How to Help Protect Bird Species in Arkansas
Freelance writer Jenny Holt has provided these thoughtful tips for how to promote bird conservation in Northwest Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust works to protect birds and their habitats in the region, and we appreciate Jenny for sharing this information with us!
Arkansas boasts of 550,000 acres of hardwood forest making the area the perfect home for several species of birds. It boasts of over 300 sightings of bird species including Sabine’s Gull and Parasitic Jaeger. In addition, it is the perfect pit-stop for migratory birds on their way to nest or escape harsh winters to places or countries with milder climates.
The state is not only an important home and stopover for migratory birds, it also boasts of ongoing conservation efforts. At present, there are several species of wildlife that are endangered including birds. Affected bird species that are on the decline are the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and Interior Least Tern.
Causes of Dwindling Bird Populations
There are many causes of birth deaths including lost or degraded habitats due to agriculture and land development as well as natural causes. Another source of bird morbidity is collisions with man-made structures such as buildings, poles or windows. Sadly, there are nearly a billion bird deaths in the US associated with glass collisions endangering migratory species and reducing local populations.
What You Can Do to Help
Everyone can pitch in to help birds sustain their numbers. If you are a homeowner, you can create habitat by planting native trees, bushes and flowers. Erect bird baths and birdhouses as well as bird and nectar feeders. To reduce glass collisions, make sure your windows are visible to birds by putting a screen, installing UV decals, hanging curtains and drawing shutters. Bird tapes are also effective in making windows visible as well as drawing on the glass with tempera markers.
At nighttime, draw curtains or turn off the lights. You can also volunteer at bird conservation groups such as Audubon Arkansas or Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society to help monitor species or assist in caring for injured birds.
Education of your kids and family members begins at home. You can never stress enough the importance of the value of wildlife and birds. They help balance the ecosystems, pollinate plants, scatter seeds and nourish our spirits.
Another place where you can offer your free time is through land trusts that are mandated to preserve and protect lands, forests, mountains as well as wildlife habitat. The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust offers several opportunities to get involved with bird conservation. You can also advocate for land conservation and wildlife protection as well as contribute to nature programs.
At the office, switch off lights and close blinds. Studies show that birds are attracted by lights which result to deadly collisions and crashes. In short, there are many ways to get involved as a citizen for bird protection.
Jenny Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it all and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, and taking some time to enjoy nature, as well as writing about saving it, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind.