The David S. Lee Fund for Conservation

Dave Lee holding a White-tailed Tropicbird in the Bahamas.
Dave Lee holding a White-tailed Tropicbird in the Bahamas. (photo by Mary Kay Clark)

David S. Lee was a pioneering naturalist and conservation biologist who helped get BirdsCaribbean started nearly 30 years ago, and inspired many naturalists with his work and his writing. He was a man of many interests, and with respect to the Caribbean, published numerous papers and articles in the popular press on seabirds, Bahamian fish, turtles, snakes, bats, and orchids.

Donations from Dave’s wife, Mary Kay Clark and his mother, June Bash, allowed the establishment of the David S. Lee Fund for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds that will award money to conservation projects in his honor. The money is being held in a trust and will be used to award an annual grant for innovative projects that protect Caribbean birds and their habitats.

We are seeking to grow this fund and need your help.

This fund will be for the conservation of any bird in the Caribbean as a reflection of Dave’s diverse interests. He was an important part of many projects, ranging from those of the Black-capped Petrel and Seabird Working Groups to the scholarly debate leading to the elevation of the Bahama Yellow-throated Warbler to a full species.

At the moment the fund contains $12,000. Our initial goal is to raise $25,000 so that we can award $1,000 every year to a worthy student or early career ornithologist, conservationist or wildlife professional. Not only will this fund encourage creative field work for projects that make a difference, but it will also help build the knowledge and skills of young conservationists that are urgently needed to make sure that the Caribbean birds and habitats that Dave treasured are still around for future generations to enjoy.

The first call for proposals for proposals has been announced (deadline 15 December 2016) click here for information on how to apply) and the first award will be made in early 2017.

At the BirdsCaribbean meeting in Kingston, Jamaica in 2015, a round of beers was purchased in Dave’s honor, since he always seemed to have a cooler full when people wanted one (and even when they didn’t). Think of this fund like a cooler full of refreshing beverages that Dave would have around if he were here. We owe it to Dave to stock that cooler—to vitalize naturalists and empower them in their work to help wildlife.

Please give a tax deductible donation to the David S. Lee Fund. Give generously. The more we put into the fund, the more we can give out each year.

Click here to make an online contribution.

If you prefer to donate with a check, please make the check out to “BirdsCaribbean” and in the memo section, note that it is for the David S. Lee Fund. If you have questions or to make other arrangements for donating, please feel free to contact Jennifer Wheeler, BirdsCaribbean Treasurer (

Checks can be mailed to: BirdsCaribbean, 4201 Wilson Blvd. Suite 110-174, Arlington VA 22203-1589

Thank you for your participation and support.