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 65 of 67

64 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2015 International Tourism Initiative anchor locations for birding tours offered by major tour agencies and guides. In addition, website visitors can download a beautifully illustrated book about the reserves, The Latin American Bird Reserve Network: Stopping Extinction in Its Tracks. "Birdwatchers in Canada and the U.S. contribute billions of dollars to the economy through the purchase of equip- ment, travel, books, and bird seed for backyard feeders", Parr said. "The Con- servation Birding initiative aims to tap into this market to help cover the costs of managing habitat at each of these bird reserves, thereby helping rare endemic species and providing habitat for declin- ing migratory birds." It's working. Tourism revenue generat- ed at the El Dorado Reserve in Colombia and at the Abra Patricia Reserve in Peru adds much-needed income to cover man- agement costs for these reserves, includ- ing thousands of acres that are not visited by tourists at all. These reserves also serve as a model to neighbors. As the culture of conservation spreads, additional land- owners are becoming inspired to protect habitat and establish facilities for visitors. Many of the reserves protect "Alliance for Zero Extinction" sites, which are the last refuges for the world's rarest species. Not only are these places important for birds, but a new study has shown that they are also important carbon stores, wa- tersheds, and even cultural centers with a diversity of rare indigenous languages. Who knew that international bird trav- el could be so rewarding? Start planning your trip at Marvelous Spatuletail can be seen feeding from feeders and native fowers at Huembo, a site easily combined with Owlet Lodge in the same itinerary. Photo © Dubi Shapiro ProAves's El Dorado Reserve is a mecca for birders in Colombia. It's the best place to see Santa Marta endemics like Santa Marta Parakeet. Photo © Benjamin Skolnik

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