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News from…

…the Americas

Proposed Marine Protected Area a Potential Boon to Seabirds

President Bush has directed his Administration to assess the potential for protecting several large, ecologically important ocean areas in the Central and Western Pacific. These include seven U.S. possessions and their surrounding waters in the Central Pacific, and islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and American Samoa. The President will receive input from the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Interior, and other stakeholders through a series of public meetings, as well in the form of written public comments, after which the President could issue his decree. For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/081009.html

Another Legal Brick in the Border Wall

In September, a federal judge ruled against a lawsuit brought by a coalition of groups in Texas to halt construction of the border fence between the United States and Mexico that threatens important wildlife areas. In June, the Supreme Court rejected a similar appeal from the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife challenging a decision by Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff to exempt construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall from a number of environmental and cultural laws. The Supreme Court ruling gave the wall the green light to go ahead. For more information see www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/081010.htmlAct for Songbirds Update: Senate Bill Introduced

Efforts to increase funding for migratory bird conservation received a boost on September 15, 2008, when Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation S. 3490 to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA). For more information see: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/080917.html

EPA Environment Report Omits Light Pollution Effects

The EPA’s 2008 Report on the Environment does not address light pollution, despite the recommendations of its own advisors. For more information see: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/080923.htmlRoadless Reversal in Idaho, Comments Due on Colorado Plan

The Forest Service has released a final rule that will affect millions of acres of roadless areas on National Forest lands in Idaho that will allow logging and road construction on more than 400,000 roadless acres, and less intensive activities on another 5.3 million acres. The Forest Service is accepting public comments on a similar rule that would eliminate current protection for over 300,000 acres of National Forest roadless areas in Colorado to facilitate road construction, energy development, and timber removal. For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/081006.html

Reserve Reforestation Projects Take Root

In many places throughout Latin America, birds are suffering from a decline in suitable forest habitat. American Bird Conservancy and several partner organizations are working from Honduras to Bolivia to reverse this situation at or near some of the bird reserves that the organization has helped establish, benefitting many threatened species. For more information see: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/080925.htmlBrazil Leads Efforts to Halt Species Extinctions

The Brazilian Environment Ministry has launched a program aimed at identifying and protecting Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites within its national borders. This is an important step toward meeting the Convention of Biological Diversity’s 2010 target that calls for a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. A global network of scientists, including American Bird Conservancy staff, have identified 595 sites around the world that meet AZE’s criteria of being the last refuge of one or more Endangered or Critically Endangered species of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, or conifer. For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/0810_aze.html

New Conservation Opportunities for Threatened Bolivian Birds

A team of biologists, supported by ABC, has made important new discoveries of populations of the Royal Cinclodes and Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant in the cordillera of Apolobamba in Bolivia. The critically endangered Royal Cinclodes was previously known primarily from highly fragmented Polylepis forests in the Andes of southeastern Peru, with an estimated global population of just 50-250 individual birds. The project is now working to protect the imperiled forests in this area by implementing community-based conservation activities and providing more than 400 people with new technologies, such as fuel-efficient stoves that dramatically reduce the demand for Polylepis trees as firewood. For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/0810_bolivian.html

Colombian Ecolodge Showcases Bird Collision Deterrent

American Bird Conservancy and Colombian partner Fundación ProAves have teamed up to reduce the risk of bird collisions with windows at El Dorado, the 1,700-acre reserve in Colombia that is home to the endangered Santa Marta Parakeet. A vinyl film, manufactured by Colidescape, which is perforated by hundreds of tiny holes, will be applied to the exterior of the Jeniam Ecolodge windows so that they appear opaque from the outside, For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/0810_ecolodge.html

Progress on Protected Area for Grenada Dove Slows

Since 2006, scientists and environmental groups, including American Bird Conservancy, have been working with developers on Grenada to address the threat to the critically endangered Grenada Dove posed by a new Four Seasons resort. In response to these concerns, developer Cinnamon 88 greatly scaled back their plans, and Mt. Hartman National Park, the dove’s population stronghold, was reconfigured to maximize the protected area. The new plan was approved this summer, and construction has begun. For more information see http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/0810_grenada.html

4th July 2014