Neotropical migratory bird grants link sites and people along the Americas flyway
The work of BirdLife Partners throughout the Americas will benefit from $4.8 million in US Fish and Wildlife Service grants for projects supporting Neotropical migratory bird conservation.
Companies, institutions and individuals have contributed a further $18 million in matching funds to support habitat restoration, environmental education, population monitoring and other priority activities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries.
A $90,200 grant, with matching funds of $271,140 from Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation-Rio Tinto and BirdLife Partners, will enable BirdLife International and Partner Aves Argentinas to assess the role of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Argentina and Chile in conserving Neotropical migrants. This project also seeks to advance the conservation of four high priority sites in Argentina, Chile and Peru which are linked through shared migratory species of conservation concern to Great Salt Lake, Utah. The approach of linking the communities at the IBAs with each other and with the community of Great Salt Lake has already proved successful in Canada and Mexico.
Work by BirdLife Partners SalvaNatura (El Salvador) and ProNatura (Mexico) to identify and manage priority wintering sites will also benefit. There will be funding for 40 existing monitoring stations throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and another ten will be established to fill gaps in the network.
SalvaNatura and ProNatura have received further funding for their work in the pine-oak forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and northern El Salvador, which provide critical winter habitat for the Endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia and 55 other Neotropical migratory species.
"The Partnership's great work on migratory species will reap the benefit from these grants" —Rob Clay, BirdLife
"This is brilliant news for Neotropical birds and IBAs. The Partnership's great work on migratory species will reap the benefit from these grants", said Dr Rob Clay, Senior Conservation Manager for BirdLife in the Americas.
IBAs that will benefit directly from support for monitoring, management and public education include Bahía de Asunción (Paraguay), which is of international importance for migratory shorebirds. BirdLife Partner Guyra Paraguay's work at Bahía de Asunción will include developing tools to increase local awareness about the environment, reducing harmful behaviour, and involving the community in conservation projects.
Aves & Conservación (BirdLife in Ecuador) will use its grant to strengthen local capacities in research, monitoring and ecotourism at two artificial salt lakes in the Santa Elena Peninsula, establishing Site Support Groups, and building alliances with local universities.
ProNatura has also received funding for conservation work at the El Ocote and Chimalapas IBAs, and at the Calakmul, Mapimí and Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserves, which are all of immense importance for Neotropical migrants. There is further funding for the Veracruz River of Raptors initiative, which seeks to improve protection for the five million raptors of 25 species which migrate via a geographic bottleneck between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 established the matching grants program to fund projects promoting the conservation of Neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. By law, at least 75% of the money goes to projects in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, while the remaining 25% can go to projects in the United States. A number of the grants will enable Audubon (BirdLife in the USA) to restore habitats and improve the protection of migration corridors within the United States, and Audubon is also involved in many of the projects outside US borders.
"These grants will support important multi-national partnership projects throughout the hemisphere so future generations of people in North, Central and South America can enjoy and appreciate these remarkable birds", said US Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
This news is brought to you by BirdLife's Flyways Campaign. To read more about the BirdLife Partnership’s global work to save migratory birds, click here.