Because in nature Red Siskins are highly social and live much of their lives in flocks, learning to manage them effectively in flocks in human care is a major goal of RSI. In 2020, the international Group Management Initiative (GMI) was formed, with the vision of effectively conserving all species requiring group-based population management, using the best available scientific information and tools. Meetings to advance this vision were held throughout 2020, culminating in October 2020 in an open plenary in the annual meeting of the IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG). The Red Siskin Initiative had the pleasure of participating in this process, and the Venezuelan Red Siskin was showcased in the Focal Species working group
Led by RSI co-founder Kate Rodriguez-Clark from the Smithsonian Institution, along with Kathy Traylor-Holzer from CPSG, the October meetings presented and built on the results of a multi-month collaborative process, with the participation of more than 50 international experts in the population management of diverse taxa. The goal was to understand and organize the existing tools and processes for group management, with the intention of eventually developing and implementing new and improved ones. The October meeting was attended by more than 120 participants from 27 countries and different institutions.
GMI aims to develop effective group-based population management strategies, both in situ and ex situ, using focal species of which the Red Siskin was one. These focal species were used as test cases to explore needs and constraints, in order to produce a system for selecting and applying management strategies appropriately.
For RSI it is a pleasure to be part of working groups like these and for the Red Siskin be the object of study for future models of population strategies. Thanks Kate, Kathy and the CPSG for the invitation!