Click to access the September issue of Birding online!
ABA Flight Calls #66:
Introducing Birding Online!
It’s on the front cover of the September 2012 issue of Birding! It’s on the last page, too. And you’ll find it all throughout the September issue. Every place you see the symbol, it’s an indication of additional online content.
We’re talking about this symbol:
To view online content go to September Birding. Immediately, you’ll be taken to an electronic table of contents for the September issue. Scroll down for the content you want, and click on the relevant links.
Please note: Not all content is available yet. We are still wrapping up production of some brand-new members-only content.
In the meantime, please enjoy all the online content that has already been posted. We especially welcome your participation online! That’s right: All online content is interactive. Share your thoughts and join the conversation with other ABA members.
Grassroots Tropical Conservation Through Birders’ Exchange, Ecotourism, and the Long-wattled Umbrellabird
Recently, long time ABA member Scott Olmstead visited Recinto 23 de Junio,a small village that has already been profiled in several posts on the blog10,000 Birds famous for its healthy population of the bizarrely spectacular and enigmatically rare Long-wattled Umbrellabird, a species endemic to the wet Chocó bioregion of northwest Ecuador and southwest Colombia. I found a local campesino, Luis Ajilla, who is experimenting with a new way of making a living that relies on maintaining the natural environment that surrounds his village rather than modifying or destroying it.
In order to grow as birding operators, and expand their economic presence, the Ajillas will need access to knowledge and information, and equipment. They already had a dog-eared copy of the Birds of Ecuador, however there was one glaring thing Luis was missing: a pair of decent binoculars. As we set out in the morning, he sheepishly showed me what he referred to as his juguete (toy) – a pair of field glasses that seemed something in between a children’s toy and an antique pair of opera glasses. The cost of a pair of binoculars is still a prohibitively high investment for this family. This indispensible tool of the trade will make a huge difference in improving Luis’ birding abilities, and consequently his guiding abilities. And this is where Birders’ Exchange comes in. Communicating with Betty Petersen, I learned the BEX has a small inventory of field optics on hand, and by corresponding with Luis we have identified a courier who will be visiting Recinto 23 de Junio on a birding trip this fall and has volunteered to take a couple of pairs of binoculars with her for the Ajillas! Being able to help make a connection like this is more satisfying for me than seeing 10 lifers or getting a sound recording of a rare species. Without the “people” element, birding would be missing something essential.
So here is an appeal to all of you who recognize the critical need for tropical conservation. Keep Birders’ Exchange in mind and do what you can to support this mission. Donate your old waterproof optics when you upgrade. Be on the lookout for potential recipients of donations as you travel, and get their contact information so you can link them with Betty at BEX. And remember that in order to advance conservation we need real live people to see the value of it for themselves. To make a financial donation to go to Donate to BEX now!
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