The Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda
Raising awareness & promoting sustainable use of natural resources
The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) is the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean. The SCSCB is now called BirdsCarribean. It is a non-profit organization whose goals are to promote the scientific study and conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats, and to promote greater public awareness of the bird life of the region. For more details, see: www.scscb.org . The SCSCB holds annual Caribbean Endemic Bird Festivals (CEBFs).
EAG works closely with BirdsCaribbean. It hosted the 17th Regional Meeting of the SCSCB. The conference was held at the Jolly Beach Resort in July 2009. About 125 delegates (ornithologists, wildlife and conservation professionals, resource managers, students, and other interested parties) attended from over 20 countries in the region.
The Caribbean is one of the richest areas on the planet for biodiversity, especially birds. Some 150 bird species are only found on Caribbean islands. 56 of these species are threatened with extinction, due to destruction of habitat for development, pollution, mining, and other unsustainable uses. In addition, some birds are threatened with poaching or capture for the pet trade.
An SCSCB success story is that of the West Indian Whistling-Duck (WIWD), a long-legged duck known for its mystic whistling call and unusual habit of perching in trees. Numbers of this threatened regionally-endemic species had declined to less than 10,000 birds and it had disappeared from some of its former range due to wetland habitat loss and unregulated hunting and poaching. In recent years, however, the duck has undergone a resurgence in numbers, thanks to the hard work of local and regional partners that have worked together to save the species. This charismatic duck has been the flagship of a regional program—the WIWD and Wetlands Conservation Project, run by the SCSCB, that focuses on raising knowledge and awareness about the value of local wetlands and the plight of the duck. Conservationists with the EAG worked together with educators, hunters, and local residents and through monitoring, have been able to document a steady increase in the number of whistling-ducks on Antigua over the last 8 years.
BirdsCaribbean (or SCSCB)
SCSCB has kindly allowed us to reproduce their brief guides to: