Bird festival inspires youth across the Caribbean

Haitian students plant trees to help local birds. Image: Société Écologique d’Haïti via BirdsCaribbean
Biodiversity

BirdsCaribbean media release — “We’re so excited to have an event in Haiti this year!”

Ingrid Flores is delighted to add a new country to her map of events. She is the coordinator of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF). It is organized every year by BirdsCaribbean. Partners across the region host events as part of the festival each spring. Its focus is on the types of birds that are unique to each island, or to the Caribbean itself. This year, events took place in at least 16 islands and involved over 2,000 people.

For the first time, partners in Haiti joined the celebrations. The Société Écologique d’Haïti saw the CEBF as “the perfect opportunity” to boost nature education in Haitian schools. 290 students in Forêt des Pins and Les Cayes learned how hunting and caging birds is harmful. They also enjoyed planting trees and learning how trees help birds.

In the Dominican Republic, The Peregrine Fund led activities in five places during Ridgway’s Hawk Week. This beautiful hawk lives only on the island of Hispaniola. Listed as “Critically Endangered,” its numbers are falling. Over 300 people went on bird walks. They were thrilled to see a live hawk at one event.

On Jamaica’s south coast, the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation visited children from toddlers to age 11 years at four local schools. At one school, teachers hung bird art made by the children in classrooms. To the east, 50 members of BirdLife Jamaica visited the Source Farm Foundation and Ecovillage. They joined residents for guided bird walks in the nearby hills.

On the island of St. Martin, groups worked to restore wild spaces. The island still shows damage from Hurricane Irma. Les Fruits de Mer launched a new nursery to provide native tree seedlings at their Endemic Animal Festival. Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) hosted visits to the Little Bay Pond bird watching hut, which was rebuilt with hurricane relief funds raised by BirdsCaribbean.

Many BirdsCaribbean partners in Puerto Rico were busy in 16 locations, including schools. Here they spread the word about endemic birds. Students at a science high school in San Juan were full of questions. They expressed a wish to conduct their own bird counts next year.

“As many islands still recover from hurricane damage, we were excited to share local birds and nature with people,” said Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean. “For the 17th year, the festival has reached thousands of people across the Caribbean.”

[Image: Société Écologique d’Haïti via BirdsCaribbean]

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Shark, the Bahamas. Image: Mark Yokoyama
Biodiversity
Beneath the Waves and shark conservation in The Bahamas

Marine biologist Melissa Cristina Márquez writes about shark conservation organisation Beneath the Waves and the research they are doing in The Bahamas. According to Dr. Austin Gallagher, the organisation’s Chief Scientist, “There are few places worldwide that are as important to sharks than the Bahamas.” In 2018, Beneath the Waves launched one …

Shield bug, Puerto Rico. Image: S Crews
Biodiversity
The disappearance of insects from Puerto Rico’s rainforests is a “hyper-alarming” sign

The UK Guardian reports on the collapse of insect populations in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. Plummeting insect populations, in Puerto Rico and other parts of the world, have been attributed to climate change, and could have effects that ripple through entire ecosystems and food webs: “We knew that something was …

Green Turtle, Cayman Islands. Image: Pete.
Biodiversity
Green turtles have made a comeback in the Cayman Islands due to reintroduction programmes

Science Daily reports on the success of a programme to reintroduce the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) to the Cayman Islands: During the eighties, overexploitation of the green turtle in the Cayman Islands caused the disappearance of nesting populations. To recover this endangered population, a program of reintroduction of the species …