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Mapping from Space webinar: remote sensing for migratory shorebird conservation

News Item 2020

JNCC and the University of Santo Tomás in Chile ran a free webinar on Wednesday 15 July entitled 'Mapping from Space: remote sensing for migratory shorebird conservation at Bahía Lomas Ramsar site'. Attended by 80 delegates from six countries, the webinar showcased collaborative research funded by Defra and delivered under the Austral Earth Observation Alliance (AEOA).

Bahía Lomas Ramsar site is a 150 km2 tidal flat in Tierra del Fuego, southern Chile. It was declared a protected site by the Chilean government in April 2020 in recognition of its ecological importance. It is a key wintering site for many wading birds, including the Red Knot, Calidris canutus. Red Knot have suffered a severe global population decline, possibly due to poor food supply at their wintering sites. Information on the distribution of their habitats and prey species is therefore essential to inform conservation management.

Bringing together expertise in shorebird ecology from the University of Santo Tomás with in-depth knowledge of earth observation from specialists at JNCC, this project combined field data with satellite imagery to model the distribution of the birds’ feeding and resting sites. The success of this pilot project has enabled the project partners to make recommendations for scaling up the work to discover other wetland areas of importance for migratory birds on the West Atlantic Flyway.

The webinar was delivered partly in Spanish and partly in English. A full set of presentation slides is available in both languages, along with the video recording of the webinar:



Image: Sentinel-2 imagery of Bahía Lomas Ramsar site at low tide on 12 May 2019, processed by JNCC to provide analysis-ready data for this project.

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