Shorebird Conservation Trust

The hunting of shorebirds during autumn migration (July-October) on Barbados is a well-entrenched tradition since the early colonial era. Since many species of shorebird are suffering population declines and hunting may be a contributing factor, BirdLife International and Wayne Burke started to address the issue on Barbados in 2008.

Collaboration with local hunters and Canadian Wildlife Service has led to many favourable changes in the culture of hunting, including the proactive self-imposition of bag limits on species of concern.

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Wayne ‘Doc’ Burke at Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge
– photo by Danielle van Dreunen

Out of the work with BirdLife International on shorebird conservation in Barbados, has emerged the need for a local Shorebird Conservation Trust (Registered Charity No. 965). The objectives of the Trust are threefold:

1) To collaborate with interested parties to ensure that the annual local harvest of shorebirds is sustainable in the long term.

2) To maintain shorebird habitat at Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge and/or elsewhere to provide safe haven for shorebirds during migration.

3) Facilitate education and research that benefits avian conservation in general and shorebird conservation in particular.

Bird Studies Canada is funding a current project, as this excerpt from its February 6, 2013 newsletter describes:

“BSC Supports Bajan Shorebird Conservation

6 February 2013 – Bird Studies Canada is proud to support research and conservation activities in Barbados. A project is currently under way reviewing bird use of the Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge, Christ Church. A final report due by the end of March will compare shorebird use during the hunting season with pre-restoration years, and will also include a review of other potential sites in Barbados for shorebird refuges. The work is being coordinated through Bird Studies Canada, with support from Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service and funding from private donors.”

WSR-google-map-labelled

A google map of Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge.

New  WSR sign contributed by Pamela Isdell. From left Neville and Pamela Isdell.

New WSR sign contributed by Pamela Isdell. From left Neville and Pamela Isdell.

Please excuse the long silence on this site. At the present, WSR is ready for 2015 southbound migration… all we need is rain.  Generous funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), via BirdLife International (BLI) ensures that WSR will be maintained as shorebird habitat this year.

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