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Bolivia releases its first ever bird guide covering 1,435 species

11 August, 2017 - 15:59 -- World Land Trust
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Birds of Bolivia

Over a decade in the making, Bolivian NGO Association Armonía has finally released Bolivia’s first bird guide: Birds of Bolivia. This comprehensive field guide features 1,435 species and is a must-have for any birding enthusiast interested in travelling to one of the world’s richest countries for bird diversity.

Sebastien Herzog, Scientific Director of Armonía and lead author of the field guide, says that a bird tour of Bolivia is an essential trip for any enthusiastic bird-lover. He says “A properly laid out, three-week birding tour in Bolivia can produce well over 700 species. Which other South-American country offers thirteen species of macaws, two of them endemic?”

He adds that the scientific research and expert authors behind the guide make it an exceptional book about birds in this South American country, saying “Our work is based on 100 years of ornithological studies in Bolivia. All authors involved spent decades in the field in country.”

Bolivian bird experts come together

Led by the successful conservation organisation Armonía, developed by nine authors, thirteen artists and finally published with the support of WWF Bolivia and the Swiss Development Agency (Cosude), the species accounts were almost entirely drafted and edited in Bolivia, without the backing of a commercial publishing company. Herzog says “The book is essentially a field guide made in Bolivia, for Bolivia.”

“The book is essentially a field guide made in Bolivia, for Bolivia.”
Sebastien Herzog

He added that Birds of Bolivia is also an essential tool for education and awareness-raising on bird conservation and ecotourism in a country where the birdwatching industry is still at an embryonic stage. Despite of its wealth in avifauna, in lack of a field guide the country`s avifauna is not well known, so birders have previously hesitated to embark on birding trips to Bolivia.

Time to book your once-in-a-lifetime birding holiday

There are still fairly intact habitats in the country with stunning bird diversity. Bolivia has a unique opportunity to be a global model for nature conservation with incentives for an environmentally friendly development. This leads to better conservation efforts and appreciation of the rich national biodiversity, while unleashing the economic benefits of increased ecotourism.

Armonía has years of experience coupling conservation and awareness raising with improved livelihoods and living standards for local communities. Following this vision, all revenues from the book sales will be reinvested into the country’s sustainable development.

“We will hold capacity building workshops to train naturalists and guides in rural areas that have ecotourism ventures with emphasis on community-based projects,” Herzog says about the sustainable business model of the Birds of Bolivia Field Guide, which also includes the production of regional field guides in Spanish to enhance local and regional knowledge of the avifauna.

The Birds of Bolivia Field Guide is only currently available in Bolivia after selling out from the World Land Trust shop. 

For more information, images and enquiries for interviews with Bennett Hennessey, Executive Director of  Asociación Armonía, at Birdfair, please contact Nina Seale at nina.seale@worldlandtrust.org or telephone 01986 874422.

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