“Conservation Birding: It’s Your Duty to Go”
A Zoom Presentation
Traveling birders can become a powerful force for conservation, supporting community-based ecotourism projects by going there. Unless local people recognize the value to them of land set aside for a nature reserve, they are unlikely to support conservation. By spending our tourism budget with community-based lodges and using local guides, we can provide incentive for conservation, and support local ornithological study. It's not just the tourism dollars: local people are impressed that foreigners would travel so far to see what they have. Their governments note that the world is paying attention to their natural diversity and conservation programs. As Miguel Portura, an indigenous guide in Mitú, Colombia says, “It makes me proud that people come from abroad to discover how we live here”. Folks in undeveloped countries have invested in ecotourism projects with the hope that we will support them by showing up; it’s our duty to follow through and enjoy the experience.
The presenter, Jeff Harding, has been enjoying such birding vacations multiple times per year, most years for the last two decades, and will share some of his experiences and insights with lovely images from travel in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Jeff has been an active birder in the mid-valley since the 1970s. Currently he is an eBird reviewer for Linn and Marion County, as well as for Colombia.
Birder’s Night is a monthly program presented by Salem Audubon focusing on enjoying, learning about, and preserving wildlife and the environments which sustain them. Our current Birder’s Night differs from all previous ones, however, in that it will be delivered virtually, as a ZOOM Webinar, due to the dangers of meeting in a large group posed by COVID-19. The future depends on the rate of increase in COVID-19 in Marion County. We will continue to use Zoom Webinar to host Birder’s Night until it is safe to meet in person again.