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State agency, Audubon form new bird conservation initiative

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Audubon Great Lakes are teaming up to establish a conservation program that focuses on birds.

They are supporting a joint position filled by Caleb Putnam, who formerly led Audubon’s protection of 102 areas around the state that are considered critical for birds.

A steering committee consisting of birdwatching and hunting group members will guide a program to communicate with the public about DNR and Audubon bird conservation efforts.

DNR wildlife chief Russ Mason says the partnership will help forge stronger ties between hunting and birding communities.

Audubon emphasizes conserving ecosystems and habitats, particularly coastal wetlands and watersheds that provide critical habitat for breeding and migratory birds while also filtering and storing water.

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