The Tennessee Ornithological Society provided matching funds for this project to receive five pairs of binoculars. TOS is developing a partnership with the Hispaniolan Ornithological Society in the D.R. formally known as the Anna Belle Dod Bird Club. The collaboration includes the University of Missouri and Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Latta and Rimmer will direct this research but Dominican biologists and trainees will be responsible for all work at these sites. These biologists and trainees will use binoculars donated through the Optics for the Tropics program.
The Dominican Republic harbors a large percentage of the wintering populations of many North American breeding birds. For example, at least 17 species of North American wood warblers winter in significant numbers in the country, including a large proportion of the world’s population of Black-throated Blue Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Northern Parula. The most striking example of the dependence of a North American breeding species on Dominican habitat is the Bicknell’s Thrush. Breeding only in high-elevation forests of northeastern US and adjacent portions of Canada, this bird winters almost exclusively in mountain forests of the Dominican Republic, indicating that its future survival hinges largely on the protection of wintering habitat in this country.