ORANJESTAD — The presence and conservation value of Red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) in the Dutch Caribbean is gaining wider attention in the region. St. Eustatius, together with Saba, is recognised as a stronghold of the world population of Red-billed Tropicbirds. Both islands have identified their key nesting sites for breeding success monitoring. They are also monitoring nesting locations using fields camera in order to corroborate nesting success and document levels of invasive species predation on the islands’ population.
Hannah Madden has successfully completed this year’s nest monitoring and presented her findings at a symposium held on Grenada on seabird conservation. The St. Eustatius population appears to be faring better this year, in comparison to the 2011 baseline monitoring on Saba. Predation on the tropicbird population is not as high as on Saba, but further research is needed to determine the impacts on the nesting areas of the St. Eustatius population. [Photo: Volunteer Andrew Ellis (right) assisted Ranger Madden in this years Red-billed Tropicbird monitoring.]
View the presentation here.
Below is an article [THE DAILY HERALD, 07-Aug-2013] of Madden’s participation at the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds’ (SCSCB) annual conference.
“Tropicbird monitoring presented in Greneda
ST. EUSTATIUS—National park ranger of St. Eustatius National Parks STENAPA Hannah Madden presented the results of this year’s red-billed tropicbird monitoring project on Statia at the Seabird Symposium, held on the final day of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds’ (SCSCB) regional meeting in Grenada.
Over 200 individuals, including 165 delegates from 37 countries attended the conference, held at St. George’s University campus, July 27-31, under the theme “Bird Conservation in a Changing Climate.”
The meeting was to provide participants with an opportunity to share information and dialogue about the science, management, education and community outreach and engagement needed to conserve Caribbean birds and their habitats, especially under the threat of climate change.
Key presentations, developments and outcomes of the meeting included reviews of the effects of climate change on biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean and mitigation strategies, and a workshop on building and expanding the Caribbean Birding Trail, an effort led by SCSCB to connect many countries, islands and languages in a pan-Caribbean bird watching interpretive trail.
Society members also reviewed a new five-year strategic plan that proposed far-reaching changes to its structure and work programme. Key elements of the new strategic direction include a re-branding of the organisation and a strengthened approach for working with and through regional partners to promote conservation of birds and their habitats.
Madden’s travel to Grenada was sponsored by NuStar, who also provided additional funding for the purchase of field cameras and a laptop that were used throughout the study.
Delegates were treated by SCSCB to a mid-week field trip to visit various bird-watching sites and areas of cultural and natural interest.
Madden is working closely with SCSCB to follow up on this year’s Tropicbird project. The results were encouraging with apparent high fledging rates. Three of the five nesting sites studied revealed, however, egg losses of around 50 per cent; the cause of which will need to be further investigated during the 2013-2014 season.
The final report is being prepared and will be completed by September.”