Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program receives funding through National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

 

JBorom Least Tern

Least Tern, John Borom

March 10, 2016 – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has approved $1.46 million through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for the Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program.  The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in partnership with Birmingham Audubon and Mobile Bay Audubon Society, will establish a stewardship, monitoring, and outreach program focusing on priority shorebird and coastal waterbird populations.

Birmingham Audubon, a staffed, certified chapter of National Audubon Society, currently partners with Mobile Bay Audubon and its volunteer members to survey priority species along Mobile and Baldwin County shorelines through the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey. The survey was established by National Audubon for the gulf coastline following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Mobile and Baldwin County shorelines provide habitat critical to several bird species of conservation concern that, with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we will now have expanded opportunity to monitor and steward to more productive populations with local volunteers and staff,” said Suzanne Langley, Executive Director, Birmingham Audubon Society. “These same shorelines attract residents and tourists to watch birds and visit surrounding communities. While our staff and volunteers protect these birds, they will also educate the public about the value of Alabama’s natural treasures.”

jBorom Short billed dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher, John Borom

The Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship program complements the work of similar National Audubon Society initiatives in the Gulf including Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  The Alabama program will include monitoring priority species along routes in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in varied coastal habitats with trained volunteers and staff, as well as outreach to local communities and stewardship of nesting colonies. Among the locations of work to be completed through the Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship program is Dauphin Island recognized in 2015 as a globally significant Important Bird Area by Birdlife International and its U.S partner National Audubon Society.

To learn more, contact: Suzanne Langley, suzannelangley@birminghamaudubon.org