JAMA-COAQUE BIRD OBSERVATORY – Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque (OAJC)
VISION: A nation with unparalleled love and understanding of its avian diversity.
MISSION: To advance Ecuadorian ornithology, foster the development of Ecuadorian and international biologists, and promote conservation and appreciation of the country’s birds through hands-on science.
Constant effort mist-netting and banding are some of the most important avian monitoring techniques in the ornithologist’s toolbox. The two are widely used to inform avian conservation and management decisions, evaluate bird population statuses, identify and predict impacts from habitat and climate change, document migration patterns, advance knowledge on avian genetics and physiology, study behavioral biology and so much more. Unfortunately, despite their value, few long-term bird monitoring programs have been established in Ecuador – one of the world’s five most bird-diverse countries. As birds are an important and charismatic component of Ecuadorian biodiversity, ecosystem service providers, sources of recreational/tourism revenue for local communities, and a cause for national pride, this is rather surprising.
The Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory is Ecuador’s first and only bird observatory conducting long-term, year-round monitoring, research, conservation, education, and outreach. Established in the Jama-Coaque Reserve in coastal Manabí province, OAJC is situated in the intersection of the Tumbesian and Chocó biodiversity hotspots. Sadly, deforestation is rampant in this region and has resulted in an alarmingly high number of birds receiving both nationally and internationally threatened statuses. OAJC was established to study and conserve these birds, as well as neotropical migrants from higher latitudes and many more resident species in the area’s dry, humid, and cloud forests.
The Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory maintains publicly available and constantly updated bird lists on eBird. To date, over 300 species have been recorded in the Important Bird Area where the observatory operates, including 22 IUCN Red List species. To learn more, please visit the following hotspot on eBird, where you can also obtain printable checklists!
The Observatory aims to promote conservation of birds at the local, regional, national, and international levels. We do this by providing hands-on research and educational opportunities of the highest caliber; by informing land management programs with sound science; by partnering with other organizations including governments, NGOs and universities; and by reaching out to the public. The Observatory has six main objectives guiding our long-term and day-to-day operations:
Advance understanding and conservation of Ecuadorian birds through research, publication, public engagement, and partnerships.
Supply affordable and accessible capacity-building experiences for both Ecuadorian researchers, students, and bird enthusiasts.
Provide experiential banding, monitoring, and avian research opportunities for international biologists and students.
Create and contribute to a national bird banding network throughout Ecuador.
Work with local communities to spread appreciation of birds and conservation awareness.
Stimulate local economies and provide employment opportunities for Ecuadorians in ornithology and conservation.