At a Glance

2007

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The 2014 program application deadline is December 3.

Since 2002, more than $46.5 million in grants.

Grants have supported 422 projects in 36 countries.

Partners have contributed an additional $178.5 million.

More than 3.25 million acres of habitat affected.

Funding for the following 36 projects was approved in April 2007. A total of $3.80 million in funding was approved with project partners contributing $17.9 million in matching funds and $2.04 million in nonmatching funds to affect 63,240 acres of habitat. This information is accurate as of the date of approval. For further information about specific grant projects, please contact the grantee listed in individual project summaries. Project Summary Table, U.S. Projects, U.S. - International Projects, International Projects.

U.S. Projects

ARKANSAS
Project: Factors Influencing the Loss of Birds by Collision with Towers.
Location: Baxter, Boone, Craighead, Crawford, Faulkner, Garland, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Mississippi, Pope, Saline, St. Francis, and Washington Counties, Arkansas.
Congressional District: 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Grantee: Arkansas State University.
Contact: Erin Macchia, (870) 972-3082, erin.macchia@smail.astate.edu.
Partner: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $28,800.
Matching Funds: $90,080.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Mississippi.
BCR: 24, 25, and 26.
Ecoregion: NA0404, NA0409, and NA0412.
It is estimated that tens of millions of migratory birds perish each year from collisions with communication towers, which are being constructed on the national landscape with increasing frequency. Years of anecdotal evidence of massive bird losses being reported at towers have prompted researchers and bird conservationists to study and quantify the problem more rigorously. Partners in this project will examine the effects of primary tower attributes on collision events, namely the elevation at the tower location (delta vs. mountains), tower height (60-140 meters vs. 150+ meters), lighting system (red vs. white), and supporting wires (presence vs. absence). The study will be conducted at multiple towers throughout Arkansas at times of “peak” movement by long-distance, Neotropical birds during both spring and fall migration. Additionally, partners will measure tower search technicians’ efficiency in recovering bird carcasses, and will estimate the carcass-removal rate by scavengers or predators. Partners will use their project data to develop a model for predicting bird fatalities at communication towers given certain variables, which will aid in the improved design and placement of towers.
MAINE
Project: Habitat Management for Terns at Restored Nesting Islands in Maine.
Location: Stratton Island, Outer Green Island, Jenny Island, Pond Island, Eastern Egg Rock, Seal Island, and Matinicus Rock, Maine.
Congressional District: .
Grantee: National Audubon Society.
Contact: Stephen Kress, (607) 257-7308, skress@audubon.org.
Partners: The Island Foundation, Ann Pinkerton Charitable Trust, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Jingo Foundation, Penzance Foundation, and National Audubon Society Seabird Restoration Program Donors.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $100,000.
Matching Funds: $328,000.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: 14.
Ecoregion: NA0406.
Historically, islands in the Gulf of Maine were prime nesting havens for terns migrating from the Neotropics. In recent decades, proliferation of predators and competitors, such as gulls, combined with increasing disturbances from human activities has negatively affected tern colonies. Project partners developed and have been implementing various population- and habitat-management techniques on some of the islands to encourage tern recolonization, with marked success. In this project, partners will protect and restore nesting habitat in the gulf specifically for common, Arctic, roseate, and least terns on three State-owned islands (Jenny Island, Eastern Egg Rock, Outer Green Island), three national wildlife refuge units (Pond Island, Seal Island, and Matinicus Rock), and one Audubon-owned island (Stratton Island). During the nesting season, small teams of stewards will be stationed on each island to monitor and census tern populations, discourage predation and nesting by certain gull species, collect data on tern chicks’ food resources, prevent the public from disturbing tern nests, and remove invasive vegetation. In total, partners’ efforts will benefit approximately 180.3 acres (73 hectares) of tern nesting habitat.
MICHIGAN
Project: Does Wind Farm Development in Forested Environments Alter Songbird Use?
Location: Mason County, Michigan.
Congressional District: 2.
Grantee: Michigan State University.
Contact: Joelle Gehring, (517) 241-4912, gehringJ@michigan.gov.
Partners: Greenlight Energy, Inc., and Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $14,570.
Matching Funds: $46,094.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Mississippi.
BCR: 12.
Ecoregion: NA0414.
Efforts to harness non-polluting, renewable energy sources have led to increased development of wind turbines and “wind farms.” Most bird-related research has focused on collision incidents at turbines or on birds’ avoidance of them. Very little is known, however, about the effects of these structures on birds in forested ecosystems. Since a high proportion of Neotropical migrants breed, rest, or winter in forests, project partners will study how habitat alteration at turbine sites affects birds’ use of the areas. Over the course of several spring and fall migrations, project partners will collect data, pre- and post-construction, on avian use in forested areas associated with a wind farm scheduled to be built near the Lake Michigan shoreline. Data collected from a control plot will provide a reference for an impact analysis, in addition to before/after comparisons. Partners also will quantify the relationship between avian nesting densities and distance to turbine structures. Partners’ efforts will help to address many important questions regarding the effects of wind farms on forest birds, and provide scientifically based recommendations for meeting the needs of people and birds on a shared landscape.
NEW YORK
Project: An Integrated Strategy for Conserving Grassland Birds in New York.
Location: Allegany, Cayuga, Chemung, Clinton, Cortland, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Otsego, Saratoga, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St Lawrence, Steuben, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates Counties, New York.
Congressional District: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29.
Grantee: Audubon New York.
Contact: Michael Morgan, (607) 254-2487, mmorgan@audubon.org.
Partners: None.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $22,750.
Matching Funds: $68,329.
Nonmatching Funds: $None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: 13, and 28.
Ecoregion: NA0401, NA0407, and NA0414.
Populations of several grassland bird species are rapidly declining and even approaching local extirpation in significant portions of their ranges, primarily from habitat loss. In New York, Henslow’s sparrows have decreased by 99 percent from historic populations; grasshopper sparrows by 97 percent; and bobolinks—the State’s most ubiquitous grassland species—by 50 percent. The vast majority of grassland habitats in New York are privately owned hayfields and pastures, making it improbable to use traditional conservation mechanisms that rely on government acquisitions and management. Instead, Audubon New York will work with the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation to implement the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), with a goal of protecting 1,100 acres (445.4 hectares) of grassland habitats on private lands. They will encourage the participation of landowners in areas where the greatest habitat potential exists for sustaining viable populations of grassland birds. Audubon New York will educate enrolled landowners about grassland conservation, assist them in developing a management plan for their property, and monitor grassland birds’ response to that plan. Additionally, Audubon will collaborate with federal, state, and other land-owning stakeholders on completing the draft New York State Grassland Bird Conservation Plan.
