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Old 10-07-2007, 01:22 PM
960 posts, read 1,271,834 times
Reputation: 409


Just thought I would share this with local residents and potential residents. Because we all know that one of the greatest benefits to living in our area is the beautiful wildlife.

"Birds fleeing due to loss of habitat says Audubon Society"

"It's not your imagination. There really are fewer birds.
Julie Brashears Wraithmell, wildlife policy coordinator of Audubon of Florida, said that common Florida birds have been dropping in number. In South Sarasota County, these include the American kestrel, little blue heron, American bittern, black skimmer, clapper rail and the northern bobwhite.
"These are birds we see in communities and neighborhoods, and are not those of conservation focus," she said.
She blamed loss of habitat as the main reason for the declines.
"Invasive exotic plants, overnutrification and the exclusion of fire are other causes," she said. "Species depend on fire for renewal, and roads act as fire breaks. So more roads mean more problems."
Rookeries in Venice, Myakka State Park, coastal and estu-arine land are at risk,
she said. Once robust, they have declined as population growth has destroyed feeding grounds, and recent hurricanes have damaged mangroves, she said.
"The northern bobwhite has taken a huge hit. It has declined 82 percent nationally since 1967 and 96 percent in Florida," Wraithmell reported.
The bobwhite turns up throughout South Florida, usually in areas in which fire clears out underbrush. Without the burns they need, these landscapes do not provide nests for birds, she added.
Destruction of wetlands is shutting out the rail, according to Audubon of Florida. The little blue heron, which lays its blue eggs in nests in fresh water prairies, has sustained the same destruction.
David Anderson, executive director of Audubon of Florida, said that the decline of bird populations indicates that something is wrong.
"As the common birds go," he said, "so does the quality of life for people in wildlife areas.
"To deal with that, people are going to have to be much more conscious of the need to conserve water and other resources, particularly in looking at the planning for future growth."
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