Conference Report: Richard Fuller at EcoTAS17

Bruce McKinlay
New Zealand Representative to the EAAFP

Richard Fuller at EcoTAS17

EcoTAS is the joint meeting between the NZ Ecological Society and the Ecological Society of Australia.  It is held once every four years and EcoTAS 2017 was held in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney.  Approximately 500 delegates from as far afield as Cape Town and York participated in four days of talks and symposia.  Professor Richard Fuller, a committed friend of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, had been honoured by the Ecological society of Australia with “Australian Ecology Research Award” and presented a Plenary at the conference entitled “Conserving Mobile Species”.

The talk was of two halves: in the first Richard described his research into the nomadic birds of the dry Central of Australia; in the second he recounted the results of his long commitment to researching the biology and conservation needs of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

Friends and partners undertaking flyway work in Australia

Richard described the work his lab had completed in identifying where the threats were and what management responses were starting to be rolled out as a response.  Richard discussed in detail the role of unsustainable hunting, the impact of loss of habitat, ongoing impacts of climate change on the birds in the flyway.

Richard took the time to highlight the work of the Partnership. He also identified the very important role that passionate and committed people play in developing ideas and engaging in complex processes to see them implemented on the ground.  He noted that many people in China are making large personal commitments to supporting the conservation of waterbirds and their habitats.  Richard’s plenary was well received and provided the basis for a lot of conversations with the assembled Ecologists.

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