PUERTO RICO
Project: Rio Encantado Migratory Bird Wintering Habitat, II.
Location: Municipalities of Ciales, Florida, and Manatí, Puerto Rico.
Congressional District: None.
Grantee: Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.
Contact: Fernando Silva, (787) 722-5834, silva@fideicomiso.org.
Partners: None.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $250,000.
Matching Funds: $750,657.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: None.
Ecoregion: NT0155.
Federal and commonwealth agencies and nongovernmental organizations consider the northern karst region to be the top conservation priority in Puerto Rico. This region contains the most important aquifer recharge area on the island, and its forests host more than 110 migratory bird species. The majority of these birds occur in the Rio Encantado project area, including 30 species that are threatened or endangered. Urban and agricultural development, mineral extraction, and conversion from shade-grown to full-sun coffee plantations are contributing to the loss and fragmentation of habitat for birds and other wildlife. The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico will build on its previous Act-supported accomplishments in securing habitat for migratory birds by acquiring and protecting in perpetuity another 338 acres (136.9 hectares) of forested habitat for the Rio Encantado Protected Natural Area, increasing its size to 1,635 acres. A long-term monitoring program will be created to gather information on migratory bird populations in the protected area. Additionally, a series of hands-on, environmental education activities will be conducted with the public that emphasize the importance of the karst region to birds and people, and inspire citizens to protect its habitat.
TENNESSEE
Project: Securing and Strengthening a Key Cumberland Plateau Habitat.
Location: Fentress County, Tennessee.
Congressional District: 4.
Grantee: The Nature Conservancy.
Contact: Gina Hancock, (615) 383-9909, ghancock@tnc.org.
Partners: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $100,000.
Matching Funds: $2,750,000.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: 28.
Ecoregion: NA0402.
In September 2006, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) acquired the 4,208-acre (1,703.8-hectare) Skinner Mountain property, located in the northern part of the Cumberland Plateau in northern Tennessee. Like so many other forested parcels in this region, this property was otherwise slated for development. Approximately 75 percent of Northern Cumberland forests are privately owned and increasingly threatened by real-estate development and logging interests. The Skinner Mountain property’s largely intact, mature second-growth forests, woodland coves, and streams provide crucial habitat for many Neotropical migratory bird species of conservation concern, notably the cerulean warbler. Project partners will transfer the TNC-owned property to the State, placing it under permanent protection and managing it for birds and other wildlife. Partners also will enhance the property’s public use by creating an interpretive Wildlife Viewing Trail that would include sites for observing and learning about Neotropical migratory birds. In addition to its educational benefits, the trail will help to attract ecotourists and other visitors to the region, turning a conservation acquisition into an economic asset.
VERMONT
Project: Forest Bird Initiative.
Location: Addison, Chittenden, Washington, and Orange Counties, Vermont.
Congressional District: At large.
Grantee: Audubon Vermont.
Contact: Doug Parker, (802) 434-3068, dparker@audubon.org.
Partners: Vermont Land Trust, Vermont Family Forests, Vermont Woodlands Association, Upper Valley Land Trust, New Hampshire Audubon, Coverts, County Foresters, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Vermont Division of Forests and Parks, local teachers, and the Town Planning and Conservation Commissions of Waitsfield, Warren, Fayston, and Moretown.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $98,800.
Matching Funds: $385,080.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: 14.
Ecoregion: NA0410.
In Vermont, some 85 percent of the land is privately owned, the vast majority of which contains habitat critical to forest-breeding birds. This habitat is under increasing pressure for development and conversion to other uses. Audubon Vermont, in partnership with several other organizations, developed a pilot conservation-and-education program for engaging private and public landowners in voluntarily managing their land in ways that will benefit wildlife, particularly migratory birds. In 2006, the pilot program was successfully initiated in two communities in west-central Vermont, garnering 7,000 acres’ worth of conservation commitments from landowners attending the first workshops. Partners in this project will now follow through with the program’s next stages in these communities. Partners also will initiate the program in at least one new community, working with New Hampshire Audubon. By giving interested landowners the information and tools they need to properly incorporate the needs of migratory birds and other wildlife into everyday land-use decisions, partners aspire to improve thousands of acres of habitat in Vermont in meaningful and enduring ways.

U.S. - International Projects

Alabama, Louisiana, Texas— HONDURAS, MEXICO
Project: Avian Migratory Stopover Habitat Protection in and around the Gulf of Mexico.
Location: Mobile County, Alabama; Jefferson Parrish, Louisiana; Brazoria County, Texas; State of Veracruz, Mexico; and Honduras.
Congressional District: Alabama, 1; Louisiana, 3 and Texas, 14 and 22;.
Grantee: Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Inc.
Contact: Bill Eley, (979) 480-0999, beley@gcbo.org.
Partners: Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary, The Nature Conservancy, and Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $135,879.
Matching Funds: $407,932.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Mississippi.
BCR: 25, 27, and 37.
Ecoregion: NA0529, NA0701, and NT0233.
In Texas, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is leading its Site Partner Network program into its second decade, with partners now in each U.S. and Mexican state around the Gulf of Mexico. Partners at the network’s 62 sites seek to conserve essential habitat for the gulf’s more than 300 migratory bird species, and expand the scientific knowledge base about these species. In Louisiana, project partners will acquire a 0.2-acre (0.08-hectare) parcel of remnant, barrier island live oak–hackberry forest on Grand Isle—the only known occurrence of such habitat—and add it to the Lafitte Woods Preserve. In Alabama, 0.7 acres (0.28 hectares) of critical stopover habitat on Dauphin Island will be acquired for inclusion in the island’s bird sanctuary. In Mexico, partners will conduct a second year of monitoring in Veracruz as part of the Avian International Monitoring Network initiative. This initiative, launched in 2005 with Act funding, is designed to collect migration data from every partner site for a gulf-wide snapshot of the migration phenomenon. In Honduras, partners will complete their 3-year study to determine the Central American flyway of the cerulean warbler, a species in severe decline.
California—MEXICO
Project: The Value of Restored Riparian Habitat to Overwintering Neotropical Migratory Birds, Phase II.
Location: Shasta, Glenn, Tehama, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties, California; States of Baja California, Sonora, Jalisco, and Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Congressional District: 2, 11, 18, and 20.
Grantee: National Aviary.
Contact: Steven Latta, (412) 323-7235 extension 288, steven.latta@aviary.org.
Partners: Bella Vista Foundation, Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO), California Bay Delta Authority-San Joaquin Resource Conservation District, Pronatura Noroeste, University of Guadalajara-Manantlán Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation (IMECBIO), Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE), and Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatán.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $49,776.
Matching Funds: $166,806.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Pacific.
BCR: 32, 33, 47, and 56.
