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Obituary Alexandre Renaudier

Johan Ingels

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With a tremendous feeling of sadness in our heart, we have to announce you that Alexandre Renaudier (Alex for his friends) passed away last Saturday 25 May, 42 years old, after a long battle against the worst of all diseases. 

Few among you knew him, however he was the most famous ornithologist of French Guiana. Although he stayed only 8 years in this French overseas department, his contribution to the knowledge of its avifauna was considerable.

Alex arrived in French Guiana in 2003 where he first worked as a teacher in an agricultural highschool in Mana.  Having been an active birder and naturalist in general in France and adjacent countries before his arrival in this French overseas department, he spent from the beginning all his free time in the field, observing the local birds and recording their calls and songs.  The last years before he returned to France at the beginning of 2012, he worked as a field ornithologist for the GEPOG (Groupe d’Étude et de Protection des Oiseaux en Guyane) inventorying the avifaunas of little known parts in the interior of French Guiana.

His knowledge of calls and songs of the birds of the Guiana Shield, and in general of Neotropical birds was unsurpassed.  All bird lovers and ornithologists who have been with him in the field, were impressed by his vast knowledge of this aspect of the local avifauna.
Alex will be remembered for his ornithological work in French Guiana by an album of 3CDs: Chants d’oiseaux de Guyane – Birds voices of French Guiana, realised in 2008 by him and Fernand Deroussen with the aid of Naturophonia, the Muséum national d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris) and the GEPOG.  These 3 CDs offer 560 recordings of calls and songs of 230 species of French Guianan birds and form an invaluable tool for field ornithologists studying the birds of French Guiana and adjacent areas.


As his field work largely consisted of recording calls and songs, it is not surprising that Alex was an important contributor to the website Xeno-Canto. The greater part of recordings of French Guianan birds found on this site are his recordings. And his many travels through other South American countries also resulted in many recordings, sometimes of rare species, found on Xeno-Canto.

Alex also was a founder member and the driving force of the Comité d’Homologation de Guyane (CHG), the Rarities Committee of French Guiana, which homologates new species to be added to the French Guianan avifauna.  The CHG was the first rarities committee of continental South America.

Preferring field work, writing papers was not Alex’ favourite activity.  He will not be remember for a long list of publications, rather by his many interesting recordings contributed to the Xeno-Canto website.

The guild of Neotropical field ornithologists lost a most valuable member.

Johan Ingels and Olivier Claessens.

List of publications

  • Pelletier Vincent, Alexandre Renaudier, Olivier Claessens and Johan Ingels.  2006.  First records and breeding of Long-tailed Potoo Nyctibius aethereus for French Guiana.  Cotinga 26, 269-273.
  • Renaudier Alexandre, Johan Ingels and Steven L. Hilty. 2008. Nesting and general behaviour of Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata in French Guiana and Surinam. Cotinga 30, 54-56.
  • Renaudier Alexandre. 2009. Birding French Guiana. Neotropical Birding 5, 39-47.
  • Deville Tanguy, Olivier Claessens and Alexandre Renaudier. 2010. White-winged Potoo Nyctibius leucopterus: the first photos of a near-mythical bird. Neotropical Birding 6, 72-75.
  • Renaudier Alexandre and Comité d’Homologation de Guyane. 2010.  Rare birds in French Guiana in 2005-07. Cotinga 32, 75-83.
  • Renaudier Alexandre, Olivier Claessens and Johan Ingels. 2011. Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus in South America: an overview.  Alauda, 79, 313-316.
  • Claessens Olivier, Frederik P. Brammer, Tanguy Deville and Alexandre Renaudier. 2011. First documented records of Pearly-breasted Cuckoo Coccyzus euleri fro French Guiana, and an overlooked specimen from Ecuador. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 131, 128-133.
  • Ingels Johan, Alexandre Renaudier and Kurazo Mateus Okada Aguiar. 2012. White-bellied Spinetail Synallaxis propinqua in French Guiana and Amapá (Brazil). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 132(1), 60-63.
  • Claessens Olivier, Clément Cambrézy, Maxime Cobigo, Sophie Maillé and Alexandre Renaudier. 2012. So far from the Andes: Black-and-white Tanager Conothraupis speculigera, an unexpected vagrant to French Guiana.  Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 132, 55-59.

Those wanting a pdf of one of these publications, should contact johan.ingels@skynet.be

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