PROALAS: Latin American Program for Landbirds

About this manual and how to use it

conabio’s community monitoring network is a citizen science project aimed at local communities. It was created in 2009 to monitor land birds and use them as indicators of the impact of management and conservation measures in agricultural systems, protected natural areas and biological corridors while learningabout their distribution and population status.

The project’s training activities followed the Manual for Community Landbird Monitors (nabci/conabio). This manual has been successfully used in different regions and communities, in alliance with projects such as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor of Mexico (conabio) and the Integrated Ecosystem Management project (mie-conanp).

Based on these experiences, and to strengthen the capacities and enhance the scientific value of the data (observations) of the community landbird monitors, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the nabci-conabio Coordination developed the PROALAS protocols and this Illustrated Manual as a tool to unify landbird monitoring and conservation efforts in Latin America, through international cooper- ation, community participation, and intersectoral coordination. We hope that, with the implementation of the techniques described here, the fieldwork of community monitors will provide research-quality information on the status of landbird pop- ulations and, together with traditional knowledge, will help to establish measures for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, which will also favor the quality of life and community development.

This manual is intended for beginner and advanced birders, local guides, researchers, and anyone who wants to improve their skills in landbird monitoring.

The Learning to Monitor Landbirds section mainly aims at beginning birders in local communities but is relevant to any beginner birder and focuses on developing species detection and identification skills and learning about community landbird monitoring. The section on Landbird Monitoring focuses on making field obser- vations using a simple and specific methodology, so more experienced monitors and birders will be able to study this section directly.

In the last part, the manual has a Glossary where the technical concepts used are explained and includes six Appendices containing information on mobile moni- toring applications and the essential elements of occupancy models to simplify and facilitate fieldwork.

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