Ecoregion: NA0516, NA0801, NA1201, NA1202, NA1310, NT0181, and NT0217.
In the Central Valley of California, an estimated 98 percent of riparian habitat has been altered for urban or agricultural development or by water diversions in the past 100 years. These habitats are also essential to Neotropical migratory songbirds. Project partners will build upon and finalize a 4-year, binational endeavor to provide critical data for guiding the restoration and enhancement of riparian habitat to benefit these birds. The first stage of this project was initiated in 2004 and successfully carried out with Act funding; the data to be collected in this final stage will allow partners to relate bird use, overwinter site persistence, and survivorship to restoration design, silvicultural practices, and water flow regimes. Partners’ work involves 20 plots at six sites: in California, the Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley; in Mexico, Río Santo Tomás watershed (Baja California), Colorado River Delta (Sonora), Ayuquila River (Jalisco), and Yucatán Peninsula (Quintana Roo). Project results will be shared with the numerous partner-entities engaged in habitat restoration and bird conservation in California and Mexico, such as joint ventures, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private lands programs, and academic institutions.
Colorado—MEXICO
Project: U.S.-Mexico Grassland Bird Conservation, Phase V.
Location: Larimer County, Colorado; States of Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luís Potosí, and Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Congressional District: 4.
Grantee: Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.
Contact: Arvind Panjabi, (970) 482-1707, Arvind.panjabi@rmbo.org.
Partners: City of Fort Collins Natural Resources Department and The Nature Conservancy.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $168,405.
Matching Funds: $756,000.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Central.
BCR: 18, 34 and 35.
Ecoregion: NA0815 and NA1303.
Recent trend analyses from the North American Breeding Bird survey show that, as a group, grassland-associated bird species have declined more dramatically, more consistently, and over a more geographically widespread area than any other group of birds over the last 40 years. Extensive habitat loss and degradation across these birds’ migratory ranges are major factors contributing to their decline. In this project, partners are building upon their accomplishments in previous phases to conserve another 45,220 acres (18,309.5 hectares) of habitat important to high-priority grassland bird species in western United States and Mexico. In Colorado, partners will acquire 220 acres of shortgrass prairie on Bernard Ranch, a significant inholding within a 193,000-acre network of protected lands in the Laramie Foothills region. Also, the effects of grazing and recreation on nesting grassland and shrubland birds will be researched and monitored in this region, resulting in better-informed management of such land uses. In Mexico, partners will acquire 45,000 acres of arid grasslands on Rancho El Uno in Chihuahua. Additionally, they will continue conducting a wintering grassland bird survey and monitoring program in the eight-state Chihuahuan Desert grasslands region.
New York–CANADA, MEXICO
Project: RPI: Monitoring Migratory Raptors from Regional to Continental Scales.
Location: Tompkins County, New York; multiple sites throughout the United States; Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada; and State of Veracruz, Mexico.
Congressional District: 22.
Grantee: Hawk Migration Association of North America.
Contact: Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza, (607) 254-2464, ruelas@hmana.org.
Partners: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and HawkWatch International.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $83,050.
Matching Funds: $255,799.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Atlantic.
BCR: 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 36.
Ecoregion: NA0406, NA0407, and NT0176.
Hawks, falcons, eagles, kites, and vultures—collectively referred to as raptors—are top predators and, as such, are key indicators of ecosystem quality. Raptors are more readily studied and monitored during migration because it is a time when these otherwise low-density birds aggregate conspicuously along shorelines and mountain ridges. In 2004, partners initiated the Raptor Population Index (RPI) Project to help address the need for better and more standardized information about the status of raptors. Partners in this Act-funded project will build upon their previous accomplishments in raptor conservation by promoting the adoption of their revised standard monitoring protocol to increase the quality and homogeneity of data collected at sites throughout the continent; improving the design and reporting capabilities of the RPI online data-collection system; preparing an initial, large-scale analysis of raptor populations using data from at least 22 sites in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that meet certain scientific standards; and making project information easily available to land managers as well as to the public. This project is continental in scope, with primary coordination taking place from the grantee’s headquarters in upstate New York.

International Projects

BAHAMAS
Project: Building Community Commitment to Migrant Bird Conservation in the Bahamas.
Location: Islands of Abaco, New Providence, and Great Inagua, Bahamas.
Grantee: Bahamas National Trust.
Contact: Lynn Gape, (242) 393-1317, lynn.gape@bahamasnationaltrust.org.
Partners: Friends of the Environment, Morton Bahamas, Global Environment Fund/United Nations Environment Programme, Sam Nixon Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Disney Wildlife Conservation.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $89,150.
Matching Funds: $261,300.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0301, and NT1402.
The Bahamas’ series of low-lying islands provide important stopover and wintering habitat to dozens of Neotropical migratory bird species. However, urban and suburban development is rapidly making large tracts of habitat scarce, negatively affecting populations of migratory and resident birds as well as other wildlife on the islands. Local communities have a demonstrated interest in planting native trees and shrubs around their homes and in common areas to help provide shelter and food resources for birds, but nurseries and supplies are very limited throughout the country. Using plant species important to Neotropical migratory birds in particular, project partners will establish native-plant nurseries on New Providence, Inagua, and Abaco Islands; on the latter two islands, the nurseries will be a source for habitat enhancement and restoration projects at five sites. A national, public workshop will be held with community, governmental, and private organizations experienced in nursery management and native landscaping. The workshop is designed to educate landowners and the general public about the economic and ecological benefits of planting locally grown, native species in their personal and public spaces, and how to do so successfully.
CANADA
Project: A National Boreal Bird-Habitat Modeling Project for Canada.
Location: Provinces of Alberta, British Colombia, Labrador, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nunavut Territory, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, Canada.
Grantee: University of Alberta.
Contact: Fiona Schmiegelow, (780) 492-0552, fiona.schmiegelow@afhe.ualberta.ca.
Partners: Environment Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Forest Product Association of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and International Polar Year Program/Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $177,180.
Matching Funds: $1,989,427.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: All.
BCR: 4, 6, 7, 8, and 12.
Ecoregion: NA0406, NA0602, NA0605, NA0606, NA0607, NA0608, NA0609, NA0610, NA0611, NA0612, NA0613, NA0614, NA0616, NA0617, NA1111, and NA1116.
During the summer, Canada's largely intact, avian-rich, boreal forests host more than 300 bird species and up to 3 billion breeding birds. Unfortunately, the current distribution and abundance of these boreal species are not well quantified and little is known about the factors that determine such population characteristics for these species. As development pressure builds in the boreal region, such information is becoming increasingly important for making informed decisions about and managing the region’s resources. To address the information gap, project partners will develop an integrated, well-documented, comprehensive database of spatially registered avian abundance and distribution data from the boreal forests. Partners will use the database to develop spatially explicit, predictive models of species abundance and distribution that account for geographic and climatic factors, habitat, and land-use history. These models will be used to produce a national atlas of boreal birds’ spatial distribution and abundance, several decision-support tools for conservation and forest management planning, and other communications products.
