Title: Caribbean birds
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100144/00002
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Title: Caribbean birds
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology
Place of Publication: Ridgewood NY
Publication Date: February 2007
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Bibliographic ID: UF00100144
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Newsletter Feb 2007 Vol. 2, No. 1

From the President Birds in Crisis eqqpe&

The year has only just begun and the SCSCB Board is already involved with some crucial bird-
related issues. All of them involve the potential loss of habitat for some of our endemic birds. On
behalf of the SCSCB, I have been in contact with representatives of other bird organisation in an
effort to save the habitat for our birds. A huge amount of time is being spent by many people to
write and speak to government leaders, developers, hotel executives, mining companies and others.

In July 2006, the SCSCB Board held a strategic planning meeting in Jamaica. We were lucky
enough to include a fieldtrip to the Cockpit Country. This area is Jamaica's most significant natural
resource, globally exceptional for its biodiversity, and it is threatened by bauxite mining. I make no
apologies if you have already been asked to sign the petition to save the Cockpit Country. You can
find background information at: http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/10/cockpit country.html
and http://www.cockpitcountry.org/ There have been recent developments. A very active Cockpit
Country Stakeholders Group (CCSG) has been established, and prospecting licenses issued by the
government have been suspended due to pressure from CCSG. However, we now need as many
voices as possible raised in protest against mining in Cockpit Country, so on behalf of the CCSG I
would like to invite you all to support Jamaicans in their efforts to save Cockpit Country. The
petition to Save Cockpit Country is at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/848967167 Please
encourage others to sign also.

A potential development in Grenada could be equally
disastrous. As you may know, Mount Hartman National
Park, one of the last remaining refuges of Grenada's national
bird, the Grenada Dove, is threatened by the proposed
development of a luxury resort supported by the Four
Seasons Hotels and Resorts group. The SCSCB Board is
shocked and dismayed by the imminent threat to the
Grenada Dove, a unique and irreplaceable aspect of
Grenada's national heritage. The SCSCB is not opposed to
development we clearly recognize the need for economic
growth and prosperity. However this must proceed in ways
that do not threaten our valuable natural assets and those
things that are uniquely Grenadian.

Mount Hartman National Park is particularly valuable in this !.
regard. This area was previously prioritized for protection to Critically endangered and facing serious threats
conserve one of, if not the most, threatened species of bird in to its survival: the Grenada Dove. Photo by
the entire Lesser Antilles, the Grenada Dove. The Mount Bonnie Rusk.
Hartman National Park was established in 1996. As research has clearly shown, the Dove is so
sensitive to human disturbance, it is virtually impossible to mitigate against either the direct (habitat


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SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


loss) and indirect effects (habitat fragmentation, human disturbance due to increased traffic, etc) of
a development. Sacrificing this irreplaceable population of what is truly a Caribbean gem for yet
another tourism venture is an action the world will hold against us all in perpetuity. The Grenada
Dove predates all human presence in the Caribbean by thousands of years. Human actions which
threaten its survival are irresponsible, short-sighted, and clearly do not represent sustainable
development.

This crisis has attracted the attention of environmental NGOs, government conservation
departments, private sector organizations, universities, and concerned groups and individuals from
across the region, North America and Europe. So what can you do to help? Visit a new website at:
http://www.grenadadovecampaign.com/ The website has been developed by Graeme Gibson who
along with his wife Margaret Atwood are joint Honorary Presidents, of BirdLife International's Rare
Bird Club. It provides a link to a sample letter that can automatically be sent to the leaders at the
Four Seasons, Michael Pemberton (the developer), Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and the
leader of the Grenada opposition party and to Bill Gates who presently owns 6.6% of the Four
Seasons and is negotiating to purchase considerably more. It also has considerable background on
the situation. You can also visit: www.scscb.org click on 'News' and read the 'Take Action'
article, there is a sample letter there also.

Many of you will also have heard of the threat to the equally critically endangered Puerto Rican
Nightjar. A locally created company in Puerto Rico, WindMar Renewable Energy, Inc., proposes
the development of an industrial wind energy complex in the Important Bird Area (IBA) "Karso del
Sur" (South Karst). This IBA is the main habitat for the Puerto Rican Nightjar (Caprimulgus
noctitherus), which has a total estimated population of 1,400-2,000 individuals. Dr. Michael Fry of
the American Bird Conservancy "encouraged the Wind Energy Industry to plan for avoidance of
Important Bird Areas, Wildlife Refuges, Critical Habitats, and Significant Migration Corridors."
You can read a full report at: http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2007/01/puerto rico windfarms.html
If you would like further details, please contact:
Engineer Luis Silvestre (Spokesperson)
Puerto Rican Ornithological Society
P.O. Box 195166, San Juan Puerto Rico 00919-5166
Tel: 1 (787) 637-3599, Fax:1 (787) 255-0666
Email: luissilv2000@gmail.com

Meanwhile, some of our migrant and wintering species are facing problems too. Recently
highlighted have been the Piping Plover and Cerulean Warbler:
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/12/piping plover.html
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/12/ceruleanwarbler.html

Next SCSCB Meeting July 2007

The 16th Regional Meeting of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds,
July 19-23 2007, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The meeting, hosted locally by Sociedad Ornitol6gica
Puertorriquefia, Inc. (and other organizations and institutions), will take place at the Centro de
Estudios Avansados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (CEAPRC) in Old San Juan. We have a contract
with the Sheraton in Old San Juan for specially-priced rooms. Delegates will also have the option of
staying at one of several hotels in the vicinity, all within walking distance of the CEAPRC. The


February 2007






SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


Local Organizing Committee is working very hard on meeting and mid and post-conference field
trip arrangements. We expect to have hotel and meeting registration materials and a call for papers
ready to send out very soon. We are still working on the agenda, so please let us know of particular
training workshops you would like to have at the next meeting. Mark your calendars and plan to
attend more information to come soon!

Traveling to Puerto Rico: Please check with your local U.S. Embassy and determine if you will
need a visa to travel to Puerto Rico. If you need assistance with obtaining a visa (e.g., a letter of
invitation), please let us know as soon as possible.

Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival 2007
Plans for the 6th edition of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival are Edbe anr
Endemic Bird
underway. This year, for the first time, we will adopt a theme for the Festival
festival: global warming. We are preparing a poster about global warming impacts on the
Caribbean and its bird life and also a fact sheet. We are also pleased that we will be able to offer the
Small Grants program again to festival organizers. See the SCSCB website (www.scscb.org click
on Programs) for the latest news on the festival plans for 2007. See also the Summary Report, Full
Report, and many superb photos from 2006 celebrations that are now posted on the CEBF pages a
great resource for ideas and inspiration! For more information, contact Sheylda Diaz Mendez,
CEBF Coordinator (otoarina77@yahoo.com).


New Cuba Waterbirds Book Available
A beautiful new book on the birds of the wetlands of Cuba has been published by Cuban authors
SLourdes Mugica, Dennis Denis, Martin Acosta, Ariam Jimenez and
Antonio Rodriguez. Aves acudticas en los humedales de Cuba is
AveN A=It"l packed full of information on the ecology and conservation of
an ls humedales de Cuba Cuba's diverse wetlands and bird life, including detailed information
from recent research by the authors. An abundance of colorful
Graphics, photographs, graphs, and informative sidebars and boxes,
make the book a pleasure to explore. Comments Steve Latta in his
review of the book in the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (in
press), "It should serve as a model for other such efforts to help
/ translate research results into conservation practice, and to inform
Sb and inspire a new generation of avian conservation biologists."
Copies of the book can be purchased from the Natural History Book
Service (NHBS), 2-3 Wills Road, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5XN, UK. A
L percentage of the cover price is donated to Cuban conservation
n. projects.


New Local Field Guide: Birds of Hispaniola

A new guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti has been completed by Steven,
Latta, Chris Rimmer, and Eladio Fernandez, along with co-authors Alan Keith, Jim Wiley, Herb
Raffaele, and Kent McFarland. This is the first comprehensive and fully-illustrated guide to the
more than 300 species of birds found on the island of Hispaniola. Beautifully illustrated, the guide
provides detailed species accounts, including information on key field marks, similar species, voice,


February 2007






SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


habitats, behavior, ecology, geographic distribution on Hispaniola,
status, nesting, range, and local names used in both the Dominican
Republic and Haiti. The guide also emphasizes the importance of
promoting the conservation of migratory and resident birds, and
building support for environmental measures. With publication in
English, Spanish and French, the guide will undoubtedly inspire a new
generation of birdwatchers, ornithologists, and conservationists. The
English edition is available from the Princeton University Press
(http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8270.html). Both the Spanish (Aves
de la Republica Dominicana y Haiti) and the French (Les oiseaux
d'Haiti et de la Republique Dominicaine) editions are available from
the Sociedad Ornitol6gica de la Hispaniola (SOH) office in Santo
Domingo. For more information, email Projects Director, Jorge
Brocca: jorgeluisbrocca@yahoo.com.ar


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IBA Directory of UK's Overseas Territories Launched


