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Major migration of bird experts flock to Vancouver
Date:8/9/2012

North America's leading avian experts will gather in Vancouver next week to share the recent research findings on all aspects of bird biology and conservation.

It's the first time the North American Ornithological Conference has been held in Canada, and the conference comes in the wake of sweeping reports indicating that some of Canada's bird populations are in steep decline.

"We can manage habitat for Purple Martins breeding on Vancouver Island, but during the winter they are dependent on the savannahs of Brazil and Bolivia," says Kathy Martin, UBC professor and conference chair. "To preserve whole communities of birds, cooperation across societies and the exchange of ideas between scientists and practitioners is critical. This is exactly what this conference achieves."

The Conference will bring together 1,500 participants from 25 countries for four days at the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus. Researchers will present topics ranging from migration patterns, to avian personalities, diseases, urban birds, vocal communication, mating habits, and the impact of wind-farms on birds.

Researchers at the meeting will also be unveiling a complete 'tree of life' for birds. Similar to a family tree, biologists will for the first time be able to visualize the evolutionary relationships among all 10,000 species of living birds.

The conference opens with a public lecture by Bridget Stutchbury of York University on August 13, 7pm at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Stutchbury's research uses the latest in tracking technology -- tiny light sensors that record a daily diary of sunrise and sunset times. Information retrieved from the tags is giving researchers new insights into the location and timing of migration routes and wintering grounds.

STORY IDEAS

"Frequent Fliers: Tracking Songbird Migration through the Americas". Public lecture, 13 Aug., 7:00 pm, Frederick Wood Theatre. Bridget Stu
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Contact: Alice Boyle
aboyle7@mail.ubc.ca
604-345-4080
North American Ornithological Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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