Ensuring safer habitats: Red siskins are losing tropical dry forest and other habitats to agriculture and urban development, but some human uses are compatible with thriving wild Red Siskin populations. Coffee farms with the “Bird Friendly” habitats Smithsonian certification become “gourmet” foods in Venezuela that are exempt from price controls allowing farmers to earn profit at market prices that are almost 20X higher. Areas with ecotourism activities can generate incomes that benefit the local economy while supporting conservation. Furthermore, such areas if embedded in tropical try forest contexts could have greater anti-poaching surveillance and thus be potential locations for Red Siskin reintroduction into the wild. These economic activities depend primarily on the health and maintenance of local biodiversity; and at the same time, they could be a way to educate communities where Red Siskins live or will be reintroduced and to directly involve local residents in sustainable activities. In Guyana, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) can serve as vital protected areas and bases for ecotourism activities, serving as safe habitats for the Red Siskin and many other species.
a) Expansion of Smithsonian certification of “Bird Friendly” coffee in the Cordillera de la Costa to preserve and restore threatened habitat for the Red Siskin.
i) Pilot and evaluate project in the rural community “Piedra de Cachimbo”, Greater Caracas montane area, Venezuela.
ii) Extend the program to other rural communities and coffee farming associations within the historical distribution of the Red Siskin, up to 20,000 hectares.
iii) Expansion of the agroforestry program to communities in South Rupununi, Guyana.
b) Declaration of a wildlife refuge for the Red Siskin and other threatened wildlife in South Rupununi, Guyana.
c) Restoration of dry forest ecosystems with other biodiversity-friendly agriculture in the Greater Caracas region: cacao, plantains, citrus, nuts and other tree crops.