Cuba to Host BirdsCaribbean’s 21st International Conference

Every two years, bird educators, scientists and conservationists from throughout the Caribbean and beyond gather for BirdsCaribbean’s International Conference. This year’s conference will take place in southern Cuba from 13-17 July 2017. More than 250 international delegates are expected to join dozens of Cuban delegates to share the latest in Caribbean bird science, conservation and education.

A Cuban Trogon- the national bird of Cuba. (Photo by Max Schwenne)
The Cuban Trogon is not only a beautiful endemic but also the national bird of Cuba. (Photo by Max Schwenne)

The theme for the conference is “Celebrating Caribbean Diversity.” The Caribbean is a hotspot of biodiversity, with many unique plants and animals. Birds are no exception: 172 species are found only in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is also a cultural melting pot, home to the most diverse group of bird scientists in the world.

“BirdsCaribbean conferences have always been a place for scientists to collaborate beyond political boundaries,” said Andrew Dobson, President of BirdsCaribbean, “Bringing an international group together in Cuba is particularly exciting. We are excited to have the chance to work face-to-face with our Cuban colleagues. We are very excited to be able to give our members and partners the opportunity to experience Cuba, to meet Cuban ornithologists and conservationists, and to enhance our joint efforts to conserve birds in the Caribbean.”

The 2017 program will offer something of interest for anyone interested in conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats. “Whether you want to share your latest findings, upgrade your skills, discuss your work with people with similar interests, or see the 26 Cuban endemic bird species, you will find an opportunity in our agenda,” explained Andrew Dobson, “We will also be supporting participation of spouses and children.”

As always, the conference will focus on the practicalities of implementing conservation backed by sound science. Featured events will start with world-famous keynote speakers talking about current issues in ornithology. There will also be training workshops, symposia and discussions on a wide range of topics including bird tourism (the Caribbean Birding Trail), bird monitoring, how to write effectively to promote conservation, conservation of island endemics, environmental awareness, and many other themes.

The world's smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, is endemic to Cuba. (Photo by Max Schwenne)
The world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird, is endemic to Cuba. (Photo by Max Schwenne)

The conference will take place at Topes de Callantes, in the Sierra de Escambray- Cuba’s second largest mountain range and home to many unique birds. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit Cuba to learn more about the important role it is playing in conserving the biodiversity of the region, while experiencing its dynamic culture, rich and varied history and wonderful food. There will be many opportunities for exploration, including early morning bird walks, mid-conference field trips to the forests, trails and waterfalls of the Topes de Collantes protected area or to the historic town of Trinidad, as well as options for pre- or post conference field trips to see the endemic birds of Cuba and explore Havana.

“This is BirdsCaribbean’s 21st International Conference,” said Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director. “We are celebrating our anniversary by celebrating the outstanding diversity of the Caribbean in one of the most amazing places in the region. And we are expecting all those who want to get engaged in conserving that diversity to join us. Our meeting in Jamaica in 2015 was one of our best ever. Cuba is going to be even better!”

Registration for the conference is open!  Please visit the conference website for more details.  

Interested in giving a talk or presenting a poster?  Please check out the Call for Papers, we look forward to your submission.

Please also visit our Travel Support page for information about travel scholarships.

Read more about the conference keynote speakers here and other speakers and sessions here.

Thank you so much to the generous sponsors supporting our conference!