Manomet and Rare Embark on a New Challenge to Conserve Shorebirds

Written by Meredith Gutowski/Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and the international conservation organization Rare recently signed a cooperative agreement to formalize their working together to explore and implement social marketing-based actions at Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) sites. Such actions will follow the concept, tools, and methodologies of the “Pride” campaign, a very successful type of social marketing developed by Rare. 

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Fabián Rojizo, Pride campaign shorebird mascot, at San Antonio Bay WHSRN Site, Argentina. / Courtesy of Mirta Carbajal

Between 2008 and 2010, Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project and Rare facilitated, co-financed, and assisted local partners in carrying out Pride campaigns at three WHSRN sites in Patagonia, all in Argentina. Each campaign promoted the conservation of the rufa subspecies of Red Knot (Calidris canutus), a migratory shorebird species in serious population decline. The species’s plight as well as messages of local pride, conservation, and hope were shared by Fabián Rojizo, a famous campaign mascot. The Pride campaigns achieved very positive results and valuable lessons regarding the protection of critical habitats for shorebirds, removing barriers to conservation, and promoting a sense of pride within communities that live in important areas for shorebirds.

Charles Duncan, Director of Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project, noted that “The new conservation paradigm compels us to implement new strategies and to provide our partners with innovative tools that allow them to change the way we relate to critical habitats, how we think, and how we act—from communities to decision makers. In that sense, social marketing opens a new window of opportunity.

The new signed agreement gives stability to future joint efforts by Manomet and Rare, capitalizing on the experience and lessons learned from campaigns they worked on together in Argentina.

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Keith Alger, Vice President of Rare for Latin America, explained that “Using the concept of ‘bright spots’ we can find solutions and conservation approaches with demonstrated successes, and replicate them. In many cases, success was possible when communities learned to recognize the value of conservation. Using social marketing techniques, we at Rare and Manomet and our local partners can boost the power of communities to conserve shorebirds throughout the hemisphere, as has already been seen in recent campaigns in Argentina.

Under this agreement, Manomet and Rare will first be identifying the potential scope and opportunities for implementing campaigns targeting shorebird conservation. The focus will be on designing a proposed “cohort” of sites, based on the Pride methodology, which could eventually be applied to a greater set of WHSRN sites, be it by country, regions, or subregions. At the same time, both partners will be exploring ways to raise the funds needed to co-finance this new challenge.

For more information, please use these relevant links:

Social Marketing Workshop in Chile (WHSRNews, June 2011)
Pride Campaigns in Argentina (WHSRNews, September 2010)
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Rare Conservation
Shorebird Recovery Project (Manomet)
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)

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