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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Feb. 25, 2003

EIC ornithologist to discuss research in Cuba

DEARBORN---Julie Craves, research associate at the Environmental Interpretive Center, will discuss her work on "Birds and Bird Conservation in Cuba" Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m. in the Environmental Interpretive Center.

Craves recently returned from her second trip to Cuba where she has been working for the past year to develop bird survey routes and protocols that can be used by future environmental tourist and educational groups to assess the health of bird populations in Cuba.

"Cuba is the largest land mass in the West Indies and one of the most important wintering and migratory stopover sites for birds that nest in North America," Craves said. Craves conducts research on the ecology of migratory birds through the Rouge River Bird Observatory at the campus's Environmental Interpretive Center.

Current United States policy severely hampers bird conservation efforts in Cuba, due to travel and funding restrictions, she said. The survey team Craves led in February, which was conducted with the permission of the U.S. government, produced a number of significant observations, most of which were records of North American birds which were not previously known to winter in Cuba.

These records will be published in an upcoming catalog of Cuban birds being prepared by Cuban ornithologists, as well as in papers being drafted by Craves along with Cuban and American collaborators.

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