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Endemic birds in the Dominican Republic

Principal Investigator: Julio E. Féliz R.

Jim Wiley with the Maryland Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is known for his long-time work in the Caribbean.  Jim identified a need on this project and hand-carried one pair of binoculars to Sr. Féliz principal investigator this research project in the Dominican Republic.

Julio Féliz, a resident of Barahona, southwestern Dominican Republic, has been passionate about birds throughout his life.  His passion has carried him into some of the most remote areas of that part of the Dominican Republic, including the heights of the Sierra de Bahurco down to the below-sea-level shores of Lago Enriquillo.

With his growing reputation of being able to locate some of the most elusive of the Dominican Republic’s endemic birds, Julio was often contacted to lead individuals or groups in search of rare resident birds.  Those contacts have allowed him to visit some of the best birding spots in the country, because he does not have a personal vehicle and public transportation is limited.

Julio is working on a publication describing the endemic bird species of southwestern Dominican Republic.  He is reluctant, however, to produce written reports, because he considers himself an untrained biologist.  Even working without optics, Julio still has gathered some important and hopefully will be reported in the future.  Since receiving the pair of binoculars and spotting ‘scope from Optics for the Tropics, Julio’s enthusiasm and abilities have only increased.  Certainly, his improved field abilities will produce additional information for the better understanding of bird distribution and help in development of conservation strategies for native species of birds.

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