Kitty Cams in the news

A study on the habits of outdoor cats by UGA researcher Kerrie Ann Loyd, and partly funded by an ORAS small grant, has been making national news recently. 'Kitty cams' attached to pet cats revealed the surprising toll on native wildlife and risk-taking behavior by the felines while out on the prowl. Many of us here on the ORAS board are cat-lovers, but for the sake of local wildlife, and the health and safety of our feline companions, we advocate keeping your cats indoors. Some of the press relating to this study can be viewed on the NPR website:

 

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/10/158589981/kitty-cam-reveals-the-secret-lif...

and the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-kitty-cams-20120807,...

September 6 speaker meeting, reception and art auction

For our Sept. 6 meeting, ORAS will host two special guests: Robert Gallardo and John Sill. They are the author and illustrator of a one-of-a-kind book on the birds of Honduras.  At our  meeting Gallardo willspeak on his experience documenting over 700 species in this small but avian-rich country.  Everyone is invited to a 6:30 reception preceding the meeting where Sill will exhibit  original plates  for the book and will offer original art for silent auction.  The reception will offer an opportunity to donate to support  this important field guide.  Both the  party and  the  7:30 ORAS meeting will be held in the Ecology building on the UGA campus.

Robert Gallardo and John Sill

Oconee Rivers Audubon Society (ORAS) Small Grants Award; Fall 2012 call for proposals

ORAS wishes to support a student, teacher, individual, or group conducting research, designing outreach or educational activities, or undertaking habitat improvement that will benefit birds and other native wildlife in the Athens area. Awards are typically in the region of $300, but awards of up to $500 will be considered.

Successful applicants are expected to write a short report for our monthly newsletter and/or to give an oral presentation of 30min – 1hr at one of our monthly speaker meetings. The proposal should be 2-3 pages in length (single or 1.5 spaced), and should describe how the project will benefit birds, wildlife, and the Athens community. It should also contain an itemized list of supplies that will be purchased with the grant money.

Please email applications to ORAS President Richard Hall, president "AT" oconeeriversaudubon.org. The deadline for receipt of these proposals is October 1st 2012.

New Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries

Please welcome our 4 newest Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries! Congratulations to Lorene Winter, Deb Weiler and Loren Hunt, Judy and Richard Newton, and Chuck Murphy, who have all received Backyard Wildlife Certifications this summer! Since our program began on May 1st, we have certified 5 properties (with one additional property pending). A total of 34.27 acres in the Athens area is now certified as backyard wildlife habitat!

Our First Certified Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary!

Congratulations to Leon Galis for being the first backyard to be certified as a backyard wildlife sanctuary! Leon has been improving his yard for wildlife for years by planting native species, providing fruiting trees and shrubs, and removing privet from his property. Leon also provided the initial inspiration to create the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program here in Athens. Six volunteer certifiers also attended to learn more about the certification process.

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