The Eastern Working Group of Partners in Flight held a scoping meeting at the Nashville Zoo 24-25 April 2019. Thirty people from 25 different bird conservation organizations, partnerships, and working groups attended to explore the formation of an Eastern Working Group and to identify a small number of initial priorities the group could focus on. The meeting began with a series of short presentations that provided information on the current priorities, unaddressed needs, and challenges to implementation for bird conservation in Eastern Canada and the United States. One goal of the Eastern Working Group is to take advantage of working collaboratively across the full geography of Eastern birds, as has been productive for single-species working groups like the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group and an approach the PIF Western Working Group has enjoyed for 28 years.
The meeting participants expressed positive support for moving ahead with the formation of a PIF Eastern Working Group. The initial structure for supporting further development of the Eastern Working Group will include a core leadership team, responsible for overall operation and coordination, along with three topical sub-teams to facilitate activities around the following priority topic areas:
Initial tasks for the leadership team include: i) coordinating initial communications about the outcomes of this meeting and directions for EWG to the broader bird conservation community, ii) establishing guiding principles for operations of and participation in the teams and EWG at large, and iii) exploring opportunities to bring on an Eastern Working Group coordinator through existing partner staff time and/or raising external funds. Each team will be reaching out for broader participation from the bird conservation community, so don’t be shy about getting in touch with the temporary contact person for any of the teams, including the core leadership team.
Photo: Dr. Randy Dettmers of USFWS received a PIF Leadership Award at the Eastern PIF meeting in Nashville, TN for his diligent efforts in the realm of bird conservation.