BirdSleuth Caribbean in Carriacou

On December 14, KIDO Foundation incorporated BirdSleuth Caribbean program in Kids with Cameras environmental education activities, initially involving secondary school trainees, who were part of KIDO after school programs since 2012. Since December 2014 they ran 7 sessions of presentations, games and field trips, following BirdSleuth Caribbean curriculum, involving more than 70 kids from two secondary and four primary schools in Carriacou.

The presentations/lessons and games were held at KIDO Learning Centre. The field trips were hikes in nature including Sabazan pond and wild coastal areas (Carriacou East Coast), Petit Carenage Bird Sanctuary and Mangrove Restoration Area (Carriacou North-East coast) and Lauriston MPA coast and shoreline/Lauriston mangrove wetland.

The children accompanying adults were trained to identify spotted birds and note their names in their booklets. Over 20 species of birds were identified during the field trips.

The BirdSleuth Caribbean program was enthusiastically received by Kids with Cameras children regardless of their age, ranging from 6 to 16. The use of Binoculars and Telescope really enhanced their interest in Carriacou resident and migratory birds. The close-up observations generated awe and surprise discovering that Carriacou has such hidden natural treasures.

Two senior primary school teachers and two interested adults participated in the birding activities and were keen to be trained in BirdSleuth Caribbean trainer curriculum.

The Carriacou Education Officer, who was asked to allow 20 teachers to participate to the program and be trained during school time, replied that this may be possible only in June, after the present busy primary and secondary school exams are through. In fact June is the time when schools in Carriacou organize field trips and other extra-curriculum activities before the summer holidays.

On the 23rd-24th April, KIDO Foundation, with Antonia Peters as facilitator, collaborated with Grenada Fund for Conservation Inc. (GFC) and Education Conservation Outreach (ECO) to host a BirdSleuth Workshop in Grenada and as soon as we receive the ‘green light’ from the Carriacou Education Officer, Sabrina Compton of GFC and Carisha Thomas of ECO agreed to travel to Carriacou to team-up with Antonia Peters of KIDO to train the 20 + teachers in the BirdSleuth Caribbean program.

KIDO Foundation has also developed and submitted a project proposal requesting funding to UNDP/GEF/SGP (still pending) to build a bird watching platform to expand Bird Watching activities in Carriacou, focusing on the conservation of avian habitat in Petit Carenage Bird Sanctuary and Mangrove Restoration area.