27 Jan 2015
Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Phegornis mitchellii): Conservation and Research of a Rare Andean Shorebird in Central Chile I
Estimate demographic parameters and breeding phenology, complete a conservation and management strategy, and begin a public awareness campaign at the Yeso Valley.
As a result of our past success in surveying data of the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Phegornis mitchellii) in the Yeso Valley, central Chile, and in implementing an associated citizen science program, there is a strong foundation upon which to build a research and outreach program to address the long-term conservation of the species. Accomplishments to date include:
1) Initial information on ecology and demography;
2) A detailed habitat classification;
3) Development and implementation of standardized study methods;
4) Assessment of primary threats;
5) Implementation of a citizen science program that provided training in the collection and management of research data.
The current study will provide the first detailed description of the species’ phenology and demography, and will integrate stakeholders for the construction of an effective “Diademed Sandpiper Plover Conservation and Management Strategy for the Yeso Valley, Chile”. The plan will summarize ecology information, threats, and proposed actions. Estimates of adult survival and nest success and chronology are integral to better understanding the status of the Yeso population and what factors may be limiting it, as well as to provide metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation and management measures identified in the plan. The stakeholders will be integrated into the planning through the exchange of knowledge and values with property caretakers, cattlemen and visitors, and for achieving long lasting agreements and commitments with landowners, governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Also, this project will focus on awareness activities through informational signboards and flyers as a first step for educating visitors, and the first chance for them to protect the species, for example, by not riding vehicles or stepping on the nests. We will continue as well with the citizen science program and the exchange of knowledge with different volunteers from Chile and other countries, increasing local capacity to accomplish conservation for a variety of birds, mammals, and other components of biodiversity. Because Diademed Sandpiper-Plover is one of the most iconic species associated with Andean wetlands, it is an ideal flagship species to target conservation measures for wetlands used by other species.