If I can get out of Philly early tomorrow morning (there's a storm raging), I'll be off to the Fourth International Partners in Flight Meeting in McAllen, Texas. I missed the last PIF meetings (2002), but had a great time at the 1995 PIF meeting at Cape May. If you're in Texas for the meetings, drop me a note. Maybe we can get some Green Jays and Chachalacas together. Or you could stop by my paper presentation on urban bird conservation on Friday afternoon.
Here's my paper abstract:
Urban Bird Conservation: Linking Yards and Neighborhoods to Regional Bird Conservation Initiatives.
The majority of North Americans (76% in Mexico, 81% in Canada and USA) live in urban areas. In the United States, urban areas cover over 3% of the contiguous 48 states, and an additional 25% (1.39 million km2) of the land is developed at exurban residential densities greater than one house per 40 acres. These areas include important habitat for at least 100 of the 178 species listed on the 2007 WatchList, and 110 of the 121 species recently identified by Audubon as Common Birds in Decline. This creates the duel challenges of a) engaging urbanites in bird conservation and b) protecting vulnerable bird habitats and populations in urban, suburban, and exurban settings. Audubon programs address these challenges by committing landowners to bird-friendly gardening and landscaping practices, and by teaching landowners how to manage their individual properties and local neighborhoods for birds of regional conservation concern. A survey of Audubon state programs and 490 local Audubon chapters identifies challenges and opportunities for engaging urban audiences in bird conservation and linking management of yards and neighborhoods to national, state, and regional bird conservation initiatives.