The foundation of the association PROEVAL RAXMU on July 17th, 2002, marked the official beginning of the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program, which by then had been on its way for a while. A team of local bird census takers living near the Laguna Lachuá National Park had been trained in 2001, and avifaunal base studies had been conducted at several sites in Alta Verapaz in order to select sampling sites for long-term monitoring of bird abundance. Bird distribution, continuous monitoring of bird abundance, and natural history studies developed as the main focus of the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program. Local people at various sites throughout Guatemala have learned their bird identification and census skills with this program.
Since 2003, K. Eisermann compiles noteworthy bird records from Guatemala, published quarterly in the Central America section of North American Birds, journal of the American Birding Association. A compilation of recent bird studies throughout Guatemala led in 2006 to an updated overview on the Guatemalan avifauna and a thorough bibliography on ornithological studies in Guatemala, which were published as a chapter in a book on biodiversity in Guatemala. In 2007, PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program published the first annotated checklist of birds of Guatemala, published by Lynx Edicions in Spain. These contributions were essential for identifying Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Guatemala. Since 2008, the program supports Cornell Lab of Ornithology's citizen science initiative eBird Guatemala, by reviewing data.
The program monitors continuously the bird abundance at three humid broadleaf forest sites along an altitudinal transect on the Atlantic slope in Alta Verapaz, working with local bird census takers. The preparation of a manuscript with an analysis of the first decade is on the way.
The Bird Monitoring Program has published natural history studies on a number of species, including Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl, Azure-rumped Tanager, Horned Guan, Highland Guan, Orange-breasted Falcon, Azure-hooded Jay, and others. These contributions have been valuable in the evaluation of taxonomic species status and the conservation status. The program contributes regularly to species evaluations to update the BirdLife/IUCN Red List of globally threatened bird species.
The achievements of the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program have been made possible through support from and collaboration with a number of national and international state agencies, national and international universities and non-governmental organizations, national and private nature reserves in Guatemala, as well as Guatemalan and foreign birders and ornithologists. We thank you all!
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