Protecting migrant shorebirds - a progress report.
When members of our chapter learned of the annual hunting of migrating shorebirds in the shooting swamps of Barbados we asked what we could do to help control this destruction of species that breed in North America and which we see here on the Gulf shore of Pasco County. We learned that BirdLife International has a representative on Barbados who is working with the hunters to try to introduce bag limits and stop the use of taped calls to lure birds. To help this effort West Pasco Audubon sent a check for $500, made up from collections at our meetings and a donation from chapter funds. We learned that this would help BirdLife International to rent an abandoned shooting swamp, which could be restored to provide a safe shore bird refuge. In August we were delighted to learn of the progress that has been made. This is described in the letter and photographs from David Wege, our BirdLife contact in Cambridge, England, copied below.
There is still much to do. Funding is needed to continue the work with the wildfowlers. Grants awarded through the US Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act require a 3:1 ratio of matching funds from other sources. We hope that you can help us to continue our support by sending a tax-deductible contribution. West Pasco Audubon Society, P.O.Box 1456 Elfers FL 34680
As a result of our NMBCA-funded project work, we have secured a 5-year lease on an abandoned ex-shooting swamp. With support from Bird Studies Canada and West Pasco Audubon (and a lot of in-kind support from the swamp owners and ex-hunters), we have re-established the swamp as ideal habitat for passage shorebirds. This is the only wetland area in Barbados that has significant habitat for shorebirds that is not being hunted.
December 09 Update