Marsh Seedeater (Sporophila palustris)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12254544
In 2009, Aves Uruguay developed a national conservation plan for the Marsh Seedeater, an attractive grassland dependent species that is considered Endangered at the global level. The species breeds mainly in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil and migrates north to winter in Brazil and perhaps north-east Paraguay after the breeding season. It can occur in relatively high densities but is extremely local and has declined substantially in Argentina and Uruguay, mainly due to trapping for the bird trade and widespread habitat loss. The current population size is estimated at no more than 600 to 1700 individuals.
It's believed that a large proportion of the breeding population of the species depends on the Bañados del Este in Uruguay. This area is one of the last remaining expanses of natural grasslands in southern South America. The grasslands are interspersed by wetlands, palm savannas and brackish lagoons along the Atlantic coastline. Most of the Bañados del Este region is privately owned, with the exception of two small state-owned protected areas.
The current project follows-up on recommendations presented in the species conservation plan and aims at improving the conservation status of the Marsh Seedeater in Uruguay. Specifically, information will be gathered on abundance, habitat preferences and availability, and environmental parameters associated with preferred habitat types in Bañados del Este. This information will be fed into the design of best management practices for grasslands used for cattle ranching.
This conservation and research actions are in the framework of the Grasslands Alliance and are also supported to the Grupo Biodiversidad, Ambiente y Sociedad (CURE - Universidad de la República).
Project 12254544 location - Uruguay, South America