Newsletter: November 1997

at the Unversity of Missouri - St. Louis



Vol. V, No. 1 - November 1997


The International Center for Tropical Ecology has this year lost two friends and recipients of our World Ecology Medal. Jacques Cousteau died in June this year. He was awarded the ecology medal in 1991 in recognition of his life's work in exploring the oceans and his concern for their declining quality. He invented the aqualung and through The Cousteau Society produced numerous films, books, and TV documentaries raising environmental awareness. John Denver died tragically in October and although he is best known for his music and films, he was also one of the nation's most visible environmental activists. His concern for the environment inspired him to establish the Windstar Foundation, a non-profit environmental education and research center that works for a sustainable future for the world. In recognition of this commitment to the environment, John Denver was the first recipient of the World Ecology Medal awarded by the International Center for Tropical Ecology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He was also a member of the Presidential Commission on World and Domestic Hunger and was awarded the Presidential World Without Hunger Award. He supported many environmental and welfare organizations such as National Wildlife Federation, Save the Children, The Cousteau Society, and Friends of the Earth. We have clearly lost two people dedicated to environmental protection and education.


The International Center for Tropical Ecology has established an endowed research scholarship which will be awarded in memory of John Denver, recipient of the first World Ecology Medal. This development has been made possible through the generous donation of a $25,000 challenge grant from the Kroeger Family Charitable Foundation. Not only have Hal and Carole Kroeger pledged this challenge grant, but they are also working with the ICTE to see that the challenge is fulfilled. This endowed scholarship will forever honor a remarkable individual who cared deeply about our world and its future.


In summer 1990 I was teaching a field ecology course in Costa Rica and preparing to move to the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I had been hired as a Assistant Professor in Biology with the task of developing graduate level courses in Conservation Biology. While in the lowland, wet forests of La Selva Biological Station, a colleague who studies butterflies commented: "So I hear you are off to teach conversation biology." I protested "No, not conversation biology, but conservation biology." Well, in many ways my colleague had hit the nail on the head.

The academic discipline of conservation biology is quite young, although its roots, at least in North America, go back to the beginning of the century. Yet, when I was in graduate school in the early- to mid-1980s, very few programs had courses in conservation biology. Conservation biology might have been said to be in its juvenile stage when I entered the game as an educator in 1990, and now perhaps is, at best, a young adult. If I asked a dozen biologists to define the scope of conservation biology, I'm sure I would get a dozen different answers. Unlike many other academic disciplines, conservation biology stands out because of the urgency with which one must translate new theories into applications. Michael Soulé, one of the modern-day academic founders of conservation biology, has aptly described the field as a crisis discipline. Action must be taken before we have the time to test all alternative hypotheses, not to mention gather all of the necessary scientific data. In addition, conservation biology stands out because of its multi-disciplinary nature. Paul Ehrlich once wrote that "conservation has little to do with science and very much to do with economics, politics, and sociology." Consequently, training students to be conservation biologists is a tricky business.

There is no doubt that conservation of biodiversity ultimately depends on sound biology, which means understanding the patterns and processes in nature. In most ecosystems, biologists are not yet able to understand fully the complexities of those systems. Nonetheless, we often have an educated guess to explain the observed patterns and why systems behave the way they do. To translate biological principles into conservation action, however, is a completely different game&emdash;and this is where training in conversation comes in. In my opinion, a well trained conservation biologist must have a strong foundation in understanding the biology of systems, but they must also be broad thinkers. Prescribing biological solutions to conservation problems in the absence of an understanding of political and socio-economic realities is a recipe for failure. No one can be an expert in all these fields. Yet, we can and should provide multi-disciplinary training to biologists so that they have a moderate understanding of who the major actors are and how politics and socio-economic conditions operate to shape environmental policy. This introduction ensures that biologists will be able to converse with these varied groups and design solutions which meet the biological criteria, yet satisfy all interested parties (don't we wish it all could be that easy!). Working in multi-disciplinary teams and designing solutions to complex problems with varied interests, while preserving the biotic integrity of systems, is a Herculean task. A challenge that will not be met solely by academic discussions in the classroom. Training in conservation requires hands-on work. Such training can come from practical, problem-solving workshops and field internships.

