Latino Conservation Week! Engage, Experience, Advocate

This week, the Service is taking part in Latino Conservation Week, an initiative spurred by the Hispanic Access Foundation to support the Latino community in efforts to get outdoors and participate in the conservation of our natural resources. Latino communities, faith-based organizations and local partner organizations will hike, camp, and paddle, learn about conservation in their community, and show their support for the protection of our land, water, air, and wildlife.

GOALS OF LATINO CONSERVATION WEEK:

  • provide Latino families and youth with outdoor recreation opportunities near their homes
  • demonstrate the Latino community’s commitment to conservation
  • partner with Hispanic community leaders and organizations to support local and national conservation initiatives
  • inform policymakers, the media, and the general public of the Latino community’s views on important local and national conservation issues

In celebration of Latino Conservation Week, we’ll be highlighting the activities of Service staff and programs that have engaged, educated and advocated for Latino participation in conservation.

Pablo gazes through the spotting scope at shorebirds on the Rhode Island coast.

Pablo Andres Montes Goitia, international conservation fellow from Uruguay, gazes through a spotting scope looking at shorebirds on the Rhode Island coast. Pablo joined another international conservation fellow and shorebird biologist and doctoral candidate, Pam Loring, during field work for her Atlantic seabird and wind turbine study.

This summer, our Northeast regional office in Hadley, Massachusetts had the pleasure of hosting Alberto Martinez Fernandez and Pablo Andres Montes Goitia, international conservation fellows from Mexico and Uruguay. Alberto and Pablo joined our staff in the field and in our regional office, and engaged with the many science-based, partnership and regulatory aspects of our organization. Alberto works for Orígenes Conservación de Especies y Espacios A.C. in Chiapas, Mexico as a biologist and field ornithologist. His recent work in Cloud Forest restoration engaged the local community to participate in habitat restoration efforts across the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Pablo joined us from the National Directorate of the Environment (DINAMA) in Uruguay. As a biologist and project manager, he has participated in the design and implementation of public policy and plans to kickstart a conservation NGO with other Latin American colleagues.

Alberto and Pablo joined University of Massachusetts Amherst doctoral student, Pam Loring, in the deployment of nanotag tracking devices used to track offshore movement of piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) on the Rhode Island coast. The results from this pilot study will demonstrate the utility of nanotag technology to track shorebird movements, and will be used by federal agencies, such as the Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, to inform conservation decision making in marine spatial planning.

Alberto observes as biologists apply a nanotag to a piping plover. Nanotags are lightweight (less than three grams) digital VHF transmitters used to track offshore and coastal movements of shorebirds.

Check back this week for updates on Latin American partnerships and youth education as we continue to commemorate Latino commitment to conservation!

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