The RSPB has just launched a new publication Important Bird Areas in
the United Kingdom Overseas Territories, priority sites for conservation,
which includes IBAs for Caribbean islands such as Montserrat, Bermuda,
Cayman, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.
Threatened species include the Critically Endangered Montserrat Oriole
Icterus oberi, which is confined to Montserrat and lost more than half of
its range following a devastating volcanic eruption in 1997. The Directory
of Important Bird Areas in the UK's Overseas Territories was authored by
the RSPB's Sarah Sanders. For more information, see:
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2006/10/ukot ibas.html


SCSCB Website (www.scscb.orq) -

New Updates!
New material has been added to several pages (Contact
Us/Board, Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF), Local
Field Guide pages). We are also working on a Spanish version
of the website and hope to have this ready soon. We hope also
that everyone is enjoying the 'Bird of the Month.' We are in
need of contributions to this feature (see guidelines in the last
issue of this newsletter, July 2006). Please consider sharing
with us the interesting natural history of your favourite local
bird. Send your submission to Lisa Sorenson
(LSoren@bu.edu). All contributors will be acknowledged on
the webpage.


Bicknell's Thrush Bird of the
Month, January 2007. Photo by
T. Brandt Ryder


February 2007


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SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


Journal of Caribbean Ornithology Update
Our editor-in-chief, Floyd Hayes, reports that volume 19(2) should be ready by the end of
March. Detailed instructions for authors and other information about JCO (e.g. previous volumes,
advertising, etc.) is available on SCSCB's website (from the home page at www.scscb.org, click on
Publications). Floyd is ready for new manscripts so send your research papers in!

A Neotropical Companion: An Introduction to the Animals, Plants and
Ecosystems of the New World Tropics Now available in Spanish!

Birders' Exchange, a program of the American Birding Association, is pleased to announce the
availability of its Spanish language version of the highly acclaimed book, A Neotropical
Companion, An Introduction to the Animals, Plants and Ecosystems of the New World Tropics
by John Kricher. Birders' Exchange is distributing copies of the book at no cost to individuals and
organizations throughout the Neotropics. SCSCB has already received 3 boxes (48 books)-we will
distribute these at our meeting in San Juan this July to our colleagues from the DR, Puerto Rico and
Cuba. We would also like to ask delegates from the DR and Cuba to carry back copies for the
various NGOs, libraries and institutions in their country. Our sincere thanks to Birders' Exchange
for this wonderful book, which will be of benefit to so many people.

Report on Bird Education Conference
SCSCB members Lisa Sorenson (SCSCB),
Lynn Gape and Cecilia Boden (Bahamas
National Trust) and Andrea Fender-
Longman (Jamaica Environment Trust)
attended a conference "Bird Conservation
Through Education National Gathering" in
Austin, Texas, Feb. 5-8, 2007. The meeting
was an ambitious effort to bring together
bird educators from around the country and
beyond to share experiences and examine '
potential shared goals. It was hosted by the .. "
Council for Environmental Education and .
the associated FlyingWILD program. J f
Originally, there were about 75 attendees p 41
expected, but more than 150 actually U
p itd Andrea Fender-Longman at our display table featuring Caribbean
participated. educational materials; Bird Education Conference in Austin, Texas,
February. 2007.
There were presentations on "Educating
About Priority Conservation Issues," "Climate Change and Birds: Planning for Education,"
"Evaluating Bird Education Efforts," "Ecotourism and the Education Link," and the "Decade Past
and the Decade Ahead for Bird Education," among many other topics. There were multiple
presentations and discussions on techniques, methodology, evaluation, audiences, and background
where it dealt with bird education. Lisa, Lynn, and Andrea gave presentations on bird outreach and
education initiatives in the Caribbean, including The West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands
Conservation Project, Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, IBA Program and Bird Education Teacher
Training Workshops. All three presentations highlighted the importance of increasing awareness


February 2007






SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


and appreciation of the Caribbean's unique bird life and the value of using birds as springboards for
conservation action in the region. "The fours of us learned a great deal and came away with so
many new ideas for the Caribbean" commented Sorenson.

SCSCB BOARD 2007-2008
The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds is governed by an elected Board of
Directors including the President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer and up to five at-large
members. In addition the Board includes the Past-president and the editor of Journal of Caribbean
Ornithology (who is selected by the Board of Directors). The President may serve only for two
consecutive terms, after which a two-year break must occur before he/she may run for office again.
The officers serve for two years and there is no limit to the number of times they can stand for
office.

Following elections at the end of 2006, the Board consists of:
President: Mr. Andrew Dobson
Vice-President: Dr. Lisa Sorenson
Secretary: Dr. Ann Haynes Sutton
Treasurer: Dr. Rosemarie Gnam
Past-President: Mr. Eric Carey
Journal Editor: Dr. Floyd Hayes
Members At Large: Mr. Anthony Levesque, Dr. Lourdes Mugica, Mr. Joseph Prosper,
Ms. Florence Sergile, Mrs. Carolyn Wardle

We welcome the new Board members, Anthony, Joseph, and Florence, and look forward to working
together with everyone over the next two years. Our sincere thanks to outgoing Board members,
Adrianne Tossas, Jeremy Madeiros, and Brandon Hay for their service to the Society.

