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Doing Something

August 25, 2008
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As a bird blogger I’m often caught between the twin ambitions of writing a simple journal of my interest in birds and taking actual physical measures towards their conservation. After all, if I’m not willing to act in the essential interest of birds, then there won’t be any out there for me to enjoy and write about. Making people aware of bird related issues and encouraging folks to contact their representatives about them is one important, but small thing. But the guys over at 10000 Birds have gone and walked the walk on bird conservation with an ambitious, but achievable, plan to help a endemic African bird species, the Sharpe’s Longclaw, and most importantly, its habitat.

Now it’s a near certainty that many of us may never have the opportunity to travel to the Kenyan tussok fields where the Longclaw, and other endemics, can be found. So you may ask yourself why should we care? Most of the people that come to this site are fortunate enough to have been born in rich first-world countries with established environmental movements. To some extent it has made us somewhat complacent, the groups that do our enviromental dirty work are relatively well-funded NGOs with long, well-earned reputations in the trenches of Washington. Fantastic groups like The Sierra Club, The National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and countless Environmental Law Firms that ask relatively little of us other than a yearly subscription and maybe a donation that goes into the pot of thousands of dollars. We should all try to be a member of one, if not more, of these organizations. The money goes to fund studies of endangered species, land acquisition and all around good work here mostly, but elsewhere as well. We birders know better than most the global impact these organizations have when our quarry has little respect for political boundaries.

But some parts of the world are less well-off, but no less important. And for these places especially, a few bucks here or there can have a huge impact on the bird populations. Take the aforementioned Small African Fellowship for Conservation. For the sum total of $3000, of which 10000 Birds has pledged to raise 2/3, you will be funding one man, Dominic Kimani, for one entire year as he performs field research on the Longclaw, and most importantly, travels across his region of Kenya teaching the locals about why they should protect the habitat. Dominic is one of us, he’s a birder, he’s an educator, he’s doing something to keep the birds he loves from being pushed to extinction by reaching out to his community. We need to give him the opportunity to do that.

This is conservation on its most basic, elemental level. This is why we fund the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society. This is one man making a difference, and for $1, or $5, or $10, this is you helping. So go read about the project at 10000 Birds, I practically guarantee you’ll be moved to help.

Do it for the fantastic bloggers at 10000 birds going out on a limb here. Do it for Dominic doing what any of us would hope to do in that situation. Do it because one dollar matters. And do it, especially, because we know that a dollar for bird conservation somewhere is a dollar for bird conservation everywhere.

Edit: *embarrassingly* or do it because I accidentally blatantly ripped off Great Auk – or Greatest Auk’s rhetorical device there at the end and I feel guilty about it and should give credit where credit is due. Note to self – be more aware of other people’s writing, even if it affects you subconsciously…

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One Comment
  1. pinguinus permalink
    August 28, 2008 11:35 pm

    I’m pretty sure that parallel closing structure is just an example of great minds thinking alike, or maybe convergent evolution. Thanks for the hat-tip, though!

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