Conservation Spotlight: American Bird Conservancy December 02, 2011

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is the only bird conservation group that tackles the tough job of preventing the extinction of the rarest birds throughout the Americas. ABC works in many of the countries where VENT international tours go, and Victor himself is a member of the organization's board of directors. ABC also works in the U.S. on policy and habitat conservation programs, to eliminate threats to birds, and to address conservation at a landscape scale for our declining migratory species.

Among ABC's greatest achievements is the network of 33 bird reserves in ten countries spanning more than 130,000 acres in total, mostly established during the last five years. This reserve network, the vast majority of which includes titled land owned by ABC’s Latin American partner groups, includes some of the best birding sites on the continent. The reserves provide habitat for more than 2,000 bird species (nearly half the bird species occurring in the Americas) of which 71 are globally Vulnerable, 35 are Endangered, and 12 are Critically Endangered according to IUCN-World Conservation Union assessments.

In addition, 18 of the 33 reserves are known as Alliance for Zero Extinction sites: locations that provide the only known remaining habitat for an Endangered or Critically Endangered species. The list of birds protected includes such legendary species as the Long-whiskered Owlet, Jocotoco Antpitta, Santa Marta Parakeet, Black-breasted Puffleg, and many, many more.

Just by going to some of these places you can help conservation, since the costs of managing many of the reserves can be offset by income from visiting birders who stay at lodges operated by the conservation organizations that also own the reserves. VENT tours use a number of these ABC reserves and lodges. Another way you can help is by sending a tax deductible gift to ABC at 4249 Loudoun Avenue, The Plains, VA 20198. ABC is among the best respected charities in America, and in fact, for six consecutive years, ABC has been rated a 4-Star, "Exceptional" charity by the independent group Charity Navigator—a status achieved by less than one percent of all U.S. charities.

As a special offer for VENT clients, ABC is offering a free first year's membership to everyone who replies (though they would be delighted to get your dues if you prefer!). This means you will get three issues of the fabulous full color Bird Conservation magazine absolutely free, plus three issues of the newsletter Bird Calls with the latest in bird conservation news. To take advantage of this once in a lifetime offer, send an email to Michael Parr (mparr@abcbirds.org) or write to him at the address mentioned above.

For more information about ABC, visit http://www.abcbirds.org/