By Touring - Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic has 306 bird species, half of them are migratory and 31 are endemic species. In the Dominican Republic in particular, bird watching has significant potential as a tourist complementary offer since the island has a large variety of endemic and migratory species, and also because tourism is the country's most important industry. Hispaniola has 306 bird species, half of them are migratory and 31 are endemic species. The great weakness, which has limited the exploitation of bird watching tourism, is the lack of local guides to teach tourists how to find the birds, and the lack of promotion and marketing of this tourism niche internationally.
Recently, the Grupo Puntacana Foundation and the Ornithological Society of Hispaniola (SOH) teamed up to create the Academy of Bird Watching tourism Punta Cana: with support from the Natural Conservancy and USDA Forest Service. The project aims to create a complementary offer to the current tourism market, offering opportunities to observe birds in the country and train Dominican guides. The academy will be established in this area, although it is not the proper site of greatest diversity of birds, but this is the main concentration of tourism and the presence of one of the world's most endangered birds, the Hispaniola hawk.
The Academy of bird watching tourism Punta Cana has four main purposes:
1. Educate the local population of the Punta Cana region on the importance of birds as a natural resource.
2. Train local guides in bird watching, and at the same time create new jobs related to nature tourism.
3. Create bird watching-tourism trips for visitors to the country.
4. Use the academy to promote national and international conservation of endangered species, specifically the Sparrow hawk of Hispaniola.
The Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi) is endemic to Hispaniola. Its population is between 200 and 300 in the whole island, they concentrate exclusively on karst system that is present on the Haitises National Park, mainly in the National Park ground. From May on, SOH, GPCF, the Peregrine Fund and the Ministry of Environment, made the first reintroduction of the Hawk in Punta Cana. The project introduced three young Hawks to the Grupo Puntacana Foundation to ensure another population outside the current distribution area and increase the chances of survival of the species, based on populations that formerly existed in the area. Similarly, it will serve to protect them from a catastrophic event that could exterminate the species altogether. Today, the Hawks are healthy and happily established in the Ecological Reserve. Next year the transfer of six to nine more birds is contemplated.
The Dominican Republic has unique natural resources in the world, whose conservation depends, in many cases, on the interest and concern of its inhabitants. Bird watching tourism is a recreational activity that helps support the conservation of endangered species; it facilitates contact with humans and nature, and can be a potential economic resource for the country.
If you are interested in supporting the Bird watching tourism Academy and for the Ridgway Hawk conservation project, you can contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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