This year our conservation leaders, bird advocates, college students, ambassadors, volunteers, and scientists accomplished amazing things. Through early-December, more than 199,000 of us contacted decision-makers more than 783,700 times on behalf of birds. All of the accomplishments listed below come from the hard work and dedication of our members, chapters, volunteers, and staff. We're very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together over the past 12 months.
Keep reading to see the most important ways that our flock worked together this year.
Created a Science-Based Tool to Assess Land-management Effectiveness
Audubon staff published a peer-reviewed article establishing the Bird-Friendliness Index (BFI) for monitoring the impact of Audubon's Conservation Ranching initiative. This is first-of-its kind tool for assessing how management actions and the context of the surrounding landscape are influencing bird habitat.
Our findings suggest that practices recommended for use in bird‐friendly grassland habitat management plans will increase the abundance and resilience of the grassland and aridland birds like the Bobolink, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and the American Golden Plover.
Increased our Flock: Audubon on (More) Campuses
Two years ago, the National Audubon Society launched an initiative dedicated to engaging students and leaders across the country: the Audubon on Campus program. The program has successfully the organization’s network to more than one 120 campuses across the country.
In addition to expanding students’ interests in birds across the country, Audubon also made sure these young conservation leaders had professional opportunities and careers paths in conservation. Throughout the year, our Audubon on Campus team adapted events, created programs, hosted interns, and partnered with organizations to cultivate the next generation of conservationists. Some of the highlights include the inaugural virtual Youth Environmental Summit (read more about that here) and a new partnership with the Walton Family Foundation that expanded engagement with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and created opportunities for students looking to get into environmental education.
Helped Communities Across the Country Be More Bird-Friendly
This year, Audubon maintained its commitment to transforming communities into places where birds flourish. From campuses in Southern California to the urban metropolis of New York City, we know each community has a unique ecological story to tell. That is why we collaborated with city and local officials to establish proclamations, resolutions, and ordinances (PROs) and with chapters to create demonstration gardens across the country.
Our network—both Audubon staff and chapters—has been instrumental in getting legislation passed or modified in a variety of locations that will make places safer for the birds. The City of New York passed a landmark bill late last year that has already proven to prevent avian fatalities and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Moving Forward Act, which includes more than $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments with key protections for birds and wildlife, including amendments that incorporated the Bird-Safe Buildings Act and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. In total, we passed four state level and eleven local level native-plant PROs as well as five demonstration gardens, three of which are on colleges and universities in our Audubon on Campus program.