Project: Lake Alma Habitat Conservation Project.
Location: Province of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Grantee: Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Contact: Bob Santo, (306) 222-8112, bob.santo@natureconservancy.ca.
Partners: Saskatchewan Environment’s Fish & Wildlife Development Fund, and Environment Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $10,120.
Matching Funds: $44,176.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Central.
BCR: 11.
Ecoregion: NA0811.
Project partners will purchase a conservation easement on 622 acres (251.8 hectares) of native grasslands and wetlands in the Missouri Coteau, an extensive glacial moraine covering approximately 23,000 square kilometers in the prairie ecozone of Saskatchewan. Considered one of North America’s most significant tracts of the ecological complex containing prairie grasslands, potholes, and lakes, the Missouri Coteau provides critical habitat for numerous species, including many at risk. The grasslands and wetlands on the project parcel support breeding waterfowl and prairie-nesting shorebirds, including marbled godwit and Wilson’s phalarope, and provide ideal habitat for chestnut-collared longspur, vesper sparrow, sharp-tailed grouse, and Sprague’s pipit. Project partners will work with the parcel’s landowner to identify management practices that benefit Neotropical migratory bird species. Partners also will conduct a range assessment, collect other baseline information, and annually monitor bird populations and habitat conditions. The results of such activities will help partners determine the best management practices for sustaining native grassland vegetative structure and composition for species of concern.
Project: Local and Landscape Influences on Grassland Bird Habitat Selection and Demography.
Location: Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Grantee: University of Regina.
Contact: Mark Brigham, (306) 585-4255, mark.brigham@uregina.ca.
Partners: World Wildlife Fund/Canadian Endangered Species Recovery Fund, Alberta Science Fund, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada/Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research, Science Horizons, Saskatchewan Environment, Canadian Wildlife Service, and University of Saskatchewan.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $46,300.
Matching Funds: $193,300.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: Central.
BCR: 11.
Ecoregion: NA0802, and NA0810.
Previous research in Prairie Canada has demonstrated that several priority bird species are area-sensitive and are most abundant in native grassland. In some regions, these same species nest in planted grasslands as well, but under unknown conditions. Land managers need information on whether planted grasslands offer adequate nesting and post-fledging habitat compared to native grasslands in order to make decisions that will aid in the recovery of declining grassland bird species. Partners will examine local and landscape factors that influence the abundance of Neotropical migrants in areas identified as priority landscapes for all bird species of concern in the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture. Partners also will quantify nest survival of pipits, Savannah sparrows, and western meadowlarks, as well as nestling diet and fledgling survival of pipits in native and seeded grasslands at the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, which is a Ramsar site, an Important Bird Area, and a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site of International Importance.
Project: Population Trends of Neotropical Migrants in Boreal Canada Based upon Migration Counts.
Location: Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Grantee: Bird Studies Canada.
Contact: George Finney, (519) 586-3531 extension 206, gfinney@bsc-eoc.org.
Partners: Environment Canada–Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN-RCSM).
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $83,833.
Matching Funds: $255,190.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Flyway: All.
BCR: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 14.
Ecoregion: NA0406, NA0506, NA0509, NA0514, NA0605, NA0606, NA0607, NA0608, NA0609, NA0610, NA0612, NA0613,NA0616, and NA0617.
The lack of reporting, annual analyses, and interpretation of results inhibits the usefulness of existing migration monitoring data in North America. Project partners will endeavor to increase the scientific and conservation value of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (Network), and assess the state of Neotropical migrant landbird populations in boreal and northern Canada, where such species are not adequately monitored by other programs. Partners will create an integrated database management system that will amass all count data on spring/fall numbers of migrants at each Network station; they will also develop the tools to improve data analysis and facilitate reporting. For an initial group of at least five high-priority, boreal-nesting migrants, partners will conduct hydrogen isotope analyses in order to better understand the breeding ranges of sampled migrants. To raise awareness of the Network, partners will convene a national technical workshop in Fall 2007; publish technical reports and manuscripts on the conservation applications of migration monitoring data; and post results of trend analyses in publicly accessible formats on the Web that allow users to produce customized, population trend results for any time period.
CARIBBEAN REGION
Project: Conservation Thru Appreciation: Birds as Winged Ambassadors.
Location: All islands in the Caribbean region.
Grantee: Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds.
Contact: Lisa Sorenson, (617) 353-2462, lsoren@bu.edu.
Partners: Jamaica Environment Trust, Amazona, French Government (Office National des Forêts and Office of Regional Coordinating Unit, Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, and Regional Activity Center), Societé Audubon Haiti, Hispaniolan Ornithological Society, Bahamas National Trust, Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival and International Migratory Bird Day organizers in 15 countries, BirdLife International, and Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $100,000.
Matching Funds: $653,412.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0127, and NT0131, NT1410, and NT1416.
Many Neotropical migratory bird species migrate through, or spend the winter in, the Caribbean region; nearly 200 species occur here exclusively. Deforestation, wetland drainage, urban and tourism development, agriculture expansion, pollution, illegal hunting, and pet trafficking threaten migratory and resident species alike in this region. Project partners will expand two of their successful, bird-focused education programs that raise awareness about these threats and promote environmental stewardship in Caribbean communities. For the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival program, partners will now adopt annual conservation themes and administer a small grants program to support local efforts related to that theme. For the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project, partners will conduct the program’s educational workshops in eight Caribbean countries, publish a Second Edition of the teacher’s resource book in Spanish, and translate and expand the program and its materials to French-speaking Caribbean communities. Partners also will develop a new program featuring migratory birds. For this, they will produce educational outreach material about migrants and migration, promote International Migratory Bird Day throughout the Caribbean (each October), and administer a small grants program to support local migratory bird conservation efforts.
COLOMBIA
Project: Colombian Neotropical Migratory Bird Program: Securing a Protected Area Network for Migrants.
Location: Colombia, including its Caribbean islands.
Grantee: Fundación Proaves.
Contact: Sara Ines Lara, 57 1245 5134, slara@proaves.org.
Partners: EcoTurs, Fund for Environmental Action (FAA), Rainforest Concern, Fundacion Loro Parque, Robert Giles, and American Bird Conservancy.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $250,000.
Matching Funds: $926,383.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0107, NT0109, NT0110, NT0115, NT0118, NT0121, NT0136, NT0137, NT0145, NT0159, NT0163, NT0178, NT0207, NT0221, NT0229, NT0401, NT0709, NT1006, NT1308, and NT1311.
