Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

Chile: Conserving Shorebirds on Chiloé Island through Social Marketing

During the last week of June, in the City of Ancud on the Island of Chiloé, off southern Chile, 30 people participated in the workshop “Social Marketing: a Concept and Tool for Conserving Migratory Shorebirds on Chiloé.” They represented national and local nongovernmental organizations, municipalities, small tourism operators, the Ministry of Environment, school teachers, and community organizations, among others. 

Chiloé Island workshop participants (front row, second from left: Rafael Calderón). / Courtesy of Diego Luna Quevedo (front row, far right).

This workshop was carried out as part of the actions identified in the Migratory Shorebird Conservation Plan for Chiloé Island. The Plan was developed under the leadership of Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences on behalf of a coalition of international organizations, with funding from Packard Foundation. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce participants to social marketing as a concept and a tool, per the methodology for “Pride campaigns” developed by the international conservation organization Rare. The workshop explored the possibility for such a campaign on Chiloé to help conserve shorebirds. The Humedales Orientales de Chiloé (Eastern Wetlands of Chiloé) is a WHSRN Site of Hemispheric Importance.

 From 2008 to 2010, Rare and Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project facilitated, co-financed, and gave guidance to local partners in carrying out Pride campaigns in three WHSRN sites in Patagonia. These campaigns promoted the conservation of the rufa subspecies of Red Knot (Calidris canutus), which has been experiencing serious population declines. The campaigns all achieved positive results and valuable teachings on protecting critical habitats for this and other shorebirds, removing barriers and threats, and promoting a sense of pride within the communities that live in these important shorebird areas.

Diego Luna Quevedo, Southern Cone Program Coordinator for Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project, says “social marketing has been a real discovery for local partners and stakeholders involved in the Conservation Plan we are implementing on Chiloé, and has inspired them to continue ‘selling’ the social benefits of conserving shorebirds in their communities.”

Chiloé Island hosts 40% of the world's population of Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica). / © Pablo Petracci

For Rafael Calderón, Director of Pride Campaigns in Latin America for Rare, the workshop was “a valuable experience that allowed us to bring to light and identify possible approaches and opportunities for designing Pride campaigns here that would focus specifically on the conservation of migratory shorebirds. For us, this is an interesting challenge for our methodology.” 

In the coming weeks, Manomet and Rare will sign a cooperative agreement to ensure sustainability for this effort, capitalizing on both organizations’ experiences and lessons learned from working together on social marketing campaigns in Patagonia.  

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