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Local is Global

Although the Yosemite Area Audubon Society is primarily focused on Mariposa and eastern Madera Counties and the surrounding areas, we also recognize that habitat changes in our area can have far-flung effects on populations of birds who migrate through or overwinter. With the goal of identifying potential impacts on birds, their habitat, and other animal species that interact in our ecosystems, we seek not only to protect but also to improve the local habitat.

Why be concerned about events half-way around the globe? It boils down to this: Nature does not observe or respect political boundaries. Since so many bird species are migratory, habitat losses that appear far away can affect the local area. For example, the Swainson’s Hawk that summers here may be the longest traveler in this area, going as far as the tip of South America during our winter. For this species to thrive, habitat on both ends of the migration, as well as flyover areas on the way, must be preserved.

In a similar vein, our area hosts wintering birds from the Arctic, as well as strays from Asia which can be found in the valley floor during the winter months. The summer song birds and hummingbirds we enjoy here spend their winters in Mexico, Central and South America. Loss of habitat at either end imperils those species.

What difference does one species make? Every species counts. The loss of one species can affect a local ecosystem in ways that may not be immediately obvious. Examples of this are keystone species whose habits help support a diversity of other species.

What You Can Do:

Volunteer for our local Citizen Science projects – join us on our Raptor Surveys, work on the Nest Box Program, or participate in annual Christmas Bird Counts.