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Why Birds Really Matter: President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter, an avid birder, talks about the importance of bird conservation and why birds really matter.

Step outside your house in the morning and one of the first things you will hear or see is a bird. They are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that most of the time we don’t even notice them. Yet the truth is that their numbers are declining. According to the State of North America’s Bird Report 2016, more than one-third of North American bird species are at risk of extinction without significant conservation action.

The issue of conservations is not, in fact, for the birds. This week the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is hosting the largest-ever North American Ornithological Conference, which brings together thousands of ornithological professionals to address the question of bird conservation.

Birds are indicators of environmental health. They are the canary in the coal mine (pun intended) that let us know when something is not right in our ecosystem.

 

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