Children in schools across Haiti have the opportunity to learn about their special birds â€“ including 24 found only on the island of Hispaniola â€“ thanks to a new guide, A la dÃ©couverte des oiseaux d'Haiti (Discover the birds of Haiti), produced by Ms Florence Sergile.
The book has many novel features, including a sparrow character to guide children through simple, fun exercises aimed at increasing their appreciation of Haitian natural heritage that includes todies, tanagers and the unique Palmchat Dulus dominicus. 92 species are covered, with French, Creole and English names all given, and including most common resident and migratory birds.
After seeing copies of the guide at a recent Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) meeting, several countries have expressed a desire to adapt it for local use, and the landmark publication may become a model for similar guides the length and breadth of the Caribbean.
The book was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Philippe Bayard, Bayard and Bayard Exchange, Banque de la RÃ©publique d'HaÃ¯ti, SCSCB and the authors of A guide to the birds of the West Indies. Valuable contributions were also provided by BirdLife, the Haitian Environmental Foundation, the University of Florida, Marlene Etienne, Francoise Dupuy, Charles and Elen Woods, George RÃ©gnier and Evelyne Bouchereau.
Signed copies of the guide can be purchased by sending a cheque for US$45.00 (which includes shipping and handling) to: Florence Sergile, 3407 NW 54th Lane, Gainesville, FL 32653. Alternatively, the guide is available in Haiti at the following libraries and stores: La Pleiade, La Procure de St. Pierre, Asterix, Fleur de canne, Villa Creole, Hotel Montana and Calalou at the international airport. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 352/372-2853.