Colombia hosts the world’s richest bird diversity, with 1,882 migratory species, including 192 Neotropical migrants that winter or pass through the country. Unfortunately, these species have received little research and conservation attention until recent years. Project partners will expand upon strategic reserve protection, management, and outreach work funded by two previous Act grants. Partners will acquire 450 acres (182 hectares) to establish the Golden-winged Warbler Bird Reserve and construct the San Andres Bird Observatory. Partners also will establish four additional reserves by protecting 5,264 more acres (2,131 hectares) and will expand existing reserves by securing easements on 1,000 surrounding acres (405 hectares) and restoring another 740 acres (300 hectares). Partners will refine and implement reserve management plans; assist with sustainable ecotourism; sustain the network of 38 monitoring stations and the National Banding System; provide training for students; publish a book on the state of migrants in Colombia; and ensure that protected areas are registered with the National Protected Area System. Partners also will expand rural outreach using five educators, the “Bird Bus,” the Amigo de las Aves initiative, and the National Migratory Bird Festival Day.
Project: Conservation of Key Sites for Neotropical Migratory Shorebirds.
Location: Various sites in west-central Colombia.
Grantee: Calidris Association.
Contact: Luis Fernando Castillo, 57-2-6812853, lfcastillo7@hotmail.com.
Partners: National Birdwatchers Network (RNOA), National Natural Park System Special Administrative Unit (UAESPNN), Fund for Environmental Action (FPAA), and Migratory Species Festival Fund (FEM).
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $120,000.
Matching Funds: $371,905.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0115, NT0136, NT0137, NT0201, NT0207, NT0221, NT0709, and NT1308.
In Colombia, habitat loss is a primary threat to shorebirds and includes agricultural, livestock, and urban development; changes in hydrology from highway and port construction; and water contamination from various human activities. Insufficient scientific information about species distribution, abundance, winter ecology, and effects of threats on populations and winter habitats poses a challenge to conservation efforts. Recently recorded concentrations of several shorebird species in Sanquianga Natural National Park are large enough that project partners will nominate the park to be a Site of International Importance under the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Partners will engage the park’s staff and the local community in preventing threats to roosting sites for shorebird species, particularly whimbrel, a High Concern species. Partners also will strengthen local capacity to monitor and conserve shorebirds in Sanguianga, other coastal national parks, Ramsar sites, and Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the project area. Diverse public-private alliances will be formed to conduct projects designed to advance Colombian Shorebird Conservation Plan goals. Such projects would focus on Highly Imperiled and High Concern species such as whimbrel, western sandpiper, Wilson’s plover, solitary sandpiper, and buff-breasted sandpiper, but will also benefit many other species.
Project: Development of Local Capacity to Conserve Migratory Birds at Laguna de Fúquene.
Location: Ubaté Valley, Departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá, Colombia.
Grantee: Fundación Humedales [Wetlands Foundation].
Contact: Germán Andrade, 57-1-2148429, gandrade@aya.yale.edu.
Partners: Alexander von Humboldt Institute.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $32,830.
Matching Funds: $116,500.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion:
The 3,000-hectare (7,410-acre) Laguna de Fúquene and its associated wetlands offer the most extensive complex of habitats available to birds in Colombia, including 29 species of Neotropical migrants. Conversion and other habitat modifications and human activities make this wetland complex also one of the most threatened in the country. Project partners will continue their bird monitoring program at Laguna de Fúquene into its second year, as well as expand it by gathering more information about migratory species and adding two more community members to the monitoring team. Partners will distribute educational materials, based on results from the monitoring program, to various levels of decision makers and within local communities, and develop a radio program to raise awareness about bird conservation issues locally. A pilot program for community-run, avian-based ecotourism will be carried out, demonstrating the economic benefits of conserving habitats important to birds. Additionally, partners will work with the regional environmental authority on incorporating the protection and management of Laguna de Fúquene into long-term conservation planning at the governmental level.
Project: Preventing Osprey Predation on Fish Farms to Mitigate Conflicts.
Location: Department of Córdoba, Monteria Municipality; Department of Tolima, Mariquita Municipality; Department of Antioquia, Sopetran Municipality; Department of Huila, Muncipalities of Aipe, Garzon, and Agrado; Department of Valle Del Cauca, Viges Municipality; and Department of Meta, Municipalities of Guamal and Cumaral, Colombia.
Grantee: Alexander von Humboldt Institute.
Contact: Cesar Márquez, 571-3506064, Rapaces@Andinet.com.
Partners: Piscícola Caro & CIA Agropiscícola Carolina S.C.A., Hacienda & Piscícola El Cofre, Piscícola El Gaitero, Primavera Aquacultura Ltda., Langostinos del Llano Ltda., Compañía Agropiscícola del Huila S.A., CIA Agroindustrial & Comercial 3C Ltda., Agropecuaria San Felipe & CIA C.I. Agrosoledad S.A., and Boise State University.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $40,428.
Matching Funds: $247,632.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion:
In Colombia, the availability of water throughout most of the year has made fish farming a relatively stable and lucrative industry. In the past 15 years, thousands of large-scale, private farms have opened, most of which raise red tilapia to be sold at city markets such as Bogotá. Ospreys and other fish-eating birds are attracted to the readily accessible food source that the farms provide, to the point of stirring anger and concern over economic loss among farmers. On average, an estimated 2,000 ospreys are shot each year by farmers, which could portend serious population declines again for this Neotropical migratory species—it recently recovered from pesticide-related problems in the 1970s. After testing several ideas, project partners found that putting mesh fencing around the ponds with colored strings overhead was an effective, humane way to deter ospreys and other fish-eating birds. Partners in this project will now showcase this method at demonstration sites; share with all levels of fish-farm staff throughout the region the rationale for and mechanics of applying this method to their site; and educate staff and surrounding communities about the needs and importance of migratory birds.
COSTA RICA, EL SALVADOR, MEXICO
Project: Quercus and Aves IV: Oak Habitat Protection and Endangered and Endemic Bird Conservation at Alliance for Zero Extinction Sites.
Location: Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico.
Grantee: American Bird Conservancy.
Contact: Bob Altman, (541) 745-5339, baltman@abcbirds.org.
Partners: Pronatura Chiapas, SalvaNatura, and Costa Rica's National Insitute of Biodiversity.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $156,600.
Matching Funds: $516,000.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0162, NT0167, NT0211, and NT0303.
