The National Audubon Society and the American Birding Association (ABA) have joined forces to protect birds. The initiative pairs one of the nation’s oldest, most recognizable names in conservation with a younger, highly respected organization of enthusiastic birders, at a time when birds are increasingly imperiled by habitat destruction and other threats throughout the Americas and the Arctic.
Actress Jane Alexander, an avid birder who participates in Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count and serves on the ABA’s Board of Directors, will be the spokesperson for a joint campaign by Audubon and the ABA to protect pristine wilderness areas of the Arctic.
Launching June 1, the Raise Your Voice for Arctic Birds campaign will galvanize supporters of both groups, and the public, at a time when the Arctic faces increased threats from drilling and climate change. “Each year, millions of birds – more than 200 species, many of which we see in our backyards during the year – journey to the Arctic to nest, feed, and raise their young,” says Alexander. “As the headwaters for the flyways of the Americas, few places on earth are as critical to the protection of birds.”
“Audubon’s alliance with the ABA is good news for conservation funders as well as wildlife,” says Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold. “We’re both about birds; our combined impact and wingspan will protect more species and more habitat — and we'll help both organizations grow and thrive.”
Jeffrey Gordon, President of the ABA, said, “Birds are celebrated early indicators of environmental problems. As birders, we not only enjoy the pleasure and excitement of observing the wonders of birds all around the world, we see first-hand the changes and threats they face even in lightly populated places like the Arctic. I believe that those of us who are passionate about birding have a special role to play by sharing what we see and experience. Joining forces with Audubon fits perfectly with the ABA’s mission to inspire all people to enjoy and protect wild birds.”
For more than a century, Audubon has built a legacy of conservation success by mobilizing the strength of its network across North America. Nearly 500 local chapters nationwide engage members in grassroots conservation. Fifty education centers and nature sanctuaries are hubs of conservation exploration, research, and action, allowing millions to discover and defend the natural world. A Washington D.C. policy office helps shape legislative protections for birds, habitat, and climate. And citizen scientists around the country collect vital data through Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count, generating groundbreaking analyses that guide scientists and policymakers.
Since its inception in 1968, the ABA has played a leading role in the evolution of birding culture. To help its members better pursue their passion, the ABA introduced its oft-cited Code of Birding Ethics and its Bird Check-List, the reference standard for field birders in North America. The ABA's publications and programs have remained a trusted source of information on where to find and how to identify birds, as well as a fun and useful social network. Today, the ABA seeks to promote the enjoyment and protection of wild birds for birders at all skill and experience levels. Birding is the nation’s second fastest growing hobby, after gardening. According to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Survey, one in five Americans engage in some form of birding.
Kenn Kaufman, who serves on the ABA Board and as a field editor for Audubon magazine, praised the joint venture. "I joined Audubon when I was nine and ABA when I was fifteen, and both have been tremendously important to me ever since. I'm thrilled to see these two fine organizations teaming up: together they can make a huge difference for the birds."
The focus on flyways and bird habitats beyond our borders also suits the vision of both NGOs. National Audubon is increasingly becoming “International” Audubon by forming partnerships in Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The ABA also supports conservation for migratory birds and operates Birders’ Exchange to provide birding equipment in critical neo-tropical areas in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Audubon’s new strategic plan is hemispheric,” says Yarnold. “How perfect is it that we launch our partnership with the ABA near the top of the world, where so many birds are headed right now, and where threats to their health and ours are growing daily.”
The American Birding Association inspires all people to enjoy and protect wild birds. The ABA's education programs promote birding skills, ornithological knowledge, and the development of a conservation ethic. Visit the ABA online at www.aba.org
Media Contact at ABA: David Hartley, Director of Communications, Tel 719-578-9703 firstname.lastname@example.org