BirdsCaribbean’s 20th International Meeting Is Coming to Kingston in July!

Something big is flying over to Kingston this summer! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that).

BirdsCaribbean flyer.
BirdsCaribbean Conference flyer

BirdsCaribbean’s 20th International Meeting will take place in Kingston (at the Knutsford Court Hotel) from July 25 – 29, 2015, with the theme: “Birds – Connecting Communities and Conservation.” This will be an amazing opportunity for Caribbean and international wildlife professionals, ornithologists, scientists, students, educators, community leaders and others to present the latest avian research and conservation initiatives, and to explore the wonderful and varied landscape of our beautiful island, Jamaica through informative field trips. The meeting will include exciting keynote speakers, symposia and paper sessions as well as training workshops, round-table discussions, and working group meetings that promote applied conservation and collaboration. Members of the Local Organizing Committee include the Forestry Department, Hope Gardens, Jamaica Conservation Development Trust, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, University of the West Indies, Windsor Research Centre and others.  And the organizers are very excited about what they will have on offer.

BirdsCaribbean is not forgetting our young people. It is planning a children’s BirdSleuth Caribbean camp from July 20-23 at Hope Zoo. Partners are welcome – especially funding partners who are interested in supporting science education in Jamaica. BirdSleuth Caribbean is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study and real data collection. It gets kids outdoors and connecting with nature by focusing on the fascinating sights, sounds, and behaviors of birds. Hands-on activities and games are used to teach about birds and ecology, and kids are encouraged to answer their own questions about nature using the scientific process. The curriculum, originally created by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, has been adapted especially to the Caribbean by BirdsCaribbean, incorporating Caribbean birds and examples in the lessons. Several partners are now implementing the program in their country following a 3-day international training workshop in Nassau, Bahamas in October 2014. All partners received workshop kits (with all the materials needed to deliver the program) and small grants to help fund their local training workshops with educators and activities with youth in various events.

Education is key! Students from Bishop Gibson High School for Girls pose for a photo with Drs. Lisa Sorenson (Executive Director) and Leo Douglas (President) at the end of the first day of a two day intervention with the school under the theme "Why Birds Matter" last October. (Photo: Facebook)
Education is key! Students from Bishop Gibson High School for Girls pose for a photo with Drs. Lisa Sorenson (Executive Director) and Leo Douglas (President) at the end of the first day of a two day intervention with the school under the theme “Why Birds Matter” last October. (Photo: Facebook)

What is BirdsCaribbean?  Formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), BirdsCaribbean is a non-profit organization committed to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in the insular Caribbean. More than 80,000 local people participate in our programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region. BirdsCaribbean works by building networks and partnerships with local, national and international organizations and institutions that share our bird conservation goals to develop regional projects, activities, and materials that facilitate local research, management, conservation, education and outreach. It has partners and members on every island. Some of its international partners and supporters include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Royal Society for the Protection of Caribbean Birds, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Wetlands International, and BirdLife International. BirdsCaribbean’s programs are implemented through working groups, which are informal networks of experts and enthusiasts. Some of the most active groups include West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands, Media, Seabirds, Invasives, Bird Monitoring, Caribbean Wildlife Art, Parrot, Bicknell’s Thrush, Diablotin (Black-capped Petrel), and others. BirdsCaribbean works throughout the insular Caribbean, including Bermuda, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and all islands in the Caribbean basin.

The US Embassy in the Bahamas supported a Strategic Work Planning workshop at the College of the Bahamas. Scott Johnson, chair of the Media Working Group for BirdsCaribbean is speaking in his capacity as Education Officer for the Bahamas National Trust. Note the bird band necklace from our regional meeting raffle.  Scott is a dynamic member of BirdsCaribbean! (Photo: Facebook)
The US Embassy in the Bahamas supported a Strategic Work Planning workshop at the College of the Bahamas. Scott Johnson, chair of the Media Working Group for BirdsCaribbean is speaking in his capacity as Education Officer for the Bahamas National Trust. Note the bird band necklace from our regional meeting raffle. Scott is a dynamic member of BirdsCaribbean! (Photo: Facebook)

There is a Call for Papers – deadline Friday, May 15, 2015 at midnight and an Early Bird Special for Registration by the same date. You will find full details at the conference website, below.

Connecting communities and conservation – that’s what it’s all about. Jamaica, the Caribbean (and beyond) face unprecedented challenges in protecting the habitats that shelter our birds and other wildlife – and ourselves. These challenges transcend boundaries: climate change, for example, and the destruction of habitats through human activities such as industrialization, agriculture and housing demands. Moreover, increasing urbanization has distanced our citizens from their natural environment and ecological heritage. We Caribbean people need to reconnect with our environment, and at the same time observe, learn, understand and share the knowledge. The BirdsCaribbean meeting will be a wonderful opportunity to energize us as we embrace this process. It is critical to the survival of many important and endangered species, and indeed to our very own health and wellbeing.

So bird lovers, come to Jamaica this summer! Many splendid and fascinating birds await you (including 29 endemic birds that are found only in Jamaica!)

For more information please visit the conference website at https://sites.google.com/site/birdscaribbeanmeeting2015/home You can also find Birds Caribbean on Facebook and on Twitter @BirdsCaribbean. The BirdSleuth program is also on Facebook, as well as the two annual festivals that BirdsCaribbean organizes: International Migratory Bird Day and the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (Caribbean Bird Festivals CEBF and IMBD).

The beautiful Crested Quail Dove is found only in Jamaica (it's one of the 29 endemic bird species). It is a shy bird and if you are lucky you can spot it in the Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country and perhaps the John Crow Mountains. Like many other Caribbean birds, its numbers are being affected by loss of habitat. (Photo: Sam Woods/Facebook)
The beautiful Crested Quail Dove (Geotrygon Versicolor) is found only in Jamaica (it’s one of the 28 endemic bird species). It is a shy bird and if you are lucky you can spot it in the Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country and perhaps the John Crow Mountains. Like many other Caribbean birds, its numbers are being affected by loss of habitat. (Photo: Sam Woods/Facebook)

 

 

 


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