Birder's Guide

MAR 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 64 of 67

63 March 2015 | Birder's Guide to Travel Vienna, Virginia Daniel Lebbin hese idyllic opportunities exist be- cause the American Bird Conser- vancy (ABC) and its partner con- servation groups throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have created the Conser- vation Birding initiative to help fnance the management of bird reserves by providing lodging and facilities for birding tourists. ABC has helped its partners create or expand more than 65 nature reserves for birds in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and more than a dozen of them provide ecolodges, trails, and other facilities for visitors. Combined with con - servation easements, these designated ar- eas now protect close to a million acres and provide refuge for more than 2,000 bird species—nearly half of the total found throughout all the Americas. Some of the world's most endangered birds are among the species that shelter at ABC-supported reserves. Many of these places also provide wintering habitat for migratory songbirds, such as the declin- g f ing Cerulean Warbler, that nest in the ABA Area. "International birding travel is already popular, and we want more birders to know that their pastime can actually con- tribute to saving the species they love", said ABC Vice-President Mike Parr. "Visit- ing birders can provide a source of direct fnancial support to the reserves, helping them become self-suffcient and sustain- able in the long term." A key component of this landmark ef- fort is an interactive website. The site has been designed specifcally to assist visitors in planning their birding trips to help con- servation, by presenting detailed profles of reserves and lodges established by the con- servation groups. Reserve profles include bird lists, photographs, and reservation information. The website also offers videos of rare species and Google Earth maps of seven birding routes in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Many of the sites featured are already Left: Owlet Lodge at Abra Patricia is an anchor destination along the northern Peru birding route. Photo © Daniel Lebbin Right: Profts from Owlet Lodge help Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (a leading Peruvian conservation group) protect more than 25,000 acres of cloudforest for Long-whiskered Owlets and other endangered species. Photo © Dubi Shapiro h c v T

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