New Red Siskin bracelets went on sale at FONZ gift shops at Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park (NZP) thanks to the support of the Conservation Nation and Chávez Charity. Of all the species bracelets offered, Red Siskin bracelets were the top sellers! Funds from the sales of these bracelets support RSI conservation work in Venezuela. Many thanks to Mea MacKenzie for this creative idea.
● Erica Royer completed the AZA course “Population Management I” and Kate Rodríguez-Clark, NZP population ecologist, completed “Population Management II” in November in St. Louis, MO. These courses train participants in the latest software and procedures for studbook keeping and population management, respectively.
● Karen Holm, DVM and George Mason University PhD student, started a research project with Kathryn Rodriguez-Clark, NZP, to analyze genomic data and infer pedigree relationships for population management of red siskins. HC Lim, of George Mason University, is co-supervising and Brian Coyle, of Conservation Commons, is collaborating closely.
● Rafael Camacho, Master Sergeant, started an internship with Kate Rodriguez-Clark, NZP, supported by the Wounded Warrior Program of the Veteran’s Affairs Administration. He is an expert in logistics, is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish, and is learning about wildlife conservation as he contributes his bilingual skills to the team. Welcome Rafael!
● An article titled “Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee and Red Siskin Initiative: Sustainable Agroforestry in Venezuela” written by Brian Coyle, was published in November in the Smithsonian Sustainability Matters Newsletter.
● The Red Siskin Initiative is featured on the Smithsonian Global website, as part of their success stories. The article entitled “From Red Siskin Science, New Paths and Opportunities in Guyana” relates the beginning of the Initiative when a wild Red Siskin population was discovered in Guyana in 2000. Read the full article here.
● Miguel Arvelo, Red Siskin Initiative Coordinator, attended the 2nd International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.
● Raúl De Armas started an internship at Provita in November 2018 supporting project management of the “Siembra sombra, cosecha agua” and “Birds and Coffee” projects. Raúl is currently finishing his studies in Management of Business Administration at the Universidad Metropolitana (Caracas-VE). Welcome Raúl!