Ongoing protection of red siskins in South Rupununi, Guyana

Nicholas Fredericks

The red siskin (Carduelis Cucullata), listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, is found along the foothills of northern Venezuela (where the population is low) and Southern Rupununi, Guyana, where it was discovered in 2000 by members of the Smithsonian Institute and the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS). The bird is legally protected but is threatened by habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade. In this project, the SRCS will be working with communities and other stakeholders to develop mechanisms for the long term protection of the Red Siskin in Guyana. Community members will be trained as researchers, rangers, and tour guides and, whilst conducting these activities, they will also collected data on the red siskin to help determine its range and potential help propose a new IBA. Through this project it is expected that tourism will become a suitable alternative income-generating activity compared to wildlife trade, thereby helping to conserve the red siskin.

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