Hybridization in waterfowl and their genetic make-up

Jente Ottenburghs obtained his PhD at the University of Wageningen where he studied the genetic consequences of hybridization in geese. During this project, he also started the Avian Hybrids Project, a website and blog gathering the recent literature on hybridization in birds. Jente continued his goose research at the Uppsala University (Sweden). In particular, he focused on the population genomics of several hybridizing goose species, such as Greater White-fronted Goose, Bean Goose and Pink-footed Goose. Jente is currently a lecturer at the University of Wageningen, teaching a wide range of topics in ecology and evolution.

In his talk, Jente will explore the incidence of hybridization in waterfowl and how this influences their genetic make-up. He will show that the exchange of genetic material through hybridization is a common phenomenon that changes the way we think about avian evolution and taxonomy.

Jente Ottenburghs holding a barnacle goose

Avian influenza in wild birds

Thijs Kuiken is Professor of Comparative Pathology at the Department of Viroscience, Erasmus MC, in Rotterdam. At the 2020 Waterfowl Conservation Workshop he will talk about Avian influenza in wild birds and the important findings of the subtypes of this virus over the past decades.

It took several decades after the isolation of influenza viruses from humans (1933) and domestic birds (1955) before wild waterbirds were identified as the original reservoir of influenza A viruses. Only in the 1960s and 1970s did evidence start to accumulate that healthy wild birds, primarily in the orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, are the ultimate reservoir of nearly all subtypes of influenza A virus. Preliminary evidence that wild birds could play a role in the global spread of this virus came from the outbreak in 2005-2006. More convincing evidence was collected during outbreaks in Europe and North America in 2014-2015. It is crucial to find out whether wild birds only remain occasional vectors for this H5 avian virus, or whether wild birds can become maintenance reservoirs. In the latter case, the global epidemiology of avian influenza would definitely enter a new era.

Above: Thijs Kuiken, Professor of Comparative Pathology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam

Introducing the Passchendaele Waterfowl Breeding Center

As a child, Julian Loomans dreamed of running a breeding center. Now, several years later, his dream came true and he got the opportunity to manage a new waterfowl breeding center in Belgium.

During the 2020 Waterfowl Conservation Workshop Julian will present the realisation of the Passchendaele Waterfowl Breeding Center. In this talk all aspects of this unique project will be covered; from designing the breeding center till compiling a collection of waterfowl.

Above: Julian Loomans at the new Passchendaele Waterfowl Breeding Center, Belgium

The science behind waterfowl behaviour

Above: Paul Rose and a Bewick’s swan

Today we introduce one of the talks and speakers at the 2020 Waterfowl Conservation Workshop: The science behind waterfowl behaviour, by Paul Rose.

Paul attained his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2018, where he investigated the behaviour and welfare of captive flamingos. Paul is the Co-Chair of the IUCN Flamingo Flamingo Specialist Group and Vice-Chair of the BIAZA Research Committee. Paul is a lecture in animal behaviour at the University of Exeter and also teaches on the zoo programmes at Sparsholt College Hampshire. He is the research officer for the BIAZA Bird Working Group and for the EAZA Charariiformes TAG. Paul is an associate researcher at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and investigates means of welfare assessment for captive ducks, geese and swans.

In this talk, Paul will outline the importance of underpinning captive husbandry and management with behavioural ecology information to provide an evidence-based approach to the care of all waterfowl species.

Hands-on workshop topics

The Waterfowl Conservation Workshop, organized February 20-22 2020, provides speaker sessions and hands-on workshops concerning waterfowl husbandry and breeding, conservation, research, behaviour, veterinary care. Speaker sessions will be scheduled in the morning, hands-on workshops will be scheduled in the afternoon. Today we would like to introduce some of the hands-on workshop topics:

  • waterfowl catching, handling and fixation
  • waterfowl anatomy
  • waterfowl pathology
  • water quality testing methods
  • health checks & condition scoring
  • artificial incubating eggs
  • injecting birds
  • faecal examination
  • examinating show waterfowl

For more details about the programme, please click here.

You can now buy tickets and register!

You can now register and buy your tickets for the Waterfowl Conservation Workshop 2020!

WCW is a three-day seminar for zoo and wildlife professionals and students, as well as dedicated private aviculturists managing their own waterfowl aviaries. The workshop provides a unique forum for the discussion of waterfowl husbandry, conservation, research, veterinary care, and other relevant topics.

Click here for online registration and the latest information about programme and fees.

News on registration fees WCW2020

WCW 2020 will be held in the Netherlands, at the campus of Aeres MBO Barneveld and at Ouwehands Zoo. WCW 2020 will include speaker sessions and hands-on workshops in Barneveld and a tour at Ouwehands Zoo. A post-conference wild goose safari is optional.

You can now find details on registration fees and options at our website!
Please click here to find the arrangements for WCW2020!
Online registration will be open for attendees soon, within a few days.
Please note: 100 participants maximum .

Please take note of our generous sponsors too.

Speakers at WCW2020

We can now announce the first speakers at the Waterfowl Conservation Workshop 2020!

Dr. Paul Rose, Associate Lecturer at the University of Exeter / Research Associate at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, UK, will talk about the science behind waterfowl behaviour.

Bernd Marcordes, curator at Kölner Zoo, Germany, and chair of EAZA’s Waterfowl Taxon Advisory Group will talk about the past work and future plans of the Waterfowl TAG.

Julian Loomans, aviculturist at a new private breeding center in Belgium, will talk about the Passchendaele Waterfowl Breeding Center.

Thijs Kuiken DVM PhD DACVP, Professor of Comparative Pathology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands, will speak about Avian influenza in waterfowl.

Nigel Jarrett, Head of Conservation Breeding at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, UK, will talk about Madagascar pochard conservation and reintroduction.

Kevin Varekamp, aviculturist, will discuss the results of the Egg-logger project at the campus of Aeres MBO Barneveld.

Dr. Jente Ottenburghs, Post doctoral at department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, University of Uppsala, Sweden, will talk about Waterfowl hybridisation, genetics and taxonomy.