This past week I had the opportunity to go to La Paz in Baja California Sur to work with biologists. It was a really great experience! Tom Ryan, a biologist I’ve worked with for several years, presented me with this opportunity for a quick trip to search for Least Terns, and I immediately said yes! Once there I was able to work with Environment for the Americas (EFTA) mentor and guide, Eduardo Palacios! During the EFTA training this past March, Eduardo showed us a lot of different birding techniques while out in the field, and he also spoke to us (along with Jim Chu) about international programs that are currently in place between the United States and several Latin American countries. It was great to reconnect with him, and to meet some of the truly amazing and dedicated people he works with. Their occupations ranged from turtle conservation, oystercatcher research, Snowy Plover research, and even ocean physics! They were an incredibly well-rounded and super friendly group of people who I definitely hope to see again sometime soon.
The experience made me extremely curious about international policy when it comes to conserving endangered species. Given the large range of seabirds like the Least Tern, it’s an imperative to have communication between the people who monitor these colonies. Even if they are informal colonies, exchange of information is important. However, I’m pretty positive that isn’t as easy as it sounds, and this trip is definitely just a start in my learning about this process.