Support IBA Birdathon in 2010

Here is a repost of a recent letter from David Curson to MDOSPREY


Dear friends, conservationists and birders
Later this month Audubon Maryland-DC staff and friends will be doing a Birdathon to raise funds for the Maryland-DC Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program, and we invite you and your friends to sponsor us! On 24th April we will be trying to find as many bird species as possible on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where more than 100 species may be found in single a day in late April. IBAs are sites of critical importance for birds and the Important Bird Areas Program is working hard for bird conservation at these sites across Maryland. Our actions over the past year have included:

1) Identifying 6 new IBAs at Indian Springs WMA, Monocacy Grasslands, Mattawoman Creek, Nanjemoy, Zekiah Swamp and St. Mary's River, using bird data collected on Bird Blitz surveys by birding "citizen scientists", including many of you receiving this e-mail. Several more IBA nominations resulting from Bird Blitz data are in the pipeline.

2) Joining the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County (SGACC) to oppose construction of a 4-lane highway (the Cross County Connector) across Mattawoman Creek IBA, which supports a particularly diverse assemblage of forest-interior birds, including three WatchList species: Prothonotary Warbler, Kentucky Warbler and Wood Thrush. In November 2009, we sent detailed documentation on the bird conservation value of Mattawoman Creek to the Maryland Department of Environment and urged them to deny the permit for this highway project. A decision is expected later in 2010.

3) Partnering with attorney Mike Pretl and the Wicomico Environmental Trust to help them defeat a proposed subdivision of 147 houses in the heart of Pocomoke-Nassawango IBA, home to 12 at-risk bird species. Scientific documentation of this IBA helped persuade the county planning commission to deny this development proposal.

4) Hosting dedication ceremonies at Assateague Island IBA and Maryland Coastal Bays IBA in Worcester County (April 2009) and at Chapman State Park IBA in Charles County (June 2009). . IBA dedication events, attended by elected officials, landowners and the media, present a great opportunity to publicize bird conservation and to build working relationships with land managers who are doing the right thing for the environment.

The attached IBA update includes a more detailed summary of the IBA Program's recent activities. The biggest change to the IBA program in the past year, and the one that has allowed us to achieve so much, has been the hiring of David Yeany II as IBA Program Coordinator. David's skills with GIS have greatly improved the Bird Blitz surveys and also our documentation and mapping of IBAs. These skills increase our capacity to make a case for protecting critical sites, like Mattawoman Creek, against development and other threats.

However, it takes more resources to maintain a staff of two than one to promote conservation in Maryland's special places for birds, and that's why we are asking for your support. You can sponsor our Birdathon team by going to our website at http://mddc.audubon.org/ We will produce a write up of our big birding day for all who sponsor us.

Thank you for your support for the birds!

Dave

David Curson, PhD Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Maryland-DC. 2437 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224 Tel: (410) 558 2473. E-mail: dcurson [at] audubon [dot] org
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2010 Sponsorship Form1.doc74 KB
IBA Update Spring2010_FINAL2.pdf597.07 KB