Can You Help With the Final Sprint?

Scott WeidensaulFunding Campaign, UpdatesLeave a Comment

Your contribution today will allow us to continue our groundbreaking work with snowy owls -- and every penny goes directly into the research. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Your contribution today will allow us to continue our groundbreaking work with snowy owls — and every penny goes directly into the research. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Four daysthat’s what’s left in our 2016 Indiegogo campaign. So far, we’ve raised about a third of our admittedly ambitious goal of $25,000 — funds that underwrite almost all of what we do here, from deploying transmitters to conducting necropsies and toxicology work on snowy owls.

We also pledged to help support the first year of work by a Ph.D. student at the University of Saskatchewan, who will undertake the immense task of thoroughly analyzing the enormous movement dataset we’ve amassed on the 43 snowy owls we’ve tagged with GPS transmitters thus far.

Now in his third winter, Salisbury is a very pale, very white adult male. (©Julie Breheny)

Salisbury is just one of 43 snowy owls we’ve been able to tag, thanks to the generosity of SNOWstorm’s supporters. (©Julie Breheny)

Aside from the “Donate” button on our website, we try to avoid pestering you, our many supporters, for contributions. We know that you know this work is exciting and important. And we’re incredibly grateful to the nearly 100 people who have already made significant donations to Project SNOWstorm this season.

As always, 100 percent of those funds go directly into the research.  No salaries or stipends; everyone involved donates their time. No institutional overhead, even though the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Pennsylvania, our 501c3 institutional home, puts a lot of staff time into the project.

We’ve done well with this year’s campaign, given the lack of a major irruption (and, consequently, the lack of much national press coverage for snowy owls and our project). But if we fall too far short of our goal, it’s going to have an impact on how much we can do in the months ahead, especially the critical lab work on toxicology (including mercury contamination, which is proving to be a significant issue for snowy owls), stable isotopes and genetics. And it will put us badly behind the curve as we prepare for next season’s field work, including ordering new transmitters, which must be custom-built.

As always, we have great perks, from handmade snowy owl cookie cutters to owl books to the most amazing “stuffed” snowy owl you’ll see anywhere. If you’re especially generous, you can get a huge-format, canvas print of a stunning snowy owl photograph by our good friend, Northside Jim.

If you’ve already given, thank you. You can continue to help us by sharing this campaign with all your friends and family, and telling them why this project is so important to you, and to the snowy owls we are studying.

If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, please consider a tax-deductible gift through Indiegogo, before the clock runs out. Almost 1,500 people subscribe to these updates; if everyone kicked in just ten bucks, we’d be almost all the way to our goal — and in a great position to continue this important work.


The Pull of the Pole

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