Harmony Patricio and Blair Bumgarner
from Sarapiqu�! Though the dry season is supposed to begin in January to
February, we have still had a lot of rain. Some people think that many birds
are nesting later this year because the weather has not been warm enough
to give them the signal to nest. Our organization has felt the impact of
the storms as well. We are sad to report that in early January there was
tremendous flooding in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqu� and many people lost all
their belongings and suffered extensive damage to their homes. The FGGM
office was completely flooded as well, and we lost a good deal of books
and papers. The height of the water in the office eventually reached nearly
five feet. We were able to salvage some things, and spent quite some time
cleaning up all the mud that was left when the river receded. Currently,
we are staying with one of our greatest associates and president of a local
conservation association Alex Martinez. We hope to set-up an office for
the local association on his property, where we can continue to support
collaboration with the local association (Amigos de la Lapa Verde) funds
are being raised to adopt more nesting trees for the Green Macaws. Thanks
to Alex Martinez, who has encouraged a few private donors to adopt nesting
trees, this program will continue to grow. Currently we are searching for
good adoption candidates, and hope to finalize a few more adoptions in the
coming months. Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve may also be offering us support
through donations of some proceeds earned from sales of Green Macaw t-shirts
in their gift shop. Though we are receiving some financial support, our
programs still require more funding to enable their rapid progression.
Currently, we are
working on reducing the development along one of the main roads in this
area. As a member of the Executive Committee for the San Juan-La Selva Biological
Corridor, we support efforts to conserve the Corridor. One of the biggest
threats to habitat connectivity and movement of species between the Braulio
Carrillo National Park and the Northern part of the Corridor is the development
along the road between Chilamate and Puerto Viejo. We are working with many
organizations to encourage the local government of Sarapiqu� to develop
a Regulatory Plan which will restrict development in certain areas and define
types of use for the land. Though complete development of the Plan will
take some time, we are hoping to create a pilot plan which focuses on the
most vulnerable areas. The importance of reducing the impact of this road
barrier in the Corridor cannot be understated, as many species rely on this
stretch of forest for movement between Northern Costa Rica and Southern
Nicaragua. One of the species that must use this area for migration is the
Great Green Macaw. We hope that with all the combined efforts of the various
organizations working to preserve this region, the populations of many threatened
species will be able to recover.
Participates in Wisconsin Symposium on Neotropical Migratory Birds
attended the conference, titled Neotropical Migrants: Insuring Their Return,
sponsored by Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO) and Wisconsin Bird
Conservation Initiative(WBCI) February 4th and 5th 2005. It was two days
of excellent speakers, displays and networking on bird conservation, so
I can only highlight a few things here.
you know you can view bird migrations on radar? This was one very interesting
short presentation by John Idzikowski, where we saw examples of how to detect
migrations on radar and distinguish them from weather. If you live in Madison,
watch for your local news station to run updates on this topic!
Evans, founder of OLD BIRD, discussed the challenges and perils of night
migration. One interesting tidbit was that wind turbines tended to cause
less mortality than most other obstacles such as radio and cell towers and
Stan Temple discussed limitations of migratory birds, and how we should
not assume what they are. He stressed that outside of reaching carrying
capacity, there is always one "bottleneck" that reduces survival and reproduction
rates. If a population of birds is decreasing we could assume that it is
from habitat fragmentation, but this may not be the case. The example of
the dicksissel was used to illustrate this. In this case, researchers followed
the bird through its annual cycle and learned that the limitation for these
birds was a toxic chemical being sprayed on their wintering area. This was
an interesting talk and discussion following; it was stressed that management
will be ineffective if the real problem is not addressed.
Robbins, who has an amazing biography including being a Wildlife Research
Biologist for 60 years at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, spoke Friday
night on a 20 year (wow!) research project in the American tropics. This
research encompassed eight countries and compared fragmented to non-fragmented,
natural to disturbed and high elevation to low elevation habitats, and much
more. He presented us with a multitude of his comparisons, results, maps
and photos. This research has been used in selecting sites for protection
in some of these countries, like Guatemala and Mexico. We were surprised
to hear that much of this research is unpublished.
Saturday morning Andy Rothman presented a synopsis of what the situation
for neo-tropical migratory birds and local birds in Costa Rica has been,
and what Friends of the Great Green Macaw has done over the past few years.
He described how protecting the Great Green Macaw also protects habitat
for neo-tropical migrants. Noel Cutright noted that this project shows how
much difference one person can make.
Volkert and Susan Gilchrist presented an interesting account of their work
in Nicaragua. The Nicaragua Project for Migratory Bird Education connected
educators and researchers in Nicaragua. Bill and Susan shared their method
of getting these two important groups to share ideas and information. This
was a successful project culminating in a bird education plan which will
help promote bird conservation. Another exciting outcome is a guide to the
birds of Nicaragua which is in the works at this moment!
were many more interesting and important discussions happening throughout
the weekend. Of course these were interspersed with bird trivia and prizes.
All of the sessions included action ideas; based on the participants attending
this symposium, there will probably be new and continuing conservation efforts
stemming from the ideas discussed here. I hope we as members of Friends
of the Great Green Macaw/Rainforest Biodiversity Group are involved in these
efforts in protecting neo-tropical migratory birds. See http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/
or contact Andy Paulios from this site for more information.
� Please be on the look
out for our Annual Report for 2004
� Our Adopt - a - Tree
Program continues. Please visit the website for more information. $100 helps
protect an actual Great Green Macaw Nest
� Membership renewals.
If you are interested in continuing to be a member of RBG membership dues
will be due soon. Be on the lookout for a reminder.
Here we will note items
or things that would be of great use to RBG. Please let us know if you can
help provide them. Each item will receive a value that can be used as a
The Wish List:
Computer (laptop or desktop)
Office Supplies (Manila and regular envelopes, printer paper, pens, pencils,
for your help!!!
2984 Triverton Pike Drive
Madison, WI 53711