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111 Years of Counting: Audubonís Christmas Bird Count

Wildlife News

The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Audubon’s (BirdLife Partner in the USA) annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will take place from December 14, 2010 to January 5, 2011.   Tens of thousands of volunteers throughout North America will brave winter weather to add a new layer to over a century of data.

Last year’s count shattered records.  More than 2,100 counts and 60,753 people tallied 2,319 species and 55,951,707 total birds.  That’s nearly 56 million birds. Citizen Scientists spotted 200 more species than during the previous year’s CBC.

Counts took place in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces, plus several Central and South American countries, Guam, Mariana Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Colombia now has more CBC circles than any other country outside the US and Canada.  The census is becoming the most important monitoring system for biodiversity in the country.

To read more please visit:

111 Years of Counting: Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count

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Elementary School students have their very own Eagle Camera is not just a website for kids wanting to watch eagles. It’s a website designed and created by kids who want to watch their very own bald eagles.

 With a $5,000 grant from the state, and community support, Wisconsin elementary school teacher Mike Lawrence and his grade 3 - 4 class at Blair-Taylor Elementary School entered the world of live streaming webcams.

Their nest is located in Western Wisconsin on private land, about 17 miles from the Mississippi River and close to the Black River. Built five years ago in a cottonwood tree along a trout stream, eaglets have been raised in the nest each year since then. The camera, installed mid-November, is 4 feet above the nest.


The students did a wonderful job with the webpage and will be responsible for maintaining it. 


The Hancock Wildlife Foundation wishes them every success!


Watch the camera here: 

 Eagles4Kids Nest


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Navy-NOAA heads killing millions sea animals

December 6th, 2010 9:07 pm ET
Public meetings about approved Navy 5-year war testing off California coast

Today, Rosalind Peterson reached out to encourage Californians' participation at two December meetings in which the U.S. Navy and NOAA will address its 5-year Warfare Testing program that includes killing millions of sea animals off the California and Hawaiian coasts. High-tech weapons applied to animals will then be used on humans.

NOAA issued the permit and Letter of Authorization to the Navy, finalized November 12, 2010, part of which is below. It protects no National Marine Sanctuaries, Marine Reserves, Biologically Sensitive Areas and does not stop the Navy from testing new weapons systems (including sonar), during gray whale migrations or salmon migrations.

U.S. Congressman Thompson's request for the U.S. Navy and NOAA to meet with the public in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties in December 2010 has been accepted.

Peterson writes: "This is to notify everyone that NOAA and the U.S. Navy will be meeting with the public on the issue of the U.S. Navy Warfare Testing activities planned for the NWTRC. U.S. Congressman Thompson has organized these public meetings for residents of both Humboldt & Mendocino Counties. Representatives from Marin County are invited to attend these public events."

"In the future, these plans can be altered on any date by the U.S. Navy or NOAA placing the information in the U.S. Federal Register. And the Navy does not need to notify anyone, including fishermen or ocean tourists, that these events are underway."

Article source

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CTV news story re 4000 bald eagles at Chehalis today

Hancock here:

The eagles did it again.  About 4000 eagles appeared at the Chehalis - Harrison confluence today  -- what an incredibly beautiful day and abundance of eagles.

The numbers were slightly down from last weekend when we estimated about 5500 eagles seen from the tour boat.  Today the clear weather, slight breeze and the abundance of dead salmon probably encouraged the eagles to soar early. 

The eagles start to feed at daybreak and  by 10 a.m. start to soar, but still about 1500 were on the beaches and another 2000 in the surrounding trees along the Harrison and probably 500 were seen constantly soaring over the hills -- and our boat.  Another 2000 to probably 3000 would have already taken to soaring and drifting to neighboring areas.

Well do I remember being on the Chehalis Flat at 10 a.m. one early, similar, December morning about 3 years ago and witnessing the early morning departure.  By 9:30 a.m. thousands of eagles were already flying to gain access to the rising air over the neighboring hills.  These columns of eagles went upward 500, 1000, 2000 ft. and many soaring upward of 5000 feet.  One of the three columns of eagles drifted south to the US border and probably the Skagit River, one drifted more westward towards Vancouver and the third column drifted higher and northwest --- probably heading to Brackendale for lunch. By 10AM most of the eagles had dispersed to all points of the compass.

Today the pattern was less organized.  By 12:00 noon the soaring eagles were dispersed and soaring over all the surrounding hills but fortunately for us 2500 were evident on the gravel bars, sitting in the surrounding trees and flying over our boat -- the Fraser River Safari Tour boat.  What an incredible biological event.  Today's guests included the CTV film crew that film our adventures -- and they gave a fine biological account on the 6PM news. Thanks Brent.  The story should be on the local CTV news at 11:30 this evening also.

For those wanting to take in the last tour this year -- scheduled for next Saturday, Dec. 11  -- contact Jo-Anne and Rob Chadwick at Fraser River Safari tours  at  604-826-7361 or 1-866-348-6877.  This is the world's densest concentration of eagles ever amassed -- you don't want to miss one of the world's greatest natural events.

Since one of the world's finest nature photographers was also aboard, Glen Browning, I suspect when he has a chance to edit the thousands of shots he took today, some will appear on our site -- probably in the Media Gallery under his name.

See you Saturday.

David Hancock

If you missed the CTV newscast here's the link to watch it online as reported by reporter Brent Shearer.



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Including wildlife in fisheries management just makes sense

Conservation & Preservation

The Northern View

Published: November 30, 2010 11:00 PM

As this year’s returning wild salmon headed upstream, scientists spawned a game-changing idea about how taking less salmon might bring more benefits to ecosystems and economies.

Writing in the journal Conservation Letters, researchers from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Canadian and US universities, have proposed shifts to salmon harvesting in which fisheries take smaller catches of known runs closer to shore. The paper, titled Salmon for Terrestrial Protected Areas, argues there are many benefits from letting more fish come back to spawn, especially when spawning rivers are situated within parks or protected areas.

“Although more than a hundred wildlife species - like grizzly bears, wolves, and eagles - depend on salmon, commercial and sports fisheries often capture more salmon than the consumption from all these animals combined,” explains lead author and Raincoast scientist Dr. Chris Darimont.
Dr. Paul Paquet, a carnivore expert and senior scientist with Raincoast, questions whether a protected area can be truly protected when its foundation species, in this case Pacific salmon, are not safeguarded.

“Places like Gwaii Haanas, the Kitlope Valley and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary were set aside to protect key wildlife and ecosystems that evolved with salmon. Yet recommendations to reduce the harvest on the runs, so the benefits of salmon could sustain the species and parks being protected, have never been seriously considered.”

To read the rest of this story please visit:

The Northern View

To read the Original Study please visit:

Salmon for Terrestrial Protected Areas



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