Mendenhall Wetlands slideshow, booksigning to be held tonight

Posted: Friday, May 08, 2009

In celebration of International Migratory Bird Day and in recognition of a recent award for the Mendenhall wetlands, a slideshow and booksigning by Robert Armstrong will be held at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

The book, titled "The Mendenhall Wetlands: A globally recognized Important Bird Area" by Bob Armstrong, Richard Carstensen, Mary Willson and Marge Hermans Osborn, has just been published and will be available at the visitor center's Alaska Geographic bookstore.

Juneau's Mendenhall Wetlands recently achieved a significant distinction as a globally recognized "Important Bird Area." The designation is based on several requirements established by an international committee.

"In order to qualify for a globally or continentally significant IBA," the authors write, "a site must support a significant portion of the flyway population of a particular species." Generally, the site must support over one percent of the North American population of a species at one time, or more than five percent of the population for the season. Fifteen species contributed to the Wetlands' qualification.

The Wetlands provide a valuable resting and feeding area for 256 species of birds. Because of Southeast Alaska's rugged mountain and ocean terrain, flat grassy zones like the Mendenhall Wetlands are rare and vital to the survival of migrating birds.

Tonight's event is sponsored by the Mendenhall Refuge Citizens Advisory Group of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau Audubon Society, Southeast Alaska Land Trust and US Forest Service. The visitor center's fee will be suspended after 7 p.m.

For details, call Laurie at 789-0097.

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