Texas Bird Auction (fwd)

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Feb 16 16:35:39 CST 1999

Here's a more detailed account of what's planned and who's
participating... Peter

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 16:30:42 -0500
From: Lissette PAVAJEAU <lpavajeau at AUDUBON.ORG>
Subject: Texas Bird Auction

Subject: Texas Bird Auction
From:    John BIANCHI
Date:    2/16/99  4:03 PM


Auction Attendees Bid for Rights to New Bird; Society to Benefit

Austin, TX, February 8  - How much would you pay for a bird so rare that it
doesn't even have a name yet?  This question will be answered at the Bass
Concert Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 5th, when the Audubon
Society, an organization long-known for doing good works for birds, will
for the first time directly benefit from the sale of a very rare bird.
Participants at the silent auction benefit won't actually bid for the whole
bird, just the right to name it.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one committed auction guest,"
said Texas Audubon Society Executive Director Catriona Glazebrook.  "The
highest bidder will have the rare experience of naming a new bird species.
Never before has such a unique privilege been made available to the public,
and the benefit to bird conservation will be an unprecedented one."

The bird, a subtly beautiful antshrike, was recorded for the first time
ever in a remote corner of the Amazon basin.  "In a day and age when most
news about species deals with threats of extinction, it is at once
refreshing and exhilarating to learn that a bird species has just been
discovered," continued Glazebrook.  The discovery, which took place in a
tiny habitat area in the vast Amazon, underscores the need to protect
fragile habitats.  Loss of even this "tiny island" would have dire
consequences for the antshrike.

The highest bidder will enjoy the honor of adding the Latinized version of
his or her name - or any name they choose - to create the scientific name
of this living creature.  Besides conferring on the donor an indelible link
to a living thing, the donor will gain a small slice of immortality.  They
will also receive the original painting of the antshrike by well-known bird
artist, Larry McQueen, photographs of the bird and a tape-recording of its

At the auction, the Audubon Society will celebrate 100 years of
conservation excellence in Texas.  Texans have a lot of which to be proud -
the first Audubon Society was started by two young Galveston residents in
March 1899.  National Audubon President John Flicker and Chairman of the
National Audubon Board of Directors Donal O'Brien, along with other
conservation notables, will attend the event and take part in this unusual
auction, which will benefit Audubon's programs in the US and Latin America.

Proceeds from the auction will launch Texas Audubon's Important Bird Area
Program.  This innovative conservation initiative, envisioned as a joint
partnership between Texas Audubon Society and the state's private
landowners, will identify a network of key sites that provide homes for
birds, conserve these sites, and raise public awareness of the value of
habitat for birds and other wildlife.

An additional portion of the auction proceeds will fund further expeditions
to Brazil and go toward preserving the antshrike's forested habitat in the
heart of the Amazon.

This auction will support effective habitat conservation programs linking
the two hemispheres critical to the survival of Neotropical birds.  Funds
will be used to support habitat conservation in Texas, an important link to
Neotropical migrants; the Central Flyway, an important migration route for
birds; and habitat conservation in Brazil, where many of our most beautiful
migratory birds winter.

The Audubon Society will announce the outcome at the Bass Hall Event on
March 5th, and the formal scientific description of the species will be
published in coming months.

Founded in 1905 and with over 550,000 members in 518 chapters throughout
the Americas, the National Audubon Society conserves and restores natural
ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of
humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

An image of the antshrike is available upon request.

Catriona Glazebrook             512/306-0225
cglazebrook at audubon.org
John Bianchi                    212/979-3026
jbianchi at audubon.org

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