The CFO Conservation Committee was formed in 2019. The objectives of the committee are to raise money for conservation projects that benefit Colorado birds; to respond to ad hoc conservation threats that may arise contemporaneously; and finally to represent CFO as needed with respect to conservation issues brought before the CFO Board of Directors.
As an organizing strategy the Committee selected our state bird, the Lark Bunting, to guide and focus our conservation actions. Consequently, our inaugural fundraising effort will target conservation of grassland birds. The current Committee Chair is Allison Hilf.
Funds will be raised through birders participation in an annual event, the "Colorado Birding Challenge", a fun, social, competitive activity for Colorado birders. The inaugural event will be held on May 8, 2021.
Funds raised this year will support two grassland bird conservation projects of Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (BCR). One project focuses on learning more about migration routes of Lark Buntings and other grassland species and other important information such as where they stop to rest and refuel. BCR will be working with the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, where radio transmitters will be attached to grassland birds, tracking them through a network of Motus stations. CFO funds will support the purchase and installation of one or more Motus stations in Colorado as part of the developing network in the Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert region. To learn more about Motus, please click here.
Another project supports grassland conservation, habitat improvement and restoration efforts within BCR’s Sustainable Grazing Network (SGN) in northern Mexico, which spans over 500,000 acres in three states and supports hundreds of thousands of Colorado grassland birds in winter. BCR works with SGN landowners to enroll their ranches in a 15-year conservation and management agreement while providing cost-share and technical assistance in developing and implementing an integrated range and wildlife management program for their property. The SGN aims to engage landowners as partners in grassland bird conservation through restoration of degraded lands and implementation of bird-friendly practices, while also making their ranches more ecologically and economically productive and resilient in the face of climate and land-use change. You can read more about these efforts here, here and here.