Conservation & Education
In addition to our International tours and Panama day trips, we are involved in education and conservation projects in the countries where we work. From donating binoculars to guides and researchers making a difference in the field, to leading environmental education programs in schools in Panama, our projects compliment our tours and really give us a sense of the whole picture when it comes to conservation and ecotourism.
How do we convince someone who has never seen a forest or a river that these things are worth protecting? How can we help a child discover the magic and beauty of a bird or a beetle when most of their time is spent indoors?
Environmental education is an important part of our overall mission for conservation. After all, the more people there are who love and appreciate the natural world the more people there will be who are fighting to protect it. Teaching children and adults to admire, appreciate and enjoy the natural world is necessary for the continued preservation of wildlife and their habitat. Through this education project, our goal is to bring the outdoors to the classroom and show students the wonders of the natural world for the benefit of all wildlife and human communities.
Recently, more and more scientific evidence shows that spending time in nature can be very beneficial to our health. Spending even a few minutes in a forest, a beach, or the mountains can help improve mood and the ability to focus on tasks. And integrating the outdoors into learning environments helps improve cognitive development, motor skills, concentration and attention spans.
Therefore, birding can also help to relieve stress and promote relaxation. “Ornitherapy” – the healing power of birding in nature – stems from this principle.
With this in mind, we offer “ornitherapy tours” for those seeking a more relaxed pace while birding and who wish to spend more time with each species, observing their behavior, studying the details of their plumage, or learning about their calls. These tours combine birding with other therapeutic activities, such as optional yoga and meditation. An ornitherapy tour will provide you and your travel partners with a rewardable, enjoyable birding and vacation experience.
BINS FOR LOCALS
In 2018, Whitehawk began a new conservation project to help support local biologists and guides that might have difficult access to field equipment. Bins for Locals is also a way for our clients to support conservation on their trips with Whitehawk. When more locals can see birds and wildlife up close and can identify them, they learn to appreciate them more, learn about their behaviors and their place in the environment, leading to an urge to conserve them.
Do you have an old pair of binoculars sitting around the house? If so, you can donate them and we will make sure they get into the hands of someone who will have good use for them and will give them a second life. You can also bring them with you on your next tour with Whitehawk and hand deliver them to the person or group who will be working with them. It is a great way to support locals and promote conservation!