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Monday, November 22, 2010

Ice cream sales in Dominican Republic help improve conditions for rare songbird

Canadian vacationers in the Dominican Republic can help improve conditions for the Bicknell's thrush, a rare songbird, says the conservation group Bird Studies Canada, based in Port Rowan, Ont. There's no hardship involved — all they have to do is order some "choco maple" at an ice cream shop.

A portion of proceeds from sales will be used to protect habitat of the bird, which breeds in Eastern Canada and the U.S. and winters in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Populations have plunged by 15 per cent annually in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in recent years, experts say.

Ice cream company Helados Bon launched the flavour this month at the Museum of Natural History in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, during a meeting of the International Bicknell's Thrush Conservation Group, an alliance of scientists and conservationists.

"The flavour captures elements from the thrush's breeding and wintering ranges, and the chocolate is organic," says Bird Studies Canada, which is part of the international group. "It supports a great cause, and it's delicious."

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

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