Here you can find all the latest Audubon International news! From the great environmental efforts of our members, to where we will be next, to helpful tips you can apply at your golf course, you can find it all here.
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  • 10/30/2015 1:18 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    The following letter is a response from Audubon International's Executive Director, Doug Bechtel, regarding an article which appeared in the Fall issue of Links Magazine, 2015 

    As an organization which is embraced by the golf industry and its leaders, we at Audubon International were surprised that Links Magazine editors would re-print a sensationalized article about nuisance species control on golf courses without seeking verification on the facts from Audubon International.  We consider many of our goals aligned with Links Magazine, such as supporting the game and the industry, promoting great courses, and improving golf’s image among the general public.

    The article (in the Fall 2015 edition, “The Other Audubon”), first posted on’s website, suggests that Audubon International somehow allows or endorses depredation of federally protected migratory birds.  This is misleading and inaccurate. While most of the article about nuisance species control on golf courses adequately describes depredation of migratory waterfowl on golf courses, we want to set the record straight on a few points. 

    Audubon International has no authority nor jurisdiction over depredation actions on golf courses.  We can neither allow nor prohibit such activities; we have no role to play in those decisions.  In fact, we advise courses to exhaust all options prior to seeking federal and state permits as a last resort for nuisance species control. 

    We are proud of our reputation among golf superintendents, club managers, and golf course owners. Audubon International has been publicly acknowledged for advancing good change to the game of golf.  Our work has helped approximately 3,000 golf courses in 30 countries save water, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce chemical use.

    We are a non-regulatory non-profit environmental membership organization whose mission-based program activities include advising golf courses and other facilities about how to reduce their impact on nature.  All our members must demonstrate wildlife habitat improvement in order to meet our certification standards.

    The cover headline “Revealed:  The Audubon Scam” is disparaging and undermines the good work Audubon International has done to help golf course managers improve their environmental management and elevate the sustainability of golf courses.  Our work with golf has also improved golf’s image and discredited the perception that golf is “bad for nature.”  Our pioneering efforts have promoted best practices in golf course management and have improved community relations through our rigorous certification and education programs.

    In addition to self-reporting on best practices to achieve certification, all golf courses in our voluntary program are regularly monitored by independent reviewers to ensure they continue to improve their management over time.  This independent validation is critical to ensure credibility in the certification process.  When achieving our high standards, we publicly celebrate our certified members who serve as role models for sustainable golf.

    Audubon International is not a golf organization.  We are an environmental non-profit that works with multiple industries to improve their environmental management.  Golf does represent the majority of our membership.  Golf courses in our program pay annual fees to support our voluntary mission-based educational programs.  Payment for this service aligns with industry standards for organizations performing third-party independent review. 

    The vast majority of our member courses pays less than $300 per year for our education services, and we don’t charge any additional fee for certification.  This is to ensure all courses can receive equal benefit and so that we honor our non-profit, charitable, mission-driven service model.  Our Signature program charges a higher amount and focuses on assisting golf course owners, builders, and architects build a new golf course under strict sustainability and environmental guidelines.  Those fees goes to support staff consultation time; development and review of highly detailed natural resource management plans; and multiple on site-review of golf course development.  Audubon International does not profit from membership fees; all income from fees support our efforts to achieve our mission-based environmental education with golf facilities.

    Finally, we are proud that many of the best golf courses in the world are Audubon International members.  In the Links Great Courses list, 50% of the US courses are members of Audubon International.  Many of the courses regularly promoted in Links' features stories are our members.  At a time when golf needs independent verification of the benefits golf provides to healthy people and communities, we feel we have a positive role to play to ensure the game thrives in a sustainable way. 

    Doug Bechtel

    Executive Director, Audubon International

    518-767-9051  x114

    Troy, NY

    To read the text of the Links article, Click Here.

  • 10/23/2015 10:19 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    Earlier this year, Aruba announced its goal of becoming completely fossil fuel-free by 2020. Last spring our staff member, Fred Realbuto, visited this island that is well on its way to becoming the first sustainable island on earth

    by Fred Realbuto, Chief of Operations

    Over the last six years, in my role managing Audubon International's Green Lodging Program, I have visited hundreds of inns, bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, and resorts throughout the world, from the Hawaiian Islands to Palm Desert California to historic Boston to the bustle of the Big Apple. I’ve experienced the charm of Hilton Head Island and the captivating beauty of southern Florida. With all these site visits, I have had the opportunity to relish and contemplate the uniqueness of each destination.

