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World birding record attempt in the tropical Andes

There is going to be a “Big Day” record attempt to raise conservation cash for projects in the Andes – Bill Oddie is to join tour operator & Fatbirder contributor Gunnar Engblom, and two BirdLife International professionals in the attempt!

The forests of the tropical Andes are a global hotspot for biodiversity, as indicated by the exceptional richness of bird species. Of the 10,000 bird species present in the world, 1800 have been recorded in Peru alone. Unfortunately, habitat destruction is also exceptionally high, which is causing rapid degradation of the environment and extinctions of many species. Hence, the conservation of the Andean tropical forests has been recognised as a global priority for biodiversity conservation. The two main aims of this project are to:
i) raise public awareness of the importance and plight of Andean tropical forests;
ii) raise significant funds for local organisations working for the conservation of Andean tropical forests.What?
The project will focus around an attempt to break the world record for the most number of bird species recorded in a 24 hour period. The current record, as documented in the Guinness Book of World Records, is 342 species, which was set in Kenya in 1986.Where?
The record attempt will be made in the tropical forests of Peru.When?
Early October 2001.How?
A comprehensive set of rules governing bird races have been developed by TheAmerican Birding Association (ABA); these will be followed for the record attempt. A helicopter and 4x4 trucks will be used to transport the team between sites, starting in the lowlands and finishing in the highlands.Who?
The following team of four will attempt to break the record:
i) Gunnar Engblom - leader for Kolibri Expeditions and senior member of Ecosystemas Andinos (a local ngo working for the conservation of Andeanforests)
ii) Des Callaghan - European Research Manager, BirdLife International (a global partnership of ngo's working for the conservation of birds)
iii) Gerrard Bertrand - Chairman of BirdLife International
iv) Bill Oddie - Actor and TV personality

4th July 2014