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Youngster Team Up With Campaigners To Help Shorebirds

THE Bahamas National Trust and the National Audubon Society have teamed up to make things better for shorebirds in the Bahamas. Fifteen Andros students from Fresh Creek Primary and Central Andros High participated in a Shorebird Immersion Camp at FORFAR Field Station facilitated by Director of Education Portia Sweeting, Science Officer Predensa Moore and BNT Warden Wavell Hanna. The students learned about the coastal ecosystem which provides the foraging and nesting habitat for many shorebirds, acquired shorebird identification skills and learned about shorebird monitoring protocols. Classroom sessions on shorebird identification and invasive species were combined with field experience as the students visited the rocky shore and collected specimens to be examined at the station's 'wet lab' and conducted point counts and sites along the shore. Students discussed how the Bahamas should deal with issues that threaten shorebirds such as coastal pollution and invasive plant species, including the casuarina. They took part in a role-playing exercise where they impersonated government ministers and representatives of conservation agencies. "The BNT will continue working with the students to increase their skills so that they can support monitoring efforts for species such as the endangered Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). Recent surveys indicate that the Bahamas may be one of the most important wintering areas for this critically endangered species," said the Trust in a statement. The National Audubon Society is an environmental organisation dedicated to conservation, named in honour of John James Audubon, a 19th century French-American ornithologist and naturalist.

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