    Last Spring, I traveled to the beautiful island nation of Aruba, a former colony of the Dutch and one of the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. This Dutch Caribbean island has taken major steps in its effort to lead the world in carbon footprint reductions and to be an international example for sustainability. Its long term sustainability plan aims to become 100 percent free of fossil fuels by 2020.

    The purpose of my visit to this sustainable island was to provide site visit verification of two Marriott Vacation Clubs: Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club and Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club (both Silver Certified Green Lodging Properties). Both are located on the northwestern part of the island known as Palm Coast, and both are enrolled in Audubon International’s Green Lodging Program. The trip turned out to be so much more of an experience than I had ever imagined.

    Had it not been for my host on the island, Marciano Geerman, this trip would have been business as usual. However, Marciano made sure that was not the case. He was an amazing host and tour-guide. His official title is Chief Engineer at the Marriott Surf Club, but his true designation was Ambassador of Aruba. Marciano is a native Aruban. He is one of five children of a part-time carpenter/full-time fisherman father. As an accomplished sailor, Marciano served the queen of Netherlands in the Dutch Navy and later served the Prime Minister of Aruba. He has captained ships from Africa to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to ports-of-call in the US as well as Panama.

    Marciano, not only an accomplished sailor and engineer, has an innate understanding of the concept of sustainability and the special fragility that an island nation faces. He made it his mission to share not only what the Marriott is doing, but to show me firsthand the efforts that Aruba has undertaken as a country to become more sustainable. Some of these efforts are truly remarkable.

    In anticipation of my arrival he scheduled visits to the desalinization plant, the electrical generation facility, and the gasification plant. As a result I was able to see firsthand where every drop of drinking water in the country is produced, almost every kilowatt of energy is produced, and a groundbreaking gasification plant that is taking solid waste out of the landfill and creating a methanol-like product that is then used 100% to operate turbines creating electricity for the island. These facilities were an amazing highlight of my trip and demonstrated a country embracing the idea of sustainability.

    The prime minister of Aruba has committed to a 2020 plan whereby the nation is free of fossil fuel dependence completely by the year 2020. This is a lofty goal and may not become a reality but they are nonetheless striving to make it so. In addition, this year Aruba’s government signed a contract with the local utility service company ELMAR NV to convert all of the island’s public-road lighting to energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes (LED) by 2017, which will reduce energy consumption and lower maintenance costs.

    If they are able to, they will become a model for island nations throughout the world. The gasification plant is already generating intense interest from all around the globe.

    Audubon International hopes to work with not only the Marriott but other resorts on Aruba and with the Aruban government itself to assist them in realizing their environmental goals now and in the future. This trip, in no small way, may very well pave a path in forging new relationships and amazing opportunity.

    As Marciano taught me, Papimento "Ayoo" for now...and much more to come!

  • 10/19/2015 1:41 PM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)

    By Joanna Nadeau, Director of Community Programs

    Reposted from a guest blog at Fourth Economy - click to read their blog

    For better or worse, many towns and cities are experiencing new economic realities. Around the country, communities that historically depended on manufacturing or farming for jobs are suffering, as those sectors continue a long term decline. Fourth Economy and Audubon International have a shared interest in assisting cities and local governments in addressing the challenges they face through sustainable solutions.

    To be sustainable, a local economy must be two things:

    1) diverse—that is, based on a wide range of profitable sectors—and
    2) making the most of its natural assets while protecting them for the future.

    Through the Sustainable Communities Program, Audubon International helps communities recognize the relationship between the natural environment and local economic development. By featuring local natural assets as a central part of their appeal, towns looking to rebrand themselves can establish a new identity based on being a nature-friendly, sustainable community.

    Ecofriendly communities are becoming more attractive to homebuyers and are commanding higher prices. “Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment,” says Gary Thomas, President of the National Association of Realtors.

    Towns are working through Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program to improve their local economic situations and create brighter futures for their communities. Many towns are looking for ways to keep young people from leaving after high school and avoid the dreaded “brain drain” that can stifle business investment.

    Communities need to start by looking at their existing assets as the foundation for growth. In his book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida explains that regions with amenities attract and retain more talent, which is necessary to compete effectively in a national and world marketplace.

