PIF VI will be in San Jose Costa Rica October 30 to November 3 this year.
http://pifconference.com/ is up and running and now has a link to registration.
All abstracts are due June 30, and early registration ends July 31.
Information and deadlines for travel support should be sent out next week. The deadline will be in July. There may not be enough money to support much travel for participants from the US and Canada, but having money for travel support should improve attendance from Mesoamerica.
Sorry for the radio silence, but everything has just come together! Please forward to anyone who hasn’t already received two or three copies of this.
Some of you might perhaps be under the misapprehension that it would be OK to skip the upcoming Partners in Flight International Conference, but of course you would be wrong.
The main reason to attend is that the conference is being held in conjunction with the XXIst Congress of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (SMBC). To my mind, the major advance in conservation biology over the past two decades or so has been the emergence of well trained and highly talented and dedicated professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 500 of them (including many professionals-in-training, also known as students) are expected to attend SMBC XXI and PIF VI.
We are all alerted to the importance of full annual life cycle biology and conservation of migratory birds. To be successful in this endeavor, we need to greatly increase our partnerships with our colleagues south of our border. This meeting is a great way to make that happen. In addition, the timing of the meeting provides the opportunity to see for yourself how Nearctic breeding birds interact with Neotropical residents during the nonbreeding season.
The most important reason to attend is that both PIF and SMBC are putting together a great program. I will send you here www.congresosmbc.org to learn more about the SMBC program. Suffice it to say that it greatly broadens the variety of topics that we are used to seeing covered in a North American bird or wildlife meeting.
We have attracted 21 symposia for this meeting, producing concerns among several key leaders that we have over-programmed the event. Your attendance will guarantee the conclusion that all this effort will go together to produce a memorable and impactful event with just the right amount of material presented.
For those of you who can’t get enough of Partners in Flight Business Conservation Planning (sometimes referred to as Investment Strategies), you will be glad to know that several symposia will be devoted to aspects of that planning.
Our colleagues Alaine Camfield, Ruth Bennett, Randy Dettmers are building an all-day symposium on “Improving conservation implementation: integrating single species and ecosystem conservation initiatives.” The morning will be devoted to single-species initiatives focused on Wood Thrush and Canada, Golden-winged, and Cerulean Warblers. The group will meet as a whole to promote collaboration among these initiatives. The afternoon will include updates from the Southern Mexico/Central America and the Central and South America Highlands Conservation Business Plans and roundtable discussions focused on promoting projects within those plans.
Claudia Macias Caballero is organizing a group to report on “Thirteen years of collaboration to preserve the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Mesoamerican Pine-Oak Forest” and to show how a single-species focus can still produce habitat-wide conservation benefits across Mesoamerican countries.
To promote conservation in a different habitat type, Carol Beardmore, Edwin Juarez, and Sarah Otterstrom will foster increased Central American participation in “Conserving birds across the tropical deciduous forest and mangrove habitats of Western Mexico and Central America.”
Taking a slightly different approach to single-species conservation, John Alexander and Sarahy Contreras Martinez will be convening a group to begin summarizing the “State of Rufous Hummingbird conservation and science” throughout its full annual cycle.
Hummingbirds will be well covered at the conference. Susan Wethington and Maria del Coro Arizmendi are organizing a full day symposium on “Hummingbirds in a changing world: Why hummingbird conservation matters!” They have invited the leading hummingbird researchers in Mexico, the United States, and beyond to present their research. In the afternoon, three panel discussions will work towards developing hummingbird conservation programs.
To approach business conservation planning from another angle, John Alexander will offer a workshop on “Developing projects and project proposals within a conservation planning framework”, recommending the use of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation to identify threats and conservation strategies. His objective is to arm participants with products that can be used to develop funding proposals for their projects.
A very timely symposium offering is “Migration Stopover in the Neotropics: Filling a Black Hole in Full Annual Cycle Conservation” organized by Ken Rosenberg, Nick Bayly, Wendy Easton, and Keith Hobson. They will have presentations from ongoing research highlighting new insights, emerging patterns, and opportunities for collaborations. In addition, they will show how stopover results help motivate large-scale conservation efforts and promote the use of Neotropical Flyways protocols in Mesoamerica.
Even long before the emphasis on full annual cycle, we have been promoting long-term research projects because of extensive inter-annual variability. Luckily, Ghisselle M. Alvarado Quesada has organized a symposium to report on Costa Rican projects under the title “Ornithological Diversity in Tropical Ecosystems: Long-term Studies”.
For me, one of the highlights will be the country-by-country rollout of the Central American Species Assessment organized by Luis Sandoval, Viviana Ruiz, and Arvind Panjabi. The assessment is done and is expected to lead to a “Central American State of the Birds Report” so this will be an excellent chance for you to hear from the leading experts for each Central American county on the status of all their birds using Partners in Flight criteria.
A similar treat will be an ambitious all-day symposium on “Bird Conservation in Mexico” organized by Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza and Efraín Castillejos Castellanos that is designed to build towards an integrated national conservation strategy.
Two symposia will highlight successes of widespread bird conservation networks. “International collaboration and capacity building to conserve our shared birds”, organized by Jaime Stephens, covers a number of projects mainly involved in research and monitoring, but also a few habitat conservation programs. On the other hand, Andrew Rothman is leading a group that is primarily focused on habitat conservation and management under the rubric “Bird Conservation through Green Investments - Creating effective BirdScapes for Migratory Birds”.
Thanks to Sue Bonfield, Lily Briggs, Jody Enck, and Oliver Komar, we have three strong educational symposia planned. Sue is organizing “Engaging Communities in Conservation” that will cover eight international education and outreach programs. Lily will offer “Detectives de Aves-Internacional: Aves de mi Mundo”, an educational program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that is already in widespread use in Costa Rica. Jody and Oliver will introduce us to the “Sister Bird Club Network – Linking Birders through Neotropical Migratory Birds”, which is already underway, especially in Honduras.
Our colleagues at the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica have organized two symposia focused on research tools. “Ornithological Collections”, organized by Ghisselle M. Alvarado Quesada, includes two collections in Costa Rica and one each in Colombia, Panama, and the USA. “On-line tools for data management, research and education in Ornithology” organized by Silvia Bolanos should open our eyes to the many resources available through the Internet.
As has become standard, Partners in Flight is not just for landbirds. Our friends in the waterbird world are bringing us two symposia and a two-day workshop. “Priorities for shorebird conservation in Mesoamerica” by Isadora Angarita-Martínez and Rob Clay will lead a group to talk about the application of the Atlantic and Pacific shorebird plans and the Americas Flyways Framework to Mesoamerican shorebird work, with some specific site-based examples. In addition, Rob Clay, Diana Eusse, and Matt Reiter have organized “Multi-National Monitoring Programs for Waterbirds in Central America – Building a regional baseline for conservation action” to promote a typical Partners in Flight goal: coordinating monitoring programs to provide a coherent picture that motivates conservation. Finally, Alfredo Alvarez is assembling a group of experts for “Expanding and Enhancing Conservation Efforts of Reddish Egret into Mesoamerica”. They are organizing two days of planning and coordinating during our meeting.
It’s quite a program! See you in Costa Rica!
Migratory Species Coordinator
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