Talk: How One Bird Changed Ecuadorian Conservation Forever

Date : 22 Feb 2019
Time : 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Location : Gallery Room, Level 6, Sky Park, Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA)

SSA Address:
Skypark, Level 6, City Square Mall,
180 Kitchener Road,
Singapore 208539

Open to the Public - Registration Needed


Robert Ridgely’s 30-year research career focused on South American birds, especially those of Ecuador and is highlighted by the discovery of a spectacular new species of antpitta which eventually was named the Jocotoco Antpitta.  Restricted to tiny areas of wet, high-elevation forest in the Eastern Andes Mountains, it was obvious that the species was in imminent danger of extinction. Robert and his colleagues founded the Jocotoco Foundation, and the key area for the antpitta was soon purchased and protected.  Recognising that numerous other birds in Ecuador, many of them endemic, were also at risk, his team expanded their conservation work into the protection of their core areas.  The Jocotoco Foundation now protects a total of nearly 60,000 acres at fourteen reserves, the most recent being Isla San Cristobal in the Galápagos.  Almost all of these reserves are open to the public, many with comfortable ecotourism lodges. The efforts to replicate this non-government-run, protected area model into other countries has sometimes succeeded, but not always.  Today, the approach of Rainforest Trust, where Bob is now president, is to expand into assisting various government-protected areas around the world, including in various parts of Southeast Asia.

This talk will be hosted by Yong Ding Li on behalf of the NSS Bird Group.

Please register at:

Speaker Profile

Distinguished author, ornithologist and conservationist, Dr. Robert Ridgely is a leading expert on the birds of South and Central America and a proponent of private reserve systems as a conservation strategy for endangered species. He was awarded the Arthur A. Allen Award by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2013), the Eisenmann Medal by the Linnaean Society of New York (2001); the Chandler Robbins Award from the American Birding Association (2006); and the Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award by the American Ornithologists’ Union (2011). He previously served as Director of International Conservation at the National Audubon Society and of the Center for Neotropical Ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Bob is the author of seven books on Neotropical birds, including the acclaimed Birds of South America, Birds of Ecuador, Birds of Panama and Hummingbirds of Ecuador. He currently serves as president of Rainforest Trust and is one of the founders of the conservation NGO Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco, which owns and manages ten nature reserves in Ecuador.

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