martes, 21 de agosto de 2012

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ECUADOR CLOUD FOREST BIRD BANDING EXPEDITION Hills, Coastal Range, South America: 9-23 December 2012. Become a Life Net Volunteer! Join Dr. Dusti Becker for an exciting 16-day conservation experience in the coastal cordillera of western Ecuador. Dr. Becker, a well-known tropical avian ecologist will lead the expedition assisted by experienced Ecuadorian field assistants. Volunteers monitor birds with mist nets and along transects in a community-owned cloud forest protected area called the Loma Alta Ecological Reserve. Volunteers will also participate in the 10th annual Loma Alta Christmas Bird Count focusing on Choco endemics in the Colonche Hills and Tumbesian endemics in coastal dry forest lowlands. Loma Alta is home to more than 20 species of hummingbirds and 48 of the 55 Tumbesian endemic birds making it a HOT birding spot. In 2004, our research prompted national and international bird conservation organizations to designate the area as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Red-masked parakeets, crested guans, rufous-fronted chachalacas, Choco toucans, gray-backed hawks, and ornate hawk eagles are just a few of the regional specialties that are typically seen during a Life Net field project at Loma Alta. The ecology of woodstar hummingbirds including the endangered Esmeraldas woodstar is an additional focus of our research and monitoring project, offering potential close-up views of these spectacular tropical gems. Volunteers help set up and monitor mist nets, extract birds from nets, carry birds from nets to a banding station, and record basic ecological data. Bilingual volunteers may contribute to environmental education and ecotourism training Loma Alta. Volunteers will have some afternoons free to explore and bird around the protected area, including searching for Mantled Howlers and White-fronted Capuchin monkeys. Life Net projects advance scientific understanding of the ecology of tropical birds and provide incentive for local citizens to protect native habitats for birds and other wildlife. The volunteer contribution of $1500 to the non-profit Life Net is partially tax deductible and is used to cover costs to sustain the volunteer group, pay local salaries, and contribute to forest conservation at Loma Alta. All transportation within Ecuador, room, & meals during the project are covered by the donation. The expedition begins and ends in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
To Apply:
Contact DR. DUSTI BECKER (EM: dbecker AT for further details. Visit and go to the volunteer page to download application form, briefing, and see photos of the site.