This presentation will focus on an array of familiar breeding species that undertake the perils of migration, where they go, the threats they face, and what must be done to conserve them. Scott will talk about the efforts he is currently involved with protecting some of our most threatened shorebirds: Piping Plover, Red Knot, Hudsonian Godwit, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, as well as some of our songbirds that show serious declines, and the current and potential projects to address this. You will hear how science in recent years has pin-pointed the whereabouts of these species during migration, how long they linger from site to site, and where they seem to do well or do poorly. Take heart in knowing that there are hundreds of bird conservationists working at hundreds of IBAs, and success stories abound.
This webinar is part of the year-long Exploring Connections to and Stewardship of the Natural World talks. This series is supported by a grant through the NH Humanities Council and aims to provide a public and personal space for the examination of environmental ethics, fostering a deeper understanding of, appreciation for, and care of, our natural world. Programs are free to the public, and streamed via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live.
For more information and to see the entire slate of talks, visit our series webpage.
Scott Hecker has worked to conserve threatened birdlife for over forty years. His graduate studies at Antioch University took him to Belize in the 1980s where he successfully helped establish the largest private tropical forest reserve in Central America. For the next 30 years he led efforts for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, National Audubon Society, and the Goldenrod Foundation to conserve the nesting habitat of Piping Plovers, terns, and other beach-nesting species. His tenure in Massachusetts helped Piping Plovers increase from 126 pairs in 1987 to 611 pairs in 2011. He summarized this work in “The Piping Plover as an Umbrella Species for the Barrier Beach Ecosystem” in Saving Biological Diversity, edited by Askins, R.A. et al. In 2008 he founded the non-profit Conservian, Inc to develop comprehensive fieldwork to protect plovers and terns on their non-breeding grounds as well as resident beach-nesting species on the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas. In 2016 he began his current position as the Director of Bird Conservation for the International Conservation Fund of Canada, where he has broadened his activities to fund and oversee conservation efforts for North America’s most threatened migratory birds as well as globally endangered species occurring within the Tropics of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Scott lives in Temple, New Hampshire where he serves as the Chair of the Conservation Commission and the boards for local non-profit organizations focused on conservation and the arts.