The Wader Quest 5th Anniversary Grant has been awarded to;
Conservation of waders in the Ciénaga de San Juan de los Cayos, Venezuela.
The Ciénaga de San Juan de los Cayos is located on the eastern coast of Falcón State in Venezuela. It is a stopover site for many migratory waders. A total of 28 species of waders have been recorded, of which 20 are hemispheric migrants, including 'focal species’ of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative and the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative; Haematopus palliatus, Calidris canutus, C. pusilla, C. alba, Numenius hudsonicus, Charadrius wilsonia, C. nivosus, C. semipalmantus, Limosa fedoa, Arenaria interpres, Tringa melanoleuca and T. flavipes
|American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus|
Among the migratory species the small Calidris species are the most abundant, with counts of up to 3000 individuals. On the other hand, the abundances of three resident species Charadrius collaris, C. nivosus and C. wilsonia are sufficient to propose the inclusion of the site within the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).
|Collared plover Charadrius collaris|
The aim of this project is to promote the conservation of waders and their habitats in the Ciénaga de San Juan de los Cayos, through the characterisation (according to the level of flood, sandy or rocky substrate) of the use (feeding, resting, roosting) of habitats by waders and the training of members of the community interested in the development of bird tourism as a sustainable economic alternative that would underpin long-term habitat conservation.
|Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa|
Two workshops will be held for people who hold influence in the municipality (tourism officials, Directorate of Biological Diversity site managers, local community organisations, teachers and students of educational institutions. Members of the community will be invited to participate in the census activities.
|Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus|
It is expected that the local town will gain a minimum of 15 trained members of the community, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations who will be able to identify species and recognise nesting sites enabling them to make management decisions for the conservation of these sites. In addition at least 10 teachers and 10 students will be trained in developing the identification and monitoring of birds as an activity that fosters a sense of belonging and values the importance of this area for the community.
|Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (with Least Sandpiper C. minutilla behind)|
Venezuela is undergoing turbulent times with hardship within the population. It is at times like this that conservation tends to take a back seat. Large numbers of birds to hungry people can mean a food source, whether it is legal to hunt them or not. If a viable alternative that requires the nurturing and preservation of the wildlife can be found then the prospects for conserving these important wader populations are greatly increased.
This project receives no government or academic funding.