Optics for the Tropics

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

In North America we often take for granted the ease of obtaining resources needed for field work. In many of our neighboring islands of the Caribbean and in Latin America those resources are difficult to acquire, if not impossible.

Although we share migrant bird populations, monitoring and management strategies are much better funded in the United States. If we want to protect these birds, we need to recognize the need for international partnerships.

Optics for the Tropics was formed to facilitate partnerships between research and conservation groups in the wintering and breeding grounds.

On May 11, 2010, government officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States, on behalf of the landbird initiative, Partners in Flight (PIF), released the report, Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation.

Saving Our Shared (SOS) Birds is the latest effort by PIF to help species at risk and keep common birds common - its mission since 1990. Driving the report's creation was the idea of a shared continent of birds and a shared continent of people connected to birds, transcending the borders of our three countries for conservation.

Action is needed in each country, but the most urgent needs are in Mexico, where tropical forests important to many high-concern landbirds are threatened by continued clearing for agriculture, livestock production, timber, and urban development. Many migrants from Canada and the United States depend on the same tropical highland forests in southern Mexico needed by highly threatened resident species.

Saving Our Shared Birds recommends six essential conservation actions:

• Protect and recover species at greatest risk.
• Conserve habitats and ecosystem functions.
• Reduce bird mortality.
• Expand our knowledge base for conservation.
• Engage people in conservation action.
• Increase the power of international partnerships.

Saving Our Shared Birds concludes that we can achieve our goals to conserve North America's bird populations and the habitat they depend on, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

Conserving our shared birds will require a continental, and ultimately hemispheric, perspective and a commitment to international cooperation. Although this tri-national assessment is a major step forward for bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere, efforts in Mesoamerica, Caribbean, and South America must also address the highest priority conservation needs for the hemisphere's shared birds.

About Optics for the Tropics
Joni Ellis

Joni Ellis, Director

Joni became involved with bird conservation during her ten year tenure with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where she was the statewide coordinator for bird education.

She is still actively involved with Partners in Flight; a consortium of academia, government agencies and non-profits that support bird conservation. Joni founded Optics for the Tropics in 2001 to expand partnerships for birds and their habitats throughout their range.

She currently serves on the board of Alachua Audubon and is restoring a 20 acre farm to longleaf pine.

Katie Sieving, Ph.D, Treasurer

Katie is a professor in Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. Her core research program focuses on conserving and restoring forest biodiversity, especially songbirds, in disturbed, fragmented, and otherwise human-dominated landscapes in historically forested biomes.

This focus on the 'matrix' (human habitat created around what remains of natural habitats) has naturally led her to integrating biodiversity conservation in both agricultural and other types of rural lands close and far from protected areas.

Current work is focused in fragmented forests, organic and conventional farm / pastoral systems in Florida, Chile, and Sumatra. Conceptually, her work is rooted in community, behavioral, and landscape ecology, and conservation biology.

Joy Hill, Secretary

Joy is a regional Public Information Director for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission where she has been employed since 1994. She is a spokesperson for the agency and is frequently quoted in the media locally, nationally and internationally.

In addition to her media relations role, she coordinates and participates in information and outreach efforts in the region, including fishing derbies, conferences, meetings and speaking requests from the general public and other agencies.

Optics for the Tropics, Inc. is a not for profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida and is a tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll free 1-800-435-7352 within the State. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendations by the State.

William R. Ellis: Technical Support

Will has worked in and around computers since the mid 1970's. With a B.S. in electrical engineering, Will is currently hanging his own shingle for web site development and web applications.

How You Can Help Optics for the Tropics

Optics for the Tropics is committed to supporting the Tri-national Vision. For the next two years, we will focus on getting equipment to the four Regional Alliances that act as Joint Ventures in Mexico in order to carry out bird monitoring essential to this conservation plan.

We are a 501(c)(3) charity organization providing quality optical equipment in the Caribbean and Latin America where resources are very limited. We distribute equipment to ornithologists and educators working to further bird conservation.

You can help!

• Tax-deductible donations can be made on-line using PayPal and a major credit card. Checks can be mailed directly to Optics for the Tropics, Inc.

• You can purchase optical equipment and other products from our store section. Optics for the Tropics, Inc. receives a percentage of all sales made through our website.

• Your organization can sponsor a specific conservation effort in the Caribbean or Latin America by providing the matching funds for equipment you would like to send to the project. Keep in mind that all funds raised are matched dollar-for-dollar by Eagle Optics.

Optics for the Tropics is a partnership providing quality binoculars for ornithologist in the Caribbean and Latin America that don't have access to quality binoculars and research materials for bird conservation.

You can help bring back the birds with a donation to this meaningful project. Thanks to Eagle Optics, your contribution will be doubled and will make a difference in bird conservation. Eagle Optics will match donation, dollar for dollar, with inventory.

Binoculars are distributed through an application process for research, monitoring, or educational projects. Your donation will provide quality binoculars for lifelong work on the wintering grounds while forging partnerships between bird conservation efforts in the USA, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Receive this t-shirt or hat free with a donation of $25 or more.

