Volunteer project at Carlsbad provides info on cave swallows

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Volunteer project at Carlsbad provides info on cave swallows

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jun 13, 2006 7:23 am

Longtime volunteer project at Caverns provides information on cave swallows

By Stella Davis
Current-Argus Staff Writer

Jun 13, 2006, 04:22 am

CARLSBAD --Nobody knows for certain how many cave swallows share the home of the Mexican free-tail bats at Carlsbad Caverns, but for the past 26 years, volunteers have come back year after year to learn more about them.

Since 1980, Steve West, a science teacher at Carlsbad High School and an avid birder and researcher, has been part of a cave swallow banding project that he helped initiate to determine their migratory range and lifespan.

Also a member of the Chihuahuan Desert Conservation Alliance, West said that members of his organization and volunteers from 38 states and 15 countries have over the years banded an estimated 17,000 cave swallows starting each spring and ending in the fall when the birds leave the cave for the winter and head to Mexico.

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Wayne Harrison
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