On October 23, 2013 the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), the largest single organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, announced the renaming of the organization to “BirdsCaribbean.” The name change reflects the proactive, multi-faceted, and inclusive nature of the organization, which continues in its role of assisting wildlife professionals, educators, and community members throughout the Caribbean in their efforts to understand and conserve birds and their habitats.
The organization also launched a new logo featuring the Bananaquit, a conspicuous and well-known bird common on most islands. “The shorter new name and lively logo reflect our interest in making our organization more accessible and well-known in wider Caribbean society,” commented Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean. “We need to reach more people and engage them in the wonderful world of birds and our mission to conserve the Caribbean’s rich but threatened natural heritage.” said Sorenson.
In the new strategic plan, which was presented and discussed at the organization’s 19th Regional Meeting on Grenada (July 27-31, 2013), over the next five years the organization will shift from volunteer-led to one directed by full-time staff (an Executive Director, Programs Director and Administrative Assistant) under the supervision of an elected board of directors.
“Our new name and structure better positions us to serve as a leader in Caribbean conservation and support our partners,” said Dr. Howard Nelson, outgoing President of BirdsCaribbean He added that, “We are very proud of our 25 years of service to the Caribbean conservation community and we are excited about what having full-time staff will mean for BirdsCaribbean.” Nelson remarked that under BirdsCaribbean’s new strategic plan the organization aims to work with a broader suite of partners, expand educational and monitoring programs, and promote best practices for the conservation of biodiversity more widely using the region’s unique birds as flagships for conservation.
Key elements of the new strategic direction include further developing BirdsCaribbean to work with and through its partners in the Caribbean and the rest of the world to promote conservation of birds and their habitats by:
- Serving as the Caribbean’s primary forum for sharing best practices, tools, innovations, and lessons learned about the conservation of birds and their habitats.
- Expanding and developing flagship programs, for example, the highly successful Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival that draws over 100,000 participants from 23 independent Caribbean nations each year and the Caribbean Birding Trail, an economically beneficial program promoting nature-based tourism Caribbean-wide.
- Generating core operational funds needed to sustain full-time staff, field projects and Caribbean-wide education programs.
BirdsCaribbean’s new logo depicts the Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), a colorful, friendly and easily-recognized songbird that is a common resident on most Caribbean islands.