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International Ornithological Conference Heads to Puerto Rico

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) and BirdsCaribbean (BC) are very pleased to announce that they will be back, in person, on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico in 2022, as they jointly host their 2022 Ornithological Conference, AOS & BC 2022, with local support from Para la Naturaleza and Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. The meeting will take place at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 27 June to 2 July 2022. For the AOS this will be the 140th annual meeting, and for BirdsCaribbean the 23rd International Conference.

This year’s conference is set to soar with the theme “On the Wings of Recovery: Resilience and Action.” Some 750 attendees from 30 countries, including professional and amateur ornithologists, students, educators, government officials and policy-makers, researchers, non-governmental organizations, and vendors, will gather in Puerto Rico for a rich and varied program of workshops and symposia on a wide range of topics concerning bird conservation around the world and in the region. These will include a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in bird conservation science; planning for resiliency of the Caribbean islands’ endemic bird species, such as the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot and Sharp-shinned Hawk; and a special “Puerto Rico Day,” highlighting the latest avian research, education, and conservation work on the “Island of Enchantment,” among many other topics. There will be something for every interest and specialty, including training opportunities on the BirdSleuth Caribbean educational programme; Caribbean landbird monitoring; the use of video in bird science communication; and the wonderful world of raptors! Attendees will be able to sign up for field trips and birdwatching sessions.

Two keynote speakers will focus on resilience and recovery in the Caribbean, in the face of a range of conservation challenges. Dr. Howard P. Nelson, a Trinidadian wildlife biologist and lecturer in conservation leadership at Fauna & Flora International, is an affiliate lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow, graduate tutor, and Director of Studies for Geography at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, U.K. Dr. Nelson, also a past president of BirdsCaribbean, will speak on the topic “Island Futures—Pathways to Realizing Resilient Caribbean Bird Conservation.” Retired chief of the Division of International Conservation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Herbert Raffaele is an accomplished ornithologist, conservation thought leader, and author of six classic bird guides and books. He will speak on the topic “Saving Our World’s Birdlife: A Blueprint for the Future.” Plenary speakers are researchers Drs. Kristen Ruegg, Purnima Devi Barman, Stepfanie Aguillon, Allison Shultz, and Benjamin Freeman.

Drs. Sushma Reddy and Adrianne Tossas, co-chairs of this year’s conference, are looking forward to the opportunities that such a substantial international conference offers. “This is the first time that such a large group of professionals specialized in the study and conservation of birds will meet in the Caribbean region,” says Dr. Tossas, president of BirdsCaribbean and a founding member of Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. (the Puerto Rico Ornithological Society, Inc.).

“Having this conference in Puerto Rico will be a great opportunity for local and regional ornithologists and conservationists to meet, learn about, and discuss the most pressing issues affecting biodiversity in the world, as well as share the latest cutting-edge research and conservation solutions,” Dr. Tossas adds.

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