Monday, June 4, 2012

International Visitors to The Raptor Center

Frequently a hub of international activity, The Raptor Center had some fascinating visitors this past week.  Waheed Al Faziri, a conservation biologist from the Sultanate of Oman, toured the center with a fellow biologist from Voyageur National Park. While Waheed was thrilled to be able to see so much of what we do here, we were equally as excited to be able to hear about his work with Sooty Falcons in Oman. Sooty Falcons are tiny falcons, about the size of an American kestrel, whose population has recently been determined to be much smaller than previously believed. Data learned from satellite telemetry on several individuals on the birds’ choices for migration pathways contributed to the overall body of knowledge being used to determine conservation choices.

Later that same day, a group of colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda toured The Raptor Center. These visitors are part of the RESPOND project, a cooperative agreement with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and other partners that the University of Minnesota is involved with. This multidisciplinary team is working to pre-empt the first stages of emerging diseases that can spread between animals and humans, an area where wildlife play a critical role. (Click here for a University News Release about this important effort.) We look forward to future conversations with these colleagues and the opportunity to work together.

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