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David Neal Pashley, 1950 - 2018

Ellen Paul

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David Neal Pashley, Ph.D

Dr. Pashley was born on 6 April 1950 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He moved to California and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1968. In 1974 he graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. David began his Ph.D. work in the School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in August 1982 and received his degree in 1988. His thesis was titled "A Distributional Analysis of the Warblers of the West Indies."

He began his career with the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, examining the effects of land use practices on neotropical migratory birds in bottomland hardwood forests.

In 1995, Dr. Pashley joined the newly formed American Bird Conservancy and was a mainstay of that organization for 23 years, leaving only after illness precluded him from working. During that time, he was a leading figure in North American bird conservation, authoring or co-authoring such seminal documents as "Setting Conservation Priorities for Landbirds in the United States: the Partners in Flight Approach" (published in the Auk in 2000), the Partners in Flight Handbook on Species Assessment, the Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan, and several of the State of the Birds annual reports. In 2016, he was awarded the Partners in Flight Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was also instrumental in the implementation of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, serving as a member of the international committee from its inception. In 2002, Dr. Pashley was awarded the Chandler Robbins Award 2003 by the American Birding Association, an award given to an individual who has made significant contributions either to the education of birders or to bird conservation and the "management or preservation of habitats on which birds and birding depends. Dr. Pashley most recently served as the Vice President for Conservation Programs at the American Bird Conservancy.


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