Animal Conservation

TC report can play a key role in migratory bird conservation / Public information service

GREENWICH, Connecticut – North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and a new report shows how Connecticut, a major stopover for migrating birds, may play a role in reversing the trend.

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s annual State of the Birds of Connecticut report features 37 species of birds in the state with rapidly declining populations, including semipalmated sandpipers and wood thrushes.

Patrick Comins, executive director of the Connecticut Audubon Society, known for sandpipers in particular, migratory birds make a critical stop along the New England shores to eat and prepare for a 10-day non-stop trip to North America South.

“While we like to think of conservation as something that happens in the Arctic or in South America,” Comins remarked. “Maybe the weak link on this is here on our coast in Connecticut, that these birds are not getting the fuel they need to continue these long migratory journeys.”

Semipalmated sandpipers have declined by almost 80% since the 1980s, due to habitat loss and competition with other species. Comins pointed out that with state and federal support, the acquisition and restoration of land in the Long Island Strait could protect migratory birds in Connecticut.

Conservation groups have argued that efforts to save endangered and threatened species would not be where they are today without groundbreaking legislation like the Endangered Species Act and, more recently, the Great American Outdoors Act. .

As Congress debated another option, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, Comins argued that an increase in federal funds could mean a future in which bird species are protected.

“We are at an important turning point, where we still have abundant and amazing wildlife and natural resources, even in this most developed corridor in the United States,” observed Comins. “Wise decisions can now ensure that we preserve what makes our region amazing.”

The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works considered the bill in a hearing on Wednesday. If passed, Connecticut could receive about $ 12 million a year for wildlife conservation. The state is home to more than 400 species of conservation concern.

Comins added that the report was shared with the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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