Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152511913
Population Assessment of the Critically Endangered Bahama Oriole: Status and Habitat Usage During the Breeding and Non-Breeding Season
The proposed research on the population status and habitat needs of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi) is a joint effort by Dr. Kevin Omland (University of Maryland) and the Bahamas National Trust. For the last 20 years, Dr. Omland has been studying the behavior, genetics and systematics of New World orioles (Icterus), a songbird genus of 30+ species. The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is the nation's leading conservation NGO, charged by parliament with conservation of the parks and wildlife of the Bahamas. BNT has established new national parks and conservation programs and they are committed to helping protect the Bahama Oriole from extinction. ----- The Bahamas National Trust was established in 1959 by the government of the Bahamas to protect both land and sea resources, including all animal life. The BNT has extensive education and outreach programs throughout the Bahamas, including an important avian ecotourism effort on Andros (where the Bahama Oriole is endemic). BNT and partners have conducted two training courses for prospective bird guides; these courses have trained over thirty Andros residents, thus preparing them for positions with local ecotourism resorts, and raising local awareness of the ecology and conservation of birdlife. BNT bird course participants have quickly learned about the habitats, behaviors and vocalizations of the Bahama Oriole. ----- Kevin Omland in conjunction with local BNT staff conducted a one-week preliminary field trip to Andros in September 2015 to survey the island, meet with BNT officials and begin to study the oriole. We found several family groups of orioles in forested interior parts of the island. The proposed fieldwork will enable us to determine whether or not the species is on the brink of extinction, and we will provide quantitative data demonstrating which key habitats most need to be preserved.
Project 152511913 location - Bahamas, North America