The NSW Premier, the Hon. Nathan Rees with Kate Ravich from Birds Australia and Richard Major from the Australian Museum.
A website enlisting backyard bird enthusiasts to combat the threat of extinction facing over 20% of Australian bird species has won the $10,000 Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (DECC) Allen Strom Eureka Prize for Environmental Sustainability Education.
Developed by the Australian Museum and Birds Australia, Birds in Backyards contains an encyclopaedic coverage of Australian birds.
"By tapping into the growing enthusiasm for bird-watching, Birds in Backyards provides a wonderful introduction to concepts of biodiversity and sustainability. And, the site assists anyone with a garden to become a conservation activist, by creating habitat for wildlife," says Australian Museum Director, Frank Howarth.
By promoting bird-friendly garden design, Birds in Backyards challenges loss of biodiversity in an increasingly urban landscape. It suggests easy changes, such as planting local natives, reducing lawn area, providing water sources and increasing habitat layers to provide food and shelter for small birds.
Development of the site began in 2005 after scientific observations found rapid urbanisation and loss of bird habitat appeared to be causing a decline in bird diversity.
The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes were announced at an event in Sydney on 19 August attended by a 'who's who' of Australian science, government, academia and industry.
The Eureka Prize for Environmental Sustainability Education honours Allen Strom's 40 years of untiring devotion to conservation and education. The Prize honours an outstanding and innovative program that has contributed to behavioural change among individuals and organisations and led to changed practices and environmental improvement.
DECC warmly congratulates all the 2008 Eureka Prize winners for their scientific achievements.