Libélulas Migratorias: Pronatura Veracruz Expands Dragonfly Education in México

Pronatura Veracruz is one of six arms of the non-governmental organization Pronatura that works throughout Mexico to conserve plants, animals, and habitats, and to promote sustainable development. Their location in the southeastern state of Veracruz places them directly in the path of one of the greatest raptor flyways in the world, and for years they have banded and counted the kites, vultures, merlins, hawks, and other raptors that fly past them in the millions every fall. This flyway is also used by millions of dragonflies each year, and the bird experts at Pronatura Veracruz found this phenomenon fascinating as well.  Pronatura Veracruz's General Director Elisa Peresbarbosa Rojas has been a member of the steering committee for the MDP (or Alianza de Libélulas Migratorias) since the partnership was formed, and in the last four years of monitoring dragonflies as well as hawks, she and her staff have learned a lot about dragonflies-and now they are teaching everyone else.

Pronatura Veracruz staff regularly conduct outreach and education events about dragonfly ecology and migration with local schoolchildren. In 2014, they were instrumental in organizing two days of MDP workshops for the public in Tabasco (see July 2014 newsletter "Visitar la Casa de Agua"); this year, they led workshops at Parque Ecológico Jaguaroundi in Coatzacoalcos in August, and others are planned for September in Quintana Roo. They recently broke ground to install a dragonfly pond next to their raptor observatory in the town of Chichicaxtle, to serve as a Pond Watch monitoring site and a venue for outdoor education. They've also become so familiar with their local odes that they are planning to create a small field guide for their region. 

Dragonfly Workshop in México
In order to make it easier for citizen scientists in Mexico to report their findings to the MDP, we are making more of our resources available in Spanish, including the MDP Monitoring Protocols booklet and our dragonfly pond habitat guidelines. The data entry wizards for Pond Watch and Migration Monitoring are now also available in Spanish; this version should load automatically for users in Mexico, while in the USA and Canada, users can click on the "Es" button at the upper right corner of the home page to load the Spanish version. Work continues to make the entire web site available in both Spanish and English-we thank you for your patience during this process, and please, don't hesitate to let us know if there are any linguistic errors that should be corrected!

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