Tuesday 20th August, 2013
Sue Murray, General Manager of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, and Field Manager David McFarlane are attending the 8th International Penguin Conference in Bristol, United Kingdom, from 2 to 6 September 2013.
Sue: “I am honoured to represent the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and showcase its work overseas for the first time. The Trust decided that sending me to the conference would be a fitting investment to celebrate the 25 years since its formation. This major international community gathering is an opportunity for all those working on any aspects of research, conservation and husbandry of penguins to come together to share results, ideas, best practice and to learn from one another. David McFarlane is paying his own way; such is his belief in attending an event like this.
“At the conferenceI am giving three presentations: Overview of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust - a community conservation organisation; Richdale's 1939/40 cine film of yellow-eyed penguin breeding; and the Model of Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust - an example of a model that lasts.
”I am very grateful to the Leiden Conservation Foundation, New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Otago Branch) and the Penguin Fund of Japan for sponsoring me. Not only will I be attending the conference, but I will also be meeting up with the Trust’s patron Anton Oliver. Then, to make the most of my time away, I will be visiting several other conservation groups. The RSPB (the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), a UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and all wildlife, will be taking me to their reserves at Thatcham and Newport. The Nature Discovery Centre at Thatcham with its rich mix of open water, grassland, species-rich hedgerows, ponds, streams, mature trees and specially-protected areas of reed beds, is teeming with wildlife. It is the largest area of this kind of natural, unspoilt habitat in Europe. Newport Wetlands Reserve, which overlooks the Severn estuary, offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city.
“BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations striving to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity. The partnership is the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting bird life. The Trust was a recipient of the Birdlife International Conservation Award for its conservation efforts in 2008.
“Avon Wildlife Trust, which has more than 16,000 members, is a local charity working to protect wildlife in the Avon area. They look after 35 nature reserves, campaign on issues which threaten wildlife, and encourage everyone to be more concerned about the natural environment.
“The Eden Project in Cornwall is a charity and social enterprise. As well as creating stunning gardens and laying on fantastic arts and music events, they run transformational social and environmental projects on their doorstep and around the world; create unforgettable learning experiences for students; do valuable research into plants and conservation; and make sure they run their operations in the greenest possible way.
“I am going to come back from all these amazing experiences brimming with ideas and knowledge about citizen-initiated conservation, some of which will be incorporated into the final arrangements for the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust’s own conference, Conservation Inc., to be held in Dunedin on 17 and 18 October 2013.”