On the Caribbean island of Bonaire the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot (IUCN: Vulnerable) inhabits an equally endangered dry-forest. After felling nearly every tree, early European settlers introduced goats and donkeys. What remains is an uninviting thorny forest heading towards desertification.
Working to safeguard the parrot’s future and restore the dry-forest, Echo, an NGO on Bonaire, is tackling the biological and social threats that underpin the current situation.
The Echo team have established a native plant nursery and over 1600 plants representing over 30 native species have been propagated. These include species that are important food and nest trees for the parrot including the Guaiacum officinale, G. sanctum which are Endangered (IUCN) and Zanthozylum flavum which is Vulnerable (IUCN).
Government led programs to control invasive herbivores are underway, however these programs will take many years to reduce the density of those species. In order to jump start reforestation efforts and boost further propagation in the short term a strategic network of herbivore exclusion areas are being developed. Planting can occur within these fenced area allowing the abundance and diversity of native plants to increase immediately.
Engaging the local community so they enjoy the benefits of habitat restoration is a critical component of Echo’s long-term reforestation strategy. Echo is working to achieve this through realizing the economic value of the forest – tourism and increasing opportunities for recreation. Additionally reforestation on Bonaire will reverse the trend towards desertification and bring positive changes for nature and for human wellbeing through improved micro-climates. Furthermore the restoration of the dry-forest, a local and globally important environment, ensures that is more resilient to future climate change.
To achieve these goals, we are in IMMEDIATE need of a Plant Conservation volunteer/intern:
Plant Conservationist – Immediate Start Date
Is a day filled with being outdoors, collecting seeds, potting plants and planting out trees your idea of fun? Do you love to garden and have a knack for learning different types of plants as well as the types of environment they’ll grow in? Do you want to gain practical experience in botanical work while also learning about conservation management and helping to make the world a better place? If so this could be a perfect position for you!
To apply, please visit: http://www.echobonaire.org/volunteer/current-opportunities/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out the online application