For decades, we have invested in research to document declining numbers of birds and the causes of those declines. But how much have we invested in trying to change the human behaviors that are affecting those declines, especially lately? Have we adequately used the knowledge of marketing specialists and economists? This paper looks at some of the root causes of bird population declines as they relate to human behaviors and attitudes and what the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program is doing to try to reverse these trends. Human population growth, increasing separation of people from nature, sea-level rise, and the science-public information gap are four of the root causes identified; some proactive measures are suggested for improvements in each of these areas. Scientists need to become more proactive and engaged in the public discourse to try to get more environmental “buy-in” to reverse the environmental degradation we witness.
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