Each year our member and partner organizations throughout the Caribbean find new and exciting ways to engage the public as we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. This year, BirdsCaribbean member organization Les Fruits de Mer created a unique photo essay highlighting the recent drought that has beset most of the region and its impact on migratory bird habitats. The 2015 theme of International Migratory Bird Day is Restore Habitat, Restore Birds.
Released as part of the Migratory Bird Festival that the group has hosted on St. Martin for the past three years, the photo essay, Shadow of a Drought, is available online and can be downloaded as a free ebook from their website. Selections from the photo essay were also exhibited at the event. Although all the pictures were taken on St. Martin, the images resonate with islanders throughout the region who have seen so many of the same scenes.
According to the photographer, Mark Yokoyama, the photo essay was a multi-purpose endeavor: “We wanted to create something that was timely and topical, but also something worth revisiting even after the current drought is over. It was an opportunity to explore seasonal and cyclical weather patterns, the impact of human activity on different scales, and the resilience of natural systems. This year’s habitat restoration theme, and the fact that wetlands are both an important migratory bird habitat and profoundly impacted by drought, made this a great tool for both promoting and enhancing our Migratory Bird Festival.”