Specialist from the Coastal Eco-Systems Research Center based in Cayo Coco are studying three bird species currently in danger of extinction in the keys north of Ciego de Avila province. According to Prensa Latina News Agency, the researchers have concluded that the Bahama Swallow, the Zapata Sparrow, and the Bahama Mockingbird will disappear unless their natural habitat is preserved. Alain Parada, a biologist leading the study, said that the Bahama Swallow is only found in Paredón Grande Key, an islet located in the Sabana-Camaguey archipelago, north of Ciego de Avila province. Endemic to the Caribbean, the bird is found in habitats characterized by forest brushwood formations very close to the coast. He explained that the Zapata Sparrow, described as a sub species endemic to Cuba, is found in only three locations: the Zapata Swamp, in Matanzas province, Baitiquiri in eastern Guantánamo and Cayo Coco in Ciego de Avila.
Meanwhile, the Bahama Mockingbird, exclusive to Cuba and the Bahamas, live in several islets in the northern Cuban archipelago, mainly in Cruz and Guillermo keys, said Parada. The Cuban specialist added that projects aimed at analyzing their behavior, food regime and reproduction are underway with the objective of preserving the species, taking into consideration that their population are very small in the country. “We are talking about unique varieties in Cuba, with few numbers, so their characteristics, manifestations, habitats and current state must be studied rigorously”, he stressed. Parada added that the research has barely begun and will take some considerable time to complete, as these animals have extreme mobility and are fragile, which makes final evaluation more difficult.
For the original report go to http://www.cubanews.ain.cu/2010/0519proteccion.htm
Photo: the Zapata Sparrow