The National Trust for the Cayman Islands has released a bird identification card which will be given to every school child in the Cayman Islands.
The cards were produced as part of a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act with support from the Cayman Island Department of Environment.
One side of the card depicts 28 of the 46 breeding land birds with 24 migratory birds portrayed on the reverse, said a National Trust press release.
More than 200 species of birds have been recorded in the Cayman Islands. The card is made of durable plastic for long life and water resistance and will be distributed to schools with a presentation on local birds called ‘Do you know me?’ which includes the common local names for many resident birds.
‘The cards are a colourful depiction of the numerous beautiful birds which inhabit these islands,’ said Trust GM Frank Roulstone. ‘It has been the mission of the Trust to better educate the public on the unique plants and animals here and this card is a small but significant step in the right direction. Well-known local ornithologist and Trust Council member Patricia Bradley designed the card and we are truly appreciative of her efforts.’
‘All Cayman’s wild birds are protected by Law, but Hurricane Ivan dealt a devastating blow to our wild bird populations,’ said Dr. Mat Cottam, Special Projects Officer with the Department of the Environment. ‘Some, such as the Grassquit, were almost completely wiped out. Even now they remain at critically low numbers. The Department of Environment is pleased to assist the National Trust’s ‘Do You know Me?’ project. We hope that these beautifully illustrated ID cards will help build a knowledge and appreciation of our wild birds, and encourage youngsters to get out and about, looking for interesting local birds, and the exciting migratory species which travel thousands of miles to over-winter here each year.’
The bird ID cards will also be available for purchase by the general public from the Trust and will be used during bird-watching trips organized by the Trust.