Threatened by potentially unsustainable resource extraction and land clearing for development and farming, oak and oak-pine habitats are among the highest priorities for conservation in Latin America. Expanding upon previous Act-funded project activities project partners will protect a total of 4,500 hectares (11,115 acres) of wintering habitat for two high-priority North American breeding bird species: the U.S. endangered golden-cheeked warbler and the Canadian threatened golden-winged warbler. The protected habitat is within sites recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction and will benefit priority endemic bird species as well. Partners also will develop three reserve management plans, conduct restoration forestry on two reserves, and carry out education and outreach activities that advance their goals of local community sustainability, bird conservation, and biodiversity for the Central American Pine-Oak Forests Ecoregion.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Project: Bird Habitat Use and Training, Laguna Cabral.
Location: Barahona Province, Dominican Republic.
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Contact: Montserrat Carbonell, (901) 758-3788, mcarbonell@ducks.org.
Partners: Grupo Ecologista Tinglar.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $31,809.
Matching Funds: $95,443.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0215, and NT0903.
The 4,700-hectare (11,609-acre) Laguna Cabral Wildlife Refuge in southwest Dominican Republic contains the country’s largest freshwater wetland—the 3,000-hectare (7,410-acre) Laguna Cabral, which hosts a myriad of terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna, especially birds. Results from project partners’ waterfowl-population monitoring efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean led to this wetland being designated an Important Bird Area and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Partners also have been building the local communities’ capacity in bird identification, ecotourism, and the sustainable use of resources as a means of protecting the wetland and associated habitats from further destruction or degradation. Project partners will further engage the communities in conservation actions by developing their capacity to monitor and evaluate habitat use by migratory and resident bird species as well as these birds’ responses to habitat modifications. Local fishing activities will also be evaluated and integrated into the management plan for Laguna Cabral, which has local communities’, nongovernmental organizations’, and government authorities’ participation. Partners additionally will initiate an Atlas of Birds of the Dominican Republic, beginning with Laguna Cabral.
ECUADOR
Project: Conserving Priority IBAs for Migratory Waterbirds.
Location: Guayas Province, Ecuador.
Grantee: Aves & Conservación.
Contact: Sandra Loor-Vela, 593-2-2249968, aves_direccion@avesconservacion.org.
Partners: Canadian Wildlife Service, BirdLife International, Wetlands International, Environment Canada, Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment, CONAVE, Benito Haase, Ecuasal, and Embassy of Holland.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $30,530.
Matching Funds: $98,310.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT1413.
Two artificial lakes created decades ago along Ecuador’s Santa Elena Peninsula for commercial salt production attract more than 20,000 migratory waterbirds and 2 percent of the global population of Wilson’s phalarope annually. BirdLife International recently designated these sites, Salinas and Pacoa, as Important Bird Areas (IBAs); project partners are in the process of also nominating them to be the first Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites in Ecuador. Threats to the lakes and to the birds they host include wastewater intrusion from surrounding shrimp farms; pollution and upland-habitat loss from urban development; disturbance from other human activities; and certain salt-production practices. Project partners, including the sites’ private owner, will develop a management plan for the lakes that seeks to mitigate these threats while balancing stakeholders’ economic needs. Partners will create a volunteer Site Support Group and train its members to regularly census and monitor bird populations and to assess conditions at the lakes. Many will also be trained as ecotourism guides. Partners will conduct environmental education activities with the public, and produce and distribute books and pamphlets about Salinas’ and Pacoa’s importance to birds and to ecotourism.
FRENCH GUIANA, GUYANA, SURINAME
Project: Building a Baseline for Conserving Neotropical Migrants in the Guianas.
Location: French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.
Grantee: BirdLife International.
Contact: Rob Clay, 593 2245 3645, rob.clay@birdlife.org.ec.
Partners: None.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $56,055.
Matching Funds: $188,305.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0124, NT0125, NT0147, NT0149, NT0707, and NT1411.
The Guianas provide critically important wintering habitat for numerous species of Neotropical migrants whose populations are currently threatened by logging, gold mining, oil drilling, and hunting. Migratory waterbirds, and shorebirds in particular, congregate in very large numbers in this region, yet little is known about how well existing site priorities or protected area networks are serving these birds’ long-term conservation needs. BirdLife International will investigate and document the occurrence and abundance of priority Neotropical migrants within all Important Bird Areas of the Guianas. Together with data on other priority birds, protection status, and site threats, the results will be used to systematically identify and initiate conservation action at the top-priority sites. In addition, BirdLife International will establish and manage an Internet Portal for a “virtual community” of more than 50 conservationists; assess the threat posed by hunting to migratory shorebirds and waterbirds; manage site data and map sites; develop a directory of the top 10 critical-site action projects; and communicate results to over 50,000 people.
GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, NICARAGUA
Project: Conservation and Sustainable Management of Pine-Oak Forests.
Location: Highlands of Guatemala; Highlands of Honduras; Highlands of central-west Chiapas, Mexico; and north-central Nicaragua.
Grantee: Pronatura Chiapas.
Contact: Claudia Macias Caballero, [011] 52 (967) 678-5000, cmacias@pronatura-chiapas.org.
Partners: Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, EDUCA Foundation, Alianza para las Areas Silvestres, The Nature Conservancy, Honduras Secretariat of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $250,000.
Matching Funds: $783,250.
Nonmatching Funds: $51,460.
Ecoregion: NT0303.
In 2003, private and public organizations representing the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador formed the Continental Alliance for the Conservation of the Central American Pine-Oak Ecoregion and Its Birds (Alliance). In each country, pine-oak forests are being converted to other uses at alarming rates. In pursuing one of its goals of collaborating to conserve the birds that depend upon this unique ecoregion, the Alliance produced a regional conservation plan in 2006 for the globally endangered golden-cheeked warbler that covers all of Central America. The plan outlines habitat-conservation strategies that engage government agencies and nongovernmental entities in safeguarding this and the more than 160 other migratory bird species estimated to winter in this ecoregion. Project partners will seek legal or formal protection status for 14,700 hectares (36,309 acres) in high-priority areas identified in the plan, including lands of mixed ownership covering 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) in Guatemala; 500 publicly owned hectares (1,235 acres) in Honduras; 4,000 hectares (9,880 acres) on private lands in Chiapas, Mexico; and 200 hectares (494 acres) of privately owned lands in Nicaragua. Partners will also work with affected stakeholders to implement sustainable forestry and habitat-management practices in these areas.
HONDURAS
Project: Protecting Neotropical Migrants in Honduras.
Location: Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras.
Grantee: American Bird Conservancy.
Contact: Paul Salaman, (540) 253 5780, psalaman@abcbirds.org.
Partners: Pico Bonito National Park Foundation (FUPNAPIB), and State Forestry Administration (AFE-COHDEFOR).
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $240,152.
Matching Funds: $721,174.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0111, NT0112, NT0209, and NT0303.
