Animal related

BirdsCaribbean

  • Arlington, VA
  • www.birdscaribbean.org

Mission Statement

BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving the birds of the Caribbean and their habitats. We raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems.

We are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization with over 1,000 members and supporters from around the world and throughout the islands.

Main Programs

  1. Local Bird Field Guide Program
  2. West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project
  3. Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival
  4. Biennial International Conference
  5. Caribbean Birding Trail
  6. Caribbean Waterbird Census (CWC)
  7. BirdSleuth Caribbean
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

BirdsCaribbean is the largest regional organization dedicated to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in the insular Caribbean, including Bermuda, the Bahamas and all islands within the Caribbean basin.

ruling year

2003

Executive Director since 2013

Self-reported

Dr. Lisa Sorenson

President since 2014

Self-reported

Dr. Leo Douglas

Keywords

Self-reported

Caribbean bird conservation, environmental education and outreach, threatened species conservation, mangrove and wetlands conservation, habitat conservation, capacity building

Notes from the Nonprofit

2013 was an exciting anniversary year for BirdsCaribbean! We recently launched our new name, BirdsCaribbean, and an ambitious new Strategic Plan to grow and continue our success in the coming years. Overall, we have been incredibly busy and productive, with important achievements and successes.

To accomplish our conservation goals in 2014 and beyond, we ask for your support grow BirdsCaribbean. Your tax-deductable gift will be invaluable in sustaining our important work throughout the Caribbean—supporting research, mentoring young Caribbean professionals, raising awareness about the immense value of Caribbean birds and their habitats, and building partner capacity to carry out local-level conservation programs.

Read some program highlights from 2012-2013 here: http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6745d762a891bece2123e0100&id=c5aabab52e&e=67bbb8d0cc

Donate here: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=03-0455080

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EIN

03-0455080

 Number

6564889400

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Professional Societies & Associations (B03)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In February 2009, SCSCB, with funding support from WHMSI (Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative, held a five-day Bird Monitoring Training Workshop at the Bahamas National Trust in Nassau, Bahamas, 19-23 February. Twenty-six participants from eighteen West Indian islands and two Caribbean rim countries attended the workshoornithologists, and conservation biologists employed to governments and NGOs, protected area wardens and volunteers. All shared a common interest in learning monitoring methodologies and how to use the results from monitoring to more effectively conserve and manage migratory and resident bird species. The workshop included a complete introduction to designing, implementing, analyzing and reporting basic bird monitoring programmes in the region. To read more about the workshop and SCSCB's new regional bird monitoring training program and see photos from the workshop, visit www.scscb.org.

We held another successful Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival in spring 2009; 17 countries participated in celebrating the "Birds in Culture" theme. Activities included talks, nature and birdwatching walks, photographic exhibitions, art and essay competitions, launching of endemic bird postal stamps, presentations at schools, movie nights, articles in the media, forums at universities, preparation and distribution of educational materials about birds to the general public and many more.

During the past year, Wetlands Education Training Workshops were held in Grenada, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands and Dominica. Over 300 teachers and natural resource agency staff received training and educational materials to raise public awareness and appreciation for the value of local wetlands and bird life.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Local Bird Field Guide Program

Thanks to funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, BirdsCaribbean (formerly SCSCB) encourages and sponsors the publication of local bird field guides. These have been published for Dominica, Hispaniola, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Several more guides are in preparation

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

$20,000

Program 2

West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project

The West Indian Whistling-Duck (WIWD) and Wetlands Conservation Project, seeks to reverse the decline of the globally threatened West Indian Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arborea) and the continuing loss and degradation of wetlands throughout the Caribbean. This region-wide Public Education and Awareness Program provides local teachers and educators with training and educational tools and works to raise awareness and appreciation for the value of local wetlands and wetland biodiversity.

A principle product of the project "Wondrous West Indian Wetlands: Teachers' Resource Book" is a 276-page teacher's manual containing comprehensive background information and educational activities relating to the ecology and conservation of Caribbean wetlands. The book and other educational materials are being distributed in conjunction with two-day Wetlands Education Training Workshops throughout the region.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$10,000

Program 3

Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival

BirdsCaribbean is working to increase awareness and appreciation of the region's unique bird life through an annual Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF). An impressive 25% of the 560 species of birds within the region are found nowhere else in the world! The festival, held from April 22 (Earth Day) until May 22 (International Biodiversity Day), is celebrated with nature/bird walks, talks, art exhibitions (paintings, photographs, handicrafts), distribution of materials, and other activities that focus on endemic bird species. Over 60,000 persons from 14 countries participated in the 2008 CEBF. Activities are organized by local committees from partner organizations in each Caribbean island/country.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

$20,000

Program 4

Biennial International Conference

Despite its outstandingly rich heritage in biodiversity and the global responsibility to manage it, the region remains depauperate in trained ornithologists and protected area managers. Many lack basic knowledge and skills, have little exposure to the latest methods, and have few opportunities to interact with their peers. It is this gap that BirdsCaribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds - SCSCB) has sought to address through its biennial meetings.

These meetings provide the only regional forum to bring natural resource managers, educators and scientists from all the islands together with experts from other regions to participate in practical discussions of applied inter-island conservation issues through training sessions, workshops, symposia, round-table discussions, working group meetings and project development. Conservation professionals throughout the region eagerly anticipate the event because of the stimulation and access to opportunities it provides.

The overall goal of the meeting is to strengthen the capacity of natural resource managers, decision makers, educators, community leaders and other stakeholders to conserve and sustainably manage bird populations and their habitats, through training, networking and the development of partnerships and projects. At each meeting, topics of special interest and importance to local and regional bird conservation are selected for in-depth treatment. At our 2009 meeting in Antigua the theme is Beyond the Beach—Birds and Tourism for Sustainable Islands. As such, part of the conference will be focused on training and discussions of how bird tourism can be used to benefit local communities and, ultimately, lead to the conservation and sustainable use of important sites and habitats for birds.

