored and managed.
The U.S. State of the Birds report offers heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds.
"By bringing together the data, the analytical expertise and the combined voices of government and non-governmental organisations, this new U.S. State of the Birds Report brings new power to the essential message the birds are conveying", said John Flicker, President, National Audubon Society.
The report also reveals sobering declines of bird populations during the past 40 years - a warning signal of the failing health of ecosystems.
Flicker concludes, "The birds are sending us a wake-up call that the habitat destruction, climate change and shortsighted environmental policies of the past are combining to take a serious toll. We must address the warming of our climate and the loss of vital habitat through policy and on-the ground action at every level. This report makes clear the need and for urgent individual, collective and government action, but leaves little doubt that taking that action can make a difference. Audubon has sent this message before, and now, thanks to all who played a role in the 2009 U.S. State of the Birds Report, the birds’ warning will be heard by more Americans than ever before – including our representatives in Congress and in our state capitols, and policy-makers in our communities."
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