The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
Community : Service Organizations Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014 - 5:05:44 PM


BNT’s Efforts to Preserve the Rare Kirtland’s Warbler
By Eileen Fielder
May 2, 2013 - 10:17:03 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
IMG_7388.jpg
The serene setting of The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Eleuthera where the Kirtland's Warbler Research Project Workshop was hosted.

Governors Harbour, Eleuthera  - Relatively unknown to many Bahamians are the many natural wonders of which our country can boast and which Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is mandated to preserve and protect. One such marvel that BNT has dedicated history-making efforts to save is the Kirtland’s Warbler. This rare and endangered songbird annually migrates from Michigan in the United States to The Bahamas, where it spends seven months out of the year.

Recently, the Trust hosted its Workshop for the Conservation of the Kirtland’s Warbler at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, Governors Harbour, Eleuthera.  The forum brought together international scientists, who lead the Kirtland’s Warbler Research Programme (KWRP). Vital to the gathering and the success of the overall conservation work was the participation of local college students who completed BNT’s Research and Training Programme headed by Eric Carey, the Trust’s Executive Director.  The training initiative is one of the major planks in the Trust’s conservation plan to raise awareness generally and prime Bahamians for leadership in the preservation and protection of The Bahamas’ natural heritage.

IMG_9374.jpg
Outstanding student graduates of the Kirtland's Warbler Training Programme. From L to R: Ingeria Miller, Zeko McKenzie, Scott Johnson, Leno Davis, Everton Joseph, Keith Philippe

“The Bahamas are absolutely crucial to the survival of the Kirtland’s Warblers,” said Joe Wunderle, Research Wildlife biologist who joined the programme near its inception.  Mr Wunderle had high praise for BNT’s contributions in this regard. “Their biology and behaviour was poorly known before this project, but Bahamas National Trust helped us carry out the conservation of this endangered migratory species that is unique to the Bahamas, where it spends more than half the year, and nowhere else.”

Working alongside Wunderle was conservation scientist David Ewert, who also contributed to the success of the training programme, which targeted recruitment of College of The Bahamas students. Ewert noted one of the most pleasing successes of the local Kirtland’s Warbler efforts. He revealed that just the week before the Eleuthera workshop opened, the conservationists had found an unprecedented number of Kirtland’s Warblers on the island of San Salvador. He said the group hoped that more findings would be made on the other islands in the central part of The Bahamas.

IMG_9371.jpg
Lead Kirtland's Warbler Research Project environmentalists Dave Ewert & Joe Wunderle take a little time to smile and pose with main supporters of their cause

Student reaction to participation in the Kirtland’s Warbler endeavor has been highly enthusiastic and positive. “My experience, as a student with the project was phenomenal,” said Keith Philippe, whom Eric Carey recruited.  Keith asserts, “It enabled me to do field-based scientific research, biological science wildlife, and it also enabled me to network with American scientists and get more direction from them in terms of what a career in wildlife biology would look like.” Philippe maintained, “It steered, it provided vision, but then also a practical means of actually obtaining that vision”

As an added incentive for the Bahamian research interns, on completion of the training initiative, the students were all awarded scholarships, up to $30,000, to continue their undergraduate degree studies at notable universities in the US.

One-time student of the KWRP, Ingeria Miller, explains “The project revolutionized my life; I went on to Cornell University where I received my Bachelors degree in Natural Resources Management, Ecology, and Policy Analysis, and came home after and quickly found amazing work in my fields of expertise.”

Bahamas National Trust, with the able partnership of the Nature Conservancy, has scored this and a number of other accomplishments for the conservation and study of rare species, such as the Kirtland’s Warbler. Eric Carey notes that BNT is determined to continue the Kirtland’s Warbler initiative and develop more programmes to affect positive change in young Bahamians as regards environmental stewardship.


Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Service Organizations
Latest Headlines
Grand Bahama Chamber Announces Nominees for 5th Annual Business Excellence Awards
Red Rose Ball Charity Event returns to Grand Bahama, November 1, 2014‏
British Colonial Hilton Nassau partners with Bahamas AIDS Foundation
Minister Mitchell Visits Champion Debating Team in Freeport
242 Colour Run returns to Freeport on November 2nd
Grand Bahama pastor receives "Most Courteous Driver of the Quarter Award"
BNT's Primeval Forest Family Fun Day set for October 13th‏
Grand Bahama Chamber releases releases vision paper, "The Future of Freeport - 2015 and Beyond”
Heart Ball Committee to host Victorian High Tea Party & Fashion Show
Bahamas Red Cross Grand Raffle Winners Announced
242 Colour Run brightens a sunny Sunday in Nassau
Bahamas Chamber Best in Business Awards Nominations Open
Red Rose Ball set to bring Paris to Grand Bahama!
BREEF anchors its position with Coral Reef Sculpture Garden
BNT Encouraged by Bahamian Rock Iguanas Release
2014 GB Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards set for October 25th
Grand Bahama Chamber Responds to local VAT concerns in the Business Community
The Bahamas Weekly supports Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas
Become a Member of the Bahamas Humane Society - B Humane!
VIPs Pack Chamber Event at Palm Cay to Mix, Mingle & Meet Carnival Chiefs
Rotaract Club of East Nassau Host 3rd Annual Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion
New Providence free Canine Distemper Vaccinations set for October 1st and 3rd
Grand Bahama Chamber delivers their Vision Paper for 2015
Bahamas National Trust Navigators Complete PADI Scuba Diving Course
Carnival Corp President to Headline Chamber’s Annual Meet ‘n Greet for CEOs at Palm Cay
Next Nassau free Canine Distemper Vaccinations set for Tuesday, September 16th
JA Launches New Year: 'My Future Begins With Me!'
BNT Staff Pursuing Further Academic Goals
Humane Society of Grand Bahama Wine tasting this Saturday Sept. 6th‏
242 Colour Run returns to Nassau, September 28th
Nassau public invited to FULL CIRCLE, a film by Maria Govan - September 4th
Zonta Club of New Providence increases scholarship fund by $5,000
Bahamas National Trust calling for all hands on deck!
Next Nassau free Canine Distemper Vaccinations set for August 26th & 27th
Bahamas National Trust Club Gives Teachers Lesson on the Environment
Gaylord Taylor speaks on fraud at Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise
Bahamas Humane Society continues Free Canine Distemper Vaccinations
Bahamas Toastmasters Club 1600 seeks Gov't certification
Abaco Features 6 Parks on One Island
Bahamas Primeval Forest National Park Open for Exploring