Migrating birds met migrating biologists in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion as Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) engaged community members on International Migratory Bird Day on May 11th. Tatiana Straatman of Brazil and Liberato Pop of Belize were among the KBO biologists demonstrating bird banding and survey methods used to monitor bird populations and inform conservation efforts.
KBO has an international capacity building program that is dedicated to empowering biologists to use standard monitoring techniques throughout the summer, migration, and wintering ranges of the migratory birds that are shared among the countries of North, Central, and South America. Through hemisphere-wide monitoring efforts we can untangle the threats that birds face throughout their life-cycles and use what we learn to protect the habitats and ecosystems that these birds depend on.
With support from the US Forest Service’s Wings Across the Americas Programs, Southern Oregon University’s International Programs, and the Rotary Club of Ashland, KBO has hosted and provided training to 35 international interns from 17 countries outside the United States. We have hosted students from Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Holland, Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Perú, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and United Kingdom.
John D Alexander, Klamath Bird Observatory Executive Director
This article is the fourth installment in the series Achieving Partners in Flight Strategic Goals and Objectives.
Partners in Flight’s ability to support full life cycle conservation and direct bird conservation resources toward the highest priority needs requires detailed information about bird populations. Constant effort mist netting and bird banding is a demographic monitoring technique that provides this needed information through data that can be used to quantify two important drivers of population change: reproductive success and survival. Such data help us understand where birds are most threatened within their life cycle. If reproductive success is low, then conservation on the breeding grounds might be effective in reversing declines. Low survival might instead require increased conservation efforts in migration corridors or on wintering grounds.
There is a need for increased capacity in demographic monitoring throughout the Americas. To meet this need Klamath Bird Observatory provides banding workshops in a variety of international arenas. In August 2012, we teamed up with the North American Ornithological Conference scientific committee, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the North American Banding Council, and Iona Island Bird Observatory to offer an intensive banding workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia. Participants from Canada, the US, Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico learned about bird identification, ageing and sexing techniques, safe handling procedures, and safe mist net use among other topics during this four day course.
For more information about KBO’s banding workshops visit our website page about science training.