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Paraguay’s 1st Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site

…right on the capital’s doorstep!

Monitoring of shorebirds by Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife Partner in Paraguay) has resulted in the designation of the country’s first Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site. Bahía de Asunción – an IBA wetland just north of Paraguay’s capital city Asunción - has been identified as a key site for the Near Threatened Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis. The inclusion of Bahía de Asunción within the WHSRN will strengthen the network of sites, which aims to conserve shorebirds and their habitats across the Americas.Bahía de Asunción is a relatively small wetland covering 522 ha located on the northern outskirts of Paraguay’s capital city Asunción. Bird monitoring, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (US), has recorded 260 bird species including 539 Buff-breasted Sandpipers – representing an impressive 3.6 % of the global population. Furthermore, the Vulnerable Chestnut Seedeater Sporophila cinnamomea, and the Near Threatened Bay-capped Wren-spinetail Spartonoica maluroides, Bearded Tachuri Polystictus pectoralis and Rufous-rumped Seedeater Sporophila hypochroma have all been observed using the wetland.Alberto Yanosky, Executive Director of Guyra Paraguay commented: “For Paraguay to have its first Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site is a landmark achievement for us. It will not only provide migratory birds with a secure stopover within their flyway, but also the opportunity for people to enjoy wildlife located just outside downtown Asunción”.

Focus now turns to the production of a management plan by the Minister of Environment in coordination with Asunción’s Municipality and Guyra Paraguay. The launch of this document will mark the next stage in securing Bahía de Asunción’s long-term conservation.

“The designation of Bahía de Asunción as a WHSRN-site of regional importance is a great reward for Guyra Paraguay and all those who have been involved in the monitoring of shorebirds at Bahía de Asunción,” Alberto Yanosky added. “Also it is a significant step forward towards the conservation of shorebirds in Paraguay and will further stimulate the on-going monitoring of further potential important sites for shorebirds in Paraguay, which are undoubtedly out there”.

4th July 2014