Thursday, September 4, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have been lacking coherent thoughts with anything unrelated to work (some would argue that my thoughts at work are no longer coherent either) so here are a few odds and ends I have been meaning to post about for a while.

The first item is a chance to help out with a small scale conservation effort directed at an endangered grassland bird. Earlier this year Charlie at 10,000 Birds was birding in Kenya and happened to get some good photos of the Endangered and range-restricted Sharpe's Longclaw (a bird that looks remarkably like our familiar Western Meadowlark). He posted his photos to 10,000 Birds and added that if anyone would like to use the photos for conservation of this species, he would be willing to provide them. One thing let to another and Charlie and 10,000 Birds is now trying to raise a small amount of money for conservation work on this species. Below is what Charlie as to say about the project he worked up or you can read more about it here. Please consider donating to this project (I did). I believe it is one of those instances where a little bit of money can go a long way and thanks to Charlie for recognizing the need and organizing this effort.

Sharpe’s Longclaw (Macronyx sharpeii) is an Endangered and highly range-restricted East African endemic species in the Motacillidae (pipits and wagtails) family. As with so many grassland endemics, this attractive bird is threatened by habitat destruction and is in serious trouble. To promote awareness of the plight of the species, and to help raise funds for research and conservation, the popular blog 10000 Birds has set up a project called the “Small African Fellowship for Conservation”. 10,000 Birds aims to raise US2000 (or more!) by a simple - and secure - online fund-raiser system called Chip In. ALL the money raised will go directly towards a one-year fellowship for field surveys and public awareness campaigns on Kenya’s Kinangop Plateau (one of only three sites with viable populations of Sharpe’s Longclaw) conducted by an inspirational local birder called Dominic Kamau Kimani. The entire project and the distribution of funds to Dominic is being coordinated by the National Museums of Kenya.

This really is a worthwhile (and achievable) project to help save a rapidly disappearing species. Chip in, or read more about the project and Dominic at"

Photo of a Sharpe's Longclaw courtesy of Charlie at 10,000 Birds.

The next item is a chance for you to provide a voice in how one of the largest National Wildlife Refuges in the lower 48 states will be managed. The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is currently working on producing it's latest management plan, called a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP). They are currently soliciting comments on their range of management alternatives and I encourage you to check out information on this plan here. The latest publication on the planning efforts can be found here (PDF, 2.66 mb). The cover has a great photo of a beautiful lady and her young son with a pair of rather large binoculars glued to his eyes and there are a few more photos of a group of birders in the document that may look familiar to some of you. One thing I have learned since working on federal planning and review efforts is the power of good comments so please take time to review the documents and consider sending the refuge your comments on their plan.

Next is a link that I was given by a friend of a friend after a few email exchanges and the revelation that I have a Flatcoated Retriever (Addie is still here and her usual Flatcoat self. I haven't posted about her in a long time but maybe now that bird season is here...) Anyway, the link is for a Flatcoat breeder not that far away from me with similar interests in dogs and birds. I need to get in touch with Andy and Liz but if you would like to see some photos of their gorgeous working Flatcoats check out their website here.

Addie earlier this spring.

And last, but certainly not least, is a photo from the first day of school for my getting taller-by-the-minute oldest son Benton. Plus a photo of Benton and Crean from earlier in the summer just for fun.


Max said...

Thanks for posting the management plans. The CMR is one of my favorite places on Earth and it is good to see what they are doing over there.


John Carlson said...

Glad to help. Stay tuned for more on this and also an upcoming BLM management plan for the area surrounding the refuge to the north.