News and notices

This section is collated by the BOU Office. Requests for the publication of information, and other assistance which is considered to be of interest to our readers, will be considered sympathetically. Publicity will be given to relevant grants and awards that can be applied for and to new societies operating within the field of ornithology, birds and birding. Details of conferences, meetings and other events will be included if sent at least six months in advance of the event, and news of members’ activities is particularly welcome. All contributions are restricted to 500 words, and should be sent by email to:

Deadlines for contributions: 15 September (January issue); 15 December (April issue); 15 March (July issue); 15 June (October issue).

BOU Autumn Scientific Meeting

Species Recovery Programmes

23 November 2011, Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough.

Advance notice of this 1-day conference. Full details can be found on the BOU website ( and will be included in the July issue of Ibis.

Ecosystem services and birds: Science, Policy and Problems

BOU Annual Conference 2012

University of Leicester
3–5 April 2012

The United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has led to a burgeoning interest in the economic benefits of nature and represents a paradigm shift for conservation. Humans benefit from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services and can be grouped into four broad categories: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. Birds play many roles within ecosystems, including as predators, pollinators, scavengers, seed dispersers and predators, and ecosystem engineers. In terms of cultural services, birds provide enjoyment to millions, through recreation and sport, can be ‘flagship’ species for conservation and are used as measures for the quality of human life. However, quantifying the ecosystem services provided by birds is a significant challenge and the underpinning evidence on which to base policy is still lacking. Moreover, valuing birds in this way potentially represents a move away from traditional species conservation, with profound implications for setting conservation targets and practical management.

This conference will consolidate our understanding of the ecosystem services provided by birds and showcase current research into the importance of birds in ecosystem functioning. It will also explore the cultural services that birds provide and consider how government and non-governmental organizations are engaging with this new approach in policy. Debating the philosophical and practical problems surrounding the ecosystem services approach will be a key feature of the conference, as well as finding new opportunities for bird conservation. The following topics will be covered:

  •  the provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services provided by birds, avian functional ecology and relationships between bird diversity and ecosystem functioning;
  •  the cultural significance of birds and how this is valued;
  •  how governments, policy-makers and conservation organizations around the world are responding to and implementing the ecosystem services approach;
  •  management strategies, trade-offs and the consequences for traditional species based conservation and practical management.

The conference scope will be international, with a focus on how to integrate ecosystem service science with practical bird conservation into policy.

The conference is aimed at academics, research and conservation organizations as well as statutory government agencies and those engaged in policy, advocacy and conservation management.

Conference aims

  •  to consolidate our understanding of the provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural ecosystem services provided by birds;
  •  to showcase novel methods for determining and valuing bird ecosystem services, focusing on functional ecology, spatial relationships between bird diversity and ecosystem functioning, and the socio-economic importance of birds;
  •  to examine the response of governments, policy-makers and conservation organisations to the ecosystem services approach and to discuss what this means for traditional species conservation;
  •  to consider the evidence needs for decision-makers looking to integrate ecosystem service science and species conservation, and the implications for bird conservation in the 21st century.

Call for papers

If you would like the opportunity to present your work at this conference please visit the conference pages of the BOU website ( for further information and deadline for submission. There will be a limited number of slots for offered talks and priority will be given to student presentations.

Poster presentations

If you would like to contribute a poster to this meeting, please visit the conference pages of the BOU website ( for further information and deadline for submission.

Published proceedings

We aim to publish the proceedings from this conference in 2012. Further details will be announced at a later date and will available on the BOU website (

The BOU is extremely grateful to the conference programme organizers: Dr Darren Evans (Chairman) (University of Hull), Dr Karl Evans (University of Sheffield), Dr Mark Whittingham (University of Newcastle) and Dr Niall Burton (British Trust for Ornithology).

BOU Checklist Series

A reminder that all BOU titles can be ordered via the BOU website at

BOU Ornithological Grants

The BOU now runs two different award schemes for those undertaking ornithological research

BOU Small Research Grants

Awards of up to £2000 per project aimed at supporting small projects outright or to part-fund medium-sized research programmes.

BOU Career Development Bursaries

These aim to support short-term research positions for young (or early career) ornithologists, between a first and higher degree programme or immediately after completion of a higher degree. Successful grant proposals will combine the applicant’s development of skills that will be useful for their future career in ornithology with sound science.

Further details including deadlines can be found at

Projects receiving support during 2011 will be announced on the BOU website and appear in Ibis in July.

BOU Conference Proceedings

The BOU regularly publishes proceedings from our conferences as free-to-view online publications. These can be found at

A recent addition to the site is Climate Change and Birds.

BOU online store

The BOU website ( features secure online payment for BOU goods (books etc.), conference bookings and membership (including renewals).

BOC website and publications

The BOC website also has an online store facility to order BOC publications. See

Other meetings and conferences

27–30 August 2011
Riga, Latvia
8th Conference of the European Ornithologists’ Union
For further details visit

20–22 September 2011
Laufen, Germany
2nd IALE European Symposium – Implementation of Landscape Ecological Knowledge in European Urban Practice
For further details contact

22–23 September 2011
Freiburg, Germany
Forest Biodiversity in a Changing Climate: Understanding Conservation Strategies and Policies
For further details visit

September 2011
European Forest Institute Summer Graduate School
For further details visit

British Ornithologists’ Club Meetings

BOU members are always welcome to attend Club meetings held at the Sherfield Building of Imperial College, South Kensington, London, SW7. For 2011 the evening format has changed, with a free lecture (open to anyone) from 6.00 pm, which will be followed by a light buffet (for those who have booked and paid for this in advance) at 7.30 pm. Further information on dates, speakers and how to book for the buffet can be found on the BOC website at

Special offer – Robert Gillmor Sacred Ibis print

You can still purchase one of 55 limited edition prints of this striking linocut print, of the Ibis cover. Each print will be numbered and signed by Robert. The prints (unframed) cost £275.00 each and this includes UK postage and packing. To order your print, or enquire about overseas postage costs, please visit the BOU website, or contact Angela Langford ( +44 (0) 7 876 437 370).