$4.3 Million for Neotropical Migratory Birds and Habitat Conservation
By Rory Mccann, Wed, 22/06/2011 - 14:12
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced more than $4.3 million in grants for 34 projects that will support neotropical migratory bird conservation throughout the Western Hemisphere. Matched by more than $15.1 million in additional funds from partners, the projects will support habitat restoration, environmental education, population monitoring, and other priority activities within the ranges of neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 13 Latin American and Caribbean countries. “These grants bring together partners to achieve conservation on a far greater scale than would otherwise be possible” said Acting Service Director Rowan Gould. There are more than 340 species of neotropical migratory bird, including plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers, and sparrows. The populations of many of these birds are presently in decline, and several species are currently protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Three of the grants have been awarded to BirdLife International and its Partners. The first, to BirdLife International itself, aims to advance the conservation of critical migratory habitats throughout the Western Hemisphere with conservation action at sites in Argentina and Chile linked by shared migratory species of concern. Species and site monitoring will continue, and partners will support education and outreach campaigns and local conservation groups. Another of the grants has been awarded to Bird Studies Canada (BirdLife co-Partner). This project focuses on the long term recovery of Bicknell’s thrush, a species that breeds in Canada. The main objective is to partner with forestry companies and other relevant agencies to develop and implement a strategy for collaborative conservation of this species. Last of the three BirdLife-related grants was received by Grupo Jaragua (BirdLife Partner in the Dominican Republic). The Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve is among the most biodiverse areas of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, hosting more than 30 neotropical migratory bird species. Grupo Jaragua, with the support of the Forest of Hope Programme of BirdLife International, will maintain, manage, protect and hopefully restore bird habitat and conduct law enforcement in Jaragua National Park and its buffer zone. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. www.fws.gov.