Caligo Ventures Announces New Optics for Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Centre — in partnership with Birders’ Exchange
In March, ten guides and members of the education staff at the Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) in Trinidad’s scenic Arima Valley will have access to 10 brand-new pairs of binoculars. Guides and visitors alike will also benefit from three new spotting scopes and two new tripods thanks to the generosity of the American Birding Association’s Birders’ Exchange!
Birders’ Exchange (BEX) collects donated new and used equipment and distributes it to colleagues working to conserve birds and their habitats in 30 countries throughout Latin American and the Caribbean. Optics and books are allocated based on availability and requests.
With support from AWNC’s General Manager Ann Sealey and encouragement from Naturalist Journeys/Caligo Venture’s owner Peg Abbott, AWNC former Conservation Officer Kimberly Chu Foon and Caligo Venture’s Lynn Tennefoss co-wrote a BEX grant request for the equipment. Confirmed in February 2017, the donated optics reached the Centre in mid-March, just in time for guides to get a new, sharper look at birding at its peak!
Naturalist guides will use the binoculars during their nature walks and tours along trails and on the Centre’s verandah. The binoculars will help them find, identify, and show birds and other wildlife to the guests. The scope will also be an integral tool for use on the verandah. New, exciting wildlife finds last year include a first record of Tayra close to the Centre!
Education staff will use the binoculars during education outreach programs at primary schools, where they give interactive lessons to students to help them develop meaningful connections with the environment. Part of this program involves a school yard bird watching and identification activity, allowing students to come out of their classrooms and introduces them to birds and their importance.
We sincerely thank the American Birding Association and BEX Coordinator Liz Gordon for their strong support for the Centre in its 50th anniversary year, and their vote of confidence in the talented and dedicated guide staff who do their utmost for the centre, visitors, and birds of Trinidad.
If you would like to donate funds and/or equipment to this wonderful program that helps researchers and educators do their work in some of the most critical places for birds in the Western Hemisphere, please visit the BEX webpage.