Cagan Sekercioglu

Cagan Sekercioglu – Conserving Birds Around the World: From Species to Landscapes and People.

Cagan Sekercioglu

  • B.A. 1997, Anthropology, Harvard University
  • B.A. 1997, Biology, Harvard University. Project: The effects of logging-based habitat modification on the vegetation structure and forest bird communities of the Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda
  • Ph.D. 2003, Department of Biology – Ecology, Stanford University Center for Conservation Biology. Project: Causes and Consequences of Bird Extinctions
  • Associate professor 2010, Biology/Ecology, Inter-university Council (UAK) of Turkey
  • Currently: Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Utah

By the end of this century, 25 percent of all bird species may be extinct. “That’s 2,500 unique species,” Sekercioglu warns. “Many pressures that will ultimately affect other animals, and even people, are happening to birds first. They are, quite literally, the canaries in the coal mine.”

Sekercioglu not only documents the trend, but also works to reverse it by integrating his work as a highly cited scientist, director of an award-winning grassroots conservation organization, and accomplished wildlife photographer.

Sekercioglu (whose first name means “hawk”) meticulously gathers data from fieldwork and scientific literature, then combines it with global warming and habitat loss scenarios to estimate bird extinctions. His binoculars get a workout. He’s seen 55 percent of the planet’s birds in 70 countries and on every continent. The mountains of data he collects on bird ecology, conservation status, biogeography, and migration are consolidated into a unique global bird database. This comprehensive tool, documenting more than 10,000 species, gives ornithologists a bird’s-eye view of where and how populations are changing around the globe. “With a database like this, you can look up anything you want in a second.” The tool, combined with his field experience, provides special insights into birds’ lives.

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