The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Land Trust Alliance are happy to announce the release of our new Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative website. The website brings together a plethora of resources aimed at giving land trusts the tools and know-how to engage in strategic bird conservation, while increasing their own capacity to meet important goals.
In 2013, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology began a Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative to determine the best ways to maximize the mutual benefits that birds and land trusts can provide to each other. To guide the development of our initiative, we first conducted a survey. Our results indicated that proactively facilitating partnerships between the bird conservation community and land trusts could benefit bird populations and help land trusts.
Given these results, we developed a website to bridge the gap between land trusts and bird conservation. Our website is now live! On it, you will find:
- Easy to access bird conservation resources
- Tips on raising funds
- Tutorials for using eBird to gather information about birds on your land
- Partnership opportunities
Birds On Your Land
A critical first step in strategic conservation is knowing where, when, and what species of wildlife occur on your land. eBird is an important tool available to land trusts for determining the presence/absence of bird species, monitoring populations, storing and visualizing data, and engaging the bird-watching community.
There are many benefits of eBird for land trusts, it can...
- Store monitoring information for your land trust
Anyone can enter bird lists to monitor bird species in your area or to map overall abundance of a species on your lands over time.
- Increase outreach about your site
eBird gives you a direct connection to citizen scientists in your community, state, and all over the world, which may lead to more volunteers, more supporters, and potentially more donors.
- Have eBirders enter information about your site
Creating eBird Hotspots at your sites is an excellent way to get more people, specifically birders, excited and out birding on your properties.
- Help write proposals and receive funding
Bird data are extremely useful for writing grant proposals, for conservation easement justifications, or for engaging a potential donor.
- Facilitate decision-making with data
Bird data can contribute significantly to the decision process when considering land for protection, investing in an acquisition, or crafting an easement. You can also use data to determine your priority areas in a strategic conservation plan.
In the eBird section of the website, we also...
- Describe what eBird is
- Provide instructions and step-by-step tutorials on how to use eBird
- Highlight land trusts who are successfully using eBird to achieve their conservation goals
The existing network of bird conservation partners and resources provides an excellent opportunity for land trusts to engage in conservation at different scales. Our website features a Resource Directory that is designed especially for land trusts: bringing many of the resources together in one place and helping navigate the resources to find what is pertinent to land trusts.
The resources can be useful for land trusts' funding proposals, community outreach, strategic conservation planning, land acquisition and easement justification, management plan development, and monitoring. The resources on the website are organized by four categories: Engaging People, Planning, Management Guides, and Presentations and Publications.