We are fast approaching the 21st century, and the next 10-20 years are likely to be the most important years for the conservation of the remaining biodiversity on our planet. Arguably, the environmental and social challenges we face are our biggest ever, and the policy decisions we make during these years will have a lasting impact for many generations to come. It's an exciting, challenging, and very important time for conservation biologists to be in the arena and working at various scales&emdash;local, regional, global&emdash;to influence policy and our environmental future. Our next generation of biologists need to be conversant in the multidisciplinary context in which conservation operates.

Bette Loiselle, Director ICTE


The past few months have been filled with change and exciting new developments. First, we offer our sincerest gratitude and best wishes to Drs. Stephen Mulkey and Kaoru Kitajima in their new academic home at the University of Florida-Gainesville. Stephen Mulkey served as Director of the ICTE during the 1996-1997 academic year and was a key figure in establishing the Center and nurturing its development. Drs. Paul Berry and Lois Brako have accepted positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Paul Berry, a curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden for the past seven years, was instrumental in the development of the Center and the training of a number of ICTE students over the years. Lois Brako, Director, Research Administration in the Graduate School's Research Office, has played an important advisory role to the ICTE as a member of the Executive Committee. We will miss the energy, enthusiasm, and skills that these four special people brought to ICTE, UM-St. Louis, and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The ICTE has a new administrative structure which reflects the continued support the Center receives from the Department of Biology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and from the Chancellor's office. Dr. Bette Loiselle has succeeded Dr. Stephen Mulkey as Director and Dr. Patrick Osborne has been appointed to a full-time position as Executive Director. The ICTE is now run by its Director and Executive Director, with policy set by its Executive Committee and Academic Advisory Board. In addition, ICTE regularly seeks and receives important guidance and support from its Scientific Advisory and Development Boards.

Patrick Osborne, Executive Director, ICTE


The Search for the E. Desmond Lee and Family Fund Endowed Professors in Botanical and Zoological Studies continues. The appointees will work closely with the Missouri Botanical Garden (Plant Molecular Systematics) and the St. Louis Zoo (Conservation of Animal Populations). Dr. Bette Loiselle is chairing the zoologist search, while Drs. Victoria Sork and Robert Ricklefs are chairpersons for the botanist search. The Department of Biology is thrilled with the quality of the applicants for these positions and expects to announce appointments to both positions before the end of the year. Short-list candidates have been contacted and interviews are underway. These endowed professors will be key additions to our program.


Since summer 1992, 32 graduate students have participated in conservation internships as part of the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Tropical Biology and Conservation. An additional 3-4 internships are being developed for fall 1997 and winter semester 1998. Of the completed internships, 22 have been conducted by Master's students and 10 by Ph.D. students. There has been a strong international component in this special conservation training in both the identity of the student conducting the internship and the organization they have joined. Students completing internships have come from ten countries: USA, Australia, Costa Rica, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. Internships have been conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and both locally in St. Louis, and nationally in Louisiana, Utah, New York, and Washington, DC. In total, internships have been conducted with no less than twenty-five organizations including international non-governmental conservation groups (e.g., World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International), multilateral lending institutions (e.g., The World Bank), federal agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution), and private organizations (e.g., Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity, Missouri Botanical Garden). A number of the graduates of this program have gone on to positions in conservation-related fields. In at least two cases, the conservation internship was instrumental in securing post-graduate school positions&emdash;Monica Romo is working with Conservation International in Lima, Peru and Pedro Lopez-Valencia worked first with World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC but has since joined a national research agency in Bogota, Colombia.


The International Center for Tropical Ecology, Conservation International (CI), and The Nature Conservancy of Missouri hosted a forum and reception at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center on 18 September 1997. Over 200 people attended the forum. Roderic Mast, Vice-President for Species Conservation at Conservation International described how CI focuses its efforts on "hotspots" of biological diversity, areas distinguished by exceptional numbers of species, by high endemicity, and by imminent threat of destruction. CI's mission is to conserve the Earth's living natural heritage, our global diversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature. CI works closely with local communities living within hotspot areas, helping them to identify novel economic activities that are environmentally sustainable.

Bette Loiselle delivered a stimulating talk entitled: "Conservation through research and education: The role of the International Center for Tropical Ecology." Bette described some of the research projects being carried out by ICTE associates both in Missouri and the tropics. ICTE associates are currently working in over 50 countries from Mongolia to Chile.

