State College Bird Club
22 Oct. 2008
The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on 22 O0ct. 2008. Twenty-eight members and guests attended; Debra Grim presided.
Nan Butkovich read the September meeting minutes, which were approved. Dorothy Bordner read the treasurer's report and checklist. Attendees reported 89 species within a 25-mile radius of Old Main since 24 September. Species of note included Snow Goose, Northern Goshawk, and Merlin.
The presentation for the evening was by Jim Curtis on “Population and the Environment: A Birder’s Perspective”. Mr. Curtis recently visited Ethiopia as part of Audubon’s Population and Habitat Program. Much of the presentation dealt with the impact of people on the environment.
Habitat degradation is a significant problem for people and wildlife. Ethiopia has a large population, a significant percentage of which is living in marginal environments with inadequate water supplies and poor sanitation. Although Ethiopia was once about 40% forest, that number has dwindled to about 3%, and most of the remaining forest is non-native Eucalyptus, which is important to the economy. As much as 82% of the country is affected by erosion.
In spite of this there is a wide diversity of species present. Approximately 350 bird species are present in the country, which is about half the size of Pennsylvania. There is almost no environmental consciousness, although he did discuss one project that made habitat preservation important to a local village by tying it to projects to provide medical care and a potable water supply.
Nan Butkovich, Secretary