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IBA news: Black-capped Petrel follow-up

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Black-capped Petrel. cotinis, Flickr.
This article is copied from the most recent Birding Community E-bulletin



We've reported a number of times on the status of nesting Black-capped Petrels on Hispaniola, most recently in April on the situation in southeast Haiti:

Fortunately, the problem of hazardous cell phone towers cited in April is being addressed, specifically on Tet Kay Jak in Haiti. 

There are two large communication towers at this site, one which has guy wires and the other of which has a very bright un-hooded spotlight. Together, the situation creates a deadly mix for the Black-capped Petrels that are active in the area.

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Goetz, Societe Audubon Haiti, Fondation Seguin, and Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), the owners of the towers, Digicel and NatCom, have been contacted about the situation. Recommendations were made to the companies, based on recent literature regarding bird strikes at towers in North America.

Digicel was responsive, and the bright spot lights on their tower were turned off and remain off. Since the lights were turned off, there have been a few visits to the tower site at night and no additional birds were heard striking the guy wires or were found on the ground.

These bird conservationists have opened a productive channel of communication with the Digicel communication company. They have voiced additional concerns regarding other tower locations where Black-capped Petrels are likely present.

So what, actually, is the IBA connection? Well, it turns out that most of the known or potential breeding locations for Black-capped Petrels have been designated as Important Bird Areas. In the case of the known breeding locations near the Haitian-Dominican border (and potential locations in Cuba) the presence of the petrels is what has triggered IBA designation.

For more information on EPICs activities on Black-capped Petrel, see here:

For additional information about IBA programs worldwide, including those across the U.S., check the National Audubon Society's Important Bird Area program web site at: 




You can access all the past E-bulletins on the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) website:

If you have any friends or co-workers who want to get onto the monthly E-bulletin mailing list, have them contact either:
        Wayne R. Petersen, Director
         Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program
        Mass Audubon
        Paul J. Baicich
        Great Birding Projects  

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