Join the 2023 fundraising campaign to support the documentation and conservation of the nesting sites of the Least Tern in Northwestern Mexico. The objective of this campaign is to find out if the populations of the states of Sonora, Sinaloa and South Baja California are connected with the endangered population of California and Baja California, and for that we need to support local community groups that will monitor and protect the birds that nest on the beaches near their communities, as well as the young biologists who will be the faces of conservation and research for years to come.
Since 2019 we have collaborated with researchers from the United States and Mexico, in monitoring the population of the Least Tern in both border states, where we band the chicks and read the bands that were placed in their nesting sites once they are adults in both countries. Thanks to this we have confirmed that there is an exchange of birds between the colonies of San Quintín, Ensenada and Southern California. And the results prove it, since we have documented a bird that was born in San Quintín in 2019 and during the last season was recorded on the central coast of California, more than 725 km from its birth site. However, we still have a lot to learn about this species, since our objective is to know if there is a connection between the populations of the Pacific and those of the Gulf of California, as well as if there is a connection between the colonies of southern California and Baja California with those of South Baja California.
In the months of May to August 2023, when the Least Tern visits the coasts of our region, we want to visit these sites to work with community groups in the conservation of this species. Likewise, look for evidence that shows us the connectivity that exists between the populations looking for birds with rings, taking samples of feathers and blood. This is particularly important as there are indications that populations in both the southern Baja California Peninsula and the upper Gulf of California may be unique and isolated. These are also two regions where coastal development is increasing at a rapid pace and actions are urgently needed to protect them.
For years we have worked in collaboration with Ryan Ecological Consulting, the Organización para la Sustentabilidad y Conservación del Medio Ambiente , A.C. and other local associations in monitoring and conservation actions for the Least Tern in Baja California Peninsula where we carry out habitat management actions, protecting nesting areas, placing signs and temporary fences, involving the community in these actions and of course monitoring the colony to determine reproductive success, ringing the chicks and identifying natural and anthropogenic threats. Likewise, we have direct communication with the local authorities regarding the problems observed in the neighborhoods.
Join the conservation of Least Tern
The funds raised will be used to provide compensation payments to local biologists in Sonora and Baja California Sur, fuel for field trips, lodging and meals for research trips, and implement the banding program and study equipment for local groups in Mexico. You can make your donation through the Ocean Foundation in the United States and Pro Esteros in Mexico through PayPal.
This campaign will provide funding for the following projects in 2023.
- Study of the connectivity of the Least Tern in the Upper Gulf of California and the Baja California Peninsula. This project contemplates visiting eight colonies in the upper part of the Gulf of California and Sonora between May 6 and 12; Later, more than 30 sites will be visited in the Baja California peninsula between June 6 and 20. Biologists will visit the colonies, where sports cameras will be deployed in each nest to search for ringed birds, some adults will be captured to take feather, blood and morphometric measurements. Community volunteers and early career biologists will be trained in these techniques.
- Monitoring and protection of colonies and a study of selection of nesting sites in southern Sonora. This project will visit four sites with various sub-colonies on dikes and islands and, in addition to assisting with site connectivity studies, a local student will study nest site selection, particularly the effect of channel depth, distance, and elements deterrents to coyote predation at these sites.
- Community monitoring and protection of nesting sites of the Least Tern in the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos, B.C.S. Looking to hire a Volunteer Coordinator and a Data Manager to work with various community volunteer groups. Who will work in the nesting areas preparing the sites, install temporary fences and put up signs, in addition to monitoring the nesting colonies, helping with the connectivity study.
Donate through Pro Esteros or the Ocean Foundation to perpetuate a positive change and sponsor one of the chickens that are born in the Punta Banda Estuary in the 2023 season.
Our goal will be to raise $11,825 US dollars.
Help us protect the Least Tern
Join the monitoring and conservation actions of the Least Tern in Northwest Mexico.Donate through to PayPal
If you live in the United States and wish to make a donation and receive a tax-deductible receipt, you can do so through The Ocean Foundation (TOF)Donate through to TOF
Join us to the conservations actions of the Least Tern.
Meet the Least Tern through this photo gallery: