Intl. Ornithological Conference comes to Puerto Rico end June

Intl. Ornithological Conference comes to Puerto Rico end June

The endangered yellow-shouldered blackbird. Photo by Beny Diaz.

~ Focus on recovery and building back ~

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--The past couple of years have been tough, but bird biologists are rebounding, according to the American Ornithological Society (AOS) and BirdsCaribbean (BC).
AOS and BC announce that they will be back in person this year in Puerto Rico, as they jointly host their 2022 Ornithological Conference AOS & BC 2022, with local support from Para la Naturaleza and Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. The meeting will take place at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from June 27 to July 2. For the AOS this will be the 140th annual meeting, and for BirdsCaribbean the 23rd International Conference.
The theme for this year’s conference is “On the Wings of Recovery: Resilience and Action”. Some 750 attendees from 30 countries, including professional and amateur ornithologists, students, educators, government officials and policy-makers, researchers, non-governmental organisations and vendors, will gather in Puerto Rico for a rich and varied programme of workshops and symposia on a wide range of topics concerning bird conservation around the world and in the region, the release states.
These will include a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in bird conservation science; planning for resiliency of the Caribbean islands’ endemic bird species, such as the endangered Puerto Rican parrot and sharp-shinned hawk; and a special “Puerto Rico Day” highlighting the latest avian research, education and conservation work on the “Island of Enchantment”, among many other topics, it adds.
There will be something for every interest and specialty, including training opportunities on the BirdSleuth Caribbean educational programme; Caribbean land bird monitoring; the use of video in bird science communication; and the “wonderful world of raptors”, according to AOS and BC. Attendees will be able to sign up for field trips and birdwatching sessions.
Two keynote speakers will focus on resilience and recovery in the Caribbean, in the face of a range of conservation challenges. Dr. Howard P. Nelson, a Trinidadian wildlife biologist and lecturer in conservation leadership at Fauna & Flora International, is an affiliate lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow, graduate tutor and Director of Studies for Geography at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, UK. Dr. Nelson, also a past president of BirdsCaribbean, will speak on the topic “Island Futures – Pathways to Realising Resilient Caribbean Bird Conservation”.
Retired chief of the Division of International Conservation at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Herbert Raffaele is an accomplished ornithologist, conservation thought leader and author of six classic bird guides and books. He will speak on the topic “Saving Our World’s Birdlife: A Blueprint for the Future”. Plenary speakers are researchers Drs. Kristen Ruegg, Purnima Devi Barman, Stepfanie Aguillon, Allison Shultz and Benjamin Freeman.
Drs. Sushma Reddy and Adrianne Tossas, co-chairs of this year’s conference, are looking forward to the opportunities that such a substantial international conference offers, according to the release. “This is the first time that such a large group of professionals specialised in the study and conservation of birds will meet in the Caribbean region,” says Dr. Tossas, president of BirdsCaribbean and a founding member of Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. (Puerto Rico Ornithological Society, Inc.).
“Having this conference in Puerto Rico will be a great opportunity for local and regional ornithologists and conservationists to meet, learn about and discuss the most pressing issues affecting biodiversity in the world, as well as share the latest cutting-edge research and conservation solutions,” Dr. Tossas adds.

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