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Chief Executive Officer
Number of employees
BirdLife Australia is the trading name of a company limited by guarantee formed through the merger of two Australian non-government conservation organisations, Bird Observation and Conservation Australia (BOCA) and Birds Australia. A constitutionwas drafted in May 2011 for BirdLife Australia, which became operational on 1 January 2012. Their respective magazines, the Bird Observer and Wingspan were succeeded by Australian Birdlife .
At simultaneous annual general meetings held on 21 May 2011, the respective members of BOCA and Birds Australia voted to merge and form the new company.Over 93% of those that voted from BOCA voted for the merger and over 95% of those that voted from Birds Australia voted for the merger. A combined total of 4517 Birds Australia and BOCA members voted on the resolution, with over 36% of Birds Australia members and more than 50% of BOCA members voting. This was the biggest response to a proposed resolution that either organisation had ever received.
With the merger, BirdLife Australia became the Australian national partner organisation of BirdLife International, a role hitherto performed by Birds Australia.
The inaugural Board of Directors was made up of five board members from each of the merging organisations, with the addition of a "neutral" chair, Gerard Early - who continues to serve as a Board Member.
The inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Graeme Hamilton, resigned in October 2012. Dr Hamilton had served as CEO of Birds Australia from 2005 to 2011, and also as CEO of BOCA in its final months of operation in 2011. James O'Connor served as interim CEO from October 2012, until the appointment of Paul Sullivan in January 2013.
The constitution of BirdLife Australia is loosely based on the constitutions of the merging bodies. The organisation is member-based, and board members are elected by the membership at an annual general meeting. The constitution also describes a transitional period for the board for its first three years of operation, whereby two members of each original board will stand down at each annual general meeting.
BirdLife Australia's current national office is at 60 Leicester Street Carlton, Victoria, at the site of the former Birds Australia office. The office of BOCA was in Nunawading, Victoria, and was still owned by BirdLife Australia. The organisation also leases premises at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush, New South Wales, and Floreat, West Australia. BirdLife Australia owns and operates Gluepot Reserve, a 540 square kilometres (210 square miles) reserve for bird conservation and research in the South Australian semi-arid mallee region, and leases two bird observatories in West Australia, the Broome Bird Observatory and the Eyre Bird Observatory.
BirdLife Australia runs a number of research, monitoring and conservation programs related to Australian birds, and these are often characterised by a significant volunteer input. The Atlas of Australian Birds Project is a national bird monitoring project involving hundreds of skilled bird observers submitting survey data from across the country. This data is used in national reporting, notably State of Australia's Birds reports. Birdata is the gateway to BirdLife Australia data including the Atlas of Australian Birds and Nest record scheme. Datasets from this activity are publicly accessible.Other large scale monitoring and conservation efforts include Shorebirds 2020, a national migratory shorebirds program, and the Beach-nesting Birds program, aimed at improving the conservation status of resident shorebirds through research, adaptive management and community engagement. Other projects, including Birds in Backyards and the Aussie Backyard Bird Count have more of an engagement and education focus. More recently (2017-2019), these projects and programs have been amalgamated into larger programs, including the Urban Bird Program (incorporating the Birds in Backyards program, the Woodland Bird Program (incorporating projects such as Birds on Farms and the Regent Honeyeater Recovery Project), the Coast and Marine Program (incorporating the Beach Nesting Birds program, as well as new programs including the Preventing Extinctions program. These programs are increasingly guided and informed by Conservation Action Planning.
The organisation awards a number of regular prizes.
The D.L. Serventy Medal may be awarded annually for outstanding published work on birds in the Australasian region. It has been awarded for the last 20 years and is the highest award offered to professional ornithologists by BirdLife Australia.
The J.N. Hobbs medal may be awarded annually for outstanding contributions to Australasian ornithology by an amateur ornithologist.
The Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award and the Professor Alan Keast Award are bestowed annually to postgraduate students of ornithology, with an emphasis on conservation applications.
Australia and its offshore islands and territories have 898 recorded bird species as of 2014. Of the recorded birds, 165 are considered vagrant or accidental visitors, of the remainder over 45% are classified as Australian endemics: found nowhere else on earth. It has been suggested that up to 10% of Australian bird species may go extinct by the year 2100 as a result of climate change.
Selwyn George (Bill) Lane E.D. R.L. (1922–2000) was an Australian amateur ornithologist who worked for the Sydney County Council for most of life until he retired in 1983.
The Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU), now part of BirdLife Australia, was Australia's largest non-government, non-profit, bird conservation organisation. It was founded in 1901 to promote the study and conservation of the native bird species of Australia and adjacent regions, making it Australia's oldest national birding association. In 1996, the organisation adopted the trading name of Birds Australia for most public purposes, while retaining its original name for legal purposes and as the publisher of its journal, the Emu. In 2012, the RAOU merged with Bird Observation & Conservation Australia to form BirdLife Australia.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a member-supported unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York which studies birds and other wildlife. It is housed in the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. Approximately 250 scientists, professors, staff, and students work in a variety of programs devoted to the Lab's mission: interpreting and conserving the Earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Work at the Lab is supported primarily by its 75,000 members. The Cornell Lab publishes books under the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, a quarterly publication, Living Bird magazine, and a monthly electronic newsletter. It manages numerous citizen-science projects and websites, including the Webby Award-winning All About Birds.
The Atlas of Australian Birds is a major ongoing database project initiated and managed by BirdLife Australia to map the distribution of Australia's bird species. BirdLife Australia is a not-for-profit bird research and conservation organisation.
The Australian Bird Count (ABC) was a project of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU). Following the first and successful Atlas of Australian Birds project, which led to the publication of a book on the distribution of Australian birds in 1984, it was suggested by Ken Rogers that the RAOU should next look at bird migration and other movements in Australia. Methodology for a suitable project involving volunteers was worked out through experimental fieldwork and a workshop on ‘Monitoring the Populations and Movements of Australian Birds’.
Australian Field Ornithology is an online peer-reviewed ornithological journal published by BirdLife Australia. It covers topics relating to Australasian birds, including behaviour and ecology, with an emphasis on observations and data gained in the field.
Wingspan was the quarterly membership magazine of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU). It was first issued in 1991, replacing the RAOU Newsletter. When Birds Australia and Bird Observation and Conservation Australia merged in 2012 to form BirdLife Australia, Wingspan's run ended, and was replaced with Australian Birdlife magazine.
Bird Observation & Conservation Australia (BOCA) was a club established on 12 April 1905 by members of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU) in Melbourne, Victoria, as the Bird Observers Club. Although inactive for many years, in 1927 it was revived and subsequently active until the end of 2011 when it merged with Birds Australia to form BirdLife Australia. It published a quarterly journal, Australian Field Ornithology, and a quarterly newsletter, the Bird Observer. It had a cooperative relationship with the Land for Wildlife program, a voluntary conservation scheme for private land in Victoria, which was instigated by two prominent club members, Ellen McCulloch and Reg Johnson, established in 1981, and coordinated by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.
Dominic Louis Serventy was a Perth-based Australian ornithologist. He was president of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU) 1947–1949. He assisted with the initial organisation of the British Museum's series of Harold Hall Australian ornithological collecting expeditions during the 1960s, also participating in the third (1965) expedition.
John Nelson Hobbs was a British-Australian career police officer and amateur ornithologist.
The D.L. Serventy Medal may be awarded annually by the Birdlife Australia for outstanding published work on birds in the Australasian region.
Stephen Marchant, AM was born in Shropshire, studied geology at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and worked in the oil exploration business in many countries, using the opportunities arising from his postings to study birdlife around the world. He wrote classic papers on the birds of the Red Sea, Nigeria, the Gold Coast, Indonesia, Borneo, Ecuador and Iraq. In 1963 he migrated to Australia where he joined the Bureau of Mineral Resources in Canberra.
Pauline Neura Reilly OAM FRAOU was an Australian ornithologist and author of children's books.
Clive Dudley Thomas Minton, AM was a British and Australian metallurgist, administrator, management consultant and amateur ornithologist. His interest in birds began in childhood.
Wilson Roy Wheeler MBE FRAOU (1905-1988) was an Australian postman and professional ornithologist. He was an active bird bander and was convener of the Altona Survey Group, later part of the Victorian Ornithological Research Group. In 1965 he was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion. He was a member of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU), President 1964–1965, and made a Fellow of the RAOU in 1971.
Professor Jiro Kikkawa (1929–2016) was a Japanese Australian ornithologist. His early zoological studies were at Tokyo University, Japan and at Oxford University in England. He subsequently spent three years at the University of Otago in New Zealand where he began what was to become an enduring focus of research, the behavioural ecology of Silvereyes and other species of Zosterops.
The South Australian Ornithological Association (SAOA), also known as Birds SA, is an Australian birding organisation based in Adelaide, South Australia. The SAOA publishes a journal, the South Australian Ornithologist as well as the Birds SA Newsletter "the Birder". It holds regular monthly meetings and conducts field trips for members. Its is also involved in many conservation projects throughout South Australia to help protect local bird species and their habitats.
The Orielton Lagoon is a shallow dystrophic lagoon located west of Sorell in south east Tasmania, Australia.
The Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME), also known as BirdLife Hungary, is a non-profit ornithological and nature conservation organisation founded in Hungary in 1974. Its mission is to protect wild birds and help preserve biodiversity. It has about 10,000 members, employs 26 staff, and is the Hungarian partner organisation of BirdLife International. Since 1991 it has published the journal Ornis Hungarica.
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