5th International
Partners in Flight Conference and Conservation Workshop

Advancing Bird Conservation Across the Americas
August 25 – August 28, 2013
Snowbird, Utah
Plenary Sessions
Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de las Sesiones Plenarias.
Monday, August 26
8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. The Partners in Flight Full Life-cycle Approach: New Directions for Bird Conservation
Terrell Rich, Partners in Flight National Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Boise, Idaho

In the Foreword to the 1966 symposium, The Avifauna of Northern Latin America, the editors wrote, “The conference was convened to determine, through an exchange of information, whether the drastic modification and elimination of the wintering habitat of many breeding birds of North America may be responsible for depressed levels of populations.” S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, followed in his Prefatory Statement with, “Our concerns with migratory species on their north temperate ranges perhaps tend to cloud the total issue because, obviously, the birds spend a good part of their time in habitats alien to us about which we know relatively little from a biological point of view.” In one of the papers in this symposium, Eugene Eisenmann wrote, “Rarely do we have the faintest notion of the limiting factors.” Thus, I propose that 47 years later, our new directions do not lie with the concept of the full life cycle approach, but rather with the implementation. Can we, in our time together at PIFV, craft a more compelling and effective approach to achieving full life cycle bird conservation?
8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Filling Essential Science Gaps to Facilitate Strategic Conservation Planning and Implementation for Birds of the Western Hemisphere
Dr. Peter Marra. Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington DC

Conservation success for birds requires a fundamental understanding of what limits and regulates population size. To date, we lack this knowledge for most species including migratory species with broad range distributions experiencing steep population declines. Several factors contribute to this lack of understanding including the absence of full life cycle research on single species. Moreover, needed are studies from linked populations that estimate vital rates from breeding, wintering and migratory periods, and where, how and to what degree both direct and indirect anthropogenic threats impact these vital rates. Building such information into annual cycle models will then allow the identification of key demographic drivers and will bring needed clarity and focus to conservation planning and implementation. Key tools to help construct annual cycle models include studies of demographic rates, migratory connectivity, and fundamental natural history.
Tuesday, August 27
8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. The Challenges and Successes of Migratory Bird Conservation in the Wintering Grounds from the Latin American Perspective
Dr. Álvaro Umaña, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center

Tropical forest loss, and the diversity associated with it, is one of the great tragedies of our times and conservation of both public and private lands one of our greatest challenges. The talk will focus on Latin America and in particular Costa Rican efforts to deal with these challenges, starting with the early scientific roots in the late 19th century, and going through the development of the system of protected areas and national parks that encompasses nearly 25% of the land area.

However, outside protected areas deforestation was rampant up until the 1980's when emergency measures were put in place and new system of incentives were designed to protect private lands, leading to the present system of payment of ecosystem services (PES), which presently covers carbon and is expanding to include water and biodiversity.

The rise of ecotourism rise of private conservation are to other key factors that have contributed to protect private lands, with over 600 private reserves in Costa Rica and thousands in Latin America. Bird watchers are a key and growing segment of ecotourism worlwide and becoming part of popular culture.

Technologies and platforms for bird monitoring, such as bird observatories and bird banding stations are essential in biodiveristy assessments and will play a key role in Costa Rica's efforts to develop a system for biodiversity services. Monitoring in different landscapes, going from forests to agricultural landscapes shows the importance of habitat to a rich variety of bird species.
8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. The Conservation of Birds in a Coupled Human-Natural World
Dr. Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director, National Park Service, Washington, DC

The convergence of the biophysical and sociocultural sciences is a necessary step in understanding and responding to the challenges of contemporary conservation. Yet science has only limited influence, as it must join law, policy, and public interest in guiding conservation strategies and tactics. How can this synthesis be created and applied, and what are the implications for bird conservation?
Wednesday, August 28
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Can Conservation Save Birds?
Dr. George Fenwick, Presdient, American Bird Conservancy, The Plains, VA

Despite birds’ popularity and the immense amount of effort directed toward understanding and protecting them, many species are slipping away. Bird conservationists remain optimistic in the face of lengthening odds caused by habitat loss and other threats, but this is not enough. Though bird conservationists have enjoyed many successes, turning the dial for birds will require new, strategic paradigms; a larger, energized community of enthusiasts; and a quantum leap in new resources. Questions include: Can the conservation community unify and communicate around common goals? What can be learned from other large-scale collaborations? What new skills will be needed? How shall success be described?
8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Working to Design Strong Conservation Outcomes: Lessons from NFWF’s Keystone Initiatives for Birds
Dr. Bruce Beehler, Director for Bird Conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Long a prolific grant-giving organization, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s grants realm has evolved over the years to include a suite of large-scale and decade-long strategic investments for bird conservation—its Keystone Initiatives. Each bird initiative seeks to support a portfolio of strategically-designed grants over a ten-year period that measurably ‘moves the dial’ for conservation. This presentation reviews the bird keystone initiatives and provides some lessons learned for conservation practitioners.
About the Presenters {in order of appearance}
Partners in Flight National Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Boise, Idaho

