The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

About HeronConservation

HeronConservation, the Heron Specialist Group, is an independent 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.

The Heron Specialist Group was founded 33 years ago, in 1982, with James A. Kushlan and Heinz Hafner serving as its founding co-chairs. By the end of the following year, the Group officially had been endorsed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB, now Wetlands International), and International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP, now BirdLife International), all of which recognized it as their global advisor on heron research and conservation. The Group continues to enjoy partnerships, with these organizations.

The Group was headquartered at Station Biologique Tour du Valat, Arles, France, and from 2005 in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA.  In 2010, it modernized its name to “HeronConservation, the Heron Specialist Group,” changed its organizational structure, and enhanced its approaches to communication. In 2015, it undertook a strategic review to set the stage for its next phase, 2015-2019.

HeronConservation is led by co-chairs James Kushlan and Clay Green and a Steering Committee. Much of the Group’s acitvities, especially conservation planning and action, is carried through Working Groups, each led by a Chair. Information on the Group’s leadership, committees membership and communication links are found on the Organization page.

HeronConservation is headquartered in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA. Mailing address is: 260 Crandon Blvd, Suite 32 #223, Key Biscayne, FL 33149 USA. Email either of the co-chairs ( or ) or any member of the Steering Committee.

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 Organization and Membership pages.

The principal means of communication among members is through our this website (HeronConservation.org), our  Facebook page and email. Members of HeronConservation and others interested in heron biology and conservation meet periodically adjacent to other conferences.