Promoting Community Engagement in Migratory Bird Journeys through Story Maps



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Migration is a defining phenomenon in the natural world. Many animals demonstrate amazing migrations in which they travel long distances to breed and survive. Among migrants, birds are the record-setters. Unfortunately, over 40% of the world’s 2,000 migratory bird species are facing decline. Without knowing where birds spend their time, we are unable to identify and prevent the sources of decline. The Migratory Connectivity project, part of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, aims to better understand where birds spend their time so that conservationists have an idea of which habitats to protect. One of the species that is facing huge declines is the Long-billed Curlew, a species found here in Texas. Everyday people can play an instrumental role in protecting migratory bird species like the Long-billed Curlew, which our project aimed to convey through interactive and educational multimedia story maps. These story maps give people an overview of the species we chose to highlight, the Long-billed Curlew and the Pacific Loon, and allow people to follow their migration patterns using real data. We hope to convey the importance of protecting habitats and influencing perceptions towards migratory birds so that they will be around for years to come. This project was completed with contribution from Autumn-Lynn Harrison from Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.