Bird Monitoring & Banding Volunteers in the Loma Alta (IBA), Ecuador
December 28, 2021 to Jan 10, 2022. Rendezvous: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Become a Life Net Volunteer! Join Dr. Dusti Becker for an exciting 14-day conservation experience in the coastal cordillera of western Ecuador. Dr. Becker, a well-known tropical avian ecologist with over 25 years of experience in Ecuador, will lead the expedition with help from Ecuadorian ornithologists and research assistants.
Our team will estimate the number of endangered Esmeraldas Woodstar hummingbirds, and other endangered and endemic birds in the Pacific coastal hills of the Loma Alta Important Bird Area, Ecuador (IBA). This unique birding destination has 348 species with many Tumbesian & Choco endemics: Red-masked Parakeet, Crested Guan, Rufous-fronted Chachalaca, Choco toucan, Gray-backed Hawk, Pale-mandibled Aracari, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Ecuadorian Trogon, and more. Loma Alta is home to more than 20 species of hummingbirds and 48 of 55 Tumbesian endemic birds making it a HOT birding spot.
Volunteers will duplicate a 2013-14 effort to estimate numbers of critically endangered Esmeraldas Woodstar hummingbirds and also survey and mist net other endangered and endemic birds in dry forest lowland and moist forest uplands of the IBA.
At the end of the project, volunteers will participate in the annual Loma Alta Christmas Bird Count. We may also do environmental education workshops with village children and adults of El Suspiro about the endemic and endangered birds. Our Life Net Nature project advances scientific understanding of avian communities and provides local citizens with experience in hosting conservation-minded visitors.
Volunteers do observations of hummingbirds at flower stations, help set up and monitor mist nets, extract birds from nets, carry birds from nets to a banding station, and record basic ecological data. Bilingual volunteers may contribute to environmental education and ecotourism training Loma Alta. Volunteers will have some afternoons free to explore and bird around the IBA, including searching for Mantled Howlers and White-fronted Capuchin monkeys.
A cost-share donation of $1650 covers transportation in Ecuador, meals, and lodging during the 2-week conservation expedition, reserve fees, salaries for Ecuadorian cooks and para-biologists, and all entrance fees. Airfare to and from Ecuador and expenses in Guayaquil are not included.
Experience with banding and mist-netting is desirable, but not required. Students, recent graduates and others looking for hands-on training and resume building experience will benefit greatly from this project.
To apply, email a brief cover e-letter detailing your experience and interest in participating on the team to Dr. Dusti Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Resume is optional, but helpful). Dr. Becker will send you more information and an official Life Net Nature volunteer application form.
Passion for bird conservation and bird watching. Skilled with binoculars and being a patient observer of bird behavior. Experience with mist-netting desirable, but we will train. Must be in very good fitness mentally and physically, able to cope with moderately tough field conditions including hot weather, some annoying insect fauna, and steep terrain.
To apply, email a brief cover e-letter detailing your experience and interest in participating on the team to Dr. Dusti Becker, email@example.com. (Resume is optional, and helpful). Dr. Becker will send you more information and an official Life Net Nature volunteer application form.