Birds Korea, April 14th 2014
We really do need your support!
Every spring, millions of birds migrate through this region. Some species come to Korea to breed; others continue on to the Amur Basin; still others migrate further still, on to Arctic Russia or even onto Alaska. A few are well-studied; the majority of species are not. There is no region-wide program in place to monitor changes in their populations or their habitat; there is not even a nationwide program. What information there is on population trends remains scattered and largely unavailable to the general public and to decision-makers. However, we know that much of the bird abundance that impressed earlier generations is disappearing. We know that many shorebird species are in steep decline; that species like the Oriental Stork have been lost as breeding species in the wild; and that roosts of Barn Swallow 100,000-strong that once attracted tourists in Seoul no longer exist. And we also know that declines in these species means a loss of natural ecosystem health, vital to human life too.
An essential first step in halting declines in these and other species is to gather and share best information on their population trends, threats and possible conservation solutions. Birds Korea has therefore been working on a report detailing changes in bird populations in the Republic of Korea since 2011 to present to decision-makers and to participants at this October’s intergovernmental Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference (see: http://biodiversity-l.iisd.org/events/cbd-cop-12/). If we prepare and present well, this conference should provide all of us with a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the need to conserve Korean and Asian biodiversity and to help the nation move firmly towards genuinely sustainable development.
This year’s Birdathon will help fund work on this report. The birdathon itself can last for anything from an hour to a week. Simply, go birding on foot any time between April 25th and May 4th; count the number of species you see during that period; and ask your colleagues, friends and family to sponsor you for anything from 100 to 1,000 won per species that you record. All money you collect and send will go towards the production and publication of this Birds Korea CBD report and help to support our attendance at this major event: thank you.
So please spend five minutes, an hour or a day supporting this event – through taking part, sponsorship or through donating prizes to participants. Your support is invaluable.
More on the 2014 Foot-it Birdathon, including sponsor sheets ready for download, will be posted later this week. In the meantime, please send here any questions or comments you might have. Again, thank you!