Join the 2019 Christmas Bird Count

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Want to be part of a worldwide bird count? Join the Saipan Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 18, Wednesday.

Every year the world comes together to participate in the Christmas Bird Count, and with the CNMI being home to bird species found nowhere else, the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife is encouraging everyone to join in the count.

Volunteers will meet at 6am at the American Memorial Park, and will be divided into teams for roadside and walking surveys. Teams will spread out to cover the island, to find and record as many birds and bird species as possible.

“The event provides important data about bird population trends and helps inform conservation efforts,” DFW’s Emilie Kohler said. “It is also a good opportunity for the participants to learn more about the birds in their backyard,”

Started in 1900 by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count is the world’s longest-running citizen science project.

Data gathered from surveying the birds help biologists and wildlife agencies study bird population all over the world, and how it changes, over the past hundred years. This aids in coming up with strategies to help protect the birds and their habitat.

“Last year, the CBC had 76,987 participants in Canada, the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, and Pacific Islands. Saipan has been a part of this winter tradition for more than 20 years,” Kohler added.

On Monday, Dec. 16, 5:45pm, the public is invited to attend a talk, “Bird Species of Saipan,” at the American Memorial Park in Garapan, sponsored by the DFW and the Asia Pacific Academy of Sciences, Science Education, and Environmental Management.

The presentation is an opportunity for the public to learn Saipan bird species identification by sight and song, and will also prepare volunteers participating in the Christmas Bird Count.

Volunteers, if able, can bring binoculars.

To join the bird count, or more information, contact Kohler at (670) 285-7125 or kohler.dfw@gmail.com.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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