Tricoloured Mega-colony Saved

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Audubon California has announced that it has reached an agreement with a farmer to safeguard a single colony of about 80,000 Tricoloured Blackbirds Agelaius tricolor – nearly a third of the world’s population of this Endangered species.

The estimated global population of Tricoloured Blackbirds is 250,000 to 300,000 birds, with at least 95% of these occurring in California. Tricoloured Blackbirds have declined dramatically in the past century as native wetland habitat has been lost and the species has consequently been classified as Endangered. Tricoloured Blackbirds form just a few large nesting colonies each year, and in most cases these occur in crop fields. This puts the colonies in grave danger when farmers cultivate the field before young birds are able to fly.

“This is really a great victory for conservation, and an example of how conservation and agricultural interests can work together to find real solutions”, said Graham Chisholm, director of conservation for Audubon California. “The Tricoloured Blackbird is an important part of California’s natural beauty, and this agreement, combined with other conservation measures, will help to ensure that it has a healthy future.”

Details here at BirdLife International.

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