Birder's Guide

MAY 2016

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 19 of 59

18 Birde r's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 8 B he frst time I visited Álamos, Sonora, it was August. The tropical de- ciduous forest of southern Sonora is usually miserably hot and humid that time of year, but somehow I lucked out. It was overcast and rela- tively cool: wonderful birding weather. We were there to lay the groundwork for a bird guide training workshop that we were coordinating later that fall. It was my frst visit to tropical deciduous forest. Tropical Kingbirds squawked outside my window. Mexican Parrotlets few by noisily. Black-throated Magpie- Jays and Purplish-backed Jays jumped around in the trees. I was less than 500 miles south of Tucson, but in a different world. Binational Bird Conservation: Migratory Bird Joint Ventures on the Border The change in birdlife isn't the only difference across the border. Land owner- ship patterns, access to resources and conservation programs, and capacity to actually do conservation all look different depending on which side of the border you stand. And when you work in an ecosystem that spans the interna- tional border, that's a whole other issue. How do you conserve birds in the U.S.–Mexico border region, where issues like immigration, border walls, and national security often trump conservation concerns? You begin by forging partnerships in unexpected places. As we've learned through experience, any conservation effort has to include the local community. One of the most successful models for building community linkages for bird and habitat conservation in northern Mexico is the Migratory Bird Joint Venture program. Joint ventures are cooperative, regional partnerships among government agencies, nonproft organizations, universities, industries, tribes, and private citizens that work together to conserve habitat to beneft birds, other wildlife, and people. Joint ventures cover all of the U.S. and Canada and extend into northern Mexico (learn more at Two joint ventures cover the boundary of the southern U.S. and northern Mexico. I work for the Sonoran Joint Venture in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico (, while the Rio Grande Joint Venture ( covers northeastern Mexico and parts of the southern U.S. These T n The pink blossoms of an amapa tree ( Tabebuia impetiginosa ) set against the imposing profle of Cerro Redondo in Sonora's Reserva Monte Mojino. Photo © Richard Webster Conservation and Community in Northern Mexico

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