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Urban Sanctuaries Campaign
In response to an alarmingly increased number of events related to the destruction of active bird nests, in spring 2006, the conservation committee and chapter leaders are launching the Urban Sanctuaries Campaign. This program, which we anticipate will involve the entire chapter, will address the protection of birds and their nests, all over the county, particularly in urbanized areas, through a largely proactive campaign designed to educate and build partnerships. The events, mostly tree trimming related, were among the most atrocious and needless assaults on nesting birds imaginable. In a highly developed environment like the one we share with birds in southern California, we have to assume more responsibilities as Audubon members to protect urban wildlife.
Over the summer, the Sea and Sage Board organized meetings to discuss solutions and plan our campaign. First, the campaign will focus on education about nesting birds and the State and Federal laws that protect them. We will build partnerships with landowners and land managers, such as in city and county parks, to help them practice bird friendly property maintenance operations.
In fact we are very pleased to announce that Orange County Harbors, Beaches and Parks enthusiastically agreed to extend a long standing management/ maintenance program in county parks that prohibits tree trimming during nesting season (except in the case of emergency or public safety). We are confident that we can convince others to follow their excellent example. We are currently developing educational materials, including new brochures, about nesting birds and wildlife protection in order to reach out to the public and leaders.
If all else fails, we will be ready to help the agencies vested with the responsibilities and laws that protect birds, such as the CA Department of Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These agencies can enforce both California Fish and Game Codes and the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protect all native North American birds, and their eggs. Most importantly for all our members, we want everyone’s participation in the Urban Sanctuaries Campaign. In the coming months we will provide more information on nesting birds and include more detailed information on the laws that protect birds. We will notify everyone about some future campaign meetings. We need everyone’s help on this one, it’s bigger than the conservation committee and the board, so please stay tuned and involved.
By the way, almost simultaneously and unbeknownst to us, LA Audubon launched a similar program, the Urban Wildlife Task Force, a coalition effort which will include Sea and Sage Audubon. This program was started in part as a reaction to an event in the Los Angeles Harbor, coined “Terngate”. Hundreds of elegant and Caspian tern nests, and chicks, were washed off several barges with a fire hose last spring, a truly mind boggling event.


Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963