|Sunset in the Sierra de Bahoruco by Julie Hart|
IBA NEWS: PRESSURES IN THE DR
In December we ran a quick review of a new bird finding guide for the Dominican Republic, RUTA BARRANCOLI, by Steven C. Latta and Kate J. Wallace (2012, National Aviary).
Now there is news from the Dominican Republic that the Sierra de Bahoruco, an Important Bird Area (IBA) in that country is currently under increasing threat.
The area has long been suffering due to burning for charcoal production and illegal agricultural practices, and in mid-July a dry forest area on its northern foothills an area formally protected as Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve, is starting to be cleared to make way for an agricultural settlement. This is occurring despite the fact that the area is supposed to be protected as a Biological Reserve.
The Dominican Agrarian Institute has approved this activity, and about 260 acres are slated for immediate destruction. Multiple species are at risk. The Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve, which falls under the larger Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve which has been ratified by UNESCO, is habitat for the endangered Bay-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus rufigularis), an endemic species with a very limited distribution in Hispaniola.
You can get more details on this threat and actions being taken here.