Thanks to a generous grant from the Western Hummingbird Partnership and U.S. Forest Service International Programs with Klamath Bird Observatory and Environment for the Americas, Todos Santos is the host of the first annual citizen science monitoring project for hummingbirds. The project focuses on six different species of hummingbirds that are residents or seasonal migrants to the Baja California Peninsula. The study area is centered in Todos Santos and includes all coastal habitats extending north to La Pastora and south to Los Cerritos, approximately 50 km in length.
Todos Santos Eco Adventures (TOSEA) and ProFaunaBaja are coordinating the project which will culminate in the first annual festival to celebrate hummingbird conservation. TOSEA is coordinating monthly training from December – March for volunteers in the local community who want to participate in the monitoring project. Monitoring takes place along the coast at a minimum of 10 fixed observation stations, 2 days a week. Survey times are crepuscular, (sunrise and sunset) when diurnal fauna species are most active. Volunteers are obligated to attend training where they will receive a field guide published with KBO funding, field data sheets, and a flexible schedule of monitoring periods.
Volunteer residents monitor hummingbird abundance, biodiversity, and habitat use from November 2013 to June 2014. The diversity observation point locations encompass coastal dunes, rocky cliffs, coastal scrub, and coastal wetlands. During monitoring, trained volunteers identify and record the species, activity, and identify the plant species that is used for the associated activity. Residents and tourists may also record incidental sightings on data cards that are provided by supporting businesses in Todos Santos and El Pescadero. The results will be combined into a final report that will be posted online by ProFaunaBaja and provided to WHP and KBO. Raw data will also be shared with the Federal Mexican Commission for Agriculture and Biodiversity (CONABIO). ProFaunaBaja is coordinating thesis studies on hummingbirds with students from University of Baja California Sur.
In collaboration with the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C., Todos Santos Eco Adventures will host workshops for local students and teachers, targeting the importance of hummingbirds as pollinators for agriculture and habitat conservation. Agriculture is an important economic sector in Todos Santos and surrounding areas. Conservation of coastal habitat for hummingbird foraging and nesting will also be emphasized. Project partners and sponsors will be producing 400 brochures and 100 field guides for the general public free of charge.
Todos Santos Eco Adventures will host the First Annual Hummingbird Conservation Festival on May 3rd, 2014. This festival will coincide with a celebration for International Migratory Bird Day. ProFaunaBaja will present preliminary results of the hummingbird monitoring study and coordinate poster displays of migratory bird species, and thesis studies from local university students.
Dr. Esmé F. Hennessy M.Sc., Ph.D., F.L.S. a published botanist from University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, will be the keynote speaker at the festival. Her keynote speech will focus on the importance of pollination for native plant preservation and coastal habitat conservation. Local university students will be presenting posters on different hummingbird species and students will be presenting their thesis study. Various contests will be held at the festival including a photography contest, a kid’s art contest coordinated by the Palapa Society, and a professional artists contest. A raffle will be held during the festival to raise funds to continue the monitoring in subsequent years.
For more information on participating as a volunteer, festival vendor, or non-profit organization, please contact: Stephanie@ProFauanBaja.org or fill out the contact form below.