Veronica Gama on tower NOC CBOThe Brazilian city of Manaus recently hosted two of the world's most important bird conferences and CEED associate researcher Veronica Gama was there presenting her work on assessing the extinction risk of migratory birds.

Manaus is located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. In July it played host to a joint conference of the Tenth Neotropical Ornithological Congress and the Twenty-second Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. Alongside these international conferences there was also the traditional Brazilian birdwatcher's fair known as AVISTAR. Occurring over the same week, these three events attracted more than 600 people including researchers, birdwatchers and students from Brazil and across the world.

Veronica is a Brazilian currently based at the University-of-Queensland node of CEED. She is a doctoral student working on various ways of assessing the extinction risk of migratory birds, a group that has experienced precipitous declines in recent years (see the September issue of Decision Point). One area she is exploring is how the availability of data biases the assessment of extinction risk of migratory birds. She presented a poster at the conferences on this topic comparing data-rich Australia and data-poor Brazil. In this project Veronica needs the input of experts in Brazilian birds to evaluate data used for the assessments of extinction risk, and she met many of them at the congresses and AVISTAR fair.

Veronica Gama poster at NOC CBO

Of course, while the main objective of the trip was the research and the networking with fellow conservation scientists, the location in Manaus was a birdwatcher's paradise.

"Early in the mornings, before the scientific schedule, bird lovers went birdwatching," says Gama. "And what place could be better than the Amazon to do that?"

"One of the hotspots in Manaus to go birdwatching is a 42-metre tower built at the Museu da Amazonia. The top of this tower stands well above the surrounding canopy, offering panoramic views to the forest and a chance to spot some amazing bird species. Needless to say, the tower was well visited by the event attendees."

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