Community-based conservation in Isla Mocha
As a central part of our long-term conservation program for the threatened Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus), we have led community-based conservation efforts in Isla Mocha for the past 3 years. Knowing that community participation and commitment to conservation measures greatly enhance long-term chances of success and the likelihood that such initiatives will become self-sustaining, we offer consistent outreach opportunities for the community. Our community-based efforts focus on two principal areas:
- Capacity building and training of local residents
- Community awareness development through artistic, creative and educational activities.
As an effort to improve capacity building within the local community, we train and hire local residents as field technicians on a variety of conservation and monitoring projects. They assist park rangers during the breeding season monitoring program and are in charge of trail camera deployment, and assist us with logistics for outreach activities.
We also work very closely with CONAF (the state park agency). They are fully supportive of both our monitoring work and objectives and our community-based efforts. The park guards are fully trained and have included breeding and predation monitoring into their permanent responsibilities. In addition to the monitoring program, the park guards were also involved in the deployment of trail cameras throughout the Reserve, and in the nocturnal patrols, both done during the chick-harvesting period. They also developed weekly educational outreach workshops at the local school.
Using the Pink-footed Shearwater as a central theme, we have led a number of artistic initiatives, including a creative writing workshop and contest
and a drawing competition, created active-learning modules for the local environmental
education programs, invited a team of mural artists to work with schoolchildren and paint a mural for the school, and co-sponsored the “Shearwater Cup”, a soccer tournament for island residents.