Friday, February 23, 2007

Mitsubishi foundation helps birds in western Mexico

American Bird Conservancy and its Mexican partner, Pronatura Noreste, recently coordinated the purchase of 865 acres of coastal wetlands in Bahia Santa Maria, Mexico. Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation made it possible by donating $206,000.

That donation paved the way for $238,000 via the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. That funding will allow Pronatura Noreste to restore the tidal flow to the wetlands, currently disrupted by dikes created for a now-defunct shrimp farm.

On the Gulf of California (the paler blue area), Bahia Santa Maria -- between the cities Los Mochis and Culiacan -- hosts various wintering wetland-dependent birds, including 25 percent of all Western Sandpipers. Other visitors include Blue-footed Booby, Laughing Gull, Heermann’s Gull, Royal and Least Terns, Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlew and Stilt Sandpipers.

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