Endangered Birds Need Your Voice!
Climate Change, Habitat Loss, Pollution.
Birds Face Extinction Without Strong Action.
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Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Bird numbers are in decline, some dramatically so. Wetlands are being drained, forests cleared, native grasslands converted to crops. The tundra is threatened by climate change and urban development robs birds of living space. Invasive species, pesticides and pollution are taking their toll.
I support strong protections for Canada’s birds and the habitat they need to survive. Birds are a crucial indicator of ecosystem health. Healthy bird populations means healthy human populations because birds and their habitat provide so many essential services for people: food and fuel, clean air and water, fertile soil, pest and disease control, pollination of plants, and a stable, moderate climate.
I believe it is the government’s responsibility to protect and conserve wildlife and natural habitats, and to protect the health of its people. I urge the Government to take the following steps to protect our cherished birds and their habitat, and to ensure healthy, balanced ecosystems are here for generations to come:
1. Adopt immediate action to fight climate change with a sustainable energy strategy that aims to transform Canada's economy to maximize energy conservation, energy efficiency and the use of low-impact renewable energy.
2. Reject expensive mega-projects like the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project that threaten 30 Important Bird Areas and B.C.’s coastal communities with tanker traffic and oil spills.
3. Reinstate wildlife protections lost in recent changes to Canada’s environmental laws, in particular changes that allow industrial projects to be fast-tracked without adequate environmental assessments.
4. Commit to preserve at least 50 per cent of Canada’s boreal forest, known as the bird nursery of the north.
5. Close the legal loopholes that allow development inside some of Canada’s most important places for birds, like National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.
6. Publish Bird Conservation Regional Plans and work with partners to implement them.
Thank you for considering my views.
Many of Canada’s bird populations are in decline.
According to the 2012 State of Canada’s Birds report there are fewer birds now than in the seventies – overall populations have declined by 12%, but declines have been particularly severe for certain types of birds:
Grassland birds, including longspurs, meadowlarks, Sprague’s pipit, Greater Sage-Grouse and others, are in decline due largely to a loss of habitat.
Aerial insectivores – birds that catch insects in flight, like the Barn Swallow, Chimney swift and Common Nighthawk – are declining more steeply than any other group of birds, but the causes of the decline are unknown.
Shorebirds have declined by almost half, while Arctic shorebirds in particular, including the endangered Red Knot, have declined by 60%.
Many things threaten birds. Wetlands are being drained, forests cleared, native grasslands converted to crops. The tundra is threatened by climate change and urban development robs birds of living space. Invasive species and pollution take their toll.
In almost all cases, the health of bird populations is heavily influenced by human activity – which means we can both harm, and help, avian wildlife.
Birds are natural pest controllers and pollinators. We'd notice in a hurry if birds weren't here to perform these important functions!
Birds are a crucial indicator of overall ecosystem health. Healthy bird habitat provides vital environmental services, including food and fuel, clean air and water, fertile soil, pest and disease control, pollination of plants, and a stable, moderate climate.
You can make a difference! There are many things you can do to help conserve our bird populations for generations to come.
1. Tell policy-makers to enact and enforce strong legal protections for birds and bird habitat. Send a letter today!
2. Prevent Window Collisions. Make your home or cottage windows visible by applying decals, tape or hanging netting or ribbons in front of windows.
3. Protect Birds from Pets. Keep your cat in a controlled space to prevent it from killing birds. Unleashed dogs can harm birds too.
4. Create A Healthy Yard. Avoid pesticides and herbicides in your yard. Provide birds with food, nest sites and cover by planting native plants.
5. Your Morning Coffee. Choose shade-grown organic coffee from Latin America. Shade coffee farms mimic native forests and supports more bird species than sun coffee farms.
6. Connect Kids With Nature. Take kids for a walk or introduce them to a young naturalist club.
7. Be a Citizen Scientist. Many projects need volunteers to gather data on birds and their habitat. You can contribute just by watching your bird feeder!
8. Support Nature Canada! A gift to Nature Canada does all this — and more! Your continued support is vital!
About Nature Canada : We are a national, member-supported not-for-profit based in Ottawa, Canada. We seek to achieve a vision of Canada as a place where threatened species and ecosystems are protected, common species and ecosystems are conserved, ecological integrity is maintained and people embrace a culture of conservation in their everyday lives.
Nature Canada is a registered charity. Our charitable registration number is #11883-4704-RR0001. Donations made to Nature Canada are Tax Exempt.