|Categories||Birds, Communities, Hunting|
|Date||24 Jan 2014|
This study builds on a model that proved effective in dealing with intentional bird poisoning and poaching at Bunyala Rice Scheme during September 2012-September 2013 where 10 scouts – some reformed hunters – were paid to monitor birds and apprehend encountered poachers resulting in reduced poisoning from a nearly daily event to just 30 incidences during the year.
This project will continue to engage the team of scouts but now in systematic bird monitoring involving foot surveys for bird diversity and numbers on the ground as well as raptor road surveys in the immediate neighbourhood to the north of the study site the south being a buffer, swamp zone (Yala Swamp). While the methodology will generally create a sense of vigilance especially against deliberate human threats to the birds which will discourage hunters for fear of being exposed with likely punitive measures by wildlife authorities, it will also be a tool to augment the scouts’ ornithology knowledge while demonstrating the higher value of keeping birds alive subsequently inducting them to propagate conservation practices in the community. Obtained data in form of comprehensive bird and other biodiversity inventories and up-to-date detailed report on the threats’ status will form the basis of an invigorated campaign to market and advocate for Bunyala’s rich but threatened birdlife and other biodiversity to the public and conservation stakeholders including tour companies.
In particular, the scouts once adequately trained will constitute a knowledgeable local monitoring and bird guiding team ultimately facilitating the negotiated inclusion of the site in itineraries of identified tour companies. This would then enhance sustainable profitability of the venture to the locals once there is a steady tourist flow to/the site. A stepwise short documentary will also be recorded during the entire project period and will constitute a comprehensive illustration of this methodology of tackling local but widely distributed bird poaching through pesticide poisoning. The short video will then be distributed as a model strategy to deal with the problem at the respective sites.
Read about Martin's previous project http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/martin_odino or for more information contact: