Rainforest Biodiversity Group
2984 Triverton Pike Dr.
Rainforest Biodiversity Group
Annual Report 2005
Rainforest Biodiversity Groups’ mission is to protect
biological diversity, including migratory bird species, through the protection
of habitat for the Great Green Macaw and the creation of local conservation
initiatives. We accomplish our goals through the creation and support of
public, as well as, private conservation initiatives. This annual report covers our activities for the
calendar year of 2005.
The year of 2005 came rushing in like a surging river…like
a flood, literally. Blair Bumgarner, one of our directors in Costa Rica and
Secretary for 2005, awoke to the music and cool water of the Río Sarapiquí,
conveniently located right in his bedroom! As the river swelled, our entire
office was flooded and the water level in the house quickly rose to over 5
feet. Luckily he was able to salvage some of the organization’s belongings,
but much was lost as well. Our greatest disappointment was to lose nearly all
of our paperwork and files, many field guides, scientific reference materials,
other books, as well as our accounting paperwork and reciepts. The better part
of January and into February was spent recovering from the damage, as Harmony
Patricio and Blair, along with the help of some local friends, attempted to
clean, dry and repair belongings and the office itself. The damage to the
interior of the office was so extensive that we deemed it best to relocate.
The flood dealt quite a blow to the community as a whole, and there were many
who suffered far greater losses than us. Our thoughts are still with those who
continue to recover.
As a result of the flood and funding difficulties, decisions
were made in the U.S. to put the projects in Costa Rica on hold. However, our
directors Harmony Patricio and Blair Bumgarner were committed to finishing
their work in Costa Rica for the year, and they chose to keep working. Both of
them found alternate jobs, in order to cover some of their expenses, and they
continued to work with Asociacion Amigos
de la Lapa Verde (Amigos),
the Costa Rican nonprofit that RBG had formed as our Costa Rican counterpart
at the end of 2004. The president of Amigos,
Alexander Martinez, was incredibly generous in donating lodging and some meals
for three months, which enabled our directors to remain in Puerto Viejo de
Despite the challenges carried in with the flood, we were
still able to accomplish quite a bit. Our project directors continued to
conduct weekly educational presentations, research and planning for the Bird
Route, assisted with two nest adoptions and participated in very satisfying
river clean-ups led by Costa Ricans. Also
we completed the composition of three formal requests for funding via
applications, conducted fundraising efforts, and participated in Executive
Committee of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (CBSS-EC) meetings and
projects. This included a presentation to the EC-SSBC on the Bird Route
development. Additionally, our sister organization Amigos de la Lapa Verde, persisted throughout 2005 with their work
to protect the Great Green Macaw and its habitat directly through patrols for
illegal hunting and logging, fundraising, education, and nest adoptions. Two
more nest adoptions were celebrated last year, thanks to donations from Dr.
Vincent Hanlon, Tod Highsmith and Selva Verde Lodge. We want to commend Alex
Martinez and the other members for their continued struggle to preserve the
flora and fauna of Costa Rica, despite the limited amount of time and
After our project directors left Costa Rica in May they
continued to volunteer support for RBG and Amigos through organizational and administrative work, educational
efforts, grant writing, research, outreach and communication, as well as
participation as members of the Board of Directors.
After May we did not have staff in Costa Rica, as we did not
procure the financial resources necessary to support this full time staff in
Costa Rica. Without a full time staff member, or resources to support
volunteers, our volunteer program was suspended as well.
We continue to be in contact with our partner organization Amigos, our
friends at Rain Ranch, and also with the CBSS- EC member organizations.
We hope that in the near future our financial resources will enable us
to re-establish our presence in Costa Rica.
The year 2005 marked the year we changed the name from
Friends of the Great Green Macaw to Rainforest Biodiversity Group.
There were reasons for and against changing the name, and we have had
positive and negative results from the name change.
Positive results from the birding and conservation organization side;
but mixed results from the everyday US donor side, as they too had to adjust
to the name change, things were confusing for some people.
Our main fundraising campaign of 2005 was our Membership/
Adopt-a-Nest Phone-a-thon. This
fundraiser actually started at the end of the 2004 calendar year but ran
through February 2005. This
fundraiser brought in nearly $1500 and obtained 35 memberships for 2005.
Along the lines of fundraising, time was also spent preparing a grant
for the 2005 Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, from whom we have
received word we have been awarded the grant! We also submitted information
for a Chiquita Banana and GTZ- (Germany) funded project in Costa Rica, through
our German colleague Christian Wiesser who attended their project planning
meetings in Germany.
Much networking was done in 2005 in the United States.
Rainforest Biodiversity Group was a presenter at the 2005 Wisconsin
Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) / Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO)
symposium entitled Neotropical Migrants:
Insuring Their Return. The
focus of this symposium was neotropical migrant birds and their conservation.
From this meeting Andrew Rothman became a founding member of the WBCI-
International Committee. Rainforest Biodiversity Group also became an official member
of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative.
We developed closer ties with Partners in Flight, the American Bird
Conservancy, Bird Conservation Alliance, Alliance for Zero Extinction, WI- DNR,
Madison Audubon Society, Milwaukee Zoological Society, Urban Ecology Center,
and many of the top ornithologists in Wisconsin. Many of these groups gave Rainforest Biodiversity Group
praise for our efforts.
From the connections made at the WBCI/ WSO symposium RBG was
invited to the Bird Conservation Alliance Pan-American Roundtable Meetings in
Washington D.C. which we attended in the fall. Here we again gained valuable
insight to neotropical migrant bird conservation issues and made more
connections. This time we made
closer ties with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature
Conservancy-Mexico, and multiple projects and organizations in Latin America
such as Pronatura in Mexico, and the Jocotocco Foundation in Ecuador. Results
from the meeting were talks of RBG helping to develop a Sister Protected Area
relationship between Laguna Madre Wetland Area in Mexico and the Horicon Marsh
in Wisconsin. Work on this
continues to develop in 2006. We were also invited to the 2006 World
Ornithological Conference in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
In other conservation action the organization supported a
petition to stop of the creation of 400 wind turbines within 2 miles of the
Horicon Marsh, which has been deemed the most important bird area in
These wind turbines pose a risk to the bird life of the
Horicon Marsh, including neotropical migrants.
Also in 2005 we fulfilled the US Fish and Wildlife Service
request for information on point count bird surveys in Costa Rica.
educational programs with children at the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning
educational presentations at Selva Verde Lodge
Great Green Macaw and conservation presentations for small private groups in
presentation at the WBCI/ WSOSymposium and annual meeting
Total number of
people presented to: 400+
research on potential trees for adoption
background and baseline information for adopted trees
the adoption of two nesting Almendro trees
of Activities/ Outreach:
distributed press releases to various media outlets regarding RBG, the
Adopt-a-Nest program and the Costa Rican Bird Route
information on RBG programs to international organizations
developed relationships with national and local conservation organizations
with departments and professors from University of California Santa Cruz in
regards to establishing contact with the University resources.
to share achievements and request support from the President of Conservation
partnership with Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and Madison Audubon
information on Point Count Bird Surveys in Costa Rica to US Fish and Wildlife
participated in River Clean Ups led by Amigos in Costa Rica
analyzed GIS (Geographic Information Systems) map of Biological Corridor
edited Costa Rican Bird Route Visitor and Property Owner Code of Ethics
edited, and further developed Bird Route proposal and Tourism Plan
support for Bird Route by CBSS- EC
updated information on Bird Route to CBSS-EC
San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor (CBSS):
5 Corridor Meetings
analysis of management plan for Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge
the Bird Conservation Alliance Annual Meetings in Washington D.C.
and presented material at the WBCI/ WSO Symposium in WI.
and Grant Writing:
Food and Health Foundation (Declined)
Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grant (Obtained)
Bananna – GTZ (Declined)
request for and received funding from Tropica Verde for Asociacion Amigos
procured funding donations from private individuals
In 2005 we
were lucky to receive support from many people in Costa Rica and the U.S. who
donated their time, energy, resources and wisdom. The persons listed below are
those who volunteered time to assist RBG in 2005:
Luis Diego Marin
Women’s Group Quebrada Grande
Daniel and Mayra Caamaño
Finca Pedro y El Lobo
the Board of Directors maintained two parts, an Executive Board, and an
Advisory Board. The Executive
Board held voting responsibilities on issues and policies, and the advisory
board provided recommendations and oversight of the development and
implementation of these same topics, as well as acting as the tie breaking
Executive Board 2005:
President: Andrew Rothman
Bobbie Webster / Russ Rothman
Advisory Board 2005:
In 2005 we
had 35 people donate as members of our organization.
In 2005 we
changed to a quarterly newsletter schedule and published a total of 4
newsletters. Our newsletter list
serve contains close to 400 people.
Website was updated and maintained one time in 2005.
and Margaret Borgen
and Cindy Dunn
and Louise Reimer
and Aleta Barmore
and Jeff Ringhand
and Holly Bartholmai
and Sheila Rothman
and Tema Bomback
and Marcia Rothman
and Marcia Williamson
and Linda Endres
Marsh Bird Club
Membership/ Adopt-a- Nest/ Phone-a-Thon Fundraiser:
Total (2004/ 2005): $1705
2005 Portion: $1080
US IN-KIND Donations:
IN-KIND US 2005: $10,193
DONATIONS US 2005: $11,273
TOTAL EXPENDITUES US 2005:
TOTAL CASH CR 2005: $2000
CR IN-KIND Donations:
TOTAL IN-KIND CR 2005: $20,000
TOTAL DONATIONS CR 2005: $ 22,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURES CR 2005: $1976
DONATIONS US 2005: $11,273
TOTAL EXPENDITURES CR 2005: $1976
TOTAL EXPENDITURES US 2005:
CASH ON HAND AT END OF YEAR 2005: $1499.83