Amazon Bird Banding Course: Preparing the Next Generation of Ornithologists

Open Access
DOI: 10.18258/1171
$3,636
Raised
145%
Funded on 10/09/13
Successfully Funded
  • $3,636
    pledged
  • 145%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 10/09/13

About This Project

The Amazon Basin has long been recognized as the cradle of global bird diversity. Unfortunately, many resident and migrant bird communities face an uncertain future as the Amazonian landscape rapidly changes through agricultural, road and hydroelectric development. Recognizing the immediate need for well-trained ornithologists in South America we partnered with government, academic and non-profit organizations to offer a bird banding course in the Amazon. The course is designed to provide Latin American and Brazilian students the techniques necessary to study and ultimately conserve tropical bird communities. More specifically, the course has two main objectives:

1) Promote the best possible command of basic banding skills, species identification, sexing, and ageing of tropical birds.

2) Contribute to the formation of open-minded, field-tested, professional biologists that will apply their skills in the Amazon or anywhere else in the world.

Ask the Scientists

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What is the context of this research?

Recognizing the immediate need for well-trained and effectual ornithologists in South America, we partnered with academic, non-profit and governmental organizations to offer the second annual Amazon Bird Banding Course. Objectives of the course are two-fold: first, to promote the best possible command of basic banding skills, species identification, sexing, and ageing of tropical birds. Second, contribute to the formation of open-minded, field-tested, professional biologists that will apply their skills in the Amazon or anywhere else in the world.

Fifteen applicants will be selected to participate in the course which will be held at camp 41 of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP), 80 km north of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. For one week students will work closely with instructors in the field as well as attend daily lectures covering safe and accurate ornithological data collection using mist nets, documenting physiological and breeding condition, and species, sex and age determination of birds in-hand. The course is a collaborative effort between the following organizations: Ferraz Population Ecology Lab, INPA (Institute for Amazonian Research), CEMAVE (National Center for Bird Conservation), UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), Louisiana State University, Costa Rica Bird Observatories and National Audubon Society.

To make the course accessible to students, we are charging the minimum fee ($250) for anyone who is not a Brazilian graduate student in accordance with Brazilian law pertaining to courses partially funded with Brazilian federal funds. The fee will cover food, transportation, and accommodation. Given our dedication to charging students the minimum amount of money, we are aggressively seeking public and private partnerships to offset logistical expenses to ensure a successful course.

Follow the link here to read more about last year’s inaugural course.

https://bluebonnetbirdmonitoringproject.shutterfly.com/documentsandpublications/28/2012 Amazon Banding Course Summary.pdf

What is the significance of this project?

Biologists working in the Amazon and other tropical forests must be equipped with the skills necessary to collect biologically meaningful data. Pertinent data is routinely used to influence legislation designed to protect wildlife and their habitats. By supporting the course you are helping prepare the next generation of Latin American and Brazilian biologists working on the front-lines of avian research and conservation.

Supporting the course is particularly important because tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse and least understood habitats in the world. By imparting contemporary field techniques to local biologists you are helping ensure a powerful line-of-defense for tropical bird populations throughout the region.

Additionally, this course will plant the proverbial seed of discovery and conservation through preparing the next generation of Latin American and Brazilian ornithologists. New bird species are routinely described in the Amazon Basin, further emphasizing the need for highly-qualified ornithologists capable of documenting the unparalleled biodiversity of South America.

What are the goals of the project?

All donations will be used to purchase field equipment and to fund food, travel and other logistical considerations associated with the course. Importantly, all instructors are voluntarily dedicating their time and will receive no financial incentives.

Budget

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Our goal is to keep student expenses at a minimum, but, because the course is in-part paid for with Brazilian federal funds we need to charge a fee of R$500 (five hundred reais) for food, transportation, and accommodation from anyone who is not a Brazilian graduate student. Despite government sponsorship and a small revenue stream from non-Brazilian attendees, we still lack the funding to cover all travel fees for instructors, food and in-country travel expenses for students. In order to ensure the success of the course, we are asking for $2500 of donated money to help cover expenses

Meet the Team

Jared Wolfe
Jared Wolfe

Team Bio

Jared Wolfe, MSc. Jared operated banding stations and trained banders throughout the Western Hemisphere for non-profits, academia, and the US Government. Jared received his Master of Science from Humboldt State University, holds a master banding permit from the USFWS (USA) and CEMAVE (Brazil), and is a certified North American Banding Council trainer.

OTHER COURSE INSTRUCTORS:

Gonçalo Ferraz, PhD. Gonçalo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Columbia University and lived in Manaus for eight years, where he headed the population ecology laboratory at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project.

Erik Johnson, PhD. Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Louisiana and Adjunct Faculty at Louisiana State University, has a broad background in ornithology and conservation having studied birds on three continents, including his dissertation in the central Amazon.

Pablo Elizondo. Works with the US Forest Service, Klamath Bird Observatory and the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), coordinating bird monitoring efforts in Costa Rica, he also serves as the Partners in Flight Coordinator for Costa Rica and chair of the Western Hemisphere Bird Banding Network.

Diego García Olaechea. Diego is an associate researcher at the Center for Ornithology and Biodiversity (CORBIDI), managing the Bird Banding Station at the dry forest of the University of Piura, Perú. Diego is a certified North American Banding Council Trainer. In 2012, Diego received the “Carlos Ponce del Prado Conservation Award”, granted by the Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas.

Jared Wolfe

Jared Wolfe, MSc. Jared operated banding stations and trained banders throughout the Western Hemisphere for non-profits, academia, and the US Government. Jared received his Master of Science from Humboldt State University, holds a master banding permit from the USFWS (USA) and CEMAVE (Brazil), and is a certified North American Banding Council trainer.

OTHER COURSE INSTRUCTORS:

Gonçalo Ferraz, PhD. Gonçalo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Columbia University and lived in Manaus for eight years, where he headed the population ecology laboratory at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project.

Erik Johnson, PhD. Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Louisiana and Adjunct Faculty at Louisiana State University, has a broad background in ornithology and conservation having studied birds on three continents, including his dissertation in the central Amazon.

Pablo Elizondo. Works with the US Forest Service, Klamath Bird Observatory and the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), coordinating bird monitoring efforts in Costa Rica, he also serves as the Partners in Flight Coordinator for Costa Rica and chair of the Western Hemisphere Bird Banding Network.

Diego García Olaechea. Diego is an associate researcher at the Center for Ornithology and Biodiversity (CORBIDI), managing the Bird Banding Station at the dry forest of the University of Piura, Perú. Diego is a certified North American Banding Council Trainer. In 2012, Diego received the “Carlos Ponce del Prado Conservation Award”, granted by the Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas.


Project Backers

  • 44Backers
  • 145%Funded
  • $3,636Total Donations
  • $82.64Average Donation
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