The 667-square-mile Pico Bonito National Park, located near La Ceiba on Honduras’ northern coast, is the second largest national park in the country and hosts more than 275 species of birds—67 of which are Neotropical migratory landbirds. The park is an oasis in an otherwise largely deforested, arid coastal region; illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture pose ever-nearing threats. Pine and dry forest habitats outside park boundaries are also important for birds, but are particularly vulnerable to conversion. Project partners will acquire and protect 6,400 acres (2,591 hectares) of forested habitat between the park and El Poligono to the south, a former Air Force bombing range some 2,964 acres (1,200 hectares) in size. A portion of El Poligono is protected for the critically endangered Honduran emerald, one of the rarest birds in Central America. Partners will reforest 247 acres (100 hectares) within the acquired “corridor,” improve the park’s management plan and staffing, and initiate ecotourism activities in the park. Park staff will be trained in bird surveys and protected-areas management. Partners also will establish an education officer and visitor/interpretation center in the project area for the benefit of the surrounding communities.
JAMAICA
Project: Creating a Future for Migratory Birds in North-central Jamaica.
Location: Cockpit Country and St. Ann and Trelawny Parishes, Jamaica.
Grantee: BirdLife International.
Contact: David Wege, [44] 12 2327 7318, david.wege@birdlife.org.
Partners: Jamaica Environment Trust and Windsor Research Centre.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $129,836.
Matching Funds: $394,045.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0131, NT0218, and NT1402.
Jamaica’s Cockpit Country, a karst limestone plateau blanketed by 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of moist limestone forest, is the island’s highest-ranked Important Bird Area, a global hotspot for plants, and a significant cultural heritage site. The Cockpit Country aquifer supplies west-central Jamaica with virtually all of its water and is the source for four watersheds that offer critical ecological services. Particularly in coastal lowlands, development steadily proceeds in the absence of planning and is based on Environmental Impact Assessments with insufficient bird survey information. Project partners will support the Forest Department’s program of Local Forest Management Committees, which cooperatively manage government and private lands for biodiversity and watershed protection. Partners will develop the capacity and number of committees; find cost-effective techniques to restore bird habitat; assess the status and distribution of Neotropical migrants and priority migrant sites; raise public awareness and appreciation of biodiversity; and increase developers’ awareness of readily available information on biodiversity and of their legal obligations for incorporating biodiversity-conserving elements into their projects.
MEXICO
Project: Ecological Reserves in Ejidos of Mexican Northeast Prairies, II.
Location: Galeana Municipality, Matehuala, Nuevo León; Saltillo, Coahuila; and State of San Luís Potosí, México.
Grantee: Pronatura Noreste A.C.
Contact: Miguel Ángel Cruz Nieto, [011] (52) (818) 345-1045 extension 24, mcruz@pronaturane.org.
Partners: BirdLife International, Profauna, Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL), Antonio Narro Autonomous Agrarian University (UAAAN), Mexico’s Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), National Forest Commission (CONAFOR), American Bird Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, and Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $249,060.
Matching Funds: $864,680.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion:NA1303.
Mexico’s prairies support high concentrations of vulnerable grassland birds, endemic species, and the most extensive and continuous colonies of Mexican prairie dog. Two primary threats to prairie habitat are conversion to agricultural lands and the lack of a common vision for development in the prairie region. Partners in this project will work with ejidos and other community members to define land use for 91,584 acres (37,082 hectares) in El Salado prairie and 29,702 acres (12,026 hectares) in La India prairie. Partners will gather the necessary information to decree La India as a Natural Protected Area, and will acquire ejido grazing rights on 24,752 acres (10,022 hectares), expanding the network of ejido and private ecological reserves in the project area. Partners will also implement seven “bird-friendly” cattle-management plans on 49,504 protected acres (20,044 hectares), and continue to evaluate pesticide levels in grassland birds in Galeana Municipality.
Project: Expansion of the Breeding Bird Survey to Mexico.
Location: Northern Mexico.
Grantee: National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).
Contact: Humberto Berlanga García, [011] (52) (555) 004-4976, berlang@xolo.conabio.gob.mx.
Partners: U.S. Geological Survey, National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), SEMARNAT-Division of Wildlife (DGVS), Pronatura A.C., Canadian Wildlife Service, and volunteers.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $56,000.
Matching Funds: $168,000.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NA0201, NA0302, NA0303, NA1301, NA1303, NA1306, NA1307,NA1311, and NA1312.
More than 150 species of Neotropical migrants use breeding habitats that span the U.S.-Mexico border. For 41 of these species, more than 50 percent of their North American breeding range lies within Mexico. Knowledge of these species’ abundance, distribution, and conservation status south of the U.S. border is not well-documented, making it difficult to conserve these populations throughout their ranges. Project partners will expand the Breeding Bird Survey Program to Mexico to help fill this information gap. Partners will produce survey methodology adapted for Mexican conditions and will initiate the program’s first phase within a system of survey routes located in key areas in northern Mexico. Training materials and a field manual will be produced in Spanish, helping to facilitate the training of 10 people in managing the routes. Partners also will create a mechanism for scientists and conservationists to access and share the survey data for analysis and other purposes.  By expanding the Breeding Bird Survey Program to Mexico, partners are helping to advance continental bird conservation efforts.
Project: Janos: Binational Migratory Corridor in Sky Islands and Grasslands.
Location: Janos Municipality, State of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Grantee: Pronatura Noreste, A.C.
Contact: Miguel Angel Cruz Nieto, [011] (52) (818) 345-1045 extension 24, mcruz@pronaturane.org.
Partners: Profauna, Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), and The Nature Conservancy.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $75,820.
Matching Funds: $227,460.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NA0302, and NA1303.
The binational Janos Grasslands region serves as a natural corridor from Mexico’s grasslands to the United States’ Rocky Mountains and Central Grasslands. At a landscape scale, this large mosaic of habitats is known as “Sky Island.” The Janos Grasslands host more than 300 species of birds, half of which are Neotropical migrants, as well as endangered prairie dog colonies. With Act support, partners protected the 45,792-acre (18,541-hectare) Rancho El Uno within the Janos Grasslands, and formed a diverse, public-private, regional conservation alliance. In this project, partners will acquire grazing and forest rights to 24,752 acres (10,022 hectares) in the region for long-term habitat protection. Partners also will restore, enhance, and manage 49,000 acres (19,840 hectares) of habitat in and around Rancho El Uno in ways that will best mitigate or eliminate threats to grassland bird species, a great many of which are experiencing rapid population declines. Additionally, partners will develop and implement a management plan for the 1,237,000-acre (500,861-hectare) Janos Biosphere Reserve being established through the alliance; a regional land-use plan; and a master plan for Janos Municipality that accounts for grassland conservation.
Project: Long-billed Curlew Management in Two Wintering Habitats, Chihuahuan Desert.
