Introducing the accipiter gentilis laingi, otherwise known as the northern goshawk! Northern goshawks are large hawks (between the size of a raven and a goose) with a typical wingspan of just over one metre. They have a light grey chest and belly and a blue-grey back with prominent white stripes over bright red eyes. Northern goshawks inhabit large areas of old-growth forests. The loss of mature forests throughout the northern goshawk’s range accounts for the primary reason this species of bird is listed as endangered. Fortunately, the Callaghan Valley is home to swathes of protected old-growth coniferous forests, providing northern goshawks with their preferred habitat.
Want to know how you can help protect and save endangered species in your local area? Here are a few ways you can help:
- Learn about the endangered species in your area. The first step in protecting endangered and threatened species is learning about which are local to you and understanding their importance to the local habitat. Healthy ecosystems are dependent on plant and animal species as their foundation and so when a species becomes endangered, it’s a sign that the ecosystem is falling apart. With each species lost, it triggers the loss of other species within that same ecosystem. As humans, we rely on healthy ecosystems to purify our environment; without robust forests, rivers, oceans, and other ecosystems, we risk our own health through contaminated environments. Thus, it’s cyclical: protecting the environment and its wildlife to maintain its health is crucial to keeping ourselves healthy as well.
- Make your home wildlife friendly. Always secure garbage in lidded cans or within a shelter to avoid attracting wild animals into more urban environments that put them at risk. Reduce water consumption in your home and garden so animals that live near or in water can have a better chance at survival. Use window decals to deter bird collisions, which account for the death of millions of birds each year.
- Use native plants to provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Avoid introducing invasive species to the area, which compete with native plants for resources and habitat, displace native vegetation, and disturb or degrade the natural ecosystem–even forcing native species toward extinction. With that, use natural alternatives to herbicides and pesticides, which can take a long time to degrade and build up in the soils and throughout the food chain. Predators like owls, hawks, and coyotes can be harmed if they eat poisoned animals.
- Recycle and purchase sustainable products. Each purchase made has social, health, and environmental impacts. Through buying sustainable products (and voting with your dollar), you influence manufacturers to make more sustainable products and lead by example within your direct community. Plus, conserving natural resources ensures they last longer through proper resource management and waste is reduced.
- Get involved and volunteer with conservation projects. You can make an impact as an individual by learning about and raising awareness of endangered species through volunteering and partnering with conversation groups and initiatives. You’ll deepen your knowledge of wildlife conservation and have the opportunity to make a difference through maintaining well-balanced ecosystems and conserving the animals that rely on them. Through volunteering, you’ll learn more about conservation in a real-life context and become aware of the challenges involved in conservation up close.