SVG’s Whistling Warbler in the spotlight at BirdsCaribbean workshop
Director of BirdsCaribbean, Lisa Sorenson, teaching a class
January 24, 2023

SVG’s Whistling Warbler in the spotlight at BirdsCaribbean workshop

The organisation, BirdsCaribbean has mounted a land bird monitoring workshop in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to help conserve the endangered Whistling Warbler.

On Monday, January 23, representatives from the Forestry Department, the National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority, the Union Island Environmental Alliance, and Sustainable Grenadines Inc, as well as some members of the Diaspora, gathered at the curator’s house at the Botanic Gardens to learn more about the diverse birds in SVG and ways in which they can be conserved.

Director of Forestry, Fitzgerald Providence, who was also present at the January 23-27 workshop, commented on the importance of biodiversity, not only for the species around, but for the development of the nation.

“…we cannot separate our wildlife from our forests, from our human development here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines so it’s important for us to have workshops like this so we can see that, and also in building your capacity to be able to develop your own personal career…”.

The workshop, which is being facilitated by Maya Wilson as project manager is providing participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to monitor land birds. Their understanding of land bird ecology and threats will be deepened, and they will learn to develop strategies and activities to conserve these birds and their habitats. There will also be field trips to practise bird identification and count protocols; and discussions will be held to develop local bird monitoring.

Providence said the project involves looking at conserving the biodiversity within the whole nation, “…so we have components which include forests, agriculture, tourism, and marine. It covers that whole thing in terms of the conservation of the forest, because everything we do in the forest…helps in protecting our coastline, our reef, and also looks at our agriculture, in terms of climate smart agriculture, enhancing our agriculture, productivity or biodiversity and also fisheries…”

Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean, Lisa Sorenson told SEARCHLIGHT about the organisation’s belief in outreach, education and getting people interested in birds.

“You do that just by starting to look around you and paying attention and getting a pair of binoculars, you can see the birds up close, and it’s really like a fun hobby; so we’d like to get people interested in birds and then they start appreciating them. They realise that birds are like part of nature and if they disappear, then that means our ecosystems our nature surrounding us is not doing well and that affects humans because we rely on the same natural resources and a healthy environment like wildlife.”

The workshop is being funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Funds(CEPF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through a Ridge to Reef grant.

While the workshop is not open to the public, BirdsCaribbean is inviting all birdwatchers and those who are interested in birdwatching to take part in their future activities. The organisation is hosting its 14th Caribbean Waterbird Census. This citizen science count will last for three weeks. It began on Jan 14 and will run until Feb,3, 2023.

This year, the count is being done on Piping Plovers.

There will also be birdwatching and cultural trips to Cuba this year. This trip is for all birders, nature lovers, and experiential travellers seeking endemics and a window into the culture and history of a unique and special country.

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