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28/05/2024

The Sweet Sound of Sustainability: Global Big Day 2024

Refreshed and republished on May 28th, 2024
This post was originally published on June 04th, 2021; this annually updated post presents our latest bird sightings— a delightful and critical aspect of our commitment to sustainability.

Experience a sneak peek of our yearly bird watching in our cocoa fields from the previous year:

According to the Colombian Ornithological Association, there are 1,966 species of birds in Colombia (20% of the global total). Colombia’s jungles, mountains, moors, valleys, and cities boast the world’s highest diversity of bird species. From this total of species found in Colombia, 1,672 are residents, 123 boreal migrants (migrated from the north), 17 austral migrants (from the south), and 84 are endemic (found only in the country).

Bird watching contributes to constructing peace between man and nature and promotes local development. The registry of birds in a territory can reveal information on its natural history and allows our company to track changes in accordance with the territory’s richness and abundance over time compared to other locations.

“This makes it possible to make management decisions that ensure the species’ survival,” explains Pablo Ovalle, a biologist at Luker Chocolate. “Especially the rarest and most susceptible birds to changes in their environment. These decisions can then maintain the interactions and ecological processes of the organisms in the ecosystem.”

Great World Bird Watching Day: Another Contribution to sustainable cocoa farming

Bird watching Colombian Ornithological Association
Since 2018, we have taken part in this initiative. In 2018, via The Chocolate Dream, Luker trained and equipped 20 workers and farmers with  binoculars and field guides to participate in the Great World Birdwatching Day (GBD) at cocoa farms in Necoclí, Antioquia. On this occasion, they recorded 97 species (6.28%) of the 1,545 species reported in Colombia at the time, 13.16% of the species reported for Antioquia, and 1.41% of the world’s birds species.

In 2019, we flew higher! We exceeded the target set for GBD 2019 of 110 species observed in a single day. Our team recorded a total of 132 species, representing almost 10% of the birds reported in Colombia and 2% of the species reported worldwide.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic during 2021, Luker was still able to achieve our goal of observing more than 100 bird species in a single day. According to the GBD website, e-bird.org, a new number of participants was set, with 51,816 people across 253 countries recording 7,258 bird species in a single day. Colombia had been leading with the most sighted species for four consecutive years. However, in 2021, Peru took the lead.

In 2022, more than 51,000 people from 201 countries participated in this incredible activity setting new records for the number of species observed. The global birding community achieved an astonishing feat by spotting a staggering 7,673 bird species, which accounts for almost 75% of the world’s bird species, in just 24 hours. This remarkable achievement surpassed the previous record set during the 2021 edition of Global Big Day by an impressive margin of 433 additional species.

As of 2023, more than 58,700 people joined in celebrating birds, seven thousand more than in 2022. The global ornithological community recorded 7,636 bird species in almost 150,000 eBird lists. 1,530 of those species were spotted in Colombia. This year Peru took the second place with 76 fewer species recorded than Colombia.


Turtledoves (Leptotila verreauxi) keeping an eye on the cocoa trees 2024

A Flight to Remember: Experiencing the Global Big Day 2024

This weekend bird lovers worldwide went out to make their sightings from all corners possible. In a remarkable 24 hours, the global birding community shattered records by spotting an incredible 7,636 bird species. More than 64,800 people from 199 countries joined this activity and submitted 161,116 checklists with eBird, setting new world records for a single day of birding.

Colombia won Global Big Day 2024, having recorded 78 of the 90 endemic species in the country, 86,6%.

With a total of 1,558 registered species and 12,007 listings, Colombia topped countries such as Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and India, placing it at the top of the global tally.

Since the creation of Global Big Day in 2015, Colombia has been at the top of the ranking since 2017, with the exception of 2021.

To achieve birdwatching in every corner of our country, those observing had to use online tools, such as WhatsApp groups, to share their sightings in different parts of the country.  The recording of these 1,558 species resulted from a joint national effort, with the participation of biologists and collaborators from various regions of Colombia where our cocoa is sourced, including Antioquia, Huila, and Caldas. This demonstrates the wide reach of cocoa in promoting biodiversity and sustainable practices across different parts of the country.

At Luker we seek to promote good practices in the cocoa communities that work with us. The Chocolate Dream, initiatives, such as Guardians of the Tropical Dry Forest, have allowed us to participate in Global Big Day celebrations and spread awareness and knowledge on conservation and biodiversity. Thanks to the climate conditions in Colombian territories, cocoa prospers together with birds and other animals. Cocoa is a crop that contributes to biodiversity, and by completing it with good practices together, we can contribute to the rigorous scientific recording of patterns in nature.

Luker Chocolate sustainable

Julia Ocampo, Director of Sustainability at Luker Chocolate, concludes: “The purpose of The Chocolate Dream is to improve the sustainable well-being of the communities and producers that are around our anchor crops or in our spaces for innovation and intervention.

“We have identified how through cocoa we can transform and improve the ecosystem: of soils, of biodiversity and at the same time, protect forests and water. Alongside this is the added work with the communities. The conservation of fauna and flora is fundamental for Luker Chocolate. We are extremely satisfied to see how the number of individuals and bird species has increased over time.”

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