Target: Naturalist and author Mark Cocker
Goal: Applaud naturalist’s efforts to bring awareness to the importance of biodiversity and for emphasizing the cultural significance of birds in newly published book
In his unique ornithological book, Birds and People, leading naturalist Mark Cocker combines natural history and cultural anthropology to summarize the influence that birds have on the environment and their meaning to humankind. With a stunning collection of images produced by renowned bird photographer, David Tipling, and contributions from hundreds of individuals from various backgrounds, Birds and People promotes the conservation of birds by highlighting their tremendous ecological and social value. By focusing on the importance of traditions and practices relating to birds in different societies from all around the world, Cocker examines why birds have such a powerful impact on cultures.
The recently published project explores the origins and current condition of the relationship between birds and people. Cross-culturally, birds are an important part of the human experience. Cocker maps humankind’s interest in birds in themes of history, art, literature, spirituality, politics, and the environment. Birds are cherished as pets, valued aesthetically, and used to express our bond with nature. These culturally important creatures evoke a sense of freedom, providing a frequent source of artistic inspiration.
Conservation science has demonstrated that birds are important indicators of ecosystem health. Because they are found everywhere on Earth, are responsive to change, inexpensive to survey, and reflect trends in other biodiversity, birds serve as an easy-to-read ‘environmental barometer’ that allows us to see the loss of biodiversity more clearly. The worldwide decline of common birds is evidence that the global environment is rapidly deteriorating, which affects all life on the planet. Key threats of biodiversity include climate change, intensification of industrial-scale farming and fishing, spread of invasive species, pollution, loss of forests, and other forms of habitat destruction.
The personal stories and anecdotes gathered by Cocker provide a ‘global chorus,’ drawing attention to the important relationship between human beings and birds. Birds and People brings awareness to the challenges that the loss of biodiversity presents to human wellness. Please sign this petition to congratulate this author for his dedication to promoting the conservation of birds.
Dear Mark Cocker,
I would like to congratulate you for publishing Birds and People, promoting bird conservation through a unique integration of natural history and ethnography that focuses on the important relationship between humans and birds. Documenting the long history of humankind’s interactions with birds through indigenous bird knowledge and personal stories from people around the world emphasizes their enormous cross-cultural significance. By celebrating the diverse ways in which birds enrich our lives socially, economically, artistically, and spiritually, your book has the potential to increase commitment to their conservation.
Birds and People demonstrates the urgent need to conserve all of our remaining bird populations and their threatened ecosystems for the enjoyment of future generations around the world. Your book also increases awareness of the biodiversity crisis that can be measured by monitoring bird populations. Thank you for bringing attention to the tragic decline in biodiversity and the degradation of the environment that mirrors the loss of human cultural diversity due to globalization. Please continue your hard work educating your readers and engaging more of us in the international conservation of these captivating creatures.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: celilsezer via Flickr