Doug Ladd, Director of Science and Stewardship of the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) presented a seminar entitled "Conservation in a midwestern landscape". With programs in all 50 states, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada and the Pacific, TNC manages the largest system of private nature preserves in the world, and has helped to protect more than 9 million acres. The Missouri chapter of The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 133,000 acres in Missouri and currently manages 39 preserves. Doug stressed that efforts to conserve biodiversity should not only be directed at the tropical hotspots but also at ecosystems nearer home.

David Shores, Chair of the ICTE's Development Board, developed the concept to hold a conservation forum and was largely responsible for its organization. In view of the outstanding success of the forum, the ICTE plans to make this an annual event and preparations for next year's forum are underway.


The International Center for Tropical Ecology is delighted to announce the establishment of an Interchange Program between UM-St. Louis and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). This program follows Dr. Richard Leakey's visit in February and is jointly funded by the Freund Foundation and Jane and Whitney Harris. Richard Leakey and the Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya have nominated Dr. Joseph Mutangah to receive the Fellowship as part of the Interchange Program between the ICTE and NMK. Dr. Mutangah is the Plant Conservation Co-ordinator with the National Museums of Kenya. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wales and his thesis investigated the effects of human disturbances on the vegetation in Kakamega Forest, Kenya. In his current position he leads a team surveying habitats, mapping biodiversity, and assessing habitats in order to establish conservation priorities in Kenya. He previously worked in the East African Herbarium as a plant systematist. Dr. Mutangah will visit us in the spring. As part of this program one of our graduate students will undertake an internship with the NMK in Nairobi. We are delighted to be able to strengthen our link with Kenyan biologists and look forward to a fruitful interchange experience.


The theme for this year's World Ecology Day (24 October 1997) was the "The rise and fall of large rivers: Life in the flood zone." Over 350 students from local high schools attended the lectures and viewed displays mounted by environmental organizations. Prof. John Melack from the University of California, Santa Barbara presented a paper entitled: "Biogeochemical and ecological processes on the floodplain of the Amazon River: Experimental, observational and remote sensing studies." Professor Melack has a research program in limnology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology and remote sensing with active studies in Brazil, alpine and saline lakes in California, and riverine wetlands in Georgia, along with a continuing interest in tropical Africa. Prof. Jeffrey Richey from the University of Washington lectured on: "From Mesopotamia to the Amazon: How do very large rivers represent their landscape?" Professor Richey is the Principal Investigator of the Carbon in the Amazon River Experiment (CAMREX) and the NASA Earth Observing System (EOSRAM) Amazon projects. Dr. Robert Meade, US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado presented the keynote address: "The Mississippi: The engineered river." Dr. Meade has extensive research experience on the Mississippi, Amazon, and Orinoco Rivers and received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given to civilian employees of the US Department of the Interior, for his services to hydrology. The ICTE acknowledges Mallinckrodt Inc., David Shores, Vice-President with Merrill Lynch, through the Merrill Lynch Employee Community Involvement Program, and Beta Beta Beta (Biology Society) for their support of this event.


The Jane and Whitney Harris lecturer for 1998 will be Dr. Harry W. Greene. Dr. Greene is a herpetologist and evolutionary biologist with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is especially interested in anti-predator adaptations, the role of diet in morphological diversification of reptiles, community structure in vertebrates and the conservation of predators in deserts and rain forests. He has published numerous scientific papers and with his Ph.D. students, he has worked on predation in Mediterranean type habitats; behavioral ecology of Hawaiian birds; community structure in tropical snakes; and the behavioral, evolutionary, and population biology of lizards, turtles, and frogs. Dr. Greene recently published Snakes: The evolution of mystery in nature, an engrossing account of the natural history of serpents. The book contains exquisite photographs by Michael and Patricia Fogden. The lecture will be held at the St. Louis Zoo in April 1998.


David Shores, Chair of the ICTE Development Board, received a Distinguished Alumni Award at the UM-St. Louis Founders' Dinner held at the Ritz-Carlton on 12 September 1997. David Shores was awarded his masters degree in Biology in 1994 and has chaired the Development Board since its establishment in 1991. His leadership is an integral part of the ICTE's success. David has also been active in strengthening links between the ICTE and conservation organizations. He organized the Conservation Forum held in September at which the ICTE had the opportunity to interact with senior representatives from Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. David is with Merrill Lynch and has directed funding to the ICTE through the Merrill Lynch Employee Community Involvement Program. He has devoted countless hours to our fund-raising efforts and his zeal and enthusiasm for environmental conservation makes him a very deserving recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award.


