Shorebird Conservation and Habitat Management on Private Ranch Lands in Merín Lagoon, Uruguay, in the Atlantic Flyway
Duration: 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020
Laguna Merín is a large lagoon located close to the Atlantic Ocean along the border of Uruguay and Brazil. The lagoon and associated wetlands are part of the UNESCO Bañados del Este Biosphere Reserve and are a recognized Ramsar site of international importance (Bañados del Este y Franja Costera). However, little is known on this lagoon as habitat for wildlife, including migratory shorebirds. Recently, through a project funded by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, several ranches near the lagoon were found to support large numbers of Buff-breasted Sandpipers and American Golden-Plovers; other shorebirds, such as Red Knot, have also been recorded there. The specific goal of the project is to collaborate with private landowners to propose the area as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site by: 1) working with landowners to include their lands in the WHSRN nomination, 2) managing habitat to conserve ranch lands and wetlands, 3) estimating population sizes of Buff-breasted Sandpipers and American Golden-Plovers on their ranches, and 4) documenting other migrant shorebirds using ranch lands in the lagoon area.
First Survey of Shorebirds
18 December 2018 – 30 November 2019
This is the first simultaneous survey in the field, carried out in the coast of Peru, Chile, Uruguay and the south of Brazil by volunteer birdwatchers with the use of open databases.
The surveyed information will be used to inform conservation actions, including the designation of new IBAs, and to promote designation of new WHSRN sites. The survey will be integrated into the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative and the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Conservation Strategy, both as a goal-setting tool and to monitor progress and measure success.
The first survey within the framework of the project was carried out in February 2019; the second is to be carried out in November 2019.