Skagit Audubon

Watching birds, protecting habitat, connecting with nature

South Africa’s Fynbos Biome

Presenter:   Dr. Phoebe Barnard

Tuesday, May 8, 2018     Malachite sunbird male by Dionne Miles1
7:00 Social; 7:30 Program
Padilla Bay Interpretive Center
10441 Bayview-Edison Road
Mt. Vernon, Washington


South Africa’s Fynbos biome is threatened by urbanization, invasive alien plants, and climate change.  Fynbos endemic birds have highly constrained global ranges at the tip of a continent, and are a valuable system for testing current hypotheses about endemic species’ vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in distinctive biodiversity zones.  We will look at some of the questions and answers from our study of these birds.

Then we’ll look at two strategies to conserve these birds and all species:  first, the Nature Needs Half initiative begun by E. O. Wilson among others.  Finally, the practice of citizen science now called “layperson science” by many is found all over the Salish Sea.  The success of these projects provides hope that this work will spread to unify and motivate the public to act in greater numbers to conserve the Salish Sea.

Dr. Barnard earned a PhD in Animal Ecology studying African passerines, and she describes herself as, “… a sustainability strategist, climate change ecologist, conservation biologist and environmental planner.  I lead teams; I support others leading teams; I translate science into policy, planning and management.”


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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.