HeronConservation is a network of biologists, conservationists, and others interested in research and conservation of herons. HeronConservation’s mission is to promote the conservation of herons and their habitats worldwide by encouraging research, inventory, monitoring, and conservation action. To achieve its mission, HeronConservation (HC) maintains worldwide communication linkages among heron specialists, assesses the conservation status of heron populations, provides syntheses of information and action plans for the conservation of heron populations, and otherwise facilitates conservation action on behalf of herons and their habitat.
HeronConservation has a regionally-based organizational structure. It is led by a Global Chair (Coordinator) and Global Vice Chair. The current global chair is Jim Kushlan, located in North America, and the current global Vice Chair is Rob Clay, located in Paraguay. Regional Vice Chairs are responsible for specialist linkages in their regions.
HeronConservation is headquartered in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA. Mailing address is: 260 Crandon Blvd, Suite 32 #223, Key Biscayne FL 33149 USA; HeronSpecialistGroup@earthlink.net. HeronConservation is incorporated in the state of Florida, USA. The terms “HeronConservation”, “Heron Specialist Group”, “HC” and the logo are copyrighted and are registered trademarks of HeronConservation.
HeronConservation works in partnership, not only among its members, but with other conservation and scientific organizations. HeronConservation’s strategy is that except for highly endangered herons, conservation is best accomplished through more encompassing programs that incorporate the needs of herons within their goals. HeronConservation has a special relationship with the International Conservation Union (IUCN) and serves as its Heron Specialist Group. Members of the Heron Specialist Group become members of IUCN. It partners with Wetlands International and the Ramsar Convention for population estimations and BirdLife International and IUCN for species-level conservation assessment. It also partners with regional conservation organizations and initiatives; please visit our Partners page for a more complete list and visit our partner’s websites for more information on their important programs.
Membership is open to individuals and organizations with expertise, interest and active engagement in heron conservation, research, outreach and other activities contributing to the conservation of herons and their habitats. For more information, please see the Contact Information & Membership page.
The principal means of communication among members is through the website and email. HeronConservation meets periodically. Led by Vice-chairs, Group members also meet at regional ornithological congresses.
The history of HeronConservation is approaching its 30th anniversary. In 1982, Heinz Hafner, Patrick Dugan and Jim Kushlan founded the Heron Specialist Group. By the end of the following year, the Group had officially been recognized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB), and International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP), each of which recognized it as their global advisor on herons. The Group continues to enjoy partnerships with successor organizations, the World Conservation Union, Wetlands International, and BirdLife International. The Group was originally headquartered at Tour du Valat, Arles France, and in 2005 moved its headquarters to Key Biscayne, Florida, USA. Having passed its twentieth-fifth anniversary, it modernized its name to HeronConservation, and its network continues to facilitate heron conservation worldwide. Recent and present projects include syntheses of the conservation needs of herons and heron biology, a Global Action Plan for Herons, and the HeronConservation Website. The Global Action Plan outlines priority projects for heron conservation. In cooperation with its partners, the Group has identified heron populations of conservation interest, assessed numbers and status, and has mapped ranges. The website provides opportunities to update the materials in each of these documents as well as additional information on herons and their conservation. Please see documentation elsewhere on this website for further information.