their velocity, altitude, flight path, and gathering sites, for example. Computer analyses have also helped researchers identify significant trends, such as a 70 to 80 percent drop in the population of sanderlings.

Sanctuary Without Borders

Another organization that works to protect shorebirds is the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN). The WHSRN has identified more than 90 sites where significant numbers of shorebirds breed, feed, and rest. The organization has proposed that these sites be recognized internationally as a single, vast wildlife reserve whose boundaries are, in effect, defined by the migrating birds.

Because most of the staging sites for shorebirds are wetlands, humans must develop a strategy for the conservation of these sites. The hemispheric wildlife reserve is one example of such a strategy.

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