2013 Spring NC PIF Meeting
The meeting was held at Umstead State Park from 9am-4:30pm. Coffee was provided by Birds & Beans, snacks by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. You can find a word document version of these minutes here, as well as submitted project suggestions. Click on the headings for full presentation.
Scott Anderson (NC Wildlife Resources Commission) presented a short history of the NC PIF program followed by results from an evaluation of NCPIF in its current state. Scott gathered feedback from several sources: online survey, in-person interviews (formal and informal), review of previous documentation (e.g., the Bird Conservation Plan for North Carolina) and review of other states’ PIF-type programs (see presentation here). Although there was diverse opinion on several topics (perhaps owing to the broad interests of NCPIF partners), there were several broad take home messages from feedback prior to meeting:
- Communication among bird conservation interests in North Carolina is a desired key role of NCPIF
- Re-establish NCPIF steering committee (and potentially standing committees)
- Need for further diversification of partners – historic diversity has declined in recent years
- NCPIF should initiate new projects; not only participate in existing efforts
- Ideal projects work to coordinate efforts among conservationists
- Projects should Educate & Involve the General Public
After the presentation, Scott asked participants to break into groups, brainstorm potential projects for NCPIF, and identify appropriate individuals/partners to involve. I’ve attached a document with all of the suggestions submitted.
Much of the discussion during the meeting mentioned a need for increased communication and dissemination of project information.
John Ann Shearer (US Fish & Wildlife Service) presented a summary of the Forest Landbird Legacy Program, which provided funds for privately-held habitat management, but ended in 2010. The remaining funds were used to purchase eight Bluebird Nestboxes with cameras which were distributed to elementary schools across the state.
'Trapping' and Tracking the Eastern Golden Eagle: Winter Range and Abundance in the NC Mountains and Beyond
Mark Hopey (Southern Appalachian Raptor Research) and Christine Kelly (NC Wildlife Resources Commission) presented their involvement in the camera-trap program to monitor Eastern Golden Eagles, and their recent involvement in tagging an Eastern Golden Eagle with a GSM radio transmitter.
Curtis Smalling (NC Audubon) introduced the group to a new NC Audubon Initiative; the Bird-Friendly Communities program, designed to make and enhance connections between the experiences of the general public and the extraordinary lives of birds and bird conservation efforts.
Kim Brand (Forsyth Audubon) discussed Audubon's Lights Out campaign; local efforts to document and reduce bird-building collisions. The effort is led by a local organizer from the regional Audubon chapter, who organizes surveys for dead birds around buildings and appeals to building managers to reduce lighting during evenings during migration.
John Gerwin (NC Museum of Natural Sciences) presented work in Nicaragua to define home range sizes of Golden-winged warblers and highlight some coffee plantation habitat management practices.
Brett Hartis (NC State University) presented a recent study comparing responses of Bird Conservation Professionals and Cat Colony Caretakers to a survey regarding free-ranging and feral cats.