Audubon Magazine Winter 2018

Audubon is the official magazine of the National Audubon Society. Get Audubon Magazine digital magazine subscription today for news coverage of the natural world. We help our readers appreciate, understand, and protect the environment with a particular focus on birds, other wildlife and their habitats

United States
National Audubon Society
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4 Numeri

in questo numero

2 min
land of plenty

Near the western end of the Alaska Peninsula, between the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, lies Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. At 315,000 terrestrial acres, it’s Alaska’s smallest refuge, but one of the most ecologically unique. Active volcanoes tower behind freshwater lakes and ponds on the tundra, and Izembek Lagoon, the heart of the refuge, protects sandy coastlines and lush eelgrass beds from harsh marine conditions. While development has been banned here for decades, a recent decision allows construction of a road through this untouched wilderness that sustains walruses, wolves, and some 180 bird species.…

2 min
of snakes and men

As one scientist says, “Nothing’s going to happen until the birders take up the cause.” OF THE MANY MENACES TO the state of Florida—red tide, sea-level rise, super charged storms—perhaps none looms quite so large as the Burmese pythons slithering through its swampland. Up to 18 feet long and able to swallow multiple Great Blue Herons in one fell swoop, even they, as Chris Sweeney discovers in “Invasion of the Bird Snatchers” (page 34), are merely one monster in a cast of sci-fi-worthy reptiles now threatening Florida’s rich avian life. No one knows exactly how these creatures became established in the Sunshine State (although we have a pretty good idea). But we are coming to understand the unintended consequences of their invasion. At the heart of this offbeat narrative is a serious…

3 min
we lead where birds lead (or need us)

Audubon’s commitment to birds-first action guides us no matter which political party holds the upper hand. IT’S BEEN AN EVENTFUL YEAR for conservation, and sometimes it felt like birds were the targets every time we looked skyward: From rollbacks at the EPA and attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act to a sneak attack on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the shrinking of public lands for drilling and mining, Audubon played a lot of defense for the sake of birds. That made 2018 challenging, but there were some real steps forward on the big policies that affect birds and nature. For one, we worked closely with Republicans in the House of Representatives as they introduced a bill that would institute a federal carbon tax to address a changing climate. A number…

3 min

Civic Duty When Audubon, National Geographic, and other partners dubbed 2018 the Year of the Bird, they aimed to get others to walk in stride. As the magazine went to press, at least 38 governors and mayors had taken up the mantle. From the capitol building in Bismarck, North Dakota, to the historic Iditarod Trail in Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, the past few months have brought a slew of pacts to hold birds in the local and national conscience. To learn more about the year’s events and pledges, go to Postscript Following the online publication of “On the Trail With the Wild Detective” from the Fall 2018 issue, several readers noticed cage-like mesh visible in the Night Parrot photo that John Young took in 2013 and provided to Audubon. Capturing an endangered…

4 min
bellwethers of climate change

Proposals include floating homes, tidal lagoons, and other features designed to protect current and new residents alike. WHEN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, loses two professional sports teams in the next few years, it will gain prime waterfront real estate. The stadiums for the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors will be razed, creating space for thousands of affordable new homes. According to climate models, however, that housing might not last much longer than its athletic forebears: The bay around the neighborhoods is prone to as much as two feet of sea-level rise by 2050. The good people of Oakland aren’t about to let that opportunity wash away. They’ve pressed their government to confront climate change before it wreaks havoc on the city’s 19 miles of shoreline. The mayor and council have responded with action:…

2 min
the secret lives of rails

WHEN IT COMES TO BLACK Rails, what we know has long been more legend than science. Sometimes heard but rarely seen, the sparrow-size birds creep through remote wetlands across their North American range, making it tough for researchers to gain more than a basic grasp on the species. That’s starting to change along the Gulf Coast, where Audubon Louisiana is collecting the first pool of Black Rail data in the state. Through ongoing surveys, the group has discovered a small stronghold in and around the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary and is planning to dispatch radio transmitters to learn how the birds move during the nesting season. The information comes at an especially critical time, as rising seas devour 10,000 acres of coastal marshes in Louisiana a year. Much of that…