    Amenities, such as an area’s intellectual and cultural resources and its natural setting, are what make a town a nice place to live and to visit. Parks, waterfront, recreational opportunities, and historical sites are assets that interest talented individuals in settling down in a town. Enhancing and protecting those cultural and natural assets are therefore critical strategies for economic development. Towns can use their amenities to compete for the businesses that employ top talent as well as to draw crowds for tourism.

    For example, towns located along rivers are realizing that waterways are beautiful, unique destinations available for all to enjoy – and are an asset that can distinguish them from other places. Such amenities also increase the quality of life for residents in many intangible ways. The river and its associated activities offer healthy and environmentally-friendly options for recreation. Access to nature is known to have benefits for mental health and stress reduction. If properly protected and utilized, a river can play a major role in economic development. A recent report shows communities that have made open space and conservation a priority have much higher growth rates than those managing natural resources solely for production.

    Among the many strategies for being a sustainable community, local governments need to focus on supporting local businesses, whether through downtown redevelopment, “Buy Local” campaigns, or other methods. The Sustainable Communities certification also requires that communities enhance or promote ecotourism, civic tourism, or cultural and historic tourism, and reach out to adventure travelers and businesses. In practice, think of ways that your community might transform the local economy from old and dying industries to new, green job sectors, whether in green tech, like clean energy and recycling, or through the growing sustainable tourism sector. If diversification is the name of the game, sustainability is how you win.

    Because there are so many possible connections between economic development and community sustainability, the only way to do it wrong is to not make any connection at all.

    AI works with communities to build citizen-driven sustainability programs that address these aspects and more, by incorporating sustainability into long term plans and activities. A focus on measuring sustainability activities and progress indicators also provides great content for marketing your community’s achievements thus far. Pursuing and ultimately achieving designation as a Certified Audubon International Sustainable Community helps communicate their sustainability values and priorities for the future to potential business investors, visitors, and residents.

  • 10/15/2015 3:34 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    Catching frogs is a fascinating childhood past time, but frog conservation is no child’s play. In fact, there is increasing alarm among scientists that many frog and other amphibian populations are in serious trouble. There are both simple and elaborate projects you can undertake to enhance habitat for frogs on your property. Getting started now will help you play a vital role in amphibian conservation and ensure that our native frog species live long into the future.

    Leapers, Climbers, Walkers, and Swimmers

    There are close to 100 different species of frogs in North American, so what species you have on your property will depend on where you are. In general, there are several main groups that you are likely to see in most places; water frogs/true frogs, toads, chorus and cricket frogs and spadefoots.

    That Miraculous Transformation

    Frogs are amphibians, a word of Greek origin that means two lives. Most adult frogs live in damp places in woods near streams or ponds. But when mating season comes, usually in the spring, they migrate to ponds, wetlands, and seasonal pools to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, a completely aquatic stage that breathes with gills and eats algae. Depending on the species, the remain in the tadpole stage for as long as a year before they develop legs and lungs and move onto land as adults.

    Eggs, tadpoles and adult frogs are a crucial component of many ecological communities. A vital link in the food chain, they serve as food for aquatic insects, fish, mammals and birds. But carnivorous adult frogs do their share of eating too, feeding on mosquitoes, flies and aquatic invertebrates. Some frogs even eat small fish, amphibians, reptiles birds and rodents. One recent study found that a healthy frog population was removing over 50,000 insects per acre per year from one area under study.

    Moisture is Essential

    Like all amphibians, frogs need moisture to survive. Instead of drinking water, frogs absorb water through their skin. Though many species are found in watery environments such as ponds and wetlands, many adult frogs live in woodlands or grassy areas and return to ponds only to breed each year. To stay moist, frogs seek damp hiding places, such as under leaves, rocks, logs or debris piles.

    Canaries in a Global Coal Mine

    Because of their complex life cycle and moist, permeable skin, frogs are exposed to both water and land pollution during their lives. Likewise, their unshelled eggs are directly exposed to soil, water and sunlight. Because they never travel far, staying in fairly confined regions throughout their lives, frogs and other amphibians are good indicators of local environmental conditions. Because of there sensitivity to pollution, frogs have been likened to the canary in the coal mine that bodes of environmental ill.

    TIPS to Help Frogs

    You can do many things to encourage frogs on your property and in your local community. The simple actions you take when repeated many times over by landowners throughout North America can have a significant positive impact. And an abundance of frogs on your property will be strong evidence that you are taking good care of both land and water.

