Dr. Munir Virani joined the Mohamed Bin Zayed Raptor Conservation Fund as their new Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 2021. Prior to that, Munir was the Executive Vice President and Director for Global Conservation Strategy for The Peregrine Fund, based in Boise Idaho, USA. With over 25 years of experience in raptor research and conservation, strategic planning, project design, execution, management, and fundraising, Munir’s research on birds of prey spans over four continents and focuses on creative, holistic, and effective solutions for conservation problems, developing collaborative conservation ventures and capacity building.
Munir has conducted extensive research on birds of prey in East Africa, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and his most recent strategic conservation portfolio extended to Panama on Harpy Eagles, forest conservation, and indigenous communities; and in the Caribbean Islands on the threatened raptors there. His work has garnered several International Awards including The Aga Khan Foundation’s award for excellence in the Field of Science and Technology and more recently the prestigious “Green Oscar” Award from the Whitley Fund for Nature’s for his work on critically endangered vultures in Kenya. Munir has published over 150 scientific and popular articles. His TED talk on “Why I Love Vultures” has generated over one million views.
With over four decades of falconry experience, Tony is an accomplished British falconer and recognized leader in the international falconry community. He is on the Board of Directors of the British Archives of Falconry, a Trustee of the British Falconers Clubs, and a Cultural Officer with the IAF.
Tony discusses falconry's shared experiences from around the world and throughout time, highlighting the conveyance of craft and literature across millennia, and exploring their influence on our falconry today.
Lauren McGough, Ph.D. of Cultural Anthropology and Fulbright Scholar has spent the last sixteen years flying eagles around the world. She is passionate about understanding falconry heritage, human-animal interactions, and human evolution. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University-Pueblo looking into how different groups of people perceive golden eagles across the American West.
Outside of Central Asia, North America is one of the few places where the millennia-old tradition of trapping and hunting in partnership with passage golden eagles continues. This talk aims to give an overview of the Eurasian tradition of eagle falconry and celebrates, with an eye to the future, the unique opportunity American falconers have to fly this most capable and often misunderstood species.
Chris Parrish is a raptor biologist and conservation leader with a unique, "next-level" combination of skills including empirical research, on-the-ground species recovery, and social science. Chris is a master- communicator with proven success in engaging human behavior such as the adoption of non-lead ammunition among hunter groups. Chris is a former condor project lead with the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Co, Director of Global Conservation at The Peregrine Fund, and co-founder of the North American Non-lead Partnership.
Join The Peregrine Fund's new CEO for a discussion about raptor conservation and how The Peregrine Fund is tackling modern conservation challenges. With The Peregrine Fund’s roots in falconry, and a solid foundation of science, this brand of hands-on, no-nonsense conservation has produced results.
Adrian Reuter is a wildlife biologist, a falconer with over four decades of experience flying birds, and the current IAF Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. Adrian has specialized on wildlife trade and trafficking issues, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean, including national and international legal frameworks, capacity building in close coordination and collaboration with governments and regional initiatives, and research on threatened and endangered species impacted by trade.
The Latin American region has witnessed a rampant increase in practicing falconry over the past few decades. However, rapid and widespread growth in many countries of the region has brought on challenges. This presentation aims to give a glimpse of the recent/current status of falconry in Latin America and share some of the issues that should be considered as priorities to ensure the continuity and ethical development of this art in the region.
Jevgeni Shergalin is a raptor biologist with a research background on raptors of Northern Eurasia. He is a member of the Middle East Falcon Research Group, Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Central Council of Russian Bird Conservation Union, and Central Council of Menzbier Ornithological Society (Northern Eurasia). From 1991-2005, he was a consultant and translator of ornithological information from the ex-USSR. Jevgeni served on the Organizing Committee of three International Festivals of Falconry (2007, 2009, 2011). He also served in various IAF roles since 2003.
A brief review of falconry history in the Russian Empire (1882-1917) and ex-USSR (1918-1991). Jevgeni shares perspectives on the revival of falconry in European vs. Asian-influenced regions of Russia and the former USSR.
Leslie Wallace, Ph.D. is a specialist in Chinese art and archaeology and has published articles and book chapters on falconry in early and medieval China. She is working on a book on representations of falconry in China that covers materials from roughly AD 200 to 1800.
This talk focuses on materials from the Liao (916-1125) and Jin (115-1234) dynasties. At the time, hunting swans and geese with raptors was the centerpiece of the chunshui (spring water), a ritual hunt that was held in early spring. She discusses this hunt and falconry-related imagery that occurs in Liau and Jin tomb murals, textiles, and jewelry.
Mark Williams was born in the UK, flying mostly goshawks for the first 15 years of his falconry career before emigrating with his young family to Canada in 1991, where he eventually settled in southern Alberta. Marc served as President of his provincial falconry club, NAFA's Canadian director for 8 years as well as the IAF Canadian Delegate. Through his passion for falconry, and later in his career with Marshall Telemetry, Mark has traveled extensively to over 38 countries and has witnessed and occasionally practiced the sport in various parts of the world giving him a great appreciation and understanding of the various cultures and falconry methods used.
An overview of modern falconry as practiced in the Middle East, including its cultural significance and future prospects.