Saturday, November 16, 2013

Migration Update--Monarchs and Red Knots

This year's count of monarchs overwintering in the mountains of Mexico is ongoing, as the monarchs continue to arrive. There's an update page, apparently updated weekly. Here's an update from Nov. 10:
As of November 10th, there were 10 trees filled with monarchs at El Rosario Sanctuary. This compares to 60 trees on November 1, 2011.
You can see how the numbers have fallen, with the change in U.S. farming practices, particularly widespread adoption of Roundup-Ready GMO corn and soybeans, being a big factor in the decline.

Another extraordinary migration threatened--The Red Knot

Below is info from Delaware Riverkeeper on a proposal to list the Red Knot--the robin-sized bird that flies nearly 19,000 miles each year, from southern Patagonia up to the arctic and back--as threatened. There's a quick link provided where you can put your vote in for increasing the designation to "endangered". Long-distance migrating species are the most affected by changes in climate, because their arrival at different locations along the way need to be well-timed with available food sources that will fuel the next leg of their journey. This link takes you to a previous post with more info on the red knot, the heroic efforts to save it, and its annual stopover in New Jersey to feast on freshly laid horseshoe crab eggs.
Speak Out to Save the Red Knot, a Delaware Bay Shorebird, from Extinction
Support the Proposal to List the Red Knot Under the Endangered Species Act – But Urge a Listing of Endangered Rather than Just Threatened.
Red knots that migrate through Delaware Bay have declined by 75 percent or more since the 1980s.  The current number of these beautiful birds hovers around just 25,000 in our Delaware Bay population.
While the Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed in 2005 to have the species listed for protection as early as 2005, only now, as the result of litigation, has the US Fish & Wildlife Service finally gotten around to proposing an increased level of protection the birds so desperately need.
Today the US Fish & Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Red Knot as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  This step is vital if we are to protect the species from extinction, but it is equally important that the level of protection be that of Endangered, not just Threatened.
Please take a moment and send your letter today.

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