Written by Meredith Gutowski/WHSRN
The wetlands on the eastern coast of Chiloé Island, located in southern Chile’s Región de los Lagos, constitute the most important wintering area in the Western Hemisphere for two high-priority shorebird species: Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) and Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus). The island supports up to 27% of the Hudsonian Godwit’s global population and 99% of its Pacific coast population; it also supports 61% of the Pacific coast population of Whimbrel. Both species breed in North America, and are considered a high conservation concern.
Limosa haemastica. © Pablo Petracci
Recognizing Chiloé’s significance for these and other migratory shorebirds, an international coalition of partners has been working with their counterparts in Chile to develop a shorebird conservation plan for this area of global importance. The coalition includes The Nature Conservancy (TNC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences’ Shorebird Recovery Project. In-country partners include Chile’s Ministry of Environment, the government of Región de los Lagos, the Center for the Study and Conservation of Chile’s Natural Heritage (CECPAN by its Spanish acronym), Conservación Marina, and several other local nongovernmental organizations and municipalities.
The first phase of the coalition’s project was completed in 2010 thanks to generous support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In that phase, led by TNC with direct participation from a broad range of local community representatives, partners identified and prioritized critical threats to shorebirds on the island, the sources of those threats, and strategies for abating them.
In December 2010, on behalf of the coalition, Manomet received a $250,000 grant from the Packard Foundation to begin the project’s second phase—implementing the Conservation Plan for Migratory Birds in Chiloé. Grant funds will support targeted priority actions including education and outreach, social marketing, awareness-building, long-term shorebird monitoring, land protection, and conservation infrastructure development. Partners will be working with the communities of Caulin, Putemún, Pullao, Chullec, Curaco de Velez, and Huildad-Yaldad on Chiloé.
Thanks to funding received in December 2010, Chiloé Island’s shorebird conservation plan will be implemented in six communities.
The full press release is available on Manomet’s website.
For more information, please contact Diego Luna Quevedo (email@example.com), Southern Cone Program Coordinator, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, or Charles Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director, Shorebird Recovery Project, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.