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The Role of Ornithology in Conservation of the American West
Carl E. Bock
Vol. 99, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 1-6
Published by: American Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1370218
Page Count: 6
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Joseph Grinnell, first Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, was a dedicated and remarkably prescient conservationist, as well as a pioneer western ornithologist. He was one of the first to recognize that birds have particular value in conservation because of their charisma, familiarity, and sensitivity to environmental conditions. History has proven Grinnell right, as evidenced by the influence of birds and ornithology in efforts to protect species and their habitats. However, threats to natural landscapes in western North America continue on a scale even Grinnell might not have predicted. Ornithologically-based conservation efforts must be re-doubled, focused on subjects such as landscape and metapopulation models specifically for western habitats, the use of large-scale data sets, the genetic structure of species and populations, avian responses to environmental stressors and disease, and studies of birds in winter.
The Condor © 1997 Cooper Ornithological Society