Victory! Rescuing Panama Bay

We just recently received word that one of the most important sites for critical biodiversity in the Western Hemisphere has just been protected!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a success looks like!

The Bay of Panama, a globally Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, is home to a large number of bird and other species that use the area for both habitat and migration. Last year the Panamanian government took away this critical site’s status as a protected area, throwing a massively important natural habitat into crisis and opening it up to the risk of major environmental destruction.

Nature Canada is honoured to have played a small role in the campaign to bring legal protection back to Panama Bay. The Panama Audubon Society (Sociedad Audubon de Panamá) reached out to us and asked for our help. Nature Canada responded with a donation from two of our members to support their efforts to campaign to re-instate the protected areas status of the Bay. In late 2013, Nature Canada provided $10,000 for bird conservation in Panama Bay on behalf of long-time Nature Canada members Len and Anne Murray.

The prospect of winning this campaign looked dim for a while. But Panama Audubon persevered and, with this funding support, were able to engage in an extremely high profile campaign that galvanized public support and won the day with a decision from Panama’s highest court to re-instate the Bay’s protected areas status!

Panama Bay is perhaps the most important link in a chain of sites upon which depend millions of migratory shorebirds (this chain of sites includes the Boundary Bay and Tofino IBAs in Canada). Destruction of any one of these links — especially Panama Bay — would have had the potential of destabilizing entire populations of shorebirds throughout the entire hemisphere.

Thankfully, nature won this round today.

Good job, team!