Bristol Zoological Society 11th Annual Symposium Opportunities and Challenges in Bird Conservation - In Collaboration with Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Many bird populations are declining worldwide, with 1,200 species facing extinction in the next century according to the Worldwatch Institute. One of the biggest threats is habitat loss due to human habitat conversion and climate change. Other threats are also largely anthropogenic, including overhunting, overfishing of prey, accidental mortality, pollution, predation by invasive species, and pesticide use. However, there are many dedicated conservationists implementing key actions to protect threatened species. This meeting will unite conservationists working across the globe tackling threats to a variety of bird species.

For the full schedule download the 2019 programme here.


Symposium venue and content

The symposium will take place in the Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoo Gardens on the 3rd September 2019 from 9h30 to 17h30. There will be a range of talks, focusing on the opportunities and challenges facing UK native species, seabirds and tropical species. This symposium will culminate in a panel discussion to explore a potential path forward to ensure the survival of threatened bird species.


Evening event at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Following this discussion, there will be a complimentary evening event at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (from 18h30 to 20h30), where you will be welcome to explore a new art exposition called Natural Selection that takes us on an ornithological journey as well as visiting over 35,000 specimens of nests, eggs, bones, skins and avian taxidermy.


VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the amazing archive

We also invite you to sign up for a free 30 minute VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour (during the evening event) with Natural History Curator, Rhianon Rawson (limited space offered on a first come first served basis). During this tour, you will be able to look at a unique collection of extinct birds.


Speakers include:

Professor Carl Jones, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Dr Nigel Collar, Birdlife International

Mr Andrew Owen, Chester Zoo

Dr Ali Cotton, Bristol Zoological Society

Mr Elliott Simpson, Aquila Vet Services

Mr Nigel Simpson, Bristol Zoological Society

Mr Ed Drewitt, University of Bristol

Dr Michelle Barrows, University of Bristol/ Bristol Zoological Society

Dr Tommy Clay, University of Liverpool


Join us at Bristol Zoo Gardens on 3rd September 2019.
Please note: places cannot be guaranteed after Tuesday 27 August.

Registration information

The cost of registration covers tea/coffee breaks, and a buffet lunch.  Delegates will also have access to Bristol Zoo Gardens for the duration of the meeting. Registration is £85 for the full symposium fee and £45 for student symposium fee.


Call for Poster Presentations

In addition to the oral presentations by invited speakers, you are invited to submit abstracts for posters to be presented at the symposium.  These should be relevant to the topic ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Bird Conservation’ in the widest sense.

The deadline for abstract submission is Tuesday 27th August 2019. Abstracts will only be considered if the registration fees have been received.


Abstract Guidelines

Content: The poster abstract should state the main objectives, hypothesis tested, location of study, species, sample size, results and conclusions in a single paragraph.

Format: Maximum length 500 words; use 10pt Arial font.  Include title, author(s), affiliations (including full institutional address, telephone contact number, email address of corresponding author).

Please email the abstract as a word document to


Poster Guidelines

Posters should be in A0 OR A1 portrait format (maximum 119.2cm height x 84.4cm width).  Landscape format can also be displayed, but please let the organisers know in advance. 


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