Our mission is to restore self-sustaining populations of Red Siskins across their historical distribution.

We envision the Red Siskin as a symbol of commitment to the preservation of natural heritage and a source of local and national pride in all range countries.

Historical distribution of the Red Siskin
Actual distribution of the Red Siskin
Historical (A) and actual (B) distribution of the Red Siskin

The project is making important progress in pursuit of this vision and continues to add new collaborators in all areas of research and intervention.

Some highlights include:

  • Construction of Venezuela’s first dedicated Red Siskin rescue and conservation breeding center, the RSCC, at Zoológico Leslie Pantin.
  • Protection and improvement of 450 hectares (and expanding) of coffee agroforestry habitat including 39 USDA certified organic and 13 Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified farms that have increased profits ten fold and increased coffee yield more than seven fold. 
  • Establishment of ACAFLO association of coffee farmers has increased economic power of producers, increased adoption of best management practices, and promotes scaling and long term sustainability.
  • Creation of the Red Siskin’s Specialists and Aviculturists Network (ReSSAN) has engaged scores of private breeders of Red Siskin from across the globe as conservation partners and advocates.
  • The South Rupununi Conservation Society has rallied local villages around protection of the Red Siskin to create a model for community based conservation that has resulted in Guyana’s first designated important Bird & Biodiversity Area.
  • Education programs include formal curriculum created for schools in Guyana and Venezuela, teacher training, participation in Smithsonian’s Bridging the America’s school program, frequent community events and festivals, Red Siskin exhibits at 5 zoos in the US and Venezuela with more added every year. 
  • Breeding research and education program involving 17 Zoos and conservation centers in the United States, Europe and Venezuela.
Red Siskin Conservation Center in Venezuela

RSI research on wildlife trafficking, ecology, sociology and conservation breeding helps increase our understanding of challenges and solutions. In the United States, captive populations have been established at conservation centers and zoos to support fundraising, education, and research in breeding, care, and reintroduction techniques. Genomic methods are being used to answer important genetic questions in the development and management of captive populations. Our collaborators in all countries are making efforts to investigate and reduce illegal harvest and trade, in coordination with communities, local authorities and international organizations.