News in Brief
Stories in this news in brief: Guyra Paraguay advises Government on ecotourism; Four Rivers Project in Korea; Hope for Siberian Crane; Saving waterbirds in Barbados
Guyra Paraguay advises Government on ecotourism - Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife Partner) and the National Secretary of Tourism (SENATUR) in Paraguay have produced a new brochure to promote Paraguay as a birding destination. The brochure describes the species found in the six major Paraguayan ecosystems, as well as information about Rural Tourism, the Franciscan Path, and the Jesuit Route, the later two highlighting the contributions of Franciscans and Jesuits to Paraguayan culture. There is information about the National Bird, Bare-throated Bellbird, and Asunción Bay, as an excellent birding spot. The SENATUR has included birdwatching as a producto estrella ('star product') and is continuing to support Guyra Paraguay's tourism initiative, Birding Paraguay. To download the brochure click here and here.
Four Rivers Project in Korea - Birds Korea has completed and published a preliminary report on the anticipated impacts of the Four Rivers Project on waterbirds. At present the Four Rivers Project entails, by 2012, the 'refurbishment' of the nation's four largest rivers (by area of river basin): the Han, the Nakdong, the Geum and the Yeongsan. The project includes the construction of 16 new dams on the main streams of the four rivers and five new dams on their tributaries; the reconstruction of two estuarine barrages; the enlargement of 87 existing irrigation dams; the strengthening of 377 km of river bank; and the dredging of 570 million cubic metres of sand and gravel from a total 691 km of the rivers (most along the Nakdong), with the aim to keep the water 4-6 m deep throughout the year. In addition, bank strengthening, dredging or other refurbishment is also simultaneously proposed for an additional 2,327 km out of 5,778 km of the four rivers' tributaries. To read the report click here
Hope for Siberian Crane - The future of the Critically Endangered Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus is looking brighter thanks to an international effort by China, Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia, four countries along the bird's dramatic migratory routes. The project, supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the International Crane Foundation through the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is the first of its kind to use a 'flyway' approach to stabilise and to sustain the remaining 3,000-3,500 Siberian Cranes and millions of other migratory waterbirds. This partnership has also played a catalytic role in boosting the conservation and rehabilitation of wetlands covering some 7 million hectares. Each year, Siberian Cranes migrate up to 5,000 km from its breeding grounds in northern Siberia, along two migration routes to wintering sites in southern China and Iran. For more information about the project click here.
Saving waterbirds in Barbados – Fifteen to thirty thousand shorebirds are shot each year in a handful of managed shooting swamps on Barbados on their southbound migration. However, the tradition of hunting migratory shorebirds is changing. The old culture of 'kill as many as you can' is being replaced by a conservation ethic among hunters. Maintaining artificial wetlands year-round is playing an active part in the conservation of target and non-target shorebirds and other waterbirds. BirdLife International has been working with two former hunters to secure the lease on a four hectare abandoned shooting swamp as a shorebird refuge. Now restored, the refuge is a safe haven for thousands of waterbirds. This is only the beginning! There are other abandoned shooting swamps that are available for lease, and that could help form a strategic network of conservation wetlands in Barbados. Please help us raise funds to move this exciting program forward in 2010 and 2011.
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