    Think Like a Frog

    To create good habitats for frogs and other amphibians, it may help to consider their perspective: What would you look for if you were a frog? Moist hiding places, shallow pools, lots of plant cover, and insects for eating top the list. These conditions can be easily created on most properties and you can tailor-make you frog habitat to suit your site.

    When enhancing habitat for frogs there are three primary things to do:

    • Make sure there are good habitats for adult frogs;
    • Provide breeding sites in the spring;
    • Maintain safe corridors between woods and ponds
    • If there are no fish in a pond, do not add any to reduce predation on eggs and tadpoles.
    Here is what you can do right in your backyard:
    • Create hiding places for toads by building small rock piles, log piles and brush piles close to shrubbery or in gardens.
    • Make a toad abode by sinking a clay flower pot into the soil in garden or landscape beds. The pot should lie on its side with an opening facing north, and be partially filled with soil.
    • Construct a shallow backyard pool, without fish.
    • Remember that frogs rely on good water quality, both on and off your property. Always keep septic systems in good working order, repair your car quickly if you detect leaking oil, and properly dispose of hazardous household wastes.

  • 10/02/2015 2:10 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    GRANITE BAY, CA – Audubon International announces that Granite BayView from the 18th Tee Golf Club has been recognized for continued sustainable management of natural resources and has been awarded re-certification as a “Certified Signature Sanctuary.” Granite Bay Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones II and Kyle Phillips, was the first private golf course to become certified by Audubon International in California.  

    “To become re-certified, Signature Program members must demonstrate their continued commitment to the Principles for Sustainable Resource Management as outlined in their site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP). This plan addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and the adoption of green building products and procedures,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director for Audubon International, during the required staff visit to the property.

    Providing habitat for nearly 200 species of birds including the acorn woodpecker, Granite Bay is set on gently rolling topography amidst grasslands, mature oaks, rock strewn wetlands, natural lakes, and dramatic granite outcroppings. It is an 18-hole facility located on 145 acres south of East Roseville Parkway in Placer County, California. Oak woodlands, consisting predominately of massive native blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) and interior live oak trees (Quercus wizlizeii), dot the natural landscape. 


     The golf club began construction August 1993 and opened in late 1994.  It was registered in the Audubon International Signature Program on March 10, 1993 and was certified on May 1, 1998 as only the ninth Signature Sanctuary in the world.  The Signature Program provides environmental planning assistance to new facilities and developments. This program helps landowners design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved. 

    Over the past seventeen years, Granite Bay has gone through management changes, infrastructure additions, and major renovations but has maintained a commitment to the environment.  "Through the ups and downs of an ever changing industry, the one constant for us here at Granite Bay has been our commitment to environmental stewardship that began with Audubon International almost twenty years ago,” stated Matt Dillon, superintendent at Granite Bay Golf Club. “Audubon International has truly been a partner in these endeavors and the relationship we have forged is valuable, and one we look forward to maintaining for many years to come.“

    For the past several years, the historic drought (now in its fourth year) has been the main focus of their environmental practices, as California has seen annual records of lowest precipitation, lowest accumulated snowfalls as well as records for highest temperatures.  In addition to these records, the local water district imposed a 25% conservation reduction in 2014 and a 36% conservation reduction in 2015.  

    To address water conservation, Dillon, a certified superintendent (CGCS), created the Granite Bay Golf Club Drought Contingency Plan: a 25 page document covering Granite Bay’s site assessment, best management practices, tracking procedures, written responses to the district’s drought stage requirements and a proposed Alternate Means of Compliance (AMC). This AMC, an important document, was the first of its kind in northern California. It focused on water budgeting, (as well as other methods) to determine a baseline water amount for any given property.  

    The San Juan Water District which serves the community of Granite Bay, is required by the State of CA to conserve 36% from a 2013 baseline. Granite Bay Golf Club’s non-potable irrigation water will meet that conservation goal by the end of 2015 and the combined potable meters on the property are on track to exceed that requirement.

    To learn more about Granite Bay Golf Club, go to

    CONTACT: Nancy Richardson, Director, Signature Program 

    (270) 869-9419 |

  • 09/25/2015 1:12 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    To anyone who has ever been stung, the idea of actively attracting bees may raise hackles. But a closer look at bees proves that enhancing habitat for native species presents many benefits and poses no harm.

