[CT Birds] Shorebirds

Hannan, John jhannan at audubon.org
Wed Sep 14 23:22:51 EDT 2011

Regarding what actions one can take to assist in regulating, limiting or stopping hunting of shorebirds on these Caribbean Islands there are various routes of support one can investigate but remember hunting is a tradition in many places, for instance in the State of Texas there are still hunting seasons for King and Clapper Rails no less, so the best strategy for conservation groups often has to be to work with hunters to accept bag limits, stricter seasons and setting aside of certain areas as no-hunt IBAs.  Our international partner in many of these places is Birdlife International.  They have worked very hard in Barbados and now have a coordinator there and are actually getting hunters to voluntarily initiate bag limits and help fund purchases of protected areas that were formally "shooting swamps."  A good example of this in Barbados is described in this link http://www.whsrn.org/sites/default/files/file/Shorebird_Conservation_Barbados_Dec09.pdf

Birdlife's Caribbean work can be found at this link http://www.birdlife.org/regional/caribbean/index.html.  Unfortunately I don't think they have yet been able to secure funding and a partner organization in-country to work with hunters on Guadeloupe as they have in Barbados and other Islands.  Last year they did complete and publish an IBA directory for Guadeloupe in the native language of French so Islanders can now understand the rich avian biodiversity they have responsibility for.  The partner Birdlife is working across the Caribbean with is The Society for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds http://www.scscb.org/   National Audubon Society is also a BirdLife partner and we are both raising funds and sending staff to support fellow partner organizations in the Caribbean but have not been involved in any of this work, to date our work has been more focused on helping identify and preserve Piping Plover wintering grounds in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.  One thought I have for people who really want to directly help would be to contact BirdLife and see if they have identified any shooting swamps that could be purchased and taken off the free hunting list.  It could be a great "sistering project" for those of us in the north to support so these birds would have protected sites to rest in as they make their south bound journey.  That would give BirdLife and others more time to build the awareness and longer understanding amongst local hunters that, at least, bag limits if not stopping of hunting is needed for many of these shorebird species.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology blog also has a good article for further reading on the intricacies of resolving this problem http://www.birds.cornell.edu/roundrobin/2011/09/13/whimbrel-survives-tropical-storm-shot-in-caribbean/   If anyone wants more info on who in BirdLife to contact about potential projects they can e-mail directly.

John Hannan

Senior Director of Strategic Gifts for the Atlantic Flyway


Director of Development for Audubon in Connecticut

National Audubon Society

613 Riversville Road

Greenwich, CT 06831

Tel 203-869-5272 ext. 234

Cell 917-293-8302

Fax 203-869-4437

jhannan at audubon.org



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