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Applying PRBO's Bird Studies

Ellie M. Cohen

The word is out--birds are excellent indicators of ecosystem health.

As threats to our environment continue almost unabated, interest in applied bird conservation science is soaring. From the National Park Service to The Nature Conservancy, more and more public and private interests are asking PRBO for help.

By studying bird populations, PRBO is able to evaluate and even predict effects on wildlife of changes ranging from West Nile virus and global warming to planned habitat restoration. This enables us to begin to answer a fundamental question: how do we balance human actions with the urgent need to conserve biodiversity?

Based on our long-term studies, PRBO is providing recommendations that are now in use by every major habitat and wildlife management agency in the West! Following is a sampling of recent PRBO- recommended changes to wildlife and habitat management protocols.

Some forms of human-caused disturbance can be balanced with thoughtful alternatives such as those outlined above. With human activities continuing to threaten bird populations and other wildlife--with likely impacts, ultimately, on each of us--PRBO's research is providing the sound scientific foundation needed to guide successful, win-win conservation solutions.