BCR 156: Patricia González, Red Knots

On today’s show is our guest Patricia M. González as we talk with her in Argentina. Patricia is a Scientist, field ornithologist, studying migration of Red Knots through the Americas. Known as the “red knot woman” in South America, or the “mother of the famous red knot Moonbird B95”, Patricia is a biologist from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has devoted more than twenty years to shorebird conservation, including investigation of ecology of migration and survival of red knot shorebirds with a strong conservation profile. Actual Wetland Program Coordinator (ad honorem) of Fundación Inalafquen in San Antonio Oeste, Argentina and Shorebird South American Coordinator of International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC).

Show Notes:

In 2013 you in collaboration with three others wrote the definitive entry for the Cornell Labs New Birds of North America: Baker, Allan, Patricia Gonzalez, R. I. G. Morrison and Brian A. Harrington. 2013. Red Knot (Calidris canutus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. It is safe there for to assume that you know a little about the Red Knot. I’d like to take this opportunity to get an update on the current status. Remind our listeners how you came to be involved with the Red Knot in the first place?

  • Overview of the biology and key migration stop over sites of the Red Knot Shorebird.
  • Dramatic decline evidenced by the Delaware Bay spring migration stop over in the 1980’s.
  • Current status of the Delaware Bay spring stop over.
  • There was a July 2018 headline, “Red Knots plummet by 25% in a year in Tierra del Fuego”, the story linked the decline to a food shortage in Delaware Bay can you provide background on this?
  • Can you give us an update on B95 Moonbird, and a brief recap of Moonbird’s story.
  • In recent years you have been part of a team canvasing various coastal areas in South America to learn more about wintering feeding habits and foraging areas. Please give our listeners an update on the work you are doing in Argentina and other places.
  • Bahía de San Antonio, Argentina. Estuario del Río Gallegos, Argentina, Maullín, Los Lagos Region, southern Chile
  • How do you use colored flags to study shorebirds?
  • Your team is also using geo locators to track migration routes of individuals birds, what have you learned from this?
  • The stories coming out of Arctic on weather and climate change are not encouraging what do you know about breeding conditions of the Red Knots in the high arctic?
  • One of your goals was getting local support in South America and changing traditional outlooks on shorebirds, have you had any success with this?

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