The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation supports efforts to protect Missouri birds in each of their habitats, not only in their Missouri breeding grounds, but also in their wintering grounds and stopover points. To that end, donations to this account will help fund habitat protection and related conservation activities at critical sites in Central America, where 95% of Missouri’s tropical migrant breeding bird species spend the winter.
Partners in these efforts have included the Missouri Department of Conservation, seven Missouri Audubon chapters, the American Bird Conservancy, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ Southern Wings program, the United States Agency for International Development, individual Central American conservationists, and environmental education and conservation organizations in Central America.
Current Fundraising Efforts
Efforts are underway to develop a Spanish translation of the Birds of Honduras field guide. MCHF is gathering funds to finance the publication of this new Spanish version of the field guide. To make an online donation, click here.
The foundation has partnered with Beaks and Peaks Birding and Adventure Tours to develop five new birding and adventure eco-tours. These tours are designed to raise awareness of the importance of migratory bird conservation, as well as to generate funds for continued conservation efforts for our shared migratory birds. Monies raised will be used to continue the development of avian conservation reserves, training of agriculturalists in sustainable bird habitat friendly practices, training of conservationists and bird eco-tourism guides, and monitoring of migratory bird populations. To view descriptions, prices, and dates of the Beaks and Peaks Conservation Tours, click here.
Overview of Past Migratory Bird Projects
Funds provided in 2007 through the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative were utilized to protect land near Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras, to safeguard habitat of tropical migratory birds by acquiring, managing and protecting land for bird habitat protection. This project also provided for staff training and park visitor education resources.
In 2008, the Foundation helped fund the development and printing of a guide book on the birds of Lake Yojoa, Honduras. This book was used to train park guards and naturalists from Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras, and other conservation areas, as well as during an international birding festival in the Lake Yojoa region. A generous gift to the Foundation from an anonymous donor made this project possible.
Projects begun in 2009 and 2010 with Southern Wings and the American Bird Conservancy, matched gifts from the Missouri Department of Conservation with the donations of avian conservation minded Missouri citizens to increase the migratory corridor in the Yucatan peninsula. These land acquisition and protection projects were critical to the successful survival of Missouri’s migratory bird populations.
Also in 2010, the Foundation funded an important summit meeting of conservationists in Honduras, resulting in the formation of the Honduras national bird conservation association, Asociación Hondureña de Ornitología (ASHO).
In 2013, MCHF raised funds to match a gift from the Missouri Department of Conservation for the development and printing of Birds of Honduras field guide, a comprehensive guide of all Honduran birds. This sizable undertaking was completed in 2015 and has been very instrumental in training local Hondurans as bird guides, as well as stimulating the Honduran government to take actions to encourage bird eco-tourism. For an update on the Birds of Honduras book project, link to an article written by Brad Jacobs, retired Wildlife Ecologist of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
A 2015 project financed by the Foundation provided a workshop through ASHO for the Honduran birding community to teach bird capture, bird banding techniques, and mist-netting arrays.
The foundation matched Missouri Department of Conservation funds in 2016 to support an American Bird Conservancy project in Honduras to improve wintering habitat in the Agalta Valley and Yoro Biological Corridor. In addition to the establishment of a new reserve, El Ciruelo, this program provided training to ranchers regarding sustainable grazing methods and assisted sun coffee farmers to transition to shade coffee production. Both agricultural techniques help to preserve critical forest habitat for our shared migratory birds.
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