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Summary of Waterbird Society 2011 Meeting

Chris Custer

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The thirty-fifth annual meeting of the Waterbird Society was held 9-12 November 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. This was actually the second Waterbird Society meeting in calendar year 2011; the March 2011 meeting in Nebraska, held jointly with the North American Crane Working Group, was the society’s thirty-fourth annual meeting.


Ellen Paul, Melanie Steinkamp, and Any Bernick constituted the local committee. At the meeting, Will Mackin and Dave Brinker assisted with logistics and AV management

On Thursday 10 November, James A. Kushlan, past-president of the Waterbird Society and recipient of the Waterbird Society’s Kai Curry Lindahl International Conservation Award, recounted from his personal perspective the story of colonial waterbird conservation in North America over the past 40 years, often noting the roles played by Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He discussed the development of some of the major academic and conservation themes in colonial waterbird conservation – inventory and monitoring, populations, behavior and ecology, and conservation action revealing the stories behind the stories as to how we got where we are today and his view of the future of colonial waterbird conservation in North America through hemispheric planning for local conservation action.

On Friday, 11 November, Ted Simons, Professor and Assistant Unit Leader in the US Geological Survey Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Biology, NC State University, highlighted the collaborative achievements of the American Oystercatcher Working Group over the past 10 years including; the establishment of range-wide surveys, color-banding protocols, mark-resight studies, a revision of the Birds of North America species account, and new mechanisms for sharing information and data. Collaborations among state, federal, and private sector scientists, natural resource managers, and dedicated volunteers have provided insights into the biology and conservation of oystercatchers in the U.S. and abroad that would not have been possible without the relationships formed through the working group.

Three symposia were presented:


- The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center–contributions to waterbird science and conservation (eight talks honoring the 75th anniversary of PWRC).

- Reddish Egret Conservation (eight talks by researchers and land managers who are currently engaged in ongoing reddish egret research and conservation projects)

- The BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill and waterbird conservation (seven talks on the first pre-spill assessments of the earliest patterns of injuries detected to various waterbird species and guilds found in the Gulf of Mexico)

Two special sessions were presented:


- American Oystercatcher Conservation Science (seven talks)

- Migration and Wintering areas of Arctic- and Temperate-nesting Waterbirds (six talks)

Papers presented in symposia: 23


Papers presented in special sessions: 13


Papers presented in general sessions: 42


Posters presented: 30


Student Awards



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