Urgent Messages from AOS and DIBS:
Ken Hare, PR Chair of AOS:
Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary (DIBS) has an amazing chance to purchase and permanently protect four contiguous lots located just where weary songbirds flying across the Gulf of Mexico in their spring migration could land. Fellow Alabama Ornithological Society board member Andrew Haffenden outlines below the need and urgency for birders to help DIBS with this project. I’ve also attached comments from others on this issue. Please consider helping to protect this vital and vanishing habitat by sending your donation to Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries, PO Box 1295, Dauphin Island, AL 36528—
Andrew Haffenden, AOS and DIBS Board Member:
DIBS has the immediate and rare opportunity, with your help, to purchase four contiguous maritime forest lots with virtually pristine forest and few if any invasive plants, and conserve in perpetuity this critical habitat for migratory birds. Dauphin Island is designated as a Globally Important Bird Area due to its location as the first arrival point for migrating birds. However, the forested habitat of Dauphin Island is being cleared at an unprecedented pace for development. DIBS has just 50 days to raise the funds to protect part of this crucial habitat, as the organization has a hold on them until the end of July. An opportunity to get a single block of such good habitat of this size is extremely rare, and given the pace of development on the island, time is fast running out for protecting the remaining habitat. It seems every week another For Sale sign goes up on an undeveloped lot, or a lot is cleared for building. And lots are selling quickly at increasing prices. Any and all donations are needed! There will be a Donate button on the DIBS website (www.coastalbirding.org) soon, but a mailed check is of course welcome – the address is above. Please help with this specific fundraising effort to secure these lots, and keep Dauphin Island as the haven for birds after their long migration across the Gulf. Birders also will benefit, as DI is a place we all come to see the amazing variety of birds in Spring.
Harry Dean, President of AOS:
A $10,000 donation to DIBS approved earlier by the AOS board to be used to attract matching funds, will likely be used for this project. But much more is needed, and I urge other organizations and individuals to pitch in.
Dena Phillips McKee, DIBS Board Member:
Whether it’s $20 or $20,000, we appreciate any amount you can donate. All donations are used exclusively for the purchase & protection of bird habitat on Dauphin Island. Any amount received over the purchase price of these lots will be applied towards securing other property on the island. Just so you know, there are no paid employees with DIBS. Everything is done by volunteers.
Greg Harber, AOS and DIBS Board Member: On the aerial photo of the land in question, note the strategic location of these lots behind the dune line… For a northbound spring migrant crossing the gulf it’s the first forested habitat in which weary migrant songbirds can find