Kini Ignacio Roesler

  • Project name: Unraveling the major gap for Hooded Grebe conservation: migration and movements
  • Project site: Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
  • EDGE species: Hooded Grebe Podiceps gallardoi
  • Active: 2015 - ongoing

Biography

Already recognised as a global authority on Hooded Grebes, Kini Roesler has been studying the conservation ecology of the Hooded Grebe at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina for a number of years. He chose the Hooded Grebe as a focal species because he feels that conservation attention should be focused on the world’s most unique and threatened species – a position he shares with the EDGE of Existence programme.

The EDGE Fellowship is supporting Kini to position himself as a conservation leader in Argentina. It is equipping him with the skills to develop and lead a conservation research project on the Hooded Grebe, building on the knowledge he has already gained doing Hooded Grebe research.

Kini is currently a researcher at CONICET (Argentinian Council of Scientific Research) at Buenos Aires University, and is Associate Director of the Conservation Department of Aves Argentinas, a Birdlife International partner in Argentina. His project in Patagonia is growing and has now led to his involvement in a number of other conservation projects with other endangered and range-restricted species including the Austral Rail, Magellanic Plover, Torrent duck and Wolffsohn’s Vizcachia.

Kini has recently become one of the first EDGE Affiliates.

EDGE Project

Although one of the best-known threatened species in Southern Patagonia, there are still enormous information gaps that limit our power to understand the Hooded Grebe’s conservation needs. Through this project Kini has been:

  • Filling gaps in knowledge on the Hooded Grebe’s intra-seasonal movements, stopovers and migratory routes where many threats may remain unknown.
  • Using this information to develop a comprehensive management plan for the species.
  • Monitoring Grebe movements across the vast and remote Patagonian landscape through fitting birds with solar-powered beeper tags and geologgers, bird banding and direct censusing.
  • Encouraging birders to submit sightings via eBird.
  • Working closely with local communities to help protect the Grebes.

Achievements

  • Kini achieved a 45% increase in use of citizen science bird monitoring tools, and trained over 50 people with the field skills needed for long-term population monitoring.
  • He held meetings to establish an “Early Detection Network” in three different cities of Santa Cruz province for injured migrating birds.
  • He presented on local TV and radio, held workshops and conducted surveys to keep local stakeholders informed and gain their support.
  • Kini and his team have successfully increased breeding success of the Hooded Grebe by protecting breeding colonies.
  • Kini and his team have created a mink control programme that has successfully reduced mink populations and mink attacks on Hooded Grebe colonies.
  • He has gathered important data by testing different types of tags on Hooded Grebe populations.

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