[Tweeters] The double-edged sword of conservation

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 4 17:43:17 PDT 2013

In order to protect places, conservation groups need to rally support. Often
in the past this included trail books, photo essays etc which then attracted
people, which in some cases, caused degradation of the very thing they were
trying to preserve. This is possibly also true of tweeters. It is a great
resource for learning about the presence of specific rare birds and their
precise location. So what happens when 30 bird watchers/photographers all
show up in a small space? Just the presence of that many humans is probably
an overload. But since we don't know for sure, and its pretty hard to
accurately measure, the affect of crowding is not really considered. When a
rare bird leaves an area, we really don't know if its because of the crowds
of people, but I think its something to consider. Truth is, I have chosen
not to post a couple of bird sightings over the years just to be considerate
of the birds right to be unhassled by hordes of birders. I have no regrets
over that decision as it is clear to me that the absence of people is not
going to cause any problems in the life of a bird, especially one that is
far from home and out of its normal space, which is the typical situation of
the usual rare bird.

Rob Sandelin

Naturalist, Writer, Teacher


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