Dominica, the Nature Island of the Eastern Caribbean
Since 1997, RSCF has provided more conservation support for Dominica’s parrots than any NGO. RSCF has provided Dominica’s Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division with landcover and wildlife-monitoring technology, field/lab equipment and forestry gear, computers, hands-on field and clinical training, maintenance equipment including mowers, chain/pole saws, several 4WD vehicles, and a self-contained, mobile research laboratory. In addition, RSCF overhauled the Parrot Conservation and Research Centre, provided ongoing operational support and feed, and constructed parrot exhibit enclosures at the Botanical Gardens (including a replacement, free-standing flight aviary after Hurricane Maria). Through its collaboration with government launched in 1997, entitled “The Wildlife Conservation Partnership,” RSCF spearheaded the creation of the Morne Diablotin National Park (MDNP), with RSCF raising US$750,000 for land acquisition for the park, provided additional funds to annex seven adjacent properties into the park, helped complete the MDNP Visitor’s Centre, and RSCF petitioned UNDP in New York for MDNP to be included within Dominica’s cluster of natural World Heritage Sites (inspiring expansion of the UNDP SGP Programme). Over the span of 20+ years, RSCF has hosted many Dominican delegations in Florida, sponsored Forestry Division personnel’s participation in international workshops and conferences, helped underwrite the Caribbean Endemic Birds Festival since its inception in 2002, provided funding for environmental awareness and outreach programs (e.g., Government Information Service, public radio and television), and has vetted, written and submitted many proposals on Forestry’s behalf (including those yielding notable awards from the Loro Parque Fundacion in Tenerife, Spain). RSCF also provided the juicing and fruit-processing equipment for the micro-processing facility in Dublanc that serves a consortium of farmers in the Syndicate Estate area adjacent to MDNP. RSCF has provided photographs, video and written material for government publications and websites, always gratis (including images on www.dominica.gov).
RSCF’s support for wildlife conservation on Dominica is unrivaled and unconditional, totaling more than US$1.4 million over the past 20 years. The wildlife conservation-and-research partnership between Dominica’s Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division and RSCF is ongoing—recognized worldwide as one of the most progressive and successful parrot conservation endeavors ever.
RSCF supporters, officers and staff are tireless advocates for Dominica’s wildlife protection and conservation efforts.
Over the past half-century, Dominica's endemic Amazon parrots, the Sisserou and Jaco (Amazona imperialis and A. arausiaca, respectively), have proven to be effective conservation flagships for Dominica's diverse oceanic rainforest ecosystem. Continuous parrot-conservation and public-education efforts focusing on the Sisserou, Dominica's national bird and emblem, have achieved a broad base of public support and awareness, along with significant protection of Sisserou habitat, including the oldest forest stands on the island. Both parrot species' secretive natures and Dominica's difficult terrain often have impeded quantitative research into the parrots' ecologies, even as a comprehensive parrot-conservation program has evolved and yielded tangible results. Current field-research activities aim to quantify the parrots' distribution and abundance using GPS/GIS survey methods, which contrast with conventional ornithological abundance estimates. Research teams also use new camera technology to monitor and document reproduction and parental care, and are quantifying the botanical inventories of critical parrot nesting and foraging habitats. The Dominica parrot-conservation program has stimulated novel research and enhanced protected-area policies island-wide, ensuring a future for the Nature Island's vast montane forests and its winged ambassadors.
RSCF's investment in Dominica is ongoing. We will continue to supply on the ground support and funding for a wide variety of environmental and socio-economic recovery efforts including in situ and ex situ technical training, protected land acquisition, equipment, facility expansion and more.
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