Training of community bird monitors

Not only scientists or specialists monitor biological diversity but also the population participates actively, an example of which are community bird watchers. To take advantage of this enthusiasm, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Mexico and the project Promotion of Monitoring of Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Selva Maya Region, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), conducted three training workshops for community bird monitors, in different locations in the Yucatan peninsula, from November 27th to December 4th.

The hosting locations for these training workshops were the community of Conhuas, Calakmul, Campeche; the Santa Teresa station of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Quintana Roo; and the facilities of the Toh Reserve, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo. The participants were men and women residing in the surrounding communities, students and staff of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas of Mexico (CONANP).

The general objective of the workshops was to develop community-level bird monitoring skills by sharing with the participants the basic elements of bird observation and monitoring, following the protocol of PROALAS (Latin America Program for Wild Birds). Miguel Ángel Aguilar Gómez, of NABCI Mexico, gave these workshops with the support of the regional coordinators of this initiative (Ligia Torres in Calakmul, José Ismael Arellano in Sian Ka’an and Karime Unda, in Reserva Toh). In addition to reviewing the theoretical elements on bird monitoring and field equipment management, walks were made in the jungle to put into practice what was learned.

After three months follow-up workshops with these same groups will be conducted. It is important to mention that the records of birds that these groups take in the field are integrated into databases that promote the conservation of the Selva Maya.