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Thursday, June 19, 2014

You can be a part of the “Osprey Nation”

The Connecticut Audubon Society has launched a new citizen science program called “Osprey Nation” with the goal of tracking and safeguarding the hundreds of Ospreys that nest in Connecticut, according to a release.
 

Connecticut Audubon is creating an interactive map, available on www.ctaudubon.org/osprey-nation, that will show the location as well as key information about each nest. The data will also be provided to the Connecticut DEE.

Working in partnership with state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut Audubon Society "is recruiting volunteer stewards for Osprey Nation, to create a long-term record of information that will provide a better understanding of the health of Connecticut’s Osprey population," the release said..
 
"It was only several decades ago that the widespread use of DDT brought these great fish-eating raptors to the brink of extinction. But with a ban on this toxic pesticide and the efforts of government biologists, conservation groups and individuals, Ospreys have made a dramatic comeback. Ospreys now nest in dozens of locations along the coast, and on rivers and lakes further inland," the release said.
 
“The status of these magnificent birds provide us with invaluable insights into the health of our lakes, rivers, Long Island Sound – and ourselves,” said Alexander Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society, also in the release. “If Ospreys are doing well, we know that fish are plentiful and relatively free of environmental contaminants. If the Osprey population starts to fall again, it will be a signal that something is wrong somewhere.”
  
“In order to follow any population trends in our Ospreys, we need to know how many nests are in Connecticut and whether the birds are thriving over time,” Brash said.
 
Robert Klee, commissioner of the DEEP, said, also in the release: "Careful monitoring of the Osprey population continues to be important and the volunteer work of Connecticut's citizen scientists will provide the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with valuable information that will help scientists determine how well Ospreys are doing in Connecticut. Since their comeback after the ban of DDT in the 1970's, the population has experienced a steady increase and can be seen all along Connecticut's coasts and rivers."
 
Milan Bull, Connecticut Audubon Society’s senior director of science and conservation, said the organization is recruiting a network of volunteer stewards to collect data on Osprey nests, including location, arrival dates in spring, nesting success and departure dates.
 
“If you live near an active Osprey nest, own binoculars or a spotting scope, and want to join our network of stewards, please email us at Osprey@Ctaudubon.org,” Bull said.
 
Bull said he estimates that each volunteer steward would need to spend no more than an hour a month, from late March through August, observing, recording information and emailing it to Connecticut Audubon Society, the release said
 
Learn more here
 
Photo provided by Audubon is by  Diane Hull, on the Branford River.
 
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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