eBird: Citizen Science in Community Bird Monitoring

It is well known that the contribution of the society to scientific research has grown in recent years. Citizens therefore also have an important role to play in monitoring biological diversity. In particular, the eBird tool or the Spanish version AVerAves, which is supported by the Mexican Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), through the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI-Mexico), have proven to be very helpful and useful for community-based bird monitoring.

On the aVerAves platform, fans from all over the world and ornithologists can register and consult information. Thanks to the millions of data sent, we now know population trends, migratory movements and dynamics of bird behavior, which would have been impossible to know before. The participation of the Birding Comunnunity Network in Mexico is growing. Unitl now there are more than 25,000 bird observation records.

In cooperation with NABCI-CONABIO and the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and with the aim of promoting bird watching/monitoring in the Mexican Selva Maya, three groups of joint bird monitors were formed and trained in Campeche and Quintana Roo at the end of 2018. Further workshops were held in May and July 2019 to strengthen observation capacities, formalize the use of eBird, promote productive and conservation projects, and strengthen group integration and identification.

A final workshop is planned by the end of the year to strengthen the implementation of the PROALAS Protocol (Latin American Programme for Wild Birds) to ensure integrated and consistent monitoring. This would allow, among other results:

  • To define better conservation actions for vulnerable species in natural protected  areas
  • To generate management guidelines in productive systems that favor the presence of birds
  • To determine species that indicate good management of natural protected areas and / or stablished areas to productive activities
  • To establish measures to promote the conservation of flora and fauna species