In a chapter to appear in Dynamics of Tropical Communities (edited by D.M. Newbery, N. Brown and H.H.T. Prins, Blackwell Science, Oxford), Dr. Susanne Renner reviews how tropical plant-pollinator systems respond to changes in the environment, especially habitat fragmentation from deforestation. Most recent studies on habitat fragmentation have focused on responses by animal populations while others consider landscape, habitat, or ecosystem effects from empirical or theoretical perspectives. Of the 13 studies addressing the effects of large-scale habitat deterioration on plant-pollinator interactions and/or plant fitness, most provide qualitative rather than quantitative evidence. One study quantifies effects by comparing fruit set, pollen deposition, pollen tube growth, or seed set in duplicated fragments of various sizes and in continuous habitats and finds a negative effect of fragmentation in all but two of 16 species. Five of the 13 studies report on pollinator extinction or presumed extinction; two report on pollinator absence owing to cyclones or hurricanes, in one case followed by speedy recovery of the plant-pollinator interaction; and five report on pollination by other animals where the original pollinator is lost. Available data are thus too scarce to evaluate two often repeated generalizations about the effects of habitat fragmentation on pollination: (1) that plants adapted to a few or a single animal species are especially vulnerable; and (2) that obligate outcrossers (dioecious or self-incompatible species) are especially vulnerable. There are two ways to view the proposition that temperate and tropical latitudes differ in the vulnerability of their pollination mutualisms. The first perspective is that, because the proportions of various pollination syndromes differ with latitude (if altitude is held constant), a relative increase in more vulnerable kinds of pollination syndromes may make whole vegetation types particularly vulnerable. A second perspective is that, because plants that are pollination specialists may be more vulnerable than plants that are pollination generalists, a relative increase in number of specialists with decreasing latitude may make vegetation at low latitudes more vulnerable. These two perspectives should be explicitly tested in future studies.


Gabriel Picón is now Director of the Parupa Research Station in Venezuela. He is working hard to enhance the reputation of the station and attract researchers. The station has been selected as one of Venezuela's Long Term Ecological Research sites. Jay King recently received a Diploma in Endangered Species Management from the University of Kent (Canterbury, England) and the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust for his dissertation entitled "Epidemiology of Shigella flexneri in a captive population of primates with recommendations for its eradication." Lorena Calvo completed her master's and graduate certificate program and returned to Guatemala where she is the Director of the National Museum of Natural History and the country's coordinator of Wildlife Preservation Trust International's conservation program. Mark Yoder is working in Indonesia as the Field Coordinator of an international effort to reestablish the endangered Bali Mynah in the wild. Grace Servat received funding from the American Ornithologists' Union for her dissertation research on "Ecology of birds in Polylepis (Rosaceae) woodlands: impacts of local and regional processes on foraging patterns and community organization". Grace is presently in the Peruvian Andes studying birds in these endangered forest ecosystems. Catherine Graham received an NSF grant to fund the next phase of her research in Mexico. She is studying the movement patterns of birds among isolated patches of forest. Money from NSF will allow her to put radio transmitters on birds (such as Keel-billed Toucans) and follow their movements. Mercedes Rouges received a grant from the American Bird Conservancy to help fund her continuing studies of bird communities along an elevational gradient in El Rey National Park, Argentina. Last summer, two graduate students, Lúcia Lohmann (Brazil, see report below) and Juan Posada (Colombia), participated in the Organization for Tropical Studies' intensive 8-week field ecology course. Often referred to as the "boot camp" for tropical biologists, this course has, for over 30 years, trained a large portion of the world's tropical biologists. OTS' tropical biology course attracts outstanding students from more than 50 universities which are part of the OTS consortium. The ICTE and UM-St. Louis are proud to have two more alumni from this excellent course.


Lúcia Lohmann, a Ph.D. student from Brazil, reports on her experience attending the OTS course Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach.

