The Birdfreak Team is always brainstorming about ways to help promote birding and conservation. One of the ideas that came about was the acronym SEED, which stands for Systematic Environmental & Ecological Defragmentation. What does this really mean?
Our environment is constantly changing, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. The biggest problem wildlife faces is habitat degradation and loss. Not only that, but often good habitat is fragmented. It is fragmented internally by roads and powerlines but it is also fragmented by open space. A good chunk of habitat is often separted from another and birds (and other animals) are forced to habitat hop, especially during migration.
Brown Thrasher, one of my favorite birds, is a short-distant migrant to northern Illinois.
Thus, the goal of SEED is to connect these fragments with each other – defragment the land. How can this be done?
There are many examples of protected land separation but locally in Winnebago county a prime example is the Kishwaukee River Corridor (KRC). The KRC is a series of forest preserves along, you guessed it, the Kishwaukee River. Intermixed with these forest preserves are houses and farm fields, and a few businesses. All it would take is for individual landowners to convert their unappealing property of lawn into a natural paradise and cha-ching!, instant defragmentation.
On a larger scale, the goal of SEED would be to great a continous stream of natural habitat running from neotropical wintering grounds in Mexico and points further south to the Boreal forest. Sound impossible? Not really if we take it one lawn at a time.
The amazing singing Wood Thrush benefits greatly from “defragmentation”.
In fact, SEED is closely related to CAWS, another project idea of Birdfreak. CAWS is this first step in creating a defragmented environment. By promoting the benefits of changing your wasted space into a natural sanctuary, we remove areas with little benefit to wildlife and help reconnect what once was.