Ethnoornithology Research & Study Group (ERSG) update, January 2007

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Subject: Ethnoornithology Research & Study Group (ERSG) update, January 2007
From: Robert Gosford <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 17:43:02 +0930
Dear all,

A Happy New Year to all members of the ERSG webgroup, your friends,
families, acquaintances and co-workers and all others interested in human
societies and the knowledge of and relationship with birds!

If you are unfamiliar with the work of the group I invite you to go to our
website at: . Please
join the ERSG (its FREE!) and contribute your thoughts or just have a
browse through the extensive (and growing) list of files and links.

Its been an eventful and busy first year of operation for the ERSG. As
can be seen from the activity schedule on the ERSG home page we've
been an active group during the year. We've posted over 180 messages,
made over 50 links and uploaded almost 30 files. Not a bad effort for
a disparate group spread across the globe working in what, to some at least,
is a fairly obscure corner of the ornithological world.

It is this global spread and our diversity that gives us our strength
as a group - our members comes from all continents of the world (apart
from Antarctica - if that is a continent?) and have a wide range of
interests, skills and cultural, professional and social backgrounds.

I'd encourage all members to have a fresh look at your member profile
and update it if appropriate. The ERSG is a community of sharing and
we believe it is important that each member has a proper profile. This
helps to create an atmosphere of trust and your fellow members will be
more willing to help you or to find out about common interests.

Some highlights of member activity for 2006 include the range of
discussions about various aspects of bird knowledge (see the posts re
Owls, Cuckoos, woodpeckers, working with informants, field techniques
etc), attendance and presentation at a number of conferences (great
opportunities to spread the ethnoorn word, meet up with old colleagues
and new friends and practitioners) and a way of linking members from
disparate parts of the world that are working on similar areas of

A few words about conferences, symposia and meetings - in the last
year I've presented at a number of international conferences and
congresses not directly related to ornithology - I feel that it is
important to recognise that ethnoornithology is a multi-disciplinary
area - that our work is informed and enriched by anthropology,
linguistics, broader ethnobiology, the law and general biology and
ornithology - among others. It is also important that we reach out to our
colleagues in those disciplines - in my own experience I've found it
tremendously exciting to find common interests (and data and
information) among our colleagues in those areas of work. If you have
attended and/or presented at an interesting conference or meeting
please post a copy of your presentation, conference abstracts etc to
the ERSG site for the information of members.

2007 is shaping up as a busy year already. Some items that might be of
interest to members and prospective members include:

- Preparation of a book of papers presented by members and others
during the Ethnoornithology Round-table held at the 24th International
Ornithological Congress (24th IOC) at Hamburg, Germany in August 2006.
Deadline for submission is 31st march 2007. Further details, styles
guide and contacts are in the "Files" section of the ERSG website;

- Proposal for a dedicated Ethnoornithology symposium at the 30th
Society of Ethnobiology congress to be held at the University of
California at Berkeley, 28-31 March 2007. I have posted a CFP for this
symposium separately but please contact me for further details.
Closing date for submissions is 25 January 2007. Further information
(including registration etc) is available at the SoE website at:;

- the upcoming Brazilian Ornithological Congress (CBO XV: Congresso
Brasileiro de Ornitologia, 30 June – 6 July 2007 at Porto
Alegre in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil in July 2007;

- Leonardo Cabrera-Garcia of McGill University has written concerning
a symposium proposal for the Neotropical Ornithological Congress to be
held in Venezuela in 2007 - see the Congress homepage at: Please reply to Leonardo
directly at: 
or via
this website. Leonardo notes "I am preparing a proposal of symposium
for the congress of Neotropical Ornithology to be held in Venezuela
next 2007 on bird conservation and traditional ecological knowledge
people [tribal, aboriginal, indigenous] may have on birds and their

- The 2007 Australasian Ornithological Conference, to be held in
Perth, Western Australia, in December 2007. You may recall that the
last AOC on Blenheim, New Zealand was the catalyst for the ERSG and we
are looking to repeat and build on that experience and the work that
has been since that time. We have proposed an Ethnoornithology
Symposium and as of this date have yet to hear back from the
Conference organisers. Coming to Perth in December would be a welcome
break from a northern winter!. For further information, registration
etc see the conference webpage

- I'm working on a proposal to begin an Ethnoornithology Special
Interest Group (SIG)as part of Birds Australia. This could provide
important institutional support for the development of
ethnoornithology in Australia and a focus point for more mainstream
ornithologists. For more information about BA and other SIGs please go
to: <>

Thats all for now - please send a note if you are aware of upcoming
conferences, meetings etc please post a note to the ERSG website.
Please also remember to spread the word, send in your files, photos,
links and ideas and most importantly, stay safe and have fun.

Best for the season and the New Year,

Robert Gosford
ERSG moderator


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