January 24, 2005
Oracle grant funds UCSC bird group's education
By Tim Stephens
The Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group at UCSC has received
a $50,000 grant from Oracle Corporation to support the group's
Glenn Stewart is usually accompanied by his tame peregrine
falcon, Sophie, when he gives outreach presentations.
Photo: Jim MacKenzie
The grant provides funding to maintain and enhance the Oracle
Peregrines Outreach Program, which includes presentations to
school and community groups on birds of prey and conservation
of endangered species.
"The Oracle grant enables us to continue offering our
presentations to school assemblies and other groups. Educating
the public about protection of endangered species is an important
part of our mission," said Glenn Stewart, program director
with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG).
Stewart gives most of the group's outreach presentations, usually
accompanied by his four-year-old tame peregrine falcon, Sophie.
The education program has reached thousands of students throughout
To schedule presentations, schools and community groups can
contact the SCPBRG at email@example.com,
or use the online form available on the SCPBRG
"The school visits are a great way to increase students'
appreciation for birds of prey and for nature in general, and
to stimulate their interest in science and conservation biology,"
The Oracle grant will also help the SCPBRG with efforts to
recruit and train interns, coordinate volunteers, and maintain
its web site.
The SCPBRG was founded at UCSC in 1975 to restore the endangered
peregrine falcon population in California, which had been decimated
by the pesticide DDT. At the time, only a few nesting pairs
of peregrine falcons remained in California (two pairs had been
found in a 1970 survey). By 1999, however, the SCPBRG was able
to celebrate the removal of the peregrine falcon from the federal
endangered species list, and the group received an award from
the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recognition
of its "pioneering efforts."
The SCPBRG now applies its expertise to a wide range of bird
species and is working toward creative solutions for a variety
of wildlife management challenges in the western United States.
"Oracle is excited to continue our partnership with the
SCPBRG," said Rosalie Gann, director of Oracle Giving and
Oracle Volunteers. "Oracle is dedicated to helping preserve
and protect endangered species like the peregrine falcon and
is thrilled to aid in the recovery of the falcon population
by supporting SCPBRG's efforts, including the monitoring of
falcons at our campus."
SCPBRG biologists have been observing peregrine falcons at
Oracle's campus in Redwood City since 1999. The company has
supported the group's monitoring of falcons on the Oracle campus,
as well as outreach efforts to share its work with the public.
In spring of 2000, a pair of falcons began using a nest box
installed by SCPBRG atop one of the Oracle buildings and nested
there for three successive years. A camera in the nest box enabled
visitors to the SCPBRG web site to watch the falcons raising
Stewart's talks typically include a review of the work of UCSC
conservation biologists that helped bring about the recovery
of the peregrine falcon population; information about current
nesting of peregrine falcons at the Oracle campus and other
urban sites; and discussion of the SCPBRG's current work, including
satellite tracking of migrating bald eagles and ecological restoration
efforts on California's Channel Islands.
An article about Stewart and his school presentations can be
found in Currents Online at http://currents.ucsc.edu/04-05/10-11/stewart.asp.
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