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Department of Environment starts annual bird monitoring exercise

Forest Thrush (Cichlherminia lherminieri) is one of the globally threatened species found on Montserrat

GIU – Forestry staff from the Department of Environment are currently in the field conducting the annual bird monitoring exercise to determine the bird populations in the Centre Hills of Montserrat.

According to Director of Environment Gerald Gray, “the exercise consists of two teams visiting 87 predetermined sites, located on 11 monitoring routes that encompass wet, moist and Dr.y forest types. The number and species of bird are recorded both by visual observation and by sound.”

Prior to 2011 each site was visited once, but in an effort to strengthen the integrity of the statistical data, all 87 points will be visited 3 times over a 4-week period. This will give a better estimate of the number and distribution of birds in the Centre Hills, enabling the Department of Environment to make informed decisions regarding conservation of the birds and their habitat.

Accompanying the foresters in the field is Dr. Steffen Oppel, Senior Conservation Scientist with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Dr. Oppel is particularly interested in analyzing the data for the critically endangered Montserrat Oriole and the vulnerable Forest Thrush, both of which are globally threatened species.

Ms Sorrel Jones, a volunteer from the RSPB, is also involved in the monitoring exercise.

Montserrat is home to 12 restricted range bird species of global importance, including the endemic Montserrat Oriole. A number of environmental impacts, such as habitat degradation, invasive species, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, may negatively affect Montserrat’s bird populations. Therefore, the annual bird monitoring exercise acts as an early warning system that would better equip conservation managers to take appropriate action in a timely manner.

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Forest Thrush (Cichlherminia lherminieri) is one of the globally threatened species found on Montserrat

GIU – Forestry staff from the Department of Environment are currently in the field conducting the annual bird monitoring exercise to determine the bird populations in the Centre Hills of Montserrat.

According to Director of Environment Gerald Gray, “the exercise consists of two teams visiting 87 predetermined sites, located on 11 monitoring routes that encompass wet, moist and Dr.y forest types. The number and species of bird are recorded both by visual observation and by sound.”

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Prior to 2011 each site was visited once, but in an effort to strengthen the integrity of the statistical data, all 87 points will be visited 3 times over a 4-week period. This will give a better estimate of the number and distribution of birds in the Centre Hills, enabling the Department of Environment to make informed decisions regarding conservation of the birds and their habitat.

Accompanying the foresters in the field is Dr. Steffen Oppel, Senior Conservation Scientist with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Dr. Oppel is particularly interested in analyzing the data for the critically endangered Montserrat Oriole and the vulnerable Forest Thrush, both of which are globally threatened species.

Ms Sorrel Jones, a volunteer from the RSPB, is also involved in the monitoring exercise.

Montserrat is home to 12 restricted range bird species of global importance, including the endemic Montserrat Oriole. A number of environmental impacts, such as habitat degradation, invasive species, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, may negatively affect Montserrat’s bird populations. Therefore, the annual bird monitoring exercise acts as an early warning system that would better equip conservation managers to take appropriate action in a timely manner.