    Bees vs. Wasps

    People are generally stung by wasps, like yellow jackets or hornets, or by honey bees, a non-native species brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors. These species live in hives or colonies, so contact with them can create a swarm of trouble. In contrast, most of the more than 4,000 species of native bees in the United States are solitary, non-threatening creatures. Our native bees play a critical role in pollinating the majority of flowering plants including many of our foods.

    Why Protect Bees?

    About two-thirds of plants need insects or other animals to pollinate them, and bees are the most important pollinators. On a typical foraging trip, a female bee may visit hundreds of flowers. She will eat the energy-rich nectar to power her flight, and collect pollen and nectar to take back to her nest to provide food to her offspring. As the bees forage, pollen is moved between plants. Without this exchange of pollen female plant ovules will not be fertilized and neither seed nor fruit will develop. Research evidence is overwhelming—wild pollinators are declining around the world. Chief causes include fragmentation and loss of habitat, pesticide use, and changes to plant communities from different land management or invasion by exotic species.

    Getting Started

    Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to help bees thrive on your property. Not only will habitat enhancements benefit bee species themselves, they will add beauty and diversity to your landscape and provide a valuable ecological asset to your community. To conserve native bees, you must focus on providing two key aspects of bee habitat: native plants for nectar and pollen, and nesting sites. No special equipment or protective clothing is needed when working with native bees, and encouraging native bees will not create any threat to people. Honey bees are a social species, and therefore create hives. Providing nesting sites for native bees, which are mostly solitary species, will not attract non-native, stinging honey bees.


    1. Provide Food

    Adding native plants that are rich in nectar and pollen is the best way to attract and sustain bees. Simply plant native flowers in existing gardens or borders. On golf courses, non-play areas are ideal sites for naturalizing and will provide larger foraging sites. As an added benefit, native plants will also attract wildlife like butterflies and birds, make your property more attractive, and reduce long-term maintenance.

    • Transplant. In most situations, the best way to enrich habitat is by planting pre-grown transplants. Controlling weeds and watering during the first growing season are particularly important.
    • Diversify. Bees need nectar and pollen from early spring through fall, so try to ensure that there is a diversity of local native plants with a range of flowering times in the habitat.
    • Choose native. Some good bee plants include: yarrow, golden rod, and wild mint. Shrubs to plant include: salmonberry, grape, and willow.

    ...AND A HOME

    2. Provide Nest Sites

    There are several simple ways in which nesting sites can be made for bees. Many of these mimic natural features that bees prefer, though not all will be suitable for your site. There are two primary types of nest that you can make: ground nests and wood nests. The location of the nest sites is important. Bees like warm conditions, especially in the morning so that they can become active earlier. Shelter nests from the worst weather with the entrance facing east-southeast. Bee boxes are easy to construct and provide valuable shelter.

    • Logs and Snags: Get some logs or old stumps and place them in the wildlife garden or naturalized habitat patches you’ve created. Drill holes at least 4” deep and 3/32” to 3/8” diameter into the logs. Leave dead tree snags standing when they don’t pose a safety hazard to keep natural nest sites for bees.
    • Nesting Blocks: Bee nesting blocks can be made from blocks of lumber at least 4” by 4” and 8” long. In one side of the block, drill lots of holes 3/32” to 3/8” diameter and almost all the way through the block. This block can be fixed to a stake or tree in a sunny, preferably eastward facing spot.
    • Bare Ground: Simply clear the vegetation from a small area (about 6’ by 6’) and compact the soil. A few rocks placed in the cleared area will improve it by adding basing places and help warm the soil. Where possible create bare areas on south facing slopes or banks. Choose dry, well-drained ground for ground nesting bees.
    • Sand Pits and Sand Piles: If you have lots of room, dig a sand pit about 12’ square and 4’ deep and fill it with fine-grained white sand. Or build up a sand pile about the same size.

  • 09/25/2015 10:02 AM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)

    WILLIAMSTON, NC – The Town of Williamston is recognized by Audubon International for their continued commitment to sustainability through recertification as an "Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community.”  Brent Kanipe, AICP, Director of Planning, led the effort to maintain certification status for this town and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.  The Town of Williamston was designated as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2009 and is one of five communities in the world to receive the honor.

    Williamston Mayor Tommy Roberson commented, “Williamston is very proud to receive this designation from Audubon International and is pleased to be recognized for all the efforts of town citizens, staff, and the Town Board of Commissioners.”

