30 Mar 2010

Saving waterbirds in Barbados

By Nick Askew
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.