|TCI joins International Migratory Bird Day celebration|
|Thursday, 04 November 2010 09:17|
The Turks and Caicos Islands through the TCI National Trust joins conservation leaders, researchers and nature enthusiasts from across the Caribbean to celebrate and promote public awareness surrounding the incredible phenomenon of bird migration during October.
According to trust Education Officer Jonathan Sayao, the organization is extending the observance to Nov. 30, thus making the observance a two-month celebration.
“I am happy to announce that the National Trust is supporting the region-wide celebration of the International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) and thus have lined-up several activities that promote protection of birds and their habitat,” Sayao said.
According to Sayao, activities for the IMBD celebration include Wheeland Pond Clean-up in Blue Hills which will involve students and community members within the vicinity, bird-watching excursions to North Caicos, school visits, setting-up of booths, sale of bird merchandise (e.g., books, ceramics) and a Teachers Workshop for Providenciales-based teachers.
“We are preparing resource materials about birds, and those will be given to schoolteachers to help supplement their lesson on birds, focusing specifically on those common to us. Teachers in the other islands will be sent copies as well,” Sayao added.
Each year millions of birds, representing hundreds of species travel between North America and the Caribbean.
TCI is one of the many countries frequented by these neotropical migratory birds.
“We need to recognize the importance of the presence of these migratory birds in the whole spectrum of balance in nature, particularly with reference to the native TCI ecosystem,” he said. “Thus, we implore the public’s support in this endeavor.”
Approximately 350 species of birds that breed in North America migrate each year to spend the winter in Latin America and the Caribbean. As a group they are referred to as neotropical migratory birds, and they include many species of songbirds, hawks, egrets, and ducks, among other well known groups.
Additionally, a smaller number of species migrate from South America into the Caribbean to breed during the summer. The Caribbean therefore shares these species with North and South America, and many spend the greater portion of each year on our islands (up to nine months annually), compared to the time they spend outside of the region.
“Most people really don’t know that the birds that they see and love are, in fact, species that spend their summers and winter months in separate, far away, countries,” said Anthony Levesque, Regional IMBD Coordinator. Because most birds migrate mostly during the night, their epic movements, though frequently spectacular in numbers, are often unnoticed by the public, he said.
Unfortunately the long-term survival of about one third of these migratory species is of concern because of sustained declines in their populations over recent decades.
“There are just much fewer numbers of even some of the more common and well-known species now relative to their numbers a few decades ago,” said Dr. Lisa Sorenson, president of the SCSCB.
“Because we are dealing with birds that change the country in which they live twice a year, every year, both local, regional, and international partnerships are essential components of any conservation effort,” Sorenson said.
This year’s IMBD celebration theme is “The Power of Partnerships.”
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The authors, marine ecologist Marsha Pardee and terrestrial ecologist Kathleen Wood, are long-time TCI residents and respected scientists in their fields.
Below are links to their articles, plus related news articles, documents and laws.
- 29/7/10: Chalk Sound National Park: Beauty and ecology
- 22/7/10: Protected Areas designations and differences
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Links to environmental documents and laws