Carbon Offset Bird Project
Many of us are familiar with a growing movement toward carbon offset programs that mitigate our energy and carbon footprint by delivering financial resources to projects that either reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon that is emitted.
As birders, we often travel far and wide, using our precious natural resources to do so. We create our own carbon footprint that contributes to the impact technology is having on wildlife populations and their ever important habitat.
Participating in a carbon offset program is one way that we can mitigate the effects of our travel and participating in a Carbon Offset Bird Project will allow us to do the most good for birds.
As Paul Baicich, Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival 2015 Keynote Speaker, explained:
“There are numerous carbon offset programs already underway at the corporate and individual level, involving laudable mitigation and renewable energy campaigns. These often include carbon reforestation projects in developing countries, renewable energy projects in the United States (e.g. solar or wind), and renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries. Of course, I don’t know much about the quality of the trees I may be planting in East Africa to pay for my carbon footprint here in the USA, and I may not be excited about a wind-power project that I’m helping pay to set up in the Great Plains if I suspect that it, too, may be killing birds! What I want is a simple, local, and bird-friendly carbon offset, one I can see myself, one I can show to others that is unequivocally beneficial to birds.
Tucson Audubon has implemented a Carbon Offset Bird Project (COBP), inspired by birders who launched the first COBP, in the hopes that this type of project would be embraced by more birders and spread accordingly.
Donations will be used by Tucson Audubon in one of two ways. On the donation form, you will be given a choice of how to direct your contribution.
- One option is to direct your donation locally to create, improve, or restore valuable bird habitat at sites we are are currently working at, including, but not limited to – the Mason Center, Paton Center for Hummingbirds, and the Historic Y. Offsetting one ton of carbon in this scenario provides either 10 shrubs, 20 pollinator plants, or 40 grasses.
- The second option is to direct your donation towards planting trees at one of our long term restoration sites, the North Simpson Farm. At the Simpson Farm, located along the lower Santa Cruz River, these carbon offset trees will augment 15 years of restoration nearby at other sections of the site and expand the green ribbon of life along the river. As the site transitions due to loss of the year-round effluent flows in the channel, additional mesquite planting, the best locally for carbon offset, become even more important for maintaining the vitality of this stretch of the river corridor. In this scenario, offsetting one ton of carbon provides 5 mesquite trees. Avian surveys have already shown that the site is used by birds in decline including Abert’s Towhee, Bell’s Vireo, and Loggerhead Shrike, and comparative surveys have shown that replanting can lead to strong increases in density and diversity of birds present.
Wondering how to calculate your carbon offset? Either use the calculator or use a suggested donation on the donation page.
Want to learn more about carbon offset bird programs? Read this article from the Vermillion Flycatcher.
Thank you for continuing to support Tucson Audubon in creating a better world for birds!