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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

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Conservation of herons

Hafner, H., Lansdown, R. V., Kushlan, J. A., Butler, R. W., Custer, T. W., Davidson, I. J., Erwin, R. M., Hancock, J. A., Lyles, A. M., Maddock, M., Marion, L., Morales, G., Mundkur, T., Perennou, C., Pineau, O., Turner, D., Ulenaers, P. VanVessem, J. and Young, L., 2000, Conservation of herons, Kushlan, J. A., and Hafner, H., eds., Heron Conservation: San Diego, Academic Press, p. 343-375.


It has been over 15 years since the publication of the Herons Handbook (Hancock and Kushlan 1984) and over 17 years since the establishment of the Heron Specialist Group, in cooperation with IUCN, BirdLife International (then the International Council for Bird Preservation) and Wetlands International (then the International Waterfowl Research Bureau) (Hafner et al. 1986a).Since these events, our knowledge of the world's herons and of their habitats and conservation needs has increased exponentially thanks to the enthusiastic commitment of a multinational group of professional biologists and heron conservationists. The many results of their investigations on all continents and over many specific regions, presented in the previous chapters, may now serve conservation purposes. In this chapter representatives of the Group synthesise this knowledge in a condensed version of a global-scale conservation action plan. This plan outlines general and specific action required to maintain or enhance heron populations of concern throughout their present ranges. It represents the first complete assessment of existing knowledge of the global and regional conservation status of herons at species, subspecies and population levels. Not surprisingly there are taxa and regions for which data remain poor or non-existent. Gaps in our knowledge are emphasised in this chapter in order to challenge field biologists to fill major gaps in geographical coverage and to further understanding of heron biology and conservation needs in remote areas. The world's remaining wetlands, perhaps the most vulnerable and fragile of all habitats, are under ever-increasing threat from many sides. High consideration is therefore given to habitat and site conservation requirements without which species-conservation action would be futile.


Herons, Heron Specialist Group, IUCN, BirdLife International, conservation, population levels, heron biology, habitat

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