“Due to weather and road conditions, the Feb. 12th Audubon meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19th, same time, same place. We hope to see you there!”
Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington
Robert Waddell, District Wildlife Biologist
Tuesday, February 19 ; 7:00 Social; 7:30 Program Padilla Bay Interpretive Center 10441 Bayview-Edison Road Mt. Vernon, Washington
As the State’s human population continues to grow, more fish and wildlife species have been put at risk by loss and fragmentation of critical habitat, disturbance, and introduction of non-native species. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) oversees the listing and recovery of those species in danger of being lost in the State.
WDFW biologist Robert Waddell will give an overview of the State Wildlife Action Plan which lays out the primary threats and priorities for conservation of species and habitats throughout Washington. Discussion will include the effects of species listing and recovery plans, the threats affecting recovery, and accounts of local species with greatest conservation needs.
Robert Waddell has worked as a biologist for WDFW since January 2016, most recently as the Wildlife Biologist for Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Robert works with and manages a variety of species, from mountain goats to Oregon spotted frogs. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Georgia. Robert spent two years in Mongolia as a Peace Corps Volunteer assisting a secondary school with their environmental education curriculum, performing surveys for argali and snow leopard, and capturing and radio-tracking Mongolian gazelle. He then worked as a researcher with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and studied urban mountain lions, coyotes, desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and the ecological impacts to wildlife from desert water developments.
Conservation Report, February 2019
By Tim Manns
For new members or other readers just wondering what Audubon is about, let me say a little concerning the role conservation advocacy plays in Audubon. This is a national organization with almost 500 chapters, each an independent non-profit. The mission of our chapter, Skagit Audubon, appears in every newsletter issue. It’s very similar to the mission of every other Audubon chapter. National Audubon says that chapters “… enable Audubon members and others to meet and share an appreciation of their common interests. They create a culture of conservation in local communities through education and advocacy, focusing on the conservation of birds, other wildlife and conservation of important habitats.” Birding field trips and recreational hikes are ways we engage members’ interest in birds (and other wildlife) and in the public lands that are both wildlife habitat and places for recreation and appreciation of the natural world. These activities and monthly program meetings are open to members and non-members alike.
Advocacy on conservation issues is another way Audubon advances its mission. Over a century ago National Audubon was a major force behind passing the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most important law protecting birds in the U.S. Because different bird species are adapted to almost every habitat, because they travel far and wide in migration, are highly visible, and are sensitive to environmental conditions, birds are good indicators of environmental change. Consequently, a very wide range of conservation issues affects birds and their habitat. National Audubon headquarters’ staff address issues impacting birds nationally and regionally. For example, their research has identified climate change as the greatest threat to birds. For that reason, Audubon works for climate change legislation in Washington, D.C., and assists at the state level. The Audubon Washington staff, based in Seattle, work on complex issues often crossing chapter geographic boundaries. Locally, Skagit Audubon participates, for example, in environmental review of projects at the March Point refineries with potential effects on the birds and other wildlife of Padilla and Fidalgo Bays and because transition away from fossil fuels must happen if the planet is to remain livable for birds and people.
With so many issues relevant to Skagit Audubon’s mission, we depend on mutual support with other organizations whose interests and expertise complement ours. As one example, recently Washington Wild, which focuses on protecting wild lands and waters in our state, brought to the attention of Audubon and other conservation groups an ongoing serious threat to the Skagit River’s water quality from potential mining development just north of the international border. Skagit Audubon was able to add its voice to the many groups signing a letter of concern. There are many other examples of how Audubon at the national, state, and local levels acts to support what we value in preserving other species and their habitat. As the only conservation group in Washington with a state-wide network of chapters, Audubon is in a strong position to mobilize members’ support for policies and laws protecting birds, other wildlife, and habitat. Conservation Notes on the Skagit Audubon website and Conservation Reports from past newsletters give a more detailed picture of the issues on which our chapter has focused and how you can get involved.
February 23-24, 2019 - Stanwood Snow Goose Festival
At the end of the month the Snow Goose Festival in Stanwood is looking for helpers. Please visit www.skagitaudubon.org, click Activities, Area Festivals, Snow Goose & Birding Festival for details on festival activities and how to volunteer. Contact Pam Pritzl, firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Olympic BirdFest 2019
Come Bird With Us
Sequim, Washington, April 12-14, 2019
Grab your binoculars and join the 16th annual Olympic BirdFest 2019 celebration at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, April 12-14, 2019. The stage is set…quiet bays and estuaries, sandy beaches, a five-mile-long sand spit, and a protected island bird sanctuary on the Strait of Juan de Fuca; wetlands, tide pools, rainforests, and lush river valleys. The players are ready … Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Harlequin Ducks, Black Oystercatchers, Peregrine Falcons, Barred and Pygmy Owls will be sporting their finest spring plumage for this celebration. Enjoy guided birding trips, boat tour, and a gala banquet. Our featured speaker this year, John Marzluff, is a professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and a noted author. Come bird with us and experience with others the spectacular landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula …you just might go home with a new bird for your life list! Check out the offerings by going online (www.olympicbirdfest.org). Precede your BirdFest weekend with a three-day, two night birding cruise of the spectacular San Juan Islands on April 9-11, 2019. Visit San Juan and Sucia Islands, and more. Stay at the historic Roche Harbor Resort. Extend your Birdfest weekend with the Neah Bay post-trip, April 14-16, 2019: two and one-half days exploring northwest coastal Washington, a region rarely seen by birders. Contact us by phone, at 360-681-4076, E-mail us at email@example.com , Or write to us at: Dungeness River Audubon Center P.O. Box 2450 Sequim, WA 98382
If you see a dead, sick, or injured swan, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 24-hour hotline: (360) 466-4345, ext. 266. Do not handle the bird. Leave a short, detailed message with your name and phone number plus the location and condition of the swan(s). WDFW collects information to assess the impact of lead poisoning and power line collisions, the main causes of accidental swan deaths.
The Education Committee needs volunteers to help with a number of adult presentations coming up in the next several months. These Power Point presentations are scheduled at libraries and private organizations/clubs in the area. If you can help give part of a presentation (already written), that would be great; or, you can assist with the computer and help answer questions from the audience. If you can lend a hand, please contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org
Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center(Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.
The board of directors meets at the same location at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except for the months of July and August.