Bertram Smythies Fund

Bertram Smythies Fund

Compiled by Brian Sykes in BirdingASIA 14, Dec 2010

Projects funded by the Bertram Smythies Fund in 2010
World Pheasant Association Training Workshop, Thailand, November 2010 An important part of the international symposium run by the World Pheasant Association (WPA) every three years in Asia is an intensive six-day tuition course on project design, field techniques, and writing/communication with six experienced Galliformes and Asian fieldworkers/ conservationists as instructors/mentors. WPA select 15 participants from a short list of candidates from within the region.

All of these individuals have already attracted attention through their work and have demonstrated a commitment to bird conservation in general. Some have already been funded by OBC. The budget for the training project including accommodation, subsistence, training materials and transportation to Bangkok at the end of the course, amounting to £125 per head, a total of £1,875 for the 15 participants, was paid for by OBC from the Smythies Fund. Confirmation has been received that the course went ahead as planned and a full report is expected in due course

Shorebird trapping and ringing training project, Bangladesh, November 2010
By taking advantage of the availability of some US$ 5,000 from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2010 budget, and the availability of experienced BTO- approved ringers Phil Round (PDR), Andy Pierce (AP) and Nick Dymond (ND) to demonstrate techniques and train participants, it was possible to organise a training course for a number of young Bangladeshi ornithologists in catching and ringing with a specific emphasis on shorebirds.

Although the prime target of the project is to aim to ring and flag Spoon-billed Sandpipers, Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, the Bangladesh Bird Club team will be able to participate in other shorebird projects. The training was arranged to take place on Sonadia island where Spoon-billed Sandpipers were observed in spring 2010. A budget of US$10,000, which included cost of flights for PDR and AP from Bangkok (ND generously paid his own fare from UK) and rings suitable for target species, was drawn up. OBC has joined with UNDP to fund this project, our contribution being US$5,000.