| Oct 7, 2019
A happy ending for the 2019 Ridgway's Hawk nesting season!
Community of Los Brazos
It´s September 25th of 2019 and Ridgway’s Hawk nesting season is now over. After almost seven months of intense nest monitoring, we are starting to catch our breath. We are beyond happy to announce that we monitored a total of 17 breeding pairs of hawks in Puntacana alone. Twelve successful pairs were able to produce 17 nestlings. Additionally, two nestlings brought from a fallen nest at Los Haitises National Park were fostered in Puntacana for a total of 19 new individual hawks recruited into the population.
In Los Haitises National Park (LHNP) we monitored a total of 144 pairs of hawks this past season and observed 126 nestlings fledge. Many of these nestlings likely wouldn’t have made it to fledging if it were not for the care provided by our Dominican field team.
A very important step in achieving our goals has taken place this past season. As mentioned in the last report, a new release site was established in Aniana Vargas National Park (AVNP). A total of 25 hawks were successfully released and to date nearly all of them have become independent, which means they are no longer depending on the food that we provide at the release site. The work we are conducting in AVNP isn’t just about releasing hawks. We have been working very closely with the communities in the area, especially the community of Los Brazos which is the closest to our release site. A total of 8 community members directly worked or volunteered on the project this past season. Many of these amazing individuals are even doing education work in local communities and even in their own schools.
Our education program is stronger than ever! Program coordinator Marta Curti has been conducting numerous activities with our partners. Ridgway’s Hawk Day, teacher training workshops, door to door visits and coming soon – a new campaign in the Puntacana area. This campaign is going to focus on educating the general public using mass media such as radio, newspapers, and billboards. Prior to the campaign we conducted surveys in the area to evaluate residents’ knowledge of Ridgway’s Hawks and the protection of the environment in general. Once the education campaign has ended we will again conduct similar surveys and see if our efforts worked. This will be very important information for the next task, a “Nation-wide Campaign”.
Until the next nesting season begins we will focus our efforts on monitoring the existing populations and continuing the quest to educate the public about protecting Ridgway’s Hawks and the environment in general. There are many preparations underway to make next Ridgway’s Hawk nesting season the best yet!
Monitored Hawk 2
Monitored Hawk 3