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Chile, the nation of birds


    Chile is the nation of birds. The assertion can sound exaggerated; many specialists might argue that we’re far behind in hen variety in comparison with international locations like Colombia -which might declare its title. However I don’t need to be untruthful and hope that after studying this column, you may as well proudly state that Chile is the nation of birds.

    I am going to begin from the fundamentals. In Chile, we discover 528 species of birds, of which 322 breed within the nation. These numbers could appear small if we examine ourselves with different international locations. However these 528 hen species are sufficient to mobilize 117 new birders, in response to information from eBird Chile. That locations us fifth within the listing of nations with the very best variety of new eBirders over the last October Huge Day. 

    In line with the identical supply, Chile ranks sixth within the listing of nations with the very best variety of checklists, with a complete of two,958, surpassed by america, Canada, Colombia, India, and Costa Rica (the latter with just one extra guidelines). A brand new birdwatching market examine to be launched quickly by Audubon Americas estimates that birdwatchers in our nation quantity to a bit greater than 19,000, and the development is upward. There’s something about Chile and its birds that draws the eye of so many individuals.

    It’s partly as a result of unbelievable colours of a few of our birds, just like the emblematic Siete colores, the Loica común, and the Picaflor de Juan Fernandez, to call just a few that delight us with a spread of brilliant colours. But in addition on account of these birds whose grey and brown tones problem us to sharpen our eyesight to seek out them. And maybe most significantly, our nation offers an immense variety of ecosystems; some would even say that Chile has latitudes for all birds. From the Atacama Desert (the driest on the earth), the excessive plateau, the Andes, and coastal mountain vary to the temperate forests, evergreen forests, Patagonia, sub-Antarctic forests, Antarctica itself, our intensive shoreline, and its many wetlands. Allow us to not overlook the island ecosystems and the immensity of the Pacific Ocean. 

    These landscapes reveal the distinctiveness and nice worth of the birds that inhabit this nook of the planet. Chile is dwelling to five% of the world’s birds, representing 56% of the present hen orders. Lots of them are endemic to the southern cone of South America.

    Zarapito común (Numenius phaeopus) en el humedal Rocuant Andalién. Crédito: ChileBirds.
    Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) on the Rocuant Andalién wetland. Picture: ChileBirds.

    As well as, Chile performs a vital function within the safety of hen populations worldwide. Simply have a look at just a few information. It’s the second nation with the second highest variety of globally threatened seabird species and the place many of those birds breed. From October to March, Chile offers shelter and meals for tons of of 1000’s of migratory shorebirds earlier than endeavor difficult and strenuous journeys to succeed in their breeding grounds within the northern hemisphere. The wintering websites of those birds, as is the case of our nation, are equally important to make sure viable populations of those species. And the science is unequivocal: what occurs on the wintering websites of those migratory species will decide their reproductive success and, subsequently, their future.

    Chile has taken this function critically and has prioritized hen safety on the nationwide conservation agenda. For the primary time, the nation has a Nationwide Hen Conservation Technique (ENCA in Spanish) led by the State. It seeks to manage, mitigate, and eradicate threats to birds and their habitats in Chile by 2030. This Plan has already been built-in into the nationwide environmental coverage, formalized by Exempt Decision N°50 of January 2022.

    Whereas creating the ENCA, greater than 2,200 folks participated by workshops, surveys, dialogues, and consultations, representing civil society, public companies, academia, NGOs, and the personal sector. Throughout the board, the birds introduced collectively varied sectors that agreed on priorities and motion strains to guard them and the advantages they create to folks and communities. And that is all extra useful as a result of, in instances of uncertainty after the social outbreak and amid a well being disaster, greater than 2,200 folks determined that talking for birds was a precedence.

    Essentially the most putting facet of this course of is that the spirit has not waned over time. Final October, the Anahuac Home on the Metropolitan Park held an occasion to current the Technique’s ultimate doc and launch its Implementation Working Committee. Composed of 24 representatives from the general public sector, academia, and NGOs, it has the management of the Ministry of the Atmosphere. 

    Sixty folks attended the occasion, together with the Minister and the Undersecretary of the Atmosphere, the Undersecretary of Tourism, the administrators of the Metropolitan Park, and the director of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Video games. It’s no coincidence that Fiu, the Siete Colores, was chosen because the official mascot for this nice worldwide sporting occasion. They had been joined by members of the Working Committee, media, folks linked to the world of the humanities, and households. All gathered to reaffirm as soon as once more that birds unite us.

    Now I need to go deeper. A plan might be outlined in a participatory method and look very good on paper – with a surprising structure and unimaginable photographs- and likewise share many good intentions. However the fact is that with out concrete actions, it’s simply one other coffee-table guide for our workplaces and houses. This Technique is much from being a compendium of admirable intentions: we have now already made progress in actions and leveraging funding from completely different sources.

    Lanzamiento del Comité Operativo de Implementación de la ENCA en la casa Anáhuac del Parque Metropolitano.
    Launch of the Operational Committee for the Implementation of the ENCA, Anahuac home, Parque Metropolitano.

    For instance, the Chilean Hen and Wildlife Watchers Community (ROC in Spanish, funded by the NGO Manomet) developed the Shorebird Motion Plan. Consultants have been referred to as to take part, and members of the Technique Committee, which seeks to prioritize pressing actions to advance the safety of this group of birds. For our half, Audubon Americas has offered funding for creating and implementing the Technique. As well as, we carried out the primary market evaluation of hen tourism in Chile (to be revealed quickly). We are going to launch a coaching program for birding guides and native entrepreneurs. 

    Along with ROC, we additionally examine the conservation wants of seabirds and shorebirds within the nationwide community of marine protected areas. This latest examine shall be important to advance an motion plan for seabirds. As well as, we are going to proceed creating the wetland hen motion plan and a niche evaluation of public insurance policies wanted to efficiently implement the Technique.

    Likewise, the Ministry of the Atmosphere allotted assets to design the nationwide hen monitoring system, which ROC carries out. The Ministry of Power helps investigations that analyze the influence of electrical energy transmission and renewable vitality technology tasks on birds and their habitats, particularly these meant to provide inexperienced hydrogen. The outcomes and doable options will inform and complement suggestions for the sustainable growth of inexperienced hydrogen. In the meantime, the GEF/MMA/UNEP Coastal Wetlands mission has offered funding through the elaboration course of. It continues to help the implementation of the ENCA.

    The above is to call just a few of the advances reported not too long ago. Nonetheless, I’m positive that many extra are advancing and contributing from native work at vital websites for birds: Fundación Bandada, a member of the ENCA Working Committee, is working within the Rocuant-Andalién Wetland-Marsh, an IBA listed as Endangered, to make sure American oystercatcher’s breeding success; Fundación Cosmos is doing the identical within the Río Maipo Pure Sanctuary; whereas the Cape Horn Worldwide Middle is advancing within the scientific examine of sub-Antarctic forest birds, amongst different initiatives.

    Solely birds are able to uniting and bringing so many individuals into motion. Birds converse loud and clear: it’s the process of all of us to contribute our grain of sand to this Technique’s success. All actions rely and are important. From our communities, we will contribute and generate an immensely constructive influence on birds, even by planting native species in our gardens and balconies. Immediately we aren’t solely valuing our birds: we’re shifting from phrases to actions. Chile now understands that defending birds is to make sure our future, which is why I dare to say that Chile is the nation of birds.