Send Donation to:

Optics for the Tropics, Inc.
2205 SE 23rd Pl
Gainesville FL  32641-1474
USA

PayPal Donations:

We accept online donations through the services of PayPal. PayPal lets you make your online donation using their secure online credit card processor. Please select a t-shirt size or hat as your thank-you gift.

Click here to visit our site and make an online donation

Last updated: August 13, 2017 · Charity ID: 918

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18Sep2017
New Quick Bird Identification Guides for Banderas Bay

Birding San Pancho Network

The new bird identification guides for the Riviera Nayarit are now on sale. This second edited and enlarged edition includes 143 of the most common species in the Bay of Banderas region.

23Jun2016
A Military Victory for the Birds in Vallarta

Defenders of Wildlife

Puerto Vallarta is still one of the best places in Mexico to see the military macaw, and visitors are welcome to join the experts on macaw watching tours.

29Oct2015
Puerto Vallarta Included in 'Where to go Birding in the New World'

The Travelling Boomer

Puerto Vallarta is one of my favourite winter escapes, and part of the reason is that it’s a great place to go birding. Just walking the beach, you can spot a half-dozen types of seabirds, including rarities like brown and blue-footed boobies.

07Sep2015
La Tovara National Park is for the Birds

Travel Age West

The park is set on the Pacific Flyway, a major migration route for North American birds; as such, more than 250 species rest their wings here as they fly south and back again, avoiding the north's chilly winter months.

23Sep2014
Vallarta Botanical Gardens Offers a Flock of Activities for International Migratory Bird Day

Vallarta Botanical Gardens

The Vallarta Botanical Garden has been generously supplied with great educational materials for our own International Migratory Bird Day Event on October 11th from our friends at Environment for the Americas.

17Apr2014
Record Number Of Birds Sighted In Riviera Nayarit

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

San Blas registered 266 birds during a game played by professional birdwatchers where they register as many birds as each team sees or hears during a contiguous 24-hour period.

23Jan2014
It's Time for the 10th International Migratory Bird Festival in San Blas

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

San Blas is hosting a celebration to raise awareness for the conservation of the species, promote tourism and admire the 546 bird species - 428 of which are endemic - from January 26 until February 2 in Riviera Nayarit.

08Jan2014
PV International Birding Festival to Kick Off at Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Vallarta Bird Festival

The Festival is hosted by the Vallarta Bird Conservancy and will kick off on March 6 at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Four action packed days of birding and nature walks with expert guides in unique habitats will be sure to satisfy even the most advanced birders.

23Feb2013
The Natural Diversity of Riviera Nayarit is Now Being Showcased on TV

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

Birding Adventures TV recorded its first show dedicated to bird watching in Mexico in the outskirts of San Blas. James Currie, show host and birding expert, was amazed with the natural wealth of our destination.

24Jan2013
Ninth International Festival of Migratory Birds in San Blas

AvesSanBlas

This year, from January 27 to February 3, there will be routes for birdwatching, cultural events, workshops, conferences and activities. For almost a decade, San Blas has continued to expose their abundance of the incredible migratory bird population of the area.

14Jan2013
How a Mother and Daughter Discovered the Joys of Birding in San Blas

Calgary Herald

There are no big resorts in San Blas and ecotourism is the main attraction with birdwatching, ecotours, whale watching, surfing, hiking, waterfalls and beaches being main attractions. Here, a family enjoys a birdwatching tour in this Mexican hot spot.

16Aug2012
La Tovara in Nayarit... an Endless Adventure

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

Located near San Blas in Riviera Nayarit, La Tovara National Park offers the largest collection of birds in Mexico, a clever film set, and adventures in the jungle.

28Jan2012
International Migratory Bird Festival in San Blas

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

Riviera Nayarit celebrates the magic of birding in San Blas with the eighth consecutive annual International Migratory Bird Festival between January 29 and February 5.

21Jan2012
Saving our Shared Birds

San Pancho Birding Club

Partners in Flight Western Work Group supports the San Pancho Bird Observatory initiative that will include a field-station and headquarters in the town of San Francisco/San Pancho, Nayarit.

23Sep2017
Monk Parakeet Population in Mexico Has Exploded

Atlas Obscura

Researchers compiled citizen science reports and scientific surveys from across the country for a 16-year period. The birds were first spotted in Puerto Vallarta in 1999. By 2008 they had only been spotted in five cities. By 2015, that number was 97.

27Jun2017
Rare New Species of Parrot Discovered in the Yucatan

The Guardian

A “unique” new species of parrot – described as “phlegmatic” with a call like a bird of prey – has been discovered by scientists, it has been revealed.

19May2016
Things Not Looking Good for Birds in North America

Canadian Press

Fully one-third of all North American bird species need quick help to stop them from disappearing, says the first continent-wide bird study conducted jointly by Canada, the United States and Mexico.


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Contact Optics for the Tropics

OpticsForTheTropics.org
Send us a message

2205 SE 23rd Pl
Gainesville, FL 32641, USA

Joni Ellis, Director
(352) 262-7300

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CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

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