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Governor’s signature on wildlife corridors protection bill secures vital safeguards for California birds

Assembly Bill 498 will help California preserve its most important habitat areas

Sacramento, CA – With climate change forcing new challenges to California’s most prized landscapes, Audubon California today praised Gov. Jerry Brown for signing Assembly Bill 498, which will make it state policy to protect wildlife corridors. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Marc Levine and sponsored by Audubon California, will give birds a better chance to survive the challenges of climate change.

“Certain California landscapes will serve as strongholds for birds and other wildlife in California as the climate changes, and it is vital that we do our best to protect them,” said Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack. “Not only will Assembly Bill 498 ensure that California protect its most vital landscapes, but it will also ensure that we make the best conservation investments as well.”

Assembly Bill 498 will make it a policy of the state that, whenever a project is proposed in an area defined as a wildlife corridor, that the proponent work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure the continued functioning of that corridor. Many of these corridors are also habitat strongholds that birds and other wildlife need to survive in an environment altered by climate change.

According to a study released in September 2014 by the National Audubon Society, 170 California bird species will be at risk of extinction in the next several decades due to global warming.

“We’re already seeing environmental changes that require the state to plan for the impacts of global warming,” added McCormack. “I want to thank Gov. Brown for his signature, and thank Assembly Member Levine for raising this important issue and guiding this bill through the Legislature.”

About Audubon California 

Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures. With more than 150,000 supporters in California and an affiliated 48 local Audubon chapters, Audubon California is a field program of the National Audubon Society.

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