This experiment is part of the Seabirds Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Seeking Safer Skies for Haiti's Rarest Seabird

Backed by Societe Audubon Haiti, William Hunter, Thomas Gillespie, Maria Jesus Martinez, Boukan Guinguette, Michael Garden, Loretta Garden, Leonard Alfredson, David Miller, Kate Stewart, and 90 other backers
BirdsCaribbean
Haiti
BiologyEcology
DOI: 10.18258/7322
Grant: Seabirds
$5,621
Raised of $5,000 Goal
112%
Funded on 8/19/16
Successfully Funded
  • $5,621
    pledged
  • 112%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 8/19/16

Methods

Summary

To achieve our goal we will do the following:

Action 1: Inventory of communication towers. We will prepare specific agendas to gather information and local support for our project through a series of meetings.

Action 2: Compile information available on petrel flight corridors and petrel nesting colonies for Southern Haiti, and visit key sites to fine tune the identification of flight corridors and the later search of additional sites using Google Earth.  We will visit Tek Kay Jak, Parc National La Visite to collect information on the terrain characteristics (elevation gradient, topography, exposure, etc.) and the physical structure of the communication antennas in that area.  We will also test the effectiveness of our ARU unit to detect and record vocalizations of

flying petrels at night.

Action 3: Cross-reference communication tower locations with known petrel flight corridors to identify potential problem towers.  

Action 4: Select 10-12 sites for field visits to predicted high-risk towers to gather information on collisions through interviews with tower caretakers and local residents.

Action 5: Conduct presentations to the government, the communications industry, and interested public groups.

Action 6: Publish a final report.

Challenges

This is one of the most difficult bird species to study in the field: its nocturnal habits, combined with the remoteness and inaccessibility of its breeding colonies, present a serious challenge. There is always the possibility that we do not detect bird strikes during our sort visits to each of the target communication towers, or that birds have been extirpated already on a number of sites with towers. We are certain, however of the presence of two towers that have caused a significant mortality of petrels since they started operating in 2012, so if we succeed in raising awareness of the problem and changing the way these towers are operated - or their location altogether - that alone will be a significant accomplishment.

Pre Analysis Plan

We are in the process of designing our questionnaires and a database of communication towers. We plan to present a document in the form of regulatory guidelines that we hope will be adopted by CONATEL, the Haitian Communications Agency, and ANAP, the National Agency of Protected Areas, to regulate the installation of future communication towers in Haiti.

Protocols

This project has not yet shared any protocols.