In early February 2013, thirty attendees took part in a workshop about wetlands and bird conservation in Mexico. The workshop was organized by Sonora’s Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development (CEDES), in collaboration with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and with support of the Sonoran Joint Venture and Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo (CIAD).

The workshop was held at Estero El Soldado Natural Monument in the city of Guaymas, Sonora. Estero El Soldado has been under state protection and managers are working to gain additional federal designation. More than 200 resident and migratory bird species have been recorded in the estuary, and among Sonora’s wetlands, this site is one of the better conserved.

Participant’s backgrounds were very diverse and included local ecotourism providers, graduate students, natural resource managers, and park guards from the estuary. The workshop combined classroom sessions on introductory wetland concepts and basic bird conservation with field components in which participants practiced bird identification skills and conducted a mock line transect survey. Participants also learned how to upload their bird observations to aVerAves.

Just before the workshop, the Government of Sonora organized a World Wetlands Day celebration ceremony in which local schools, government agencies and the media participated, where more than 300 people participated. The perfect weather allowed for numerous waterbird sightings, including Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, White-faced Ibis, Long-billed Curlew, Reddish Egret, Little Blue Heron, American Oystercatcher, and many others.

Each attendee received a certificate of participation and many expressed an increased interest in the conservation of this important ecosystem and a heighten awareness of the rich bird species diversity of the area.

Workshop instructors included Francisco Abarca, Edwin Juarez, Tabata Reyna (Arizona Game & Fish Department); Jacqueline García and Germán Leyva (CIAD); Rogelio Molina and Santa Nápoles (CEDES); and Eduardo Gomez-Limón (CONANP Regional Office).

Special thanks to Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the SJV for providing copies of the Kaufman Guía de Campo a las Aves de Norteamerica for all workshop participants. You can learn more about the “Donate the Guia” program here:

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