2006-02-02 / News

Protecting nature

Bird expert to speak on the importance of large preserves

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will host a free lecture titled “Conservation across Landscapes: Birds and the Importance of Large Nature Preserves” by distinguished ornithologist Robert Askins.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb.y 9, in Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus.

Askins’ research shows that when human activities convert large expanses of natural woodland and grassland habitat into farmland, residential, and urban areas, bird species often struggle to survive, even if parks and nature preserves are set aside. Isolated and vulnerable to problems spilling over from nearby developed land, these patches of conservation land are not suitable for sustaining viable populations of a wide variety of plant and animal species. Landscape fragmentation is a conservation problem throughout the world.

Askins is the director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation and the chairman of the Department of Biology and Environmental Studies at Connecticut College. He is also the author of “Restoring North America’s Birds,” now in its second edition, from Yale University Press. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase and author signing at the event.

For more information and directions call 401-874-5800, email info@rinhs.org, or visit www.rinhs.org. The event is cosponsored by the University of Rhode Island and the Department of Natural Resources Science.

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