CARIBBEAN : Get Outside and Enjoy Birds During Free Bird Walk

F. LETUVEE
Par F. LETUVEE 29 Avr 2011 14:47

CARIBBEAN : Get Outside and Enjoy Birds During Free Bird Walk

Get Outside and Enjoy Birds During Free Bird Walk

On Earth Day April 22nd the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) [1] launched the 10th annual Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF) under the theme “Go Wild, Go Birding.” This year the highly successful program, which attracts over 80,000 participants and volunteers annually, aims to reach out to new people—both adults and youth—and engage them in learning about birds, bird-watching, and bird conservation. The Society will coordinate a month-long Caribbean-wide event between Earth Day and International Biodiversity Day 22 May, in more than twenty Caribbean countries, including St. Maarten [2].

In launching the year’s celebrations, Dr. Lisa Sorenson [3] President of the SCSCB, noted that an astounding 72% of the approximately 208 resident island birds are endemic to the Caribbean islands—that is, found nowhere else on the globe.

According to global authorities on environmental conservation, such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International [4], the Caribbean is one of the richest areas on the planet for unique wild species of birds.

Natalia Collier, President of the local organization Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) [5], commented, “Tourists are so excited to see the endemic birds found in St. Maarten, such as the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, and EPIC gets many requests to serve as a bird guide. We hope that the public will also join us in celebrating the fascinating birds of the island during our upcoming Bird Walk. These birds are not only symbols of natural and cultural heritage, but also serve as ambassadors for the threatened habitats they need to survive, such as wetlands and forests.”

 

This bird is only found in the West Indies.

Sheylda Díaz-Méndez, Regional Coordinator of the CEBF, said she was excited about this year’s activities designed to get new people out to enjoy nature and learn about birds.  Sheylda said, “participants should ‘go wild’ by taking time out to enjoy the songs, behavior and beauty of wild birds and challenge themselves to learn what birds are found only in their countries.”

EPIC’s free public Bird Walk will take place at Salines d’Orient by Le Gallion on Saturday May 7th, starting at 7:30 am. Meet near the Butterfly Farm. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be available, but bring your own if you have them. For questions contact Ronald Pieters at 520-8538.

For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:

Natalia Collier, President, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), Tel: (707) 845-1171 (USA), E-mail: [email protected]

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) is the largest single regional organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean. It is a non-profit organization whose goals are to promote the scientific study and conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats, and to promote greater public awareness of the bird life of the region. For more details, see: http://www.scscb.org. To learn more about the festival, click on “Programs” and “Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival.”

Achu - Antillean Crested Hummingbird by Mark Yokoyama

2. Countries taking part include: Antigua, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Martin, St. Maarten, Saint Andre (Columbia), St. Croix (US Virgin Islands), and Trinidad and Tobago. The initiative is supported across the region by a variety of organizations including schools, churches, environmental NGOs, government conservation departments, private sector organizations, universities, and concerned groups and individuals.

3. Lisa Sorenson is also Coordinator of the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project of the SCSCB, a public education and awareness programme on the importance and value of the regions wetlands and birds. Sorenson, an ecologist and conservation biologist, has been working in the Caribbean for 25 years.

4. BirdLife International data show that 56 species of birds found in the Caribbean are at risk of global extinction, 11 of them are in danger of imminent extinction. More information, including background information on all of the Caribbean’s threatened bird species, can be found at: http://www.birdlife.org/regional/caribbean/work.html

5. Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) is a registered non-profit organization in the United States and a registered foundation in St. Maarten was founded in 2000 with the mission to protect the Caribbean environment through research, outreach, and community based action. EPIC has been conducting avian research and outreach on St. Maarten/St. Martin for over a decade.

Natalia Collier

President

Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC)

(599) 545-3009

www.epicislands.org

F. LETUVEE
Par F. LETUVEE 29 Avr 2011 14:47