For many years, researchers have wondered why the huge mudflats of Roberts Bank, near Vancouver, are so special to migrating Western Sandpipers. Every year around 2 million Western Sandpipers stop to rest and refuel on these mudflats. This is a substantial proportion of the world’s population of this shorebird species. The area’s key importance for Western Sandpipers is one of the reasons why the entire Boundary Bay – Roberts Bank – Sturgeon Bank – Fraser River Estuary area around Vancouver is recognized as a globally significant Important Bird Area. Now, recent research has revealed that the Western Sandpipers feeding at Roberts Bank rely heavily on what is called “biofilm”: a thin, dense layer of microbes, organic detritus and sediment which… read more →
An update to Chris’ blog entry from last month: On Friday, David Suzuki hosted the CBC program The Current. Dr. Suzuki interviewed Mike Rands, the CEO of BirdLife International, about the declines of bird species around the world that are highlighted in State of the World’s Birds. You can listen to this really interesting interview (as well as lots of other interesting conservation tidbits from the show) here (it’s part three of the program).
Many of the world’s most active bird conservation folks are gathering — flocking you might say — to BirdLife International’s World Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which begins today! Our President Julie Gelfand will be sending updates on the conference over the coming week. To kick off the conference, BirdLife International is releasing the report, State of the World’s Birds, and launching a web site, in which they warn that common birds are in decline across the world, providing evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment affecting all life on Earth – including human life. In our part of the world, the report highlights population declines of more than 50% over the last 40 years for 20 of… read more →