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Community Project “Friends of the Birds”

Principal Investigator: Ernesto Reyes Mauriño

The Sierra de Nipe harbors a high diversity of bird species in varied ecosystems, approximately 30% of the birds of Cuba. A proposal is under way to give the area status as an Important Bird Area. The creation of a community-based project to instill knowledge about the birds in the local residents is crucial to the success of conserving these bird populations.

This program works to link the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment’s Mountain Research Station with the community, by means of an environmental education program. The objective is to increase the community’s knowledge of birds and local ecology and instill new behavior patterns toward nature. Sensitizing the residents of Mensura Dos, in the Sierra de Nipe to the local ecology, will allow them to propose solutions to current ecological problems that threaten the birds. Understanding the principles of sustainable development will lead to the rational use, conservation and protection of the environment.

The observation of birds on the Sabina Nature Trail and areas surrounding the community during periods of residence and migration will allow the creation of a database that will express to the community in charts and graphs the result of their knowledge. The trips will allow community members to detect environmental problems that affect the birds and will promote the discussion of points of view, opinions and ideas to propose solutions. The development of attitudes toward the birds and nature will be expressed by means of literary compositions, drawings, paintings, posters, etc., where participants reflect their vision of the birds and their environment.

The change of local residents’ attitudes regarding their environment and the formation of the club “Friends of the Ave” will begin conservation initiatives for 189 hectares of habitats in the Park Garden of the Pinegrove, belonging to the Mountain Station of Integral Investigations in Sierra de Nipe, the oriental region of Cuba.

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