Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Bird species hit hard
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Bird species hit hard

- July 26th, 2007
A new analysis by the National Audubon Society reveals that some of America’s most familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past 40 years, with some populations down as much as 80%.
The dramatic declines are attributed to the loss of grasslands, forests, wetlands, and other critical habitats from environmental threats such as sprawl, energy development, and the spread of industrialized agriculture. These threats are compounded by the escalating effects of global warming.
“These are not rare or exotic birds we’re talking about—these are the birds that visit our feeders and congregate at nearby lakes and seashores and yet they are disappearing day by day,” said Audubon chair and former EPA administrator, Carol Browner. “Their decline tells us we have serious work to do, from protecting local habitats to addressing the huge threats from global warming.”
Species on Audubon’s list of 20 Common Birds in Decline have seen their populations plummet at least 54% since 1967. The following are among those hardest hit:
• Northern Bobwhite populations are down 82% and have largely vanished from northern parts of their range in Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and New England.
• Evening Grosbeaks, down nearly 78%.
• Northern Pintail populations in the continental U.S. are down nearly 78% due.
• Greater Scaup populations that breed in Alaska, but winter in the Great Lakes and along Atlantic to Pacific Coasts are being hard hit by global warming induced melting of permafrost and invasion of southern species; populations are down 75%.
• Eastern Meadowlarks, down 71%, are declining as grasslands are lost to agriculture.
• Common Terns, have dropped 70%.
• Snow Buntings, which breed in Alaska and northern Canada, are down 64%.
• Rufous Hummingbird populations have declined 58% as a result of the loss of forest habitat to logging and development.
• Whip-poor-wills, down 57%.
• Little Blue Herons now number 150,000 in the U.S. and 110,000 in Mexico, down 54% in the U.S. Their decline is driven by wetland loss from development and degradation of water quality, which limits their food supply.
Agricultural and development pressures have driven grassland birds to some of the worst declines. “Direct habitat loss continues to be a leading cause for concern,” said Audubon Bird Conservation Director Greg Butcher, PhD. “But now we’re seeing the added impact of large-scale environmental problems and policies.”
 
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