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A Special Day for the National Bird of Panama
José de Jesús Vargas González — in Harpy Eagle Conservation and Research    Share

On Sunday 10 of April, 2011, Panamanians celebrated a special date: The Day of the National Bird of Panama, the Harpy Eagle Day. News in national newspapers, invitations through the radio and TV stations, and chain e-mails were the most common means of communications during the weeks that preceded the celebration event called FestiHarpia.

Welcome to the FestiHarpia 2011

While screaming and laughing, children and adults enjoyed a number of entertaining shows during the FestiHarpia celebration, which took place in the Summit Zoo in Panama City, Republic of Panama. The staff of our Research and Conservation Program was invited by Melquiades Ramos, who is an officer of the National Environmental Authority of Panama.

Mural with information about our project

From 07:30 am until 04:00 pm, we participated in the FestiHarpia providing information to over 1500 people that visited us in our small, but well liked area of disclosure. We shared with children, young and adults data about the biology of Harpy Eagles, as well as about objectives, methods and preliminary results of our research and conservation project that we develop in Darien with the support of The Peregrine Fund in collaboration with Panamanian organizations. We noticed that children in particular were more receptive to the information that we provided because they told us that over the next week, teachers at the schools will assign homework about the Harpy Eagle. Probably for that reason, they wanted to know more and more about the species, so they will be ready for the coming school evaluations.

Technician Calixto Conampia talking with the visitor

Our dissemination area consisted of a display that contained printed information materials, as well as, wildlife material (bones of eagles, remains of prey, feathers, eggs, etc.) that served to explain more tangibly aspects of the biology of Harpy Eagle. On the other hand, we also had a mural with pictures that illustrate the activities (education, training, research, community involvement) that we develop in the project in Darien. Similarly, to better explain the process of monitoring and tracking of Harpy Eagles, we had in hand two transmitters, a receiver and an antenna to show and explain how we develop this work.

Visitors in our dissemination area

It was a learning experience for everyone, for our target audience and for us. When we transmitted all this information, we received feedback from the audience, which enriched our base knowledge. The most important thing at the end of the FestiHarpia was that we identified that people in Panama have a great desire to conserve and preserve the Harpy Eagle in the wild ecosystems for the coming generations, and do not want the Harpy Eagle becoming extinct

Finally, we thanks to the Environmental National Authority (ANAM) to invite us to be part in this activity, as well as to the donors of this project. Also thank you to technicians Darisnel Carpio and Calixto Conampia for their participation in this dissemination journey.

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