Terry received a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and an MS in Zoology from Idaho State University. He worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for 20 years in Colorado, Idaho and North Dakota. For the last 10 years with BLM, he served as the National Nongame Bird Program Leader. In 2000, Terry accepted the position of Partners in Flight National Coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Over his career, he has participated in many projects that involve conservation planning at large geographic scales for multiple species. He has served as a board member and president of the Cooper Ornithological Society and served on the council of the American Ornithologists’ Union. This fall, he will begin a Ph.D. in Public Policy at Boise State University. Terry and his family live in Boise, Idaho.
Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington DC.

Pete Marra earned an M.S. from Louisiana State University in 1989, a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1998 and has been a conservation scientist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Biology Institute since 1999. Pete’s research in conservation science has four broad themes, including migration, climate change, disease and urban ecology. His primary interests lie in understanding the factors that control population persistence and dynamics so Pete’s research examines the roles of climate, habitat, food and pathogens as well as other direct sources of mortality on the individual condition of both individual migratory and resident birds and their populations. His research on carry-over effects, seasonal interactions and migratory connectivity over the past 20 years has helped stimulate a movement in the full life-cycle biology of migratory animals. He co-founded The Migratory Connectivity Project ( to further advance the conservation and understanding of animals throughout their full life cycle by promoting the science of migratory connectivity. Communicating his science and his excitement for the conservation of wildlife to as wide an audience as possible, including the general public, is a high priority of his. His papers have appeared in Science, Nature, PNAS, PLOS Biology, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Pete is co-founder of Tree House Concerts, an ultimate frisbee player, avid fly fisherman and a foodie.
President, American Bird Conservancy, The Plains, Virginia

George Fenwick has been active in conservation for more than 35 years, including 16 years in various capacities with The Nature Conservancy and 18 more as founding President of ABC. He co-authored The 500 Most Important Bird Areas in the United States (Random House 2003) and The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation (U. of Chicago Press, Lynx Edicions 2010). He was nominated for the Indianapolis Prize in 2008, received the American Birding Association’s Chandler Robbins Award in 2009, the Partners in Flight Champion of Bird Conservation Award in 2010, and most recently was honored with the naming of the newly discovered Fenwick’s Ant-pitta (Grallaria fenwickorum). His Ph.D. from the Department of Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University examined the effects of introduced species on native waterfowl.
Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center

Alvaro Umaña is currently based at CATIE, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center. Umaña was the first Energy and Environment Minister of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990. He received international recognition for his contributions to nature conservation and achievements such as the creation of the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio). Recently he has worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as lead counsel for the Executive Director’s office for Central America, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela in Washington, DC. He has had extensive experience in academia, as professor at INCAE Business School in Costa Rica, visiting professor at Yale and a visiting lecturer at universities including American University, UC Berkeley, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland and University of Washington. He also serves in the steering committee of the Costa Rica Bird Observatories (CRBO). He received his master in Economics and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University. He is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles.
Science Advisor to the Director, National Park Service, Washington, DC

Gary E. Machlis is Science Advisor to the Director, National Park Service (NPS), and Professor of Conservation at the University of Idaho. He is the first scientist appointed to this position with the NPS, and advises the director on a range of science policy issues and programs. Dr. Machlis is also co-leader of the Department of the Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group, which has responsibility to conduct interdisciplinary science-based assessments during national environmental crises—from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Machlis received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his Ph.D. in human ecology from Yale. His most recent books is Warfare Ecology: A New Synthesis for Peace and Security (2011). His research has been published in journals as varied as Bioscience, Climatic Change, Conservation Biology, Society and Natural Resources, and Science. His current research activities include advancing the sustainability sciences, the structure and function of coupled human-natural systems, and the use of science during crises. In 2010, Dr. Machlis was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
(July 2013)
Director for Bird Conservation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Bruce Beehler is Director for Bird Conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Dr. Beehler is an ornithologist and ecologist with extensive national and international experience in bird conservation. After a decade of bird research at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, Beehler held conservation positions at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, and the U.S. Department of State. Most recently, he spent thirteen years conducting research and conservation programs in the Pacific for Conservation International. He has authored/edited seven books related to birds and biodiversity.
© Partners in Flight
Website Design & Management by: Delaney Meeting and Event Management