BIRDS WITHOUT BORDERS - AVES SIN FRONTERAS®

A PROJECT OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF MILWAUKEE AND
THE FOUNDATION FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION, INC.

Birds Without Borders - Aves sin Fronteras

UPDATED September 2008: "The Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® Recommendations for Landowners: How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds (Wisconsin, Midwest and eastern United States edition)" is now available. Click here for more information.

January 2007: "The Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® Recommendations for Landowners: How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds (Belize and Mesoamerica edition)" is now available. Click here for more information.

(To contact us directly, please see contact information at the bottom of this page.)

Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® is a multi-year research, conservation and education project coordinated by the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) in cooperation with the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc. (FWC), and private landowners. Dr. Gil Boese, president of the FWC and president emeritus of the ZSM, initiated the project in 1996 to study migratory and resident bird species in Wisconsin, USA, and Belize, Central America.

This project wrapped up its major missions in March 2009. In the future, the project will continue under the FWC. Dr. Boese and Vicki Piaskowski, the project’s senior research fellow, plan to do follow-up research in the Pewaukee area and in Rosendale, Wis., to compare bird populations from the original study period to the present day.

Wisconsin and Belize share 114 species of migratory birds, 80 of which are common in both places. These birds are members of a group called Neotropical migrants, birds that spend their non-breeding season (September through April) south of the Tropic of Cancer. Research has documented that some Neotropical migrant birds have been decreasing since 1978. This decline is most likely due to dramatic changes in habitat on both their breeding and wintering grounds. The decline of birds is of concern since birds play a major role in controlling insects in our ecosystem. Also, many people appreciate birds for their beauty and their songs.

CONSERVATION

Birds Without Borders-Aves Sin Fronteras® is unusual because all research has been conducted on privately owned lands in Wisconsin and Belize. More than 50 private landowners have generously allowed us to use their land for this important research. These privately owned lands are serving as models of habitat management for birds. Based on our research findings, we have compiled manuals for interested landowners on land-management techniques that benefit birds.

Click here to learn more about “The Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® Recommendations for Landowners: How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds (Wisconsin, Midwest and eastern United States edition).”

Click here to learn more about "The Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® Recommendations for Landowners: How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds (Belize and Mesoamerica edition)."

Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras is demonstrating the impact that one landowner or group of individual landowners working together can have on conservation.

RESEARCH

We conducted research on both migratory and resident birds for six months each year in both Wisconsin and Belize. Wisconsin research included the study of birds during spring and fall migration and the breeding season. In Belize, our all-Belizean staff studied migratory birds on their wintering grounds. During the breeding season, research focused on some of Belize's 370 species of resident birds.

We successfully completed five years of Wisconsin research in October 2001; and five years of Belize research was successfully completed in September 2002. We are now focusing on distributing our land-stewardship recommendations. Because there was still so much to learn in Belize, we continued bird banding and censusing at the Runaway Creek Nature Preserve and the Chaa Creek study sites through 2004. To maintain a long-term data set, the BWB-ASF staff is continuing bird banding and censusing during the non-breeding season, as well as year-round ecological assessments at the Runaway Creek Nature Preserve. Click here to link to some of our research results.

Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® staff members have presented results of project research at scientific meetings and published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. PDFs of the publications (full-text) and presentations (abstracts) can be read and downloaded. Click here to link to the Presentations and Publications list.

In addition, Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® research results were summarized and distributed to landowners and interested persons through yearly updates. The updates can be found on our Publications and Presentations Web page.

STUDY SITES

Our Wisconsin study sites - located near Land O' Lakes in the far north, Rosendale in east-central Wisconsin and Pewaukee in southeastern Wisconsin - encompass 2,000 acres of land. These sites provided the chance to study bird use of a variety of habitats including northern coniferous bog forests, re-vegetating forest clearcuts, grasslands, wetlands and small suburban deciduous forests.

Our Belize study sites are located at the Tropical Education Center of the Belize Zoo and at Chaa Creek Nature Preserve and adjacent privately owned lands. In 2000, the 6,009-acre Runaway Creek Nature Preserve owned by the ZSM's sister organization, the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc., was added as our third Belize study site. We studied birds in habitats represented throughout Belize, including pine savanna (broken ridge), broadleaf deciduous forests, riverine and karst hill forests, citrus and cashew plantations, and pasture.

EDUCATION

Educational outreach programs including lectures and bird-banding demonstrations are presented to the communities near the study sites. A multi-disciplinary science-education program, coordinated by the Zoological Society's Education Department, began in Wisconsin in 1998 and kicked off in Belize in 2000. This educational component reached more than 3,300 middle and high-school students and 46 teachers in Wisconsin and Belize. Click here to learn more about the Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras education library.

COLLABORATIONS

Our collaborations assure that our findings become part of larger databases and provide for an ongoing exchange of information, methodology and strategy. We have established collaborations with the following groups (BWB-ASF research data have been submitted to the programs marked with an asterisk.):

Wisconsin

  • Environment Canada – Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program*
  • Institute for Bird Populations – Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program*
  • Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District
  • Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit – Breeding Biology Research and Monitoring Database*
  • Partners in Flight – U.S. and Mesoamerican Groups
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture – Soil Conservation Service
  • U.S. Farm Service Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Division of Bird Habitat Conservation
  • U.S. Geological Survey – Bird Banding Laboratory*
  • Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas*
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources*
  • Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

Belize

  • Belize Association of Private Protected Areas
  • Belize Audubon Society
  • Belize Biodiversity Initiative*
  • Belize Botanical Gardens
  • Belize Central Statistics Office – Environmental Statistics Unit*
  • Belize Friends for Conservation and Development
  • Belize Institute of Archeology
  • Biodiversity and Environmental Resource Data System of Belize*
  • Cheers Restaurant (Anita and Christie Tupper)
  • Carol Farneti-Foster and Richard Foster, Wildlife Photographers
  • Government of Belize Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority
  • Government of Belize Ministry of Natural Resources, the Environment and Industry – the Forestry Department and Conservation Division
  • Green Hills Farm (Jan Meerman and Tineke Boemsa)
  • Institute for Bird Populations – Monitoring Overwintering Survival Program*
  • Manomet Bird Observatory
  • Mesoamerican Biological Corridor
  • Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation
  • Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Programme for Belize
  • Protected Areas Conservation Trust
  • Sibun Watershed Association*
  • Society for the Promotion of Eco-cultural Tourism and the Environment
  • The Nature Conservancy – Latin American Division
  • Toledo Institute for Development and Environment
  • United Nations Development Program/Global Environmental Facility – Small Grants Programme (Philip Balderamos, National Coordinator – Belize)

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee is an endorser of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI). Click here to learn more about WBCI.

BIRDS WITHOUT BORDERS-AVES SIN FRONTERAS® PARTNERS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you would like more information on Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras®, please contact the

Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc.
G. K. Boese, PhD.

Or:

Belize National Coordinator:
Wilber Martinez
P.O. Box 97
Help for Progress Building, Forest Drive
Belmopan City, Cayo District
BELIZE
Wilber Martinez

YOUR SUPPORT

Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® is dedicated to saving the birds of the Western hemisphere and increasing the viability of birds on privately owned lands at all stages of their life cycle. In addition, Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® is involving the next generation in conservation through education about birds and their habitats. Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras® welcomes your contributions to ensure the success of this important project.

MULTIMEDIA RESOURCES

For more bird resources, go here for radio interviews with Piaskowski , the project’s senior research fellow, go here for a story on how she made her own backyard bird-friendly and here for child-friendly bird activities.

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