Location: States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas, Mexico.
Grantee: Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL).
Contact: José Ignacio González Rojas, [011] (52) (818) 376-3525, josgonza@fcb.uanl.mx.
Partners: Pronatura Noreste, A.C., Institute of Technology and Higher Learning of Monterrey (ITESM), and Environmental Services, Inc.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $111,850.
Matching Funds: $336,050.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NA1303.
The long-billed curlew is a shorebird species of highest conservation priority for its rather sudden and precipitous population declines. In Mexico, the Janos-Nuevo Casas Grandes Grasslands region in Chihuahua and the Pradera de Tokio region at the intersecting state borders of Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas concentrate approximately 50 percent of the estimated global long-billed curlew population. Since many grassland-associated bird species return to the same wintering sites each year, ongoing habitat loss in those areas can negatively affect their populations over a short period of time. Project partners will assess the curlew’s fidelity to wintering grounds in the project area by establishing two permanent stations for monitoring and color-banding these birds each year. Partners will conduct studies to detect subspecies in the two project regions, determine population sizes, identify habitat use, and analyze diets. Such understanding will help to inform habitat conservation and management decisions. Partners also will work with ranchers to adopt sustainable grazing practices that promote grassland recuperation. Drinking ponds will be constructed or modified to be partially accessible by livestock and fully available to curlews and other grassland-associated birds.
Project: Protecting Important Bird Habitat on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Location: Municipality of Tizimín, State of Yucatan, Mexico.
Grantee: Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatán.
Contact: Juan Carlos Faller, [011] (52) (999) 988-4436, jcfaller@pronatura-ppy.org.mx.
Partners: IUCN-National Committee of the Netherlands, The Nature Conservancy, and Reforestamos México, A.C.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $203,019.
Matching Funds: $623,761.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0181 and NT0235.
The Yucatan Peninsula hosts more than 500 species of birds, at least 160 of which rely on it for stopover or wintering habitat during migration. The peninsula’s coastal habitats are incredibly important especially to those long-distance migrants that cross the Gulf of Mexico. Project partners will acquire the property rights to and permanently protect 6,900 acres (2,800 hectares) of medium and low flooded forests, mangrove swamps, petenes, tular areas, open grasslands, and cenotes around the El Zapotal private reserve near the peninsula’s north-central coast. This land contains a mix of private and ejidal ownership; protecting it will additionally buffer nearby Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve from encroachment by cattle ranching and agriculture. Partners will also explore and implement legal mechanisms for ensuring the long-term protection of additional lands in and around the project area. Additionally, a fire-management program will be established in areas to the south and east of the biosphere reserve to help safeguard its habitat and biodiversity.
Project: Protection of Neotropical Migratory Birds and Enhancement of their Winter Habitat in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.
Location: State of Querétaro, México.
Grantee: Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda, I. A. P.
Contact: Roberto Pedraza Muñoz, [011] (52) (441) 296-0242, sierragordareserve@yahoo.com.
Partners: Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Bosque Sustentable, A.C., Global Environment Facility, and Gonzalo Rio Arronte Foundation.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $94,051.
Matching Funds: $1,049,995.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NA0303, NA1307, NT0176, and NT0177.
Results of a multi-community survey indicate that the illegal killing and capturing of birds, particularly by children, is a significant problem in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an Important Bird Area in Mexico. Project partners will address this problem by conducting an ambitious education campaign designed to teach 18,000 students and 5,000 adults annually about the value of birds, especially Neotropical migrants. Partners will establish networks of community surveillance to report crimes, train local government officials in five counties to understand and enforce bird protection laws and regulations, and produce informative posters and radio spots. In addition, partners will restore and protect 50 natural springs by reforesting 400 hectares (988 acres) of previously deforested agricultural and grazing lands; managing 100 hectares (247 acres) of naturally regenerated habitat; creating soil-retention structures; installing cattle fencing; and undertaking sanitation activities. Partners will also manage and monitor 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) as part of the Lands for Conservation Program, and plant 20,000 fruit trees for birds in communities of the reserve.
PARAGUAY
Project: Conserving Three Key Sites for Neotropical Migrants in Paraguay.
Location: Departments of Alto, Boquerón, and Central, Paraguay.
Grantee: Guyra Paraguay.
Contact: Alberto Yanosky, (595) (21) 227-777, yanosky@guyra.org.py.
Partners: World Land Trust, IUCN-National Committee of the Netherlands, and Government of Paraguay.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $130,900.
Matching Funds: $691,200.
Nonmatching Funds: None.
Ecoregion: NT0210, NT0708, and NT0907.
In Paraguay, the 41 species of Neotropical migrants recorded face threats such as urban and agricultural expansion, pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, and habitat destruction. Project partners will focus their habitat protection and community outreach efforts at a total of three sites in the Chaco-Pantanal ecoregion complex. Along the Rio Negro in the northern Pantanal region, partners will acquire and permanently protect 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) adjacent to the Pantanal Reserve and establish a Conservation Station for carrying out environmental education programs and field studies. At the Laguna Salada wetland complex in the upper watershed of the Riacho Yacaré Sur in central Paraguay, partners will develop a community environmental education program and create a local Site Support Group. At Asunción Bay, along the Rio Paraguay on the country’s west-central border, partners will collaborate with the Ministry of the Environment, Municipality of Asunción, and local stakeholders to develop and implement the bay’s management plan. They will also nominate the bay for designation under Ramsar and the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Bird monitoring will be conducted in all three project sites.
VENEZUELA
Project: Neotropical Ornithological Congress VIII.
Location: Maturín, Venezuela.
Grantee: Neotropical Ornithological Society.
Contact: Patricia Escalante, [011] (52) (555) 622-9129, tilmatura@ibiologica.unam.mx.
Partners: Venezuelan Ornithologists’ Union, Chapman Fund AMNH, American Ornithologists’ Union, Conservation International-Venezuela, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC), Statoil, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of International Conservation.
Approved: April 2007.
Grant: $30,000.
Matching Funds: $152,000.
Nonmatching Funds: $10,000.
Ecoregion:
Since 1983, the Neotropical Ornithological Society has organized a Neotropical Ornithological Congress once every 4 years. Located in a different country each time, the purpose of this international conference is to promote the exchange of information about the scientific study and conservation of Neotropical birds and their habitats. This forum offers a unique and valuable opportunity for researchers and conservationists from the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere to meet in person, share experiences and ideas, and expand and strengthen the global network of bird conservation professionals. Congress VIII will be held in Maturín, Venezuela, in May 2007. Partner and Act funding will be used to provide simultaneous translation in English or Spanish during the presentations, offer competitive travel awards to low-income students and presenters who would otherwise be unable to participate, and cover the general operating and logistical expenses associated with running a conference of this size.
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