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

Budget

$80,000

Program 5

Caribbean Birding Trail

The mission of the Caribbean Bird Trail (CBT) is to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island.

The CBT is a project of BirdsCaribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds), a regional bird conservation organization. BirdsCaribbean, and its partners throughout the Caribbean region, are using the trail as a platform to reach audiences both local and international about the rich natural heritage of the Caribbean and its conservation imperative.

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

Budget

$50,000

Program 6

Caribbean Waterbird Census (CWC)

The Caribbean region is a hotspot for biodiversity and has an astonishingly high level of endemicity. What this means is that there are hundreds of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and plant species that exist only on these islands. To protect this biodiversity, parks and protected areas have been established throughout the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, many parks lack investment from the government in managing the park appropriately. As a result, these areas do not have interpretation and other types of tourism services and infrastructure necessary to attract visitors and show them the value of these places for recreation and for vital ecosystem services. Consequently, these areas are under-utilized, under-appreciated and perpetually threatened with development.

Our goal therefore, is to simultaneously invest in both the supply and demand side of sustainable tourism:

Build the Supply: help CBT sites increase capacity for tourism, e.g., through infrastructure, guide training, etc.
Build the Demand: connect the market to the resource through interpretation and promotion. e.g., CBT website.
Specific steps include:

Assess resources and needs at CBT sites through field visits and meetings with community members, tourism interests, policy makers, and other stakeholders
Develop an interpretive strategy for engaging audiences in the site’s resources. Return to country to present the draft plan to stakeholders for further input
Build capacity by creating and/or enhancing trails, creating signs, training guides, developing tours and products, developing national and site-specific bird checklists, etc.
Promote the sites through the CBT website, Facebook page, third party sites like TripAdvisor, attendance at trade fairs, and through other printed and electronic media
Enable CBT sites to manage their own promotion through the development of press kits and customizable materials for reaching local audiences
Raise funds for the CBT from a variety of sources
Assist CBT sites with raising funds locally for their projects
help create relationships between the private sector and the non-profit sector
establish a Traveler’s Philanthropy program whereby visitors can give back to communities and conservation
assist with grant writing
utilize social media and crowd fundraising sites to provide a technical solution for accepting donations and raising funds.

Category

Animal-Related

Population(s) Served

Adults

Blacks

None

Budget

$30,000

Program 7

BirdSleuth Caribbean

The objective of the project is to increase active engagement and commitment to conservation of high priority migratory birds and their winter habitats (and the native species that share them) BirdSleuth Caribbean — an innovative curriculum for young people. A pilot Caribbean BirdSleuth program was developed and tested by four Caribbean partners in a pilot program during 2013. The results showed that the program increased awareness of the plight of migratory birds and their habitats and increased engagement in conservation by students and teachers. BirdsCaribbean will expand this successful program to 16+ countries through an international “train-the-trainers” workshop and funding for partners to implement the project through provision of workshop kits and local workshops to train teachers and educators to use the materials and curriculum. The activities in the curriculum are suitable for formal (schools) and informal settings (e.g., summer camps, afterschool and science clubs, bird festivals). The program will promote student environmental stewardship through establishing a network of conservation educators and teachers who will be trained in the use of the curricula, including bird identification skills, inquiry-based learning, and citizen science activities (bird monitoring and conservation).

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$120,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

BirdsCaribbean is the largest regional organization dedicated to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in the insular Caribbean, including Bermuda, the Bahamas and all islands within the Caribbean basin.

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

Our biggest challenge is raising funds to pay our small dedicated staff - we are fairly successful at raising money from grants to fund our flagship programs and projects, but these programs cannot run and our network cannot grow and thrive without our hard-working and committed staff. Every year we provide training workshops and equipment and materials free of charge to our many partners throughout the Caribbean to help build their capacity to study, monitor, and raise awareness about the beautiful and unique birds of the Caribbean and their habitats. There is high demand for these materials and we are constantly in need of funding to print more copies, including items like our Caribbean Bird Migration Poster, Migratory Birds of the West Indies Coloring Book, bird identification cards, BirdSleuth Caribbean curriculum, Wondrous West Indian Wetlands: Teachers' Resource Book, and more.

Videos

photos




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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SOCIETY FOR THE CONSERVATION AND STUDY OF CARIBBEAN BIRDS INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

BirdsCaribbean

Leadership

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  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Dr. Lisa Sorenson

President

Dr. Leo Douglas

BIO

Lisa has a B.Sc. is in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour from the University of Minnesota. She has been working in the Caribbean for 30 years and specialises in waterfowl and wetlands ecology and conservation, outreach and communication strategies, and surveying/monitoring techniques. Lisa coordinates many of BirdsCaribbean programs, raises funds, develops materials, and facilitates capacity-building training workshops. Lisa's research interests include the breeding ecology and behaviour of White-cheeked Pintails and West Indian Whistling-Ducks in the Bahamas and climate change impacts on wetlands and birds. Lisa's first BirdsCaribbean meeting (then the Society for Caribbean Ornithology) was in 1996. She strongly believes that every child and community member should have a chance to experience the joy of birding and being in nature, and that education is key to long-term conservation. She is inspired by all the great work that our partners are doing to raise awareness and help conserve the Caribbean's unique birds and biodiversity.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving the birds of the Caribbean and their habitats. We raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. staffed and run by volunteers. Thanks to a terrific team of dedicated Board members, Working Group leaders and members, we accomplish a great deal of conservation and education work on a very small budget."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Leo Douglas

Columbia University

Term: Jan 2013 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?