Colombia: Jewels of the Andes and More
Hoffman Room, The San Diego Foundation – Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Justyn Stahl, San Clemente Island, Los Angeles County.
With over 1,900 bird species recorded, Colombia is the most biodiverse country in the world. A seemingly endless variety of habitats hosted by three branches of the Andes, inter-Andean valleys, the Amazon, the Caribbean, the Pacific Chocó, and the Santa Marta mountains (home to 36 endemics alone) combine to create dramatic landscapes that host an incredibly diverse array of bird families including antbirds, tanagers, and nearly 150 species of hummingbirds. Following a recent ceasefire in a guerrilla war that began in the 1960s, Colombia has become an increasingly popular bird watching destination. Areas that were long off-limits are now reopening to tourists and researchers, which means new species are being discovered, lost species are being refound, and species unknown to occur in the outskirts of Colombia are being added to the ever-growing country list each year. Justyn Stahl has made four trips to Colombia since 2012. In addition to sharing photos of memorable birds and scenery, Justyn will also provide some background information on Colombian politics and conservation.
For nearly 10 years, Justyn has been involved with the recovery effort of the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike, an endangered island endemic, as a Project Manager at the Institute for Wildlife Studies. Working year round on San Clemente Island also affords time to catch migration in Los Angeles County, which has yielded some spectacular finds over the years including California’s first Bluethroat and L.A.’s first Smith’s Longspur. His time off (aside from an annual international trip) is typically spent in San Diego, where he serves as Vice President/Program Chair for SDFO and a frequent leader on the San Diego pelagic trips. He embarrassingly still needs Gambel’s Quail for San Diego.