Just a quick bird note: I have been in touch with Aliya Hosein, who is a Trinidadian and a Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) Fellow. Aliya holds a BSc in Biology and MSc in Sustainable Development and Conservation in the Caribbean (with Distinction) from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. She is truly a “parrot person,” and parrots are in the news in the region at the moment. In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two highly endangered parrot species in Dominica and Puerto Rico are struggling and causing heartache for conservationists.
I wrote about Aliya’s crowdfunding campaign to protect the Blue and Gold Macaw – the only Macaw in the Caribbean – which has been up for about a month now. This magnificent bird is threatened by habitat loss and by Please do support them here!
Aliya is a young scientist, but I love the generational connection here. Aliya and her colleagues are continuing the work of Trinidadian conservationist Dr. Bernadette Plair, who successfully reintroduced the Blue and Gold Macaw to Trinidad. Dr. Plair is a scientist at Cincinnatti Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Another generational connection is Dr. Herbert Raffaele, who has donated autographed copies of his books to the cause – as one of the special gifts you will receive if you donate to the campaign. Dr. Raffaele heads the International Conservation Division at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has decades of experience in the Caribbean. I found this video of Dr. Raffaele speaking at the COP10 Climate Change Conference about migratory species in the Western Hemisphere!
Now, Dr. Raffaele is my personal “bird guru,” although I have only met him once. On that occasion, in Grenada, I did obtain his autograph for my somewhat battered copy of A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. This book has now revived somewhat, having been carefully patched up with a lot of Scotch tape by my husband!
Aliya is also interested in the relationships between humans and the environment, including birds. This touches on the work of Dr. Leo Douglas, the Jamaican Immediate Past President of BirdsCaribbean, who is conducting research into this all-important issue. It’s one that has great significance for the sustainability of communities – and the planet, in my humble opinion.
It’s great to see the many and diverse generations of scientists and “bird people” supporting each other. And hooray for young women in STEM!