Bird Friendly Communities
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Bird Friendly Communities and Sustainable Solutions

Bird Friendly Communities

Grant Type: 

  • Leadership Program

Fellows: 

Award Date: 

May 2016

Amount: 

$40,000

Location: 

Charleston, SC

Heather Hulton VanTassel has been hired by Audubon South Carolina as its Manager of Sustainable Solutions, lead its new Bird Friendly Communities program and other climate resiliency initiatives.  The Atlantic Flyway is a major travel corridor for many bird species, some of which travel hundreds or even thousands of miles as part of their annual breeding and life cycle.  The Flyway is also home to more than a third of the population of the U.S. with its lawns, pesticides, domestic predators, and loss of wildlife habitat.  Heather will oversee this new program that is strategically aligned with a multi-state effort by National Audubon, encouraging bird-friendly actions that individuals, schools, businesses and other interested groups can take.  Heather will develop and lead a native plants campaign, act as liaison with corporate partners (including Volvo, which has agreed to manage its large Charleston campus with conservation goals in mind), collaborate with area schools (including a USC campus) to create bird-friendly campuses and to provide educators with resources tied to state education standards, and to develop and increase participation in related citizen science efforts.

Grant Outcome: 

Spotlight on Leadership

A century ago, we tried desperately to wipe out mountain lions in North America, and failed. Then American culture changed. In the mid-20th century, we offered mountain lions limited protection in the form of managed hunting. As a consequence, mountain lion populations rebounded far more successfully than anyone would have predicted, and probably more than many would have liked. Today, mountain lions are as abundant as they ever were in the West, and people are faced with a new reality. Can we peacefully coexist with such a successful predator? Mark Elbroch's new book, The Cougar Conundrum, is being published by Island Press on August 13th.Read more >

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