There are few areas left where Caribbean seabirds can safely nest. Fortunately, concerned citizens are now standing up to protect the remaining colonies and keep them from being lost forever. The major threats to seabirds and their chicks include being eaten by people or introduced predators like rats and getting tangled in trash. You can join in the effort by funding training of rangers and patrols on the small, remote islands where seabirds nest as well as outreach with local communities.
Seabird parents mate for life. They travel great distances to find squid and small fish for their growing chicks. Sadly, many return to their nests to find their eggs or chicks gone, victims of predation. Many chicks starve because one or both parents are entangled in fishing lines or are eaten by humans or introduced predators. Caribbean seabirds that were once so abundant that their flocks could block out the sun are now restricted to a few remaining colonies.
One important nesting area, the Grenadines, is made up of dozens of islands. The government lacks funding to protect these remote refuges, so volunteers from nearby islands are stepping up. This program will train members of the Grenadines Seabird Guardians to measure seabird populations, check for illegal hunting and invasive predators, clean up harmful trash, and empower their communities to save seabirds. Citizens and community groups will unite to protect their natural heritage.
Guardians will serve as ambassadors for seabirds and nearby wildlife refuges in their local communities, with the ability to train others and magnify the project's impact now and in the future. The development of ecotourism at refuges will be an alternative source of income in this economically challenged region. After the project takes root in the Grenadines, it can be expanded to other islands where similar problems are occurring.
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