A new initiative launched by EcoLogic, FARCO, and PANTERA aims to safeguard neotropical migratory birds while fostering community engagement and environmental sustainability.
EcoLogic and its local partner organizations, Fondo Ambiental Regional de la Chinantla, Oaxaca (FARCO) and Paisajes Naturales y Territorios Antropicos, A.C. (PANTERA), recently launched a new initiative to conserve neotropical migratory bird habitat in Mexico, the Alliance for the Conservation of Birds of the Papaloapan (Alianza para la Conservación de las Aves del Papaloapan).
The project, which is receiving funding from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Neotropical Migratory Bird Act, will focus on four key areas:
Strengthening the management plans for conservation areas and the community's capacity to design a locally operational and scalable neotropical migratory bird monitoring program. This includes training community members in nursery management and tree cultivation and identifying and prioritizing 20 hectares of degraded areas for reforestation.
Training young people and adults to document the presence of neotropical migratory birds in protected habitats using technology, generating appreciation and connection with their territory. This will help raise awareness of neotropical migratory birds' importance and promote their conservation.
Protecting the natural habitat provided by forests for biodiversity through implementing climate change mitigation actions in forests and wooded lands. This includes reforestation efforts, which will help to protect degraded land and provide habitat for neotropical migratory birds.
Supporting the education of children and young people to identify and recognize the importance of natural habitats for biodiversity and neotropical migratory birds and their relationship with the ecosystem/territory. This will help build local communities' capacity to manage and conserve natural resources.
This project will help conserve one of the world's most important migratory bird populations while simultaneously enhancing the well-being of local communities and fostering biodiversity conservation and forest protection.
Our field team is executing the project in two distinct phases:
Phase 1 (2023-2024) focuses on building a multipurpose nursery capable of producing 20,000 seedlings annually, identifying and prioritizing 20 hectares of degraded areas for reforestation, and selecting and collecting seeds from local, endemic, and endangered species.
Phase 2 (2025-2026) focuses on planting the seedlings in the selected areas, ensuring they have the necessary moisture and shade, and monitoring the reforestation efforts.
We're looking forward to achieving the following outcomes:
A well-functioning nursery that is capable of producing 20,000 seedlings per year.
A restoration and reforestation plan that will protect 20 hectares of degraded land.
A community that is more knowledgeable about and engaged in conserving neotropical migratory birds and their habitat.
A more sustainable environment for the people and wildlife of the region.
"We are excited to launch this project, which will help conserve one of the world's most important migratory bird populations while simultaneously enhancing the well-being of local communities and fostering biodiversity conservation and forest protection," commented EcoLogic Mexico Program Officer Marco Acevedo.
The project is still in its early stages but has already had positive impacts and is expected to continue to have long-lasting results in the coming years. For instance, a tree nursery has already been built and is producing seedlings, and the community has been trained in nursery management and tree cultivation.
The alliance is a remarkable testament to the significance and effectiveness of collaborative efforts with local communities and governments in preserving biodiversity and advancing sustainable development.