29 January - 4 February 2018 Tver, Russia

The First all-Russian ornithological Congress was held in Tver from January 29 to February 4, 2018. The idea of the Congress belonged to the BirdsRussia, the Tver State University, the Tver branch of the Moscow University of Humanities and Economics, the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Lomonosov Moscow State University were co-founders. 

Ornithological science in Russia has a long history and rich traditions. More than a hundred years our ornithologists are actively working and achieve considerable success in the study and conservation of birds. But there is no science and nature protection without communication of colleagues. We have been thinking for a long time about how to hold the conference, and finally decided to try to make it an unprecedented large, open, focused including on young people, ornithologists and birdwatchers living and working away from the main scientific centers. And then it became obvious that this meeting should be called Congress. In Soviet times, his role was played by the All-Union ornithological Conference, which now remain a mechanism of communication, the watchers of the former soviet space, developed under the Mensbier Ornithological Society. However, forum general for all russian ornithologists until recently was not.


In this regard, BirdsRussia Board considered it possible and necessary to form a broad coalition of leading scientific and environmental organizations that would create the basis for the regular organization of the All-Russian ornithological congresses. It was a little scary and nervous, but now the first such Congress has taken place, and we can sum up some of its results. 

The Congress became a large-scale event. It was attended by more than four hundred people — ornithologists, birdwatchers, wildphotographers, journalists. More than three hundred and fifty oral and poster presentations were made. In addition to russian participants, the Congress was attended by guests from 12 countries. The Organizing Committee financially supported the participation of 42 people, including 26 students.

Preparing the Congress, the organizers sought to bring it closer to the best international standards, to saturate the program with advanced areas of ornithological science, to acquaint the Russian community of scientists and birdwatchers with new methods of collecting and processing ornithological data. An important innovation was the invitation birdwatchers, who along with professionals participate in many scientific programs and practical actions for the protection of birds. 

The Congress program was very broad and complex. In addition to traditional for ornithology faunistic, taxonomic, morphological and ecological directions, parasitological studies of birds were presented, the topic of bird flu with the participation of virologists was raised, the latest data on the mechanisms of bird orientation during migration were highlighted. As planned, special attention was paid to the latest technological developments used in ornithology. In particular, several sessions were devoted to the use of space images and unmanned aerial vehicles in the study and protection of birds, observations of bird migrations using satellite transmitters and geolocators. Much attention was paid to how birds respond to climate change, as well as to anthropogenic changes in the habitat. The plenary sessions included several lectures by leading foreign scientists on new methods in ornithology for our country, as well as russian experts who gave their reports (as the organizers wanted) some educational aspect. The organization of the meetings sought to optimize and "compact": leading parallel sessions and symposia to ensure that speakers strictly comply with the time limit, which allowed the audience to move from audience to audience, choosing the reports of interest to them.

The organizers have invested a lot of mental, physical and moral strength in the Congress, and it seems to us that the troubles have paid off. We hope the next Congress will be even more interesting and useful. 

In conclusion, I would like to say once again about our great gratitude to our colleagues from Tver, without whose active participation the Congress would not have taken place, and to all its participants for the creative and friendly atmosphere that prevailed at the Congress.

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