SA69 Keynote Lecture | 2019 ($10 w/o paid registration)
Time - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Trip Leader(s): Peter Marra
Godwit Days 2019 Saturday Keynote Speaker,
“Birds and Outdoor Cats”
Dr. Peter Marra is a keynote speaker at the 2019 Godwit Days Festival. He is a captivating speaker on many subjects and he will bring his deep knowledge of birds and conservation to a central question of how are outdoor cats contributing to bird declines. He will also participate in some field trips where his excellent field skills will be on display.
Marra is co-author of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, published by Princeton University Press. Cat Wars tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world. In his entertaining and far-ranging lecture, Marra will trace the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling, and feline diseases.
He will chart the very interesting developments that have led to our present impasse – from breakthrough studies on cat predation to cat-eradication programs underway in Australia today – and describe how a small but vocal minority of cat advocates has campaigned successfully for no action in much the same way that special interest groups have stymied attempts to curtail smoking and reverse climate change.
Pete Marra is a conservation scientist who studies the ecology, migratory patterns and decline of birds across the Western Hemisphere. Pete also heads the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC).
He first knew that he wanted to study birds and wildlife at 6 years old after an up-close-and-personal experience with a black-capped chickadee. He has studied birds and their habitats in Central and South America and the Caribbean for more than 30 years.
In Jamaica, Pete’s extensive study of the ecology of migratory birds led to an ongoing dialogue with Jamaican government ministers, ambassadors and the business community about ways to rethink tourism to minimize its impact on the local environment.
Pete is the founder of several large research and communications programs, including Neighborhood Nestwatch, The Migratory Connectivity Project, and the Animal Mortality and Monitoring Program.
Pete earned a BS from Southern Connecticut State University in 1986, an MS from Louisiana State University in 1989, a PhD from Dartmouth College in 1998 and has been a conservation scientist at the Smithsonian Institution since 1999.