A recent study that made major national news revealed that we have 30% less birds in North America now than we did in the 1970s. David Newstead, the director of the Coastal Bird Program, with the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program tells us about the problem and a weekend awareness event.

Newstead says the bird decline is a staggering amount of loss in such a short time, felt across nearly all groups of birds. One of the most sharply declining groups of birds is shorebirds. They have an astounding array of lifestyles and habitats, some nesting in the high arctic and others nesting right here in the Coastal Bend. Causes of the decline are many, and many of these are directly attributable to human activities. Since shorebirds mostly depend on wetlands and coasts, increased development and crowded beaches, poor water quality from pesticides and alterations to river flows have degraded their habitats and sea level rise is putting much of their habitat underwater.     

Plovers are a diverse group of shorebirds, and there is no other area in the continent but the Coastal Bend where no less than 8 species of plovers depend on for a substantial part of their lives. We are “plover central station” and our program does a variety of stewardship and research projects aimed at improving habitats and nesting success of these imperiled birds. 

Artists from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have created some amazing art using “woodblock”-style carvings, so will be printing custom t-shirts on demand using a roller press. We will also have event posters and postcards for sale, or you can bring your own item to print on. The proceeds from the sales will contribute to our program’s ongoing efforts to protect these species, and the very talented student artists at TAMU-CC. If you can’t make it to the event but would still like to order a shirt to be mailed, you can visit our facebook page – CBBEP Coastal Bird Program.            

We would like to thank the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and the Coastal Bend Audubon for putting this segment together each month.

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