ORAS September kick-off meeting will feature talk by ornithologist on how hurricanes affect Caribbean birds

The Oconee Rivers Audubon Society will hold its upcoming monthly meeting on Thursday, September 5th, at UGA's Odum School of Ecology's Auditorium. The meeting will start with a reception with light refreshments and silent auction fundraiser at 6:30pm. The featured speaker, Dr. Joe Wunderle, will begin his presentation at 7:00pm. See below for more information.

Dr. Wunderle's talk will summarize some of the direct and indirect effects of hurricanes on bird populations and their resources in the Caribbean. Wunderle and his colleagues have baseline measurements of populations and resources before the arrival of various hurricanes on different islands and have been able to resample in the storms' aftermath to enable before and after comparisons. His talk will identify some of the types of bird populations, habitats, and resources especially vulnerable to hurricane impacts as well as demonstrating some post-hurricane behavioral responses of birds.

La Coca Falls in El Yunque National Park, Puerto Rico before Hurricanes Irma and Maria (Photo: Joseph Wunderle)

La Coca Falls in El Yunque National Park, Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria (Photo: Joseph Wunderle)


As an Emeritus Scientist with the USDA Forest Service's International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) in Puerto Rico, Joe Wunderle has recently moved to Athens after more than 40 years of teaching and conducting research throughout the Caribbean where he focused on the ecology and conservation of migrant and resident birds. Joe and his wife, Dr. Jean Lodge (adjunct professor of mycology, UGA), still maintain a home in Puerto Rico where he continues to supervise graduate students as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, he will also continue to organize and compile the 26th annual Fajardo Christmas Bird Count, to further document the avian responses to recent hurricanes.


Dr. Joe wunderle with a kingfisher (photo: Joseph Wunderle)


The Odum School of Ecology is located on the University of Georgia's main campus at 140 East Green Street, Athens. There is a large parking lot located just south of the building that can be accessed off of East Green Street, and is open on weeknights beginning at 6 p.m. For more information on parking in relation to the Odum School of Ecology (labeled as Ecology in zone S07 in the following link) see the University of Georgia parking map https://tps.uga.edu/sites/default/files/docs/timezones.pdf

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!