Do we need birds?
A conference at the University of Leicester in April next year will set out to explore this question, examining the importance of birds in the functioning of ecosystems.
It will also explore the cultural services that birds provide and consider how Government and non-Governmental organisations are engaging with this new approach in policy. Debating the philosophical and practical problems surrounding the ecosystem services approach will be a key feature of the conference, as well as finding new opportunities for bird conservation. It will cover the following topics:
• The provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services provided by birds, avian functional ecology and relationships between bird diversity and ecosystem functioning;
• The cultural significance of birds and how this is valued;
• How Governments, policymakers and conservation organisations around the world are responding to and implementing the ecosystem services approach;
• Management strategies, tradeoffs and the consequences for traditional species based and practical
The conference scope will be international, with a focus on how to integrate ecosystem service science with practical bird conservation into policy. It is aimed at academics, research and conservationorganisations as well as statutory government agencies and those engaged in policy, advocacy and conservation management.
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