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Conferences and Meetings

Restoring bird populations: scaling from species to ecosystems | #BOU2020

 7 - 9 Apr 2020

supported by
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
Endangered Landscapes Programme
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
Abstract submission – now closed

Early bird registration opens in November

The natural world is under huge pressure from human activity, placing bird populations and their habitats at risk. At the same time, there is growing recognition that avian conservation should look beyond slowing species’ declines and avoiding extinction, to actively restoring avian abundance and diversity in landscapes and working to restore whole ecosystems. Despite the challenges facing nature, our understanding of how to restore species and ecosystems has never been greater, and the momentum for ecological restoration is building globally.

Restoring bird populations requires working at a range of scales, from individual animals to whole ecosystems, and from local sites to whole flyways. Birds can be indicators of recovery trajectories for entire ecosystems and can be integral to the success of habitat restoration, for example through their functional roles as predators, scavengers and dispersal agents.

This landmark international conference will bring together the latest science underpinning the restoration of bird species and their ecosystems, focussing on successes, challenges and future directions. This 2020 event coincides with a milestone year for assessing Aichi targets for biodiversity conservation, and comes on the eve of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration that will run from 2021-2030. It will be of broad interest to conservation-, population- and community-ecologists, practitioners and policy makers.

The conference will aim to cover the following topics:

  • Restoring bird populations through habitat and ecosystem restoration – managed restoration, rewilding and connectivity;
  • Population reintroduction and reinforcement – the science of translocation, headstarting and other population management strategies;
  • Control of invasive species and restoring community structure;
  • The functional role of birds in ecosystem restoration;
  • Progress towards Aichi biodiversity targets and government commitments to restoration.


Professor Carl Jones
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
View profile

Carl has been a conservation pioneer for decades, rescuing species from extinction and restoring their habitats.
The Alfred Newton Lecture was established in 1994 to celebrate the BOU’s founder, and is awarded by the BOU to an internationally renowned figure to address a BOU annual conference on a key topic of the conference theme.


Nathalie Seddon | @NathalieSeddon
Nature-based Solutions Initiative, University of Oxford, UK
Restoring bird populations as a nature-based solution to global challenges
Joe Tobias | @ja_tobias
Imperial College London, UK
The role of birds in ecosystem restoration: ecological functions, networks and interactions
Julie Savidge
Colorado State University, US
Control of invasive species and restoring community structure
John Ewen | @hihinews
Institute of Zoology (IoZ), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), UK
Population reintroduction and reinforcement
Mary Colwell | @curlewcalls
Freelance Producer and Writer, UK
Cultural and social values in restoring bird populations – why this matters
Malcolm Ausden
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, UK
Managed wetland restoration and bird populations


We seek submissions on the conference theme and the main topics detailed above. Early career researchers (ECR – students and recent PhD candidates) are welcome to submit on their current or last degree research, on any area (even if outside the theme of the conference).

Assessment of submissions
Submissions are assessed by the programme organisers (see below), as follows:

  • First round assessment is done blind with all submissions anonymised before circulation and each programme organiser scoring each submission independent of one another.
  • Submissions are scored on quality of science, fit with the conference theme and novelty importance/impact of the work.
  • After scoring, the names and other details of the submitting author(s) are included for the organisers to then best fit ranked submissions to different session themes of the conference to ensure a balanced programme including gender, inclusion of ECRs, etc.

Submitting your abstract
Please use the submission form linked to below and submit your abstract by the time and date given for each category (oral and poster).

Download abstract submission form
Deadline for oral submissions: 0900 UTC, 2 September 2019.
Deadline for poster submissions: 0900 UTC, 30 September 2019.

Scientific Programme Organisers

David Douglas | RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, UK
Nancy Ockendon | Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP), UK
Geoff Hilton | Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), UK
Amanda Trask | Institute of Zoology (IoZ), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), UK
Image Credits
Female Great Hornbill | Angadachappa | CC BY SA 4.0 via ky.m.wikipedia.org

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