Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

Chile: Advancing Chiloé’s Shorebird Plan

 

In January 2014, partners launched Phase III of the Migratory Shorebird Conservation Plan for Chiloé. This advancement for the island of Chiloé, located off the southwestern coast of Chile, was possible thanks to a grant from the Packard Foundation, which the Shorebird Recovery Project at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences received on behalf of the “Chiloé Coalition.” The coalition includes the Manomet Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, and Chilean nongovernmental organizations Marine Conservation and the Center for the Study and Conservation of Natural Heritage (CECPAN by its Spanish acronym).

The new phase will be managed by the Manomet Center and implemented by local partners CECPAN and Marine Conservation. Together they will deepen the progress and achievements made using a process unprecedented in Chile for conserving critical shorebird habitats on the island of Chiloé, started in 2010.


Flocks of Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica) forage along the coast Chiloé, Chile. / © Diego Luna Quevedo

Chiloé Island is a key wintering area for several species of migratory shorebirds. It supports 27% of the world’s population of Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica) and 99% of the species’ Pacific coast population. Up to 60% of the Pacific coast population of Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) also winters here. Both species are identified as “high concern” in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan. For this reason, 1,900 hectares of the Eastern Wetlands of Chiloé were designated as a WHSRN Site of Hemispheric Importance in January 2011. The area is also a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International.

Guided by the 2014–2016 phase of the Conservation Plan and in coordination with decision makers and local communities, partners will implement various activities for stakeholder involvement and effective conservation of critical sites for shorebirds, such as: a social marketing campaign, festivals and fairs, and programs to strengthen local capacity and education. Further progress will be made in coordinating the processes of good governance for administering and managing sites. Public-private conservation agreements will also be secured, and initiatives that connect conservation with local development will be promoted. Partners will also monitor shorebird populations in the area.

Diego Luna Quevedo, who has led the project for the Manomet Center since 2011, said “One of the most interesting aspects of the Plan in Chiloé has been identifying and developing collaborative initiatives that connect shorebirds with local development. Various micro-enterprises have been promoted that link tourism, heritage, and traditional cuisine with birdwatching at the local level. So, we can begin to answer the local question: 'What do I get from conservation?’

For more information, contact Diego Luna Quevedo (diego.luna@manomet.org), Southern Cone Program Coordinator, Shorebird Recovery Project, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.