Bird Conservation Research, Inc. was founded in 1999 as a publicly supported, non-profit foundation with the purpose of providing scientific data for driving conservation action and developing high level educational resources to the science teaching community. The foundation’s focus is on the most diverse wildlife group, the birds, and on the habitats that support them. It principally serves the educational and conservation communities of southern New England although, based on our web site statistics, many of its products are used throughout the nation.
Clients include land trusts, town conservation/wetland/planning and zoning commissions, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor (National Park Service), Thames Valley Watershed Council, Rhode Island Audubon Society, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers, Connecticut Department of Education, and Massachusetts Department of Education. Because it has produced a rare commodity in the conservation arena- landscape-level, quantitative, statistically defensible data on wildlife resources, its services have been in demand by land conservation groups. Principal activities to date have been:
1) Evaluating how habitat size, vegetation associations and habitat proximity influence the species richness and population density of marsh bird communities. This project produced Determinants of species-area relationships for marsh-nesting birds.
2) An eight-year quantitative survey to document the population densities and distributions of all forest bird species inhabiting southern New England. To date, this project has produced Factors influencing landscape-level diversity in forest bird communities of eastern Connecticut, and Seasonal shifts in population distributions and habitat use by permanent resident forest birds in eastern Connecticut, as well as the book Forest Birds of the Last Green Valley- a natural resource atlas for conservation planners. This book was distributed to all town conservation commissions in the study area (eastern Connecticut) at no charge.
3) Production of the non-technical book, Discover the Critical Habitats of Connecticut, which explored natural history and conservation issues for a target audience of families, upper level high school students and community college students.
4) Based on this book, a video series on New England habitats and the nature of scientific research has been initiated. The pilot video, Floodplains, is presently available via www.birdconservationresearch.org. The videos Beaches and Bogs are also now posted to the web site. Companion PowerPoint presentations are available as well.
5) In conjunction with the Advanced Placement Environmental Science curriculum, a college-level program offered at high schools throughout the country, we have prepared a series of PowerPoint presentations that follow national learning objectives. To date, we have produced Earth Systems and Resources, The Living World, Population and Environmental Pollution.
6) Evaluating regional conservation priorities for endangered bird species in light of continental distributions and population trend of these species. This project produced Endangered species, provincialism, and a continental approach to bird conservation.
Most all of these products are available as free downloads from the web site.