Leaders in bird conservation and International Migratory Bird Day were recognized by Partners in Flight, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Environment for the Americas. Recipients from Puerto Rico, Canada, the United States, and Mexico work to protect habitat, offer community education programs, study rare and imperiled birds, and improve methods of coffee production.
Coordinated by Environment for the Americas, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is a hemispheric celebration of birds and this annual recognition event provided an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the organizations and individuals who work to protect birds. In addition to the sponsors and supporters of International Migratory Bird Day, the Partners in Flight Awards for Exceptional Contributions in Bird Conservation were part of that recognition.
The 2014 award winners are:
Cecilia Riley: PIF Lifetime Achievement Award
Dan Casey: PIF Leadership Award
Ken Meyer: PIF Investigations Award
Pronatura, A.C.: PIF Stewardship Award
Sheylda Diaz Mendez: PIF Public Awareness Award
For more information about Partners in Flight visit: http://www.partnersinflight.org/
More about the PIF award winners:
Cecilia Riley: Lifetime Achievement Award – In her 17 years as executive director for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO), Riley has grown GCBO to be the recognized authority on bird conservation around the Gulf of Mexico. Riley embraced new partnerships beyond the Gulf of Mexico, and her foresight and leadership enabled GCBO to invest $1.6 million in coastal stopover habitats in the United States and half a million dollars for land purchases in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Chile as well as $800,000 for habitat conservation along the Texas coast.
Dan Casey: Leadership Award – Casey works as American Bird Conservancy’s northern Rockies conservation officer. Casey served six years as chair of Montana Partners in Flight and is a past chair of the Partners in Flight Western Working Group. He authored the 2000 Montana Bird Conservation Plan and was named 2006 Montana Conservationist of the Year. He has served on the technical committees of the Prairie Potholes, Northern Great Plains and Intermountain West joint ventures. Casey currently is engaged in leadership efforts to initiate and coordinate protection of long-billed curlew populations and breeding habitat throughout western North America.
Ken Meyer: Investigations Award – Under Meyer’s leadership, the Avian Research and Conservation Institute conducts problem-solving research on rare and imperiled birds that stimulates management action and enhances public appreciation for science-based conservation planning. He is a key player in many conservation initiatives including those focused on swallow-tailed kites and white-crowned pigeons.
Pronatura A.C.: Stewardship Award – Pronatura A.C., a Mexican non-profit organization founded in 1989, has increased awareness of resident and migratory birds. Their efforts have been crucial in the implementation of conservation actions in Mexico and in Central American countries. For more than 20 years, Pronatura A.C. has carried out a long-term monitoring program of migratory raptors and waterbirds, one of the most ambitious programs of its kind in Latin America. Pronatura A.C. also participates in a number of initiatives to promote coffee production that encourages bird conservation, biodiversity and community livelihoods.
Sheylda Diaz Mendez: Public Awareness Award – Mendez has worked as the Caribbean coordinator for the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival for more than 10 years and has served as co-coordinator of IMBD since 2005. In 2013, Mendez helped develop and implement the first environmental education workshop hosted as part of the BirdsCaribbean conference.
Environment for the Americas (EFTA) supports more than 600 bird programs and festivals hosted from Canada to South America and the Caribbean. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), the signature program of EFTA, is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean. http://www.birdday.org/