News

The 2020 WCW is only one week ahead of us!

Dear fellow waterfowl enthusiasts,

Almost 70 attendees from seven countries will join the WCW! We are thrilled by this number of people that will get together next week.

In this news item we’d like to inform you about some details about the WCW and your arrival.

Time and location of arrival

Attendees who will not stay over in hotel.

When you have not booked a room at Hotel Mennorode, please be sure you will arrive on time in Barneveld, using your own transportation or public transport. You can park your own car at the campus. Registration in Barneveld will start at 8.00 AM at the main entrance of Aeres MBO Barneveld.

Attendees who will stay over in hotel.

When you have booked your room at Hotel Mennorode, your arrival at the hotel will be at Wednesday 19th February. In the afternoon, you will be welcomed by Peter Kooy (IWWA vice-president), at the reception. Breakfast on Thursday will be at 7.00 AM, bus will leave to Barneveld at 7.45 AM. The bus will arrive in Barneveld on 8.30 AM, for registration at the main entrance.

Please note: Price is based on group rates; p.p. for double-occupancy rooms. We will try to make suitable combinations for double rooms, in conculation with all of our guests.

If you prefer a single room, you can arrange this for €15 extra per night. Please get informed by Peter Kooy at the hotel.

Address details:

Aeres MBO Barneveld
Barnseweg 3
3771 RN Barneveld
The Netherlands

Hotel Mennorode
Apeldoornseweg 185
8075 RJ Elspeet
The Netherlands

Examination of your birds’ faeces.

During the WCW you have the opportunity to examinate the faeces of your own birds. For this workshop, you can bring your birds’ faeces to our campus. At the time of arrival, Thursday morning, you can handover the faeces at the reception.

Requirements for fresh faeces:

  • Fresh faeces must not be dehydrated.
  • You can bring fresh faeces in a small vacuumed and sealed package/baggie.
  • We will provide a label including your name + the species’ name.
  • Please keep your sealed package as cool as possible (not frozen).  

Names of traveling partners

If you registered for more then one person, could you please provide us the names of the other attendees by e-mail (j.harteman@aeres.nl)?

Public transport

For more information about traveling with public transport and other frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers, please visit our FAQ-page: https://waterfowlconservation.org/faq/.

Custom travel advice? Call +31 900 – 9292 (€0,90 p/m)

Extra option for using dinner at Hotel Mennorode

If you will not stay at the hotel, but if you like to join dinner with the other guests, you can sign up for dinner at Thursday and Friday morning. Costs on your own: €30 per person.

Have any question?

Frequently asked questions are answered at this page: https://waterfowlconservation.org/faq

For more questions, please get in touch with

Going digital: the egg-logger project

One of our speakers is Kevin Varekamp. He graduated from Aeres Barneveld in 2019 where he spent a lot of his spare time assisting on the waterfowl department as a student. This fuelled his interest in ducks and got him involved with the Egg-logger project. Kevin currently works as a zookeeper in the Netherlands and is an avid birdwatcher with a soft spot for waterfowl.

The Egg-logger project has been developed as a collaboration between Aeres MBO Barneveld and GNC Solutions and has potential for valuable research. With capabilities to measure the temperature and rotation of eggs within the nests of birds it can give important insight in the incubation tactics of various species. The future possibilities of this project are wide open and may be able to play an important role in conservation and the development of artificial incubating strategies. Looking back at earlier results, Kevin will discuss what the Egg-logger can mean to you.

Kevin Varekamp working with an Argus pheasant, at Artis Zoo, Amsterdam.

New speakers added to the WCW programme

We’ve added a few speakers to our schedule, in favour to complete the programme of the 2020 Waterfowl Conservation Workshop.

Jonathan Beilby, Animal Registrar at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, UK, will talk about Madagascar pochard conservation and reintroduction.

Johnpaul Houston, Director at Manchester Zoo, UK, and Vice-chair of EAZA’s Waterfowl Taxon Advisory Group, will talk about the work and future plans of the Waterfowl TAG of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).

Keith Lovett, Director of Buttonwood Park Zoo, USA, and chair of AZA’s Waterfowl Taxon Advisory Group, will talk about the work and future plans of the Waterfowl TAG of the American Association of Zoos and Aquaria (AZA).

Clayton Botkin, Vice-President of the IWWA and owner of C. Botkin Enterprises, Canada, will talk about waterfowl nest boxes and other nesting structures.

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.