Other Upcoming Meetings
The 8th Neotropical Ornithological Congress, together with the Uni6n Venezolana de Ornitologos
will be held in Maturin, Mongas, Venezuela 13-19 May 2007. Go to the website to check for the
call for papers, schedule of events and registration details. www.neotropicalornithology.org/

Volunteer Position Descriptions
NICARAGUA: For more information about the following volunteer assignment please contact
Kimberly Kaine at the Coastal Resources Center at: kkaine(@crc.uri.edu
Title: Ornithology Specialist
Description: To train local community members and tour guides to identify and describe the various
bird species in the Matting Father Branches Reserve in Nicaragua. Produce a reference document of
the local birds in Spanish. This document will include pictures of the birds, names and information
about each bird that can be distributed to local tour guides
Qualifications: Fluency in Spanish both written and verbal. Knowledge of birds native to Nicaragua
Experience in graphic design preferred but not required. Able to live and adapt to a rural setting
with few modern amenities.
Length of Appointment: 4 to 6 weeks


February 2007






SCSCB Newsletter No. 3


Doctoral Assistantship #1
A PhD research assistantship will be available summer/fall 2007 to study the movements, reproductive
success, and survival of White-cheeked Pintails in Puerto Rico. This study will expand on the long-term
commitment of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to conserve the White-
cheeked Pintail and associated wetland habitats in Puerto Rico by providing new and more extensive data on
population demographics as well as data on intra- and inter-wetland movements. The project will involve
traditional radio marking of 150 female White-cheeked Pintails per year for 3 years, as well as marking 10
birds/year with satellite radio transmitters. The general objectives of the study are to determine movements,
habitat use, nest success, hen success, and survival of female White-cheeked Pintails breeding in Puerto
Rico, determine inter-island movements.
QUALIFICATIONS: Completion of M.S. in wildlife management, conservation biology, or a related field.
Upper percentile undergraduate and graduate GPA as well as GRE scores necessary. Experience with
waterfowl and radio-telemetry preferred but not mandatory. Ability to speak Spanish preferred.
SALARY: $22,000 plus health benefits and full tuition waiver
APPLICATION: Send resume and contact email to Dr. Guy Baldassarre at gabaldas@iesfedu

Doctoral Assistantship #2
A PhD research assistantship will be available summer/fall 2007 to study movements, habitat selection, and
survival of the Scaly-naped Pigeon (Patagioneas squamosa) and Puerto Rican Plain Pigeon (Patagioneas
inomata wetmorei) in Puerto Rico. This study will expand on the long-term commitment of the Puerto Rico
Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to conserve both the Scaly-naped Pigeon (game
species) and the Plain Pigeon (endangered species) in private lands and associated forest habitats in Puerto
Rico by providing new and more extensive data on population demographics as well as data on habitat
selection and movements. The project will involve radio-marking and tracking, documenting foraging
behavior, and conducting multi-resolution habitat analysis. The general objectives of the study are to
determine movements, foraging ecology, resource use, habitat selection, and survival of both species in east-
central Puerto Rico.
QUALIFICATIONS: Completion of M.S. in wildlife management, conservation biology, or related field.
Upper percentile undergraduate and graduate GPA as well as GRE scores necessary. Experience with avian
capture and handling, and radiotelemetry preferred but not mandatory. Ability to speak Spanish highly
desirable.
SALARY: $22,000 including tuition and fringe benefits
APPLICATION: Send resume including copy of academic transcripts and 3
references to Dr. Francisco J. Vilella at fvilella@icfr.msstate.edu


If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2007, please do so, we need your support! Please
send US$20 (check or money order) to the Treasurer, Rosemarie Gnam, P.O. Box 863208,
Ridgewood NY 11386-3208. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. If you're willing to
sponsor a Caribbean national who may be unable to pay a subscription, we thank you in advance for
your multiples of $20. You're welcome to name the persons) you would like to sponsor, or we will
assign one and let you know who that person is. Institutional membership is $120 for US
institutions and $50 for Caribbean based institutions. Life membership is $300 which may be paid
in three annual installments of $100.

This edition of the newsletter edited by Lisa Sorenson (LSoren(bu.edu) and Andrew Dobson
(ADobson(@warwickacad.bm). Contributions for the next newsletter should reach the editors by 31
July 2007.


February 2007




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