Audubon Greenwich to host renowned raptor scientists for conference
On International Migratory Bird Day Weekend
Friday, May 7 – Saturday, May 8, 2010
At Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich CT, 06831
Monitoring and Managing Raptor Populations:
Forging a Collaboration of Professional & Volunteer Conservationists
People from across the hemisphere will join Audubon in Greenwich for a collaborative conference to discuss raptor management priorities and identify opportunities to engage volunteer Citizen Scientists in conservation. The scientific conference is open to the public and begins at 6:00 pm on Friday night with a reception and an opening presentation by Dr. Chris Farmer, Senior Research Biologist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the Acopian Center for Conservation in Orwigsburg, PA. His talk will focus on the status of the American Kestrel and highlight the struggles of this iconic species.
Saturday will begin with Audubon’s traditional International Migratory Bird Day events, including an early morning bird walk at 6:30 am, followed by the Annual Birders Breakfast at 8:00 am in the Ketay-Asnes Barn at Audubon Greenwich. Advance registration is recommended for the breakfast event whereas it can easily sell out. Registration for the main conference will begin at 9:00 am in the Kiernan Nature Art Gallery at Audubon Greenwich, with a full day of presentations, lectures, and workshops at 9:30 am.
Audubon is delighted to welcome the conference’s Keynote Speaker Laurie J. Goodrich, Senior Monitoring Biologist at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Her presentation,” From Counts to Conservation: Geography and Conservation of Migratory Raptors in the Americas,” will focus primarily on how two forest hawk species- Broad-winged Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk- highlight trends in eastern raptors, their conservation challenges, and the actions needed to protect them. In addition, Mark LaBarr, Conservation Program Manager, Audubon Vermont, will discuss “Habitat Management is for the Birds: Assisting Private Landowners in Bird-focused Land Management.” He will describe how effective land and habitat management is critical to protecting breeding and migratory habitat for birds,
Audubon is also pleased to feature a presentation by Elisa Peresbarbosa Rojas & Eduardo Martinez, two scientists from the highly regarded conservation organization in Mexico, ProNatura Veracruz. They will discuss “The Veracruz River of Raptors Project: threats, opportunities, and long-term conservation strategies.”
After a brief lunch, the conference will continue in the afternoon with three panel discussions highlighting ‘Hawk Watch Practices & Protocols,’ ‘Opportunities for Cross Border Collaborations,’ and ‘Putting Science To Work: Projects That Need You. These important topics for conservation initiatives and are sure to yield interesting results.
Throughout the weekend, conference participants will have a unique opportunity
to gain better insight into the conservation challenges facing raptor populations and to develop the collaborative strategies needed to maintain stable populations. Audubon looks forward to welcoming all those concerned about raptors to “Monitoring and Managing Raptor Populations,” and working together to create new conservation solutions.
This conference is open to all members of the public and registration can be completed online (http://greenwich.audubon.org) or by phone. Please contact Audubon’s Events and Communications Manager, Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239 to sign up.
Chris Farmer: Dr. Farmer is the Senior Research Biologist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania. He coordinates the Sanctuary’s long-term research program on the breeding biology of the American Kestrel. He is also the statistical analyst for the Raptor Population Index, a collaborative program of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, The Hawk Migration Association of North America, HawkWatch International, and Bird Studies Canada to use migration counts as a means to monitor North American Populations of Raptors. He is primarily a population ecologist, and performed his doctoral research on the population responses of Sitka Black-tailed deer to habitat alteration and predation pressure. Dr. Farmer is a member of the Ecological Society of America, The Society for Conservation Biology, the Raptor Research Foundation, and the American Ornithologists’ Union, which he represents on the board of directors of the Ornithological Council.
Laurie J. Goodrich, Senior Monitoring Biologist, has worked at Hawk Mountain since 1984. Her work includes supervising Hawk Mountain’s raptor migration counts and database management, acting as liaison with North American raptor migration sites, and the Veracruz (Mexico) River of Raptors program, research on raptor migration behavior and ecology, and research on the effects of forest fragmentation on nesting birds. She also assists on data management for Raptor Population Index initiative and is involved with on-going sanctuary monitoring and land conservation efforts. Laurie received her M.S. in Ecology from Rutgers University, NJ, in 1982 studying the impacts of disturbance on nesting Least Terns, a state-endangered species. Her B.S. (1977) in Biology is from Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. She is currently enrolled at Pennsylvania State University pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology with research on habitat use by migrating raptors. Prior to Hawk Mountain, Laurie worked with the NJ Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife conducting piping plover and least tern surveys, and research on raptor migrant behavior in Cape May. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Raptor Research Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Ornithological Technical Committee, and the Berks Conservancy natural resource committee. She is working with Audubon Pennsylvania on the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Planning initiative, and publishes regularly in both scientific and popular venues.
Mark LaBarr, Conservation Program Manager for Audubon Vermont. He oversees the Champlain Valley Bird Initiative which, along with Audubon Vermont’s Forest Bird Initiative, works directly with private landowners for avian habitat conservation. Mark chairs the Vermont Endangered Species Committee’s Scientific Advisory Group on Birds as well as the Vermont Grassland Bird Working Group. His other work includes the Vermont Common Tern Recovery Project and running the Green Mountain Audubon Center’s bird-banding station.
Eduardo Martinez Leyva is the Bird Projects Coordinator for ProNatura Veracruz. He has a Degree in Biology from the University of Veracruz and from 1998 to 2005, he has coordinated many different projects including the use of landscape for birds in fragmented rainforest in south Veracruz, bird breeding and survivorship studies in cloud forest, similar studies in coffee plantations in central Veracruz for the Institute of Ecology of Xalapa and in pine-oak forest in southwest Arizona for the University of Arizona. He has also coordinated raptor migration counts and banding stations in central Veracruz through the years and in 2006, he joined ProNatura Veracruz to manage the Veracruz River of Raptors Project, the passerine banding program, and all other bird monitoring projects for ProNatura Veracruz.
Elisa Peresbarbosa Rojas, the Conservation Sub-Director for ProNatura Veracruz, has a Biologist Degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and has an Masters Degree in Marine Ecology from the Ensenada Center of Scientific Research and Education, where she studied breeding colonies of marine birds in the High Gulf of California. She worked in the National Secretariat for the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries from 1997 to 2001 and has worked in Cooperative Programs with the USA and Canada for the conservation of migratory birds. She helped develop the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and updated the management plan for North American Water birds. She has worked for ProNatura Veracruz for the past six years, coordinating and supervising conservation projects in the coastal area of Veracruz. One of her current priorities is to promote international alliances and collaboration in an effort to more effectively achieve the conservation of migratory birds in North America.