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Ongoing Activites

Western Boreal Forest Initiative
(Ducks Unlimited of
Canada )

The Western Boreal Forest (WBF) is a vast and as yet largely unspoiled region that is home to some 13 million breeding ducks and myriad wildlife species. Industrial activity, including oil and gas, forestry, mining, agriculture, hydroelectric and other development pressures, has expanded at an increasing rate.

Ducks Unlimited and other cooperating agencies are committed to generating an understanding of the key factors affecting breeding waterfowl in the WBF and of finding ways to work with land users and resource managers so the region can continue to support an abundance of waterbirds in perpetuity. We will continue to assist in developing the Western Boreal Forest Initiative. For more information about the WBF initiative or Ducks Unlimited of Canada, please visit this website.

Mexican Shorebird Plan, Sinaloa Change Detection Project, Texcoco Lake Plan (Ducks Unlimited of Mexico (DUMAC)

The Mexican Shorebird Conservation Plan was developed in 2003-2004 to help conserve and manage shorebird habitat. It was created to complement the US and Canadian Shorebird Plan. Six regional meetings were held to solicit input during the planning process. Over 60 professionals from more than 40 organizations participated in these meetings. This plan will help decision making will eventually guide conservation projects in Mexico .

The Sinaloa Change Detection project was initiated in 2004 to evaluate the mangrove swamp loss and the increase in shrimp farm development, which is the greatest threat to coastal ecosystems in Sinaloa. Many of the shorebirds from Alaska use these coastal ecosystems Sinaloa. Their very survival is dependent on a healthy environment. The digital change detection information will be used to inform and influence wetland and mangrove swamp conservation efforts in Mexico . The information has also been presented to state and federal authorities to help increase awareness of the situation.

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Texcoco Lake, near Mexico City was identified as one of the most important shorebird sites in the draft Mexican Shorebird Plan. This 5000 hectare site is home to over 20,000 shorebirds each winter. The area is under the threat of increased urban development in Mexico City . Ducks Unlimited of Mexico recognized the importance of this site and worked with the Mexican agency that manages the land to develop a management plan for this area.

The Forest Service provided technical and financial support for these projects. For more information about Ducks Unlimited in Mexico, please visit their website.

Pronatura Education/Linking Project (Pronatura)

Pronatura is the largest Mexican Non-governmental organization in Mexico . The Forest Service provided Pronatura with funding to continue a conservation education campaign in the Bay of Santa Maria in the state of Sinaloa. This region of Mexico is a critical shorebird site for birds that use the Copper River Delta during the spring migration. Pronatura has been active in providing shorebird conservation to 3 rd -6 th grade students in six schools in the bay area. Pronatura staff members visit each school three times a month. Over a thousand school children have been engaged in talks, theater activities, movies, handcrafts, field practice, festivals, camping, and clean-up activities. Approximately 40 students gathered over two tons of trash from 12 islands in the Bay of Santa Maria.

Pronatura has also helped produce eight television programs during the past two years that describe the link between the stop-over sites in the Bay of Santa Maria, Panama Bay and the Copper River Delta. These programs have been viewed by over three hundred thousand viewers in the three northwest states of Mexico . The Forest Service is a major sponsor for both of these projects.

For more information about Pronatura Noreste, please visit their website.

Panama dedication (Panama Audubon Society, WHSRN)

In October 2005, Panama Audubon Society and ANAM (federal Panamanian natural resource agency) celebrated the dedication of the Upper Bay of Panama as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Site (WHSRN). The WHSRN designation is recognition that the Upper Bay of Panama is an important location for shorebirds. Many of the Alaska shorebirds use the Upper Bay of Panama during migration. The dedication ceremony included the following events: 1 st annual children’s shorebird festival, dedication ceremony, field trips, and a signing ceremony of five mayors from three countries that share these shorebirds. The dedication ceremony was sponsored by Panama Audubon, Birdlife International, ANAM, and the Forest Service. To learn more about Panama Audubon Society please go to their website.

Or to learn more about Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) go to that website.

Migration Science and Mystery ( Prince William County School Network)

This project builds on the success of the web-cast “Winged Migration” in 2002 which reached over 500,000 students. This project will take students in grades 5-8 on a virtual tour from shorebirds’ wintering grounds in Panama to their breeding grounds in Alaska . Students can stop with the migrating shorebirds at several places and learn about this fascinating journey. One of the stops will be the Copper River Delta in Alaska . The project is free to all to classrooms.

Each stop on the journey will have its own link with some of the following features:

  • Background information about the location
  • Live streaming video or live, electronic field trip
  • Live chat with a scientist
  • Web cam to observe migration
  • Archived video and pictures of research being conducted by scientists and specialists
  • Research being conducted at the location
  • Lesson plans on the topic being highlighted
  • Contributions by teachers and students
  • Google Earth pinpoint locator with satellite imagery

This project is important because today’s youth are tomorrow’s conservation leaders. Providing effective, accurate education about natural resources will insure that the next generation is resource-literate, connected to the land, and interested in resource management issues.

For more information about this project or to register for the webcast, please go to the Prince William County School website.


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