    The Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program provides information and guidance to help communities preserve and enhance what makes them healthy and vibrant places to live, work, and play. Certified members define a vision for their future founded in the three pillars of sustainability–a healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and economic vitality.

    "Williamston demonstrates a strong commitment to its sustainability program.  They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by enhancing wetlands along the Roanoke River and directing development away from critical farmland and into the historic downtown," said Joanna Nadeau, Director of Community Programs at Audubon International.

    Developing riverside camping platforms, signage, and trail maps, purchasing recycled materials, and updating the comprehensive plan with green building and smart growth principles are the top examples why Williamston is considered a leader in sustainability. In the last few years, Williamston has also reduced municipal water use by 50%, installed permeable pavement in two parking lots, and increased affordable housing options. Williamston’s accomplishments have been enhanced by funding awards for historic preservation projects including façade improvements in the historic district and heritage publications.

    "To maintain certification, a community must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a majority of areas," explained Nadeau.  Members maintain certification status in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas.  Communities go through a recertification process every two years.  Currently, there are 20 communities in the Sustainable Communities Program.

    About Audubon International

    Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices.

    For more information, contact Joanna at Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 ext. 124 or, or visit the website at


  • 09/23/2015 12:04 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    TROY, NY – Audubon International is proud to partner with EYE DOG from Fredericksburg, VA as a newest corporate sponsor.  EYE DOG uses highly-trained border collies to provide superior, humane, sustainable Canada geese management for golf courses in the Washington DC metropolitan area. 

    “We are proud to work with EYE DOG because their program for controlling geese on golf courses aligns with our recommendations for dealing with nuisance species,” said Doug Bechtel, executive Director for Audubon International. “We encourage methods that are humane, non-lethal, and sustainable.” 

    EYE DOG’s border collies are from exceptional North American and imported European working sheepdog lines. They are trained professionally on sheep and geese and are under voice and whistle command. Both the USDA Wildlife Service and US Fish and Wildlife approve this hazing method.

    Jeremy Austin, owner of EYE DOG has privately trained with top border collie handlers including Tom Wilson, renowned Scottish handler, who has won multiple prestigious US trials including the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials and the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial.

    “I am thrilled to support Audubon International due to their commitment to educate property owners about responsible practices to protect all species.” said Mr. Austin.  “Geese,” he added, “are savvy and highly adaptive. It takes a real or perceived dire threat, like the border collies, to convince the birds to relocate. Employing trained, working border collies and a skilled handler is the most humane and effective way to deal with this all to common and growing problem.”


    About EYE DOG

    EYE DOG provides superior, humane, sustainable Canada geese management to Fredericksburg, VA and the surrounding areas, including Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, DC. Their border collies are from exceptional North American and imported European working sheepdog lines. They are trained to the highest professional level on sheep and geese and are under voice and whistle command. EYE DOG uses hazing strategies based on various wild pack hunting canids such as those of coyotes and gray wolves, the most common predators of adult geese, to simulate the most realistic predation threat possible. Mr. Austin’s comprehensive hazing practices have a considerable advantage in that he works multiple dogs (up to three) simultaneously on land and water to more decisively apply predatory pressure and condition a relocation response in the geese. A Wildlife Ecologist and Senior Environmental Analyst provides technical consulting services for animal damage management and environmental stewardship strategies. For more information on EYE DOG, contact Jeremy Austin at 540.220.5722. For media inquiries, contact Rob Solka at or visit EYE DOG’S website at 


  • 09/16/2015 9:48 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    NEWARK, DE – Linne Industries announced that the company has partnered with Audubon International as a corporate sponsor of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP).  Linne Industries supports AI’s mission, particularly programs that work with recreational lands to improve environmental management practices.  Linne’s green products offer dynamic solutions for customers seeking energy saving solutions while conserving habitat and natural resources.  Linne Industries has designed and manufactured a sustainable energy product called PondHawk® —a solar powered subsurface aeration system that works without the need for grid electricity.

    The ASCP is an award winning education and certification program that helps entities such as golf courses, parks, and businesses protect the environment and enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that these operations provide. In becoming a corporate sponsor, Linne Industries executives have made their support for Audubon International publicly known, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable solutions for improving water quality and enhancing critical wildlife habitat. 

    “It is really exciting to work with an organization like Linne Industries because, like Audubon International, they are committed to improving water quality on all types of properties using innovative technologies,” said Doug Bechtel, executive Director for Audubon International. “I foresee many businesses who care about environmental sustainability embracing this technology.”

