Why Help Raptors?
occupy a special niche in our environment. Being at the top of a fragile food
chain, they act as indicator species for our environment. If all is well in the
environment, indicator species do well. If something goes wrong down below, the
ones farther up suffer and usually show signs of trouble first. By monitoring
the health of the indicator species, we can monitor the health of our
the past half-century, significant changes have taken place in the way our
society views and interacts with raptors. Once looked at as vermin and shot for
bounties, raptors are now understood to be vital to our environment and are
protected by state, federal, and international laws. Events such as the
proliferation and subsequent removal of DDT, habitat loss, and human
infrastructure interference have all changed how raptors survive in our world.
has significant evolving situations that affect raptor populations. We have
factors not often found in other places, such as being a major part of the
Pacific Flyway, rapid destruction of wildlife habitat for human housing,
business, and agriculture, mild weather (which results in large year-round
raptor populations), and a well-educated populace.
global or regional events produce effects on the raptor populations, people in
the affected areas often take notice and want to help. A framework evolves that
includes observation, research, conservation, education, and supportive care.
Numerous organizations and individuals begin working together and finding their
niches within the framework. By pooling effort and sharing results, advances are
made far in excess of the sum of the parts.
work in rehabilitation, education, training, medical research, and electrocution
prevention has become an integral part of the framework in Northern California.
We can only hope that our work will assist in conserving the populations of
these birds we love so much.
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