BirdReturns: How Big Data and Farmers Are Protecting the Pacific Flyway in California

October 22, 2015
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Bird migration presents a conservation challenge: how can we protect a moving target? Ancient flyways extend thousands of miles, some across entire hemispheres, and their preservation is essential for the survival of migrating birds. Poor informaton about the movements of species and habitat availability, the lack of efficient and adaptable conservation tools, and the high cost of plan implementation at meaningful scales, compound the difficulty in protecting migrating birds. Speakers Brian Sullivan, co-leader of the Cornell Lab’s eBird program, and Mark Reynolds from The Nature Conservancy, explain how the recent availability of large-scale data, from citizen science projects and remote sensing, is improving our ability to develop effective conservation strategies for migratory birds. Find out how the Cornell Lab’s eBird program worked in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to develop and create temporary bird habitat on farmland in California, when and where birds need it most. The project has partnered with more than 200 farmers, creating more than 30,000 acres of high-quality bird habitat, demonstrating a cost-effective way for farmers to help protect the Pacific Flyway.

The talk took place on October 19, 2015. It is part of the Cornell Lab’s long-running Monday Night Seminar series, a tradition established decades ago by Lab founder Dr. Arthur Allen. If you enjoyed this seminar, check this page for our list of future speakers—we’ll note which upcoming talks will be livestreamed—or come visit us in person!

See our index of archived livestreamed seminars to enjoy more talks from the Cornell Lab.