    “Clean water is such a pressing issue“ said Sandra Burton, President and CEO of Linne Industries LLC.  “Audubon International’s extensive work with businesses and communities that have water features, and require efforts to improve water quality, resonates with our corporate goals and we are proud to provide support to this critical mission.” 

    About Linne Industries LLC

    LINNE Industries LLC is the manufacturer of the PondHawk® Solar Pond Aeration System (pat. pending). Founded in August 2013 and based in Newark, Delaware, LINNE Industries designs and manufactures sustainable energy products that improve the environment while providing best-in-class energy systems that deliver dynamic solutions for their customers. PondHawk is the first fully-integrated pond aeration system that improves water quality, eliminates algae, and restores habitat without power delivery or electric costs. For more information, please visit

    For more information on this or other sponsorship opportunities, contact Joe Madeira, Director of Advancement at (518)767-9051 ext. 105,or  e-mail, 

  • 09/04/2015 11:24 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    Wildlife Corridors

    by Tara Pepperman

    Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs for Audubon International.

    When human development happens, removing existing wildlife habitat is inevitable. This causes habitat to be broken up into small patches where wildlife can have a harder time surviving. When patches become too small, and aren’t easily linked to other areas, many species can become displaced.

    The best way to mitigate the reduction of habitat is to create what are known as wildlife corridors within your park, golf course or recreation area. These corridors will allow all species access to the food, water and interactions they need to thrive.

    Scientific research shows that all animals, even birds, prefer to travel along habitat corridors rather than cross clearings or other obstacles. In one study, songbirds chose wooded routes to travel between forested patches, even when they were three times  as long as cutting across a clearing.

    Even species that live in more open habitats use corridors for travel. Butterflies, for example, use grassy corridors to move between open clearings surrounded by dense woodland, and their numbers are typically higher in patches connected by corridors than in isolated patches.


    Creating and maintaining these corridors should become an important part of your environmental management plan, whether it be short- or long-term.

    How Do I Start?

    The first thing you need to do is think about the questions you are trying to answer:

    1. What kind of species are on my property? Having an up-to-date wildlife inventory will help with this question! Try to focus on identifying the needs of endangered species or species of concern first.

    2. Where do those animals thrive, and what kind of plants would give the cover they want?  Smaller

    animals require understory or tall grass, while birds and larger animals feel most comfortable with larger trees.

    3. Where can I create these corridors? Look at a map! This will help you identify areas that could be used as corridors.

    Corridors should be just that: pathways for wildlife to cross your property without being in the open.


    Ideally, the corridor would create a path to cross the entire property, but also look for opportunities to connect outside forest habitats with ponds in the center of your course.

    Sometimes habitat corridors can be combined with other conservation projects. Many of our members maintain vegetated buffer zones to protect the edges of streams, rivers, or other water bodies from run-off. These buffers often can be connected to nearby patches of habitat to serve as corridors. The Golf Club at Newcastle in Washington State has a great example of naturalization of their creek area, which is also a corridor from one part of the course to another. Using bridges to allow wildlife to travel above or below paths without disturbance is important when areas used by humans and wildlife cross.

    Sometimes, properties can be ideal areas for wildlife to cross in a flat open state. A perfect example of this is at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club in Wyoming, where the annual elk migration to the National Elk Wildlife Refuge crosses the course. The course’s open areas, natural to Jackson Hole, provide a great migration path for this species, which travel through in huge numbers!

    Although it is not the best case scenario, having a cart path cross a wildlife corridor is sometimes hard to correct without a major construction project. In this case, high tree cover over the path will still allow this to be a great corridor for birds. Creating signs, such as those at Cozumel Country Club in Mexico, as part of an outreach and education program directed at patrons is important in this situation. 

    How wide/large should my corridor be? 

    There are no simple rules about how wide or tall a naturalized area must be in order to serve as a corridor. One study found that only corridors over 33 feet wide were used by the birds on that site, while another found that a vole used corridors only 1.5 feet wide. Just remember to think about the species on your property, and put yourself in their “shoes.”

    Remember, all living things need these four basic things to survive: food, water, shelter and space. Thinking about this during projects on your property can ensure wildlife are always taken into consideration. Corridors give your property to ability to provide all four of these basic survival needs and make it an ideal place for wildlife to thrive.

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