The club held a joint meeting with the British Ornithologists’ Club and the Natural History Museum, at the museum in London on 17 September 2016. Along with the Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), there were several brilliant talks by experts on Neotropical birds and their conservation.
The first talk was by Cristina Banks-Leite (Imperial College, London) who showed how the majority of Atlantic Forest species and their habitat can be preserved for a considerably less than is currently spent on agricultural subsidies in Brazil. (Click here to see the presentation). NBC Council member Dr Alexander Lees outlined what he called the ‘Shortfalls in Brazilian ornithology’. Alex showed how gaps in our knowledge of different facets of biodiversity — the Darwinian, Linnean, Wallacean, Hutchinsonian, Prestonian, Raunkiaeran and Eltonian shortfalls respectively — can influence conservation priority setting in space and time (Click here to see the presentation). Raymond Jeffers (Neotropical Bird Club) gave details of the Club’s past and future fundraising trips, which have collectively visited swathes of the Neotropics.
The Club then held its’s AGM, during which members approved the Club’s 2015 account (for which see tinyurl.com/NBC2015Accounts). After a lunch break, Thomas Donegan (Fundación ProAves de Colombia) used mathematical modelling to test avian speciation in Colombia and then applied it to highlight potential new splits (Click here to see the presentation). Fabrice Schmitt (Sunbird/WINGS) gave details of an expedition to find White-masked Antbird Pithys castaneus that nearly failed—but ended up discovering a new population of this Near Threatened near Peruvian endemic (Click here to see the presentation). The meeting was bought to a close by Dr Nigel Collar (BirdLife International) who explained the process by which he and Josep del Hoyo (Lynx Edicións) had produced the HBW–BirdLife Checklist of the Birds of the World (Click here to see the presentation).