The Audubon Society has officially launched the 2008 Christmas Bird Count, the 109th traditional bird species census that engages volunteers, scientists, naturalists and conservationists from all over the continent.
Known as the largest and longest-running citizen-based conservation effort in the world, the Christmas Bird Count runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5, 2009 and engages bird-watchers from all over the U.S., every Canadian province and territory, and parts of Central America, Bermuda, the West Indies and Pacific Islands, according to the National Audubon Society.
Data gathered by thousands of volunteer groups who count and identify local bird species will be compiled to help scientists, conservationists and policy-makers track the progress of imperiled species and protect changing habitats worldwide.
There are more than 100 individual bird counts organized in California so far, with more than 5,000 volunteers participating, according to Audubon California.
During the 2007 Christmas Bird Count the Audubon Society reported counting more than 70 million birds.
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