In one of the smallest South American countries, Uruguay, in-between its two largest ones, Brazil and Argentina, lives Joaquín Aldabe, a biologist and ecologist. He works with Manomet as a Ranching and Conservation Specialist on the East Coast of Uruguay, near the coastal lagoon, Laguna de Castillos. It’s a place where migratory birds such as the American Golden Plover visit cattle pastures. Joaquín, the ranchers and other agricultural workers are finding ways to use these pastures sustainably.
Listen to this episode in Spanish here.
Uruguayan Fields of Gold for Birds and Ranchers
Written by Camilo Garzón
This is BirdNote.
Joaquín Aldabe, a biologist and ecologist, lives in Uruguay. He works with Manomet as a Ranching and Conservation Specialist on the East Coast of Uruguay, near the coastal lagoon, Laguna de Castillos. It’s a place where migratory birds such as the American Golden-Plover visit cattle pastures.
[American Golden-Plover calls]
Joaquín Aldabe: Alinea muy bien la producción con la conservación…
The pastures provide short grasses with few trees and are occasionally flooded – a perfect place for the plovers to find food. Joaquín is saying that the ranchers and other agricultural workers are finding ways to use these pastures sustainably. Especially around the coastal areas near the lagoon, the habitats with the highest concentrations of birds.
Joaquín Aldabe: Pasto corto de menos de cinco centímetros…
These birds need shorter grass for the winter, so the ranchers are encouraged to have their cattle graze the grass down to 1-2 inches from October to February, the wintering season, and then let it grow longer for the rest of the year. The shorter grass makes it easier for birds to find their prey and see predators such as falcons more quickly. And the ranchers are willing to do their part.
Joaquín Aldabe: En todos estos años de trabajo con los productores, me he llevado la gran sorpresa…
Ranchers want to live off their pastures sustainably while helping shorebirds like the golden-plover. Joaquín says that combining science with local knowledge about working in the pastures will help preserve birds and production from the land.
This show is part of a series on Manomet's shorebird conservation research, and it's also available en español — visit our website, BirdNote dot org, to learn more. I'm Camilo Garzón.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Script Editor: Camila Kerwin from the Rough Cut Collective
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. American Golden-Plover ML 31731481 recorded by Andrew Spencer, and American Golden-Plover Xeno Canto 628070 recorded by P. Rinaldi.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote October 2022
Narrator: Camilo Garzón
ID# manomet-05-2022-10-05 manomet-05