Wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world, especially in the Caribbean. The Caribbean’s diverse wetlands support one of the most remarkable events in the natural world, the large-scale migration of birds between continents. Trinidad and Tobago retain some of the largest remaining wetlands in the Caribbean and are a key link in a major migration route, over 100 species use the islands during their semi-annual journeys.
Humans, wetlands, and birds are interdependent. Consequently, the wellbeing and condition of each is closely tied to that of the others; their interdependence makes them uniquely synergistic as well as vulnerable.
I am evaluating the vulnerability of wetlands and birds and the potential for mutual gains in human-wetland- bird networks on Trinidad and Tobago using an interdisciplinary social-ecological approach. I propose to determine how birds interact with wetlands as part of their annual cycle, and how people interact with and value wetlands and the wetland birds that live in them.
I presented some of my pilot data at the 2017 BirdsCaribbean Conference in Topes de Collantes, Cuba.