The conservation activities will be conducted by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), a Manomet-based coalition of conservation organizations with 63 shorebird protection sites in eight nations of the Western Hemisphere. The Foundation funds will be matched two to one by Manomet and other non-governmental organizations, for a total investment of more than $900,000 for conservation projects.
In this second consecutive year of Foundation funding, new conservation initiatives will be implemented in North, Central and South America, with special emphasis on opportunities in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. For instance, in the Grasslands of la Soledad in Mexico, voluntary land protection agreements will benefit mountain plovers and long-billed curlews, two highly threatened species of shorebirds. WHSRN scientists are identifying similar conservation opportunities and strategies for many other species of conservation concern, including the endangered red knot in Argentina.
"Protecting migratory birds is a high priority for the Foundation. To effectively restore declining populations will take a well focused, international response," said the Foundation's Executive Director, Jeff Trandahl. "By partnering with the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, we are investing resources with a recognized global leader in shorebird conservation. They share our philosophy of forming and supporting partnerships as a key to conserving natural resources."
"In the first year of our collaboration with the Foundation, we had many tangible accomplishments in our mutual goal to protect shorebirds," said Charles Duncan, director of the Executive Office of WHSRN. "With the continued support, we're confident we can build on the success of the past year. Our network of sites spans the Hemisphere. Both the birds and the far-flung communities they visit will benefit from the conservation work the Foundation is supporting."
In the first year of research, the Manomet WHSRN program and its partners accomplished the following:
- Conserved 9,000 acres of key grassland habitat in Mexico used by shorebirds and other species;
- Developed innovative cooperative arrangements with landowners in Argentina and Uruguay to protect wintering buff-breasted sandpipers. In this initiative, WHSRN partnered with Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina and Wetlands International;
- Conducted the first simultaneous census of red knots along 1,000 miles of the Argentine coast. This research helped identify priority sites for conservation action;
- Partnered with Birdlife International to create a powerful assessment tool in evaluating site-specific environmental, social and economic pressures on habitat quality.
Shorebirds are a biologically distinct group of small to medium-sized birds generally with long legs, long bills and pointed wings. Shorebirds can be found at the shores of oceans and lakes, in grasslands and marshes, and even in dry uplands.
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences is one of the nation's only independent non-profits dedicated exclusively to carrying out environmental research. Originally founded 35 years ago as the Manomet Bird Observatory, its scientists have been bringing together environmental stakeholders--communities, individuals, universities, government agencies, and businesses--to develop cooperative, science-based policies and management strategies. Dedicated to conserving the natural world for the benefit of wildlife and human populations, Manomet scientists work to conserve forest, wetland, marine, and agricultural habitats, as well as birds and wildlife populations throughout the Western Hemisphere. For more information, please visit www.manomet.org
About the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) is a voluntary, non-regulatory coalition whose mission is the conservation of shorebird species and their habitats across the Americas. Created in 1985 as a visionary approach to addressing shorebird conservation needs, WHSRN today consists of 63 sites in eight nations and over 21 million acres. Working in conjunction with hundreds of landowners, land trusts, corporations and national governments, WHSRN is the only hemisphere-wide conservation program focused on protecting shorebirds. WHSRN is a key program of the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Manomet, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, please visit www.whsrn.org
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation awarded over 7,000 grants to more than 2,600 organizations in the United States and abroad and has leveraged - with its partners - more than $300 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $1 billion in funding for conservation. The Foundation is recognized by Charity Navigator with a top 4-star rating for efficiency and effectiveness. Ninety-two cents of every dollar contributed to the Foundation is directed to on-the-ground conservation projects, with five cents supporting management and administration of the Foundation's multi-million dollar grants program and three cents funding partnership development and fundraising. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
For press inquiries, contact:
Elder Communications for Manomet
National Fish and Wildfife Foundation:
Greg Watson, conservation scientist
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036