Approval of a $100,000 federal State Wildlife Grant to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in support of the "Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas" analysis project has been given by the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of game commissioners.
"After six years and more than 92,000 hours of fieldwork, Pennsylvania birders have completed the most detailed and comprehensive survey of breeding bird distribution and abundance ever completed in the Commonwealth," PGC Non-Game Division chief and editor of the "First Breeding Bird Atlas" from the 1980s Dan Brauning said. "This data updates the status of endangered and threatened birds and documents changes of all the state's more than 190 breeding birds since the first atlas."
Fieldwork for this project was funded predominantly by previously approved federal SWG grants and started in 2000, the "Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas" was the most extensive survey of the state's nesting birds ever attempted. The grid-based survey tracked the changes that have occurred in bird populations since the first atlas was completed in 1989.
Since that time, eagles, ospreys and peregrine falcons have expanded their breeding numbers substantially. The project also sought to chart whether the long-term declines of many songbirds reported in the first atlas continue.
"Although it follows and largely replicates the first atlas, conducted in Pennsylvania from 1983 to 1989, the second atlas also provides new levels of understanding for the state's bird populations that will help to ensure their conservation now and in the future," Brauning said. "It has been supported largely with federal State Wildlife Grant funds awarded through the Game Commission, and organized and coordinated by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History through offices at the museum's Powdermill Nature Reserve."
When published, "The Breeding Bird Atlas" will show changes in the occurrence and distribution of the state's nesting wild birds and game birds and promises to provide much additional information about the state's breeding birds, including their habitat preferences and abundance. The use of technologies, such as global positioning satellites and the internet – unavailable when data for the first Atlas was collected –improved this survey.
Field work by Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer Scott Malicky and deputy WCO Bill McGlore in Monroe County and WCO Fred Merluzzi in Carbon County has led to $2,600 in fines being paid by two poachers for violations involving the taking of big game illegally.
In the Monroe County case, during the statewide bear season an individual hunting bear through the use of bait and shot a bear over that bait was apprehended. This individual pled guilty to the charges and paid fines totaling $1,300, plus court costs, and will also lose his hunting license for illegally killing the bear.
In Carbon County, a tip received in October from a concerned person about poaching led to an investigation that lead to a successful prosecution. The person was found guilty and fined $800 for the deer and $500 replacement cost.
"Inter-Loc's Out There" television host Corey Brossman is today's guests of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience the Outdoors," from 7:30-8 a.m. on Oldies 1410-AM, Lansford. A rebroadcast will be heard Sunday from 9:30-10 a.m. on WMGH, 105.5-FM, Tamaqua, and is available on the Web at www.wmgh.com  by clicking on the "Experience the Outdoors" link.
Sweet Arrow Bass Anglers is conducting its 2010 membership drive for this year's tournament schedule. Membership is open to both owners and non-owners of boats.
This year, the club will fish a 10-tournament schedule in the Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, and the club will conduct its annual youth fishing derby.
For information, call Greg Raudenbush at (570) 385-1442, or access the Web site at www.sweetarrowanglers.com .
Here is the schedule of upcoming sports and outdoors shows:
Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sport Show: Today and Sunday, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. Show hours: Today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 610-431-4315 or access on the Web at www.sportshows.com .
"Wildlife Art Expo," Saturday, March 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Environmental Education Center, Montour Preserve, Washingtonville. For information, call Jon Beam at 570-437-3131.
Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has an early registration deadline of Monday, March 1, for its banquet, Saturday, March 13, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Community Fire Company, Landingville. For banquet and special food drive donation information, call Jeff Post at 570-366-7783 or Jeff Thomas at 570-622-6179.
A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, March 4, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Appalachian Promotions Gun and Knife Show will be held, Saturday and Sunday, March 6 and 7, Pennsylvania Expo Center, 501 Cetronia Ave., off Route 309 and Tilghman St., Allentown, with show hours Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call Appalachian Promotions at 717-697-3088 or access on the Web at www.thegunshows.com .