So, everyone once in awhile, one wonders why there are such things as bioblitzes, or ecoquests to record biodiversity. Then there are such shorebirds as Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes which are considered threatened in Saskatchewan by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. Coming out to connect with nature, and record your sightings are invaluable to a species such as Lesser Yellowlegs. Their lives depend on you!
In this year of severe drought, there are so many wetlands drying up, it is a wonder that those birds which migrated north have any water at all.
To begin to look at the species profile and why they are considered threatened, well there are little to no wetlands policies around for conservation when development wishes to go through, and then drought has taken what little there is away. And the reason for the threatened designation is that there are substantial declines recorded in bird surveys. Loss of wetlands is one concern, but there is also climate change taking its toll along with other factors.
Society has started to rally with Bee crusades, and Monarch butterfly flyways and pollinator gardens, but who has started a shorebirds action? Who has said that the wetlands policy must become a bylaw, and that it should protect the habitats of species at risk? So, COSEWIC provided the threatened designation 21 years ago for the Lesser Yellow Legs, and sadly to say, it has not changed. Are you good at letter writing. Can you write a letter to your Member of Parliament, Member of the Legislative Assembly, or Councillor? What would happen to mankind if we did nothing for the decline in homo sapiens species from Coronavirus COVID-19 for 21 years? Society surely did rally to fix the rapidly declining deaths and illness from COVID through a number of vaccines. The Lesser Yellow Legs is not sick, so it doesn’t need a rapidly developed vaccine. The population of the Lesser Yellow Legs has gone down because they have no home to live in. Their homes are wetlands. And what do we do with wetlands? Fill them in as quickly as possible with compost, gravel or any excavation material so we can build on them – who cares how many basements are flooded, and who cares how many Lesser Yellowlegs die without a home.
Luckily in Saskatoon the long range planners are doing a Green Network Connectivity Strategy to keep the wetlands of the West Swale! The West Swale joins the North Saskatchewan River Valley to the South Saskatchewan River Valley, and what a marvellous wetlands corridor that is! That surely shows continuous improvements and environmental leadership!
When will action start for the shorebirds? It is surely good that this decade is the United Nations Decade on Ecological Restoration, and we can love some shorebirds and protect their habitat. What thinks you?
For more information:
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas
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““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
Richard St. Barbe Baker