As part of our campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Waterbird Census, we asked our partners to share their favourite images of wetlands and waterbirds. This month La Asociación Calidris shares photos and stories about their work in Colombia.
Colombia is a land of ‘mega’ diversity, home to 10% of the world’s species and top of the charts for bird species diversity, with over 3 times the number of bird species found in the whole of Europe. The wetlands of Colombia are also an important link in the American flyways chain, hosting wintering waterbirds from North America as well as native migratory and resident species from Central and South America. With the Neotropical Waterbird Census due to start in a few weeks’ time, we take a closer look at the work of our national coordinating partner La Asociación Calidris and their work in this incredible country.
Since 1991 La Asociación Calidris has organised the Neotropcial Waterbird Census in Columbia (or as it’s known in South America, El Censo Neotropical de Aves Acuáticas). Together with eight other South American countries, this long series of counts helps us understand the health of wetlands and waterbird populations regionally, nationally and locally. #wetlands #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #calidris #waterbird #census #columbia
What a beauty! The Jabiru or Garzón soldado (Jabiru mycteria) is a native species for many Central and South American countries and will be a a common sight for many counters joining the Neotropical Waterbird Census in July. Photo by Richard Johnston #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #waterbird #census #birdsofinstagram #birdwatching #columbia #southamerica #centralamerica #wetlands
Another species many Neotropical Waterbird Census counters will be familiar with, the Black-bellied whistling duck or Iguaza común (Dendrocygna autumnalis). Common in wetlands from the southern tip of the USA to Northern Argentina, keep an eye out for its nests in hollow trees! #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #waterbirds #wetlands #Columbia #nofilter
Folks who know their Latin species’ names will notice that La Asociación Calidris is named after a group of migratory waders. Yanira Cifuentes: “Shorebirds are one of the most important species groups in our work. The organisation takes its name from a shorebird species: Calidris mauri. We have been ringing shorebirds since 2001, and the species we see most often in our mist nets are Western Sandpipers (Calidris mauri).” #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #waterbird #wetlands #calidris #birdwatching # birdsofinstagram #birdringing
La Asociación Calidris works to protect wetlands and waterbirds, but they also use their expertise in bird ringing to help us learn more about some of the other 1,900 bird species in Columbia. That includes this Tennesee Warbler, a migrant from North America. In all, La Asociación Calidris manages 5 ringing stations across Columbia under the MoSI (Monitoreo de Supervivencia Invernal) programme. #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #birdringing #birdsofinstagram #biodiversity #columbia
La Asociación Calidris also works with local communities and groups to protect endangered and endemic bird species in Colombia, seeking alternative biodiversity-friendly options for rice and coffee cultivation. This Vermillion Cardinal is not globally threatened but is restricted to Caribbean Colombia and Venezuela. #birdwatching #birdsofinstagram #columbia #iwc50 #waterbirdscount
Protecting #species means protecting the #habitats they depend on. La Asociación Calidris’ work with local communities has been instrumental in identifying and protecting Important Bird Areas (#IBA) across #Columbia. That includes many fragile ecosystems like #wetlands or this #savannah, home to these Buff-necked Ibises (and also apparently an Important Cow Area).
Migratory birds are a great way to involve local communities in conservation. The Colombian Pacific Migratory Species Festival has been running for 17 years and was joined by the Colombian Caribbean Migratory Species Festival in 2014. These festivals are held in October to welcome and raise awareness about Neotropical migratory birds. #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #Columbia #wetlands #conservation
La Asociación Calidris spends a lot of time working with the next generation of conservationists. Passing on our respect and fascination with nature is key to protecting our environment in the future. And if kids get to cover themselves in glue and paint at the same time, everybody wins! #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #education #environment #conservation #wetlands #Columbia #nature
Work with communities of the Colombian Pacific has led to concrete achievements, such as the Agreement for the Conservation of Piangua. This is a clam found in mangroves, and is a species threatened with extinction mainly due to over-exploitation. Although the Agreement is specifically aimed to conserve Piangua, by conserving their habitats we conserve mangroves for many other species too. #sustainability #wetlands #conservation #environment #iwc50 #waterbirdscount #mangroves