By Gregor Beck, Senior Strategist, Birds Canada
For 25 years, Andrew Couturier has been a dedicated, talented, and integral part of the Birds Canada team. With his background in geography, Andrew came to Birds Canada in 1997 and has been a valued and vital staff member and organizational leader ever since. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about some of the achievements for birds he’s made over the years, with your support.
Andrew has been involved in many program areas during his time with Birds Canada. His GIS expertise played a very important role in his work on the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas (2001-2005), including innovative approaches to mapping both breeding evidence and relative abundance of birds. The work on that project led directly to his deep involvement in other breeding bird atlas projects across the country, including Ontario’s third atlas (now underway), and internationally.
Identification, conservation, and stewardship of priority bird habitats has always been central to Andrew’s work with Birds Canada. Relating directly to this is his leadership of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) program, which played an essential role in identifying and advancing stewardship of these vital habitats. Always “bigger than birds,” the IBA concept is being broadened and expanded in scope, with even greater conservation partnerships. Andrew and the Landscape Science and Conservation team are currently overseeing the transition to the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) with an eye to ever-greater conservation impact.
Andrew’s work at Birds Canada has always included extensive conservation and research synergies – from Canadian atlases to IBAs and KBAs to international collaborations. As such, Andrew serves as Birds Canada’s representative on the Global Council of BirdLife International, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and multiple atlas collaborations, to name just a few. His achievements in bird conservation also include his election to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and other distinctions.
Birds Canada acknowledges and salutes Andrew on his bird conservation achievements, and we thank him for his quarter century of service with the organization.