Studying urban landscapes along USAID and the USFS

Maria and Luis Paulino, Grupo Acción Ecológica, collecting bird and ecological data as part of an urban bird study in Santo Domingo. Photo by Jerry Bauer.


Meet Maria Paulino, one of the professionals who received technical assistance and capacity building to further develop local biologists and expand ornithological studies in the Dominican Republic. In 2016, Maria joined Dr. Wayne Arendt, an ornithologist and wildlife biologist from the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) in Puerto Rico, and two researchers from the United States Forest Service (USFS) in a collaborative study involving three areas in the Dominican Republic. 

This project is sponsored by USAID and the USFS. The topics being studied are: Resident and migratory birds in the highly urbanized metropolitan areas of Santo Domingo; the rural rice fields between the provinces of Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Duarte and Samana; and the mangroves that border the Bay and the Samana estuary. Maria, along with the research team, has not only been successful, but has excelled in doing the field work. 

A Hispaniolan lizard-cuckoo, an endemic bird to Hispaniola observed in Gazcue neighborhood in Santo Domingo as part of an urban bird studying being conducted by US Forest Service and local NGO Grupo Acción Ecologico with USAID support. Photo by Luis Paulino.

“We love this project. We are happy to have had the opportunity to be part of it and we are very satisfied with the success we have had. We hope that, as the years go by, we can reach out to other communities and continue the work.”, Maria explained.