Sharon Montecino

Our hands, your wings: shorebirds in Chile and reduction of their threats in a priority site of the Pacific Migratory Flyway in America

Location of the project: Mouth of the Maipo River, Chile
Sector: Conservation
Highest Degree earned Bch. Engineering in Natural Resources
Type of the project: Applied

Sharon is an Engineer in Natural Resources, and she is focusing her professional career in the conservation of biodiversity.  She is an enthusiastic young professional that has actively collaborated in research, wetland protection, and community outreach programs in Chile.

The mouth of the Maipo River represents an exceptional site in the coastal zone of central Chile, where a diversity of habitats converge and provide resting, feeding and nesting sites for thousands of shorebirds. However, many of these species are affected by human intervention at the site, and today face negative consequences, such as loss and degradation of habitat and increased predation. This situation is caused mainly by the presence of dogs with and without an owner, livestock foraging (horses and cows), the transit of motorized vehicles in unlicensed areas, and the accumulation of waste.

In this context, Sharon believes that the proximity of the wetlands to the urban areas offers opportunities to link communities with their environment.  She will develop a project where citizen participation is the main means of action, recognizing its potential to sustain the success of conservation interventions. In this sense, her work will be oriented to educate and motivate visitors and users of the site, to later favor collective decision-making for its conservation, promoting measures that address and reduce the threats affecting shorebirds and highlighting, at the same time, the benefits that this implies for human communities.

Coastal Solutions Fellowship Program

The Coastal Solutions Fellows Program builds and supports an international community to design and implement solutions that address coastal challenges across the Pacific Americas Flyway. Our main goal is to conserve coastal habitats and shorebird populations by building the knowledge, resources, and skills of Latin American professionals, and by fostering collaborations among multiple disciplines and sectors.