Seabird Working Group
Report from the Workshop: Restoring Seabirds and other Native Species in the Caribbean - A Workshop to Empower Participants to Prioritize, Plan, and Secure Funding for Removing Damaging Non-native Vertebrates from Islands
SCSCB SEABIRD WORKING GROUP
SCSCB 17th Regional Meeting, Jolly Beach, Antigua
15 July 2009
Bradford Keitt & Kirsty Swinnerton, Island Conservation, 100 Shaffer Road LML, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA; e-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mackin, Jadora, 9874 Vineyard Crest Rd, Bellevue, WA 98004 USA; e-mail: email@example.com Ann Haynes-Sutton, Marshall’s Pen, P. O. Box 58, Mandeville, Jamaica; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgJennifer A. Wheeler, Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, USFWS, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 USA e-mail: Jennifer_A_Wheeler@fws.gov
In insular ecosystems like the Caribbean, invasive species are responsible for two-thirds of extinctions and represent the greatest current threat to biodiversity. Invasive species are the primary threat to Caribbean seabird populations as well as many endemic plants, birds, and reptiles. After invasive species have been eradicated from uninhabited or lightly populated islands around the world, populations of seabirds and other sensitive species have increased dramatically. This powerful conservation tool, however, has been under-utilized in the Caribbean. To help remedy this situation, an interactive workshop was held at the SCSCB Meeting in Antigua, July 2009 to advance the practice of invasive species eradications in the region. This workshop supports the goals of both the SCSCB Seabird Working Group and Invasives Species Working Group.
OBJECTIVES OF WORKSHOP AND DISCUSSION
The workshop was well attended and included a broad suite of people with on-the-ground knowledge of islands and the local communities in the Caribbean.
Presentations by staff of Island Conservation, an NGO dedicated to preventing extinctions by removing invasive species from islands, provided participants with an understanding of the context and potential for conservation through eradications, as well as the social and political readiness criteria necessary to successful eradication projects. Will Mackin, manager of the West Indian Breeding Seabirds Atlas, presented on the state of knowledge about Caribbean seabird colonies and co-located invasive species. [Visit http://wicbirds.net to view and contribute to the West Indian Breeding Seabirds Atlas database.
These presentations are available as PDF downloads here:
Workshop participants then broke into sub-regional groups to expand on known information by reviewing he records in the West Indian Breeding Seabird Atlas and completing questionnaires relevant to invasive species eradication. Island Conservation will continue to collect this information over time to inform eradication needs and feasibility. [Visit http://www.islandconservation.org, navigate to the pages relating to work in the Caribbean and contribute using the “Caribbean Seabird Restoration – Invasives Mammal Datasheet”.] The end product will be used to highlight the need for conservation at these sites, enable participants to begin the process of setting the stage politically and socially for eradication, and will be used to direct conservation dollars to these important projects in the future.
In addition to the benefits to participants and the garnering of important new information for regional databases, the workshop provided organizers opportunities to build relationships to undertake an overarching regional strategy of information-gathering, strategic-planning, capacity-building and successful eradications.
We recommend the following five goals should be a focus for action: