In April, we also celebrated the Day of the Coffee Grower at Piedra de Cachimbo in northern Venezuela, where we are working towards the Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee® certification with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Fund. This project, called USCAFE, protects and expands agroforestry and natural habitat for Red Siskins, migratory species and other birds, increases profits for farmers, and strengthens traditional shade cultivation of coffee.
The day was a great success, with over 100 community members gathering to celebrate traditional livelihoods and cultural heritage. We look forward to repeating El Dia del Caficultor in 2019!
In April, Parque Zoológico y Botánico Bararida (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) organized a special weekend to celebrate Earth Day. The event highlighted species threatened with extinction, including the Red Siskin. Most attendees were students, who were eager to learn about Bararida’s conservation work in Venezuela.
We particularly value the contributions of Leonel Ovalle, Dulce Quero, Reinaldo Jiménez and many community service students, and thank them for their support to the day’s activities and for their commitment to help save Venezuelan biodiversity.
On April 15, Kate Rodriguez-Clark started a new job as a Population Ecologist at Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute, funded by the Skorton Scholar program. As she continues to support RSI in this new position, she will also be conducting research on the genetic and demographic management of group-living species, and will be supporting NZP staff in practical population management.