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is famous for providing leadership in education, research, and conservation in the tropics. One of the main contributions of OTS is through training courses that have a long history of stimulating students and introducing them to research in the tropics. This summer, I had the opportunity to confirm the fame of OTS courses by participating in the renown "Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach". The course included twenty-two students and more than thirty resource faculty that led field problems focusing on a variety of topics. For example, David and Deborah Clark, Dan Janzen, Luis Diego Gomez, Deborah Letourneau, Bruce Haines, Robin Chazdon and Jorge Jimenez joined us in the field. The diversity of research interests of the participants provided us with an excellent opportunity to broaden our knowledge in different areas. At the same time, we also had the chance to explore specific aspects of our own research. For example, I participated in projects that included: (1) allometric relationships of trees; (2) the importance of attractive bracts of Psychotria on pollination by hummingbirds; (3) allometry of wing size and body mass in butterflies; (4) fungi attack on different varieties of coffee; (5) root biomass levels in different soil layers; (6) various plant and animal inventories; (7) comparisons of diversity and abundance of plants in different localities; (8) liana climbing mechanisms as a function of bark types; (9) flower visitors of Bignoniaceae; and (10) the relationship between extrafloral nectaries, ant abundance, and bait removal in Bignoniaceae. Two months in Costa Rica seeing new places, establishing close friendships, and conducting scientific studies with some of the tropics most exciting researchers, constituted the perfect environment for research and intellectual exchange. By the end of the course, I felt I had gained an enriched understanding of ecology, natural history, taxonomy, conservation issues, as well as aspects of Costa Rican culture. I am sure that the other students felt the same way. In sum, OTS' Tropical Biology is an excellent opportunity, that should be a top priority among graduate courses for any student interested in ecology or tropical biology.


Ana Cristina Villegas, has been awarded her Ph.D. for her thesis entitled: "Intraspecific variation in clonal growth and its demographic consequences for the tropical terrestrial bromeliad, Aechmea magdalenae." Gerardo Aymard was awarded his masters for his thesis: "Forest diversity in the interfluvial zone of the Rio Negro and Rio Orinoco in southwestern Venezuela."


Marie Ann de La Fuente won the Alwyn Gentry Award for the best student paper presented at the Association for Tropical Biology (ATB) Meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. She received US$100 in books from Chicago University Press, one year's subscription to Biotropica, and a contribution from ATB.


Silvio Marchini is a Ph.D. student from Brazil. He works with Dr. Robert Marquis on ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions and is conducting his research in the Brazilian Amazon.

Forest fragmentation often adversely changes animal and plant diversity and abundance in the remnant forest. As a result, complex changes in the functional relationships of the remaining organisms may occur. An effect of forest fragmentation on herbivory, for example, could occur as a result of combined changes in factors that determine herbivore activity, such as abundance and diversity of herbivores and their natural enemies, resource availability, and resource quality. Although the effects of habitat fragmentation on some of these factors in a Neotropical forest have been examined, the way they might interact to determine herbivory is not clear. Moreover, fragmentation may change factors that have opposite effects on herbivory. For example, fragmentation often increases understory foliage density and decreases populations of insectivorous birds, which may have a positive effect on herbivory. However, small forest fragments typically have a windier, hotter and drier microclimate, which may severally affect many insect herbivores. The resultant effect of habitat fragmentation on rates of herbivory in Neotropical forests are presently unknown.

My objective in this preliminary study is to determine the effects of forest fragmentation on herbivory in the understory by addressing the following questions: (1) How does fragment size affect rate of herbivory? (2) How does distance from the forest edge affect rate of herbivory? (3) Do distance from the edge and fragment size interact to determine rate of herbivory?

I am conducting my studies in the reserves of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP), which is a partnership between the Brazilian Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) and Smithsonian Institution. The site is located about 80 km north of Manaus, Brazil. The BDFFP is the only experimental investigation on the effects of tropical forest fragmentation. The experimental design of BDFFP is based on replicates of forest fragments of different sizes (1, 10, 100, 1000 ha). Fragments were delineated before clearing and are almost perfect squares. The isolation of the experimental reserves was established by cattle ranchers clear-cutting to create pastures. However, these local disturbances are within an area that is mostly unbroken forest for hundreds of kilometers. This summer I measured rates of herbivory in understory shrubs and small trees belonging to the families Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae. Leaf damage was measured, and mature and young leaves were tagged and measured at two different times to calculate damage rates. The predictor variables examined were fragment size (levels: 1 and 10 ha, and continuous forest as control) and distance from the edge (levels: 5, 25, 45 and 120 m). More than 800 leaves were sampled and data analysis is underway.

The results of my study will contribute to our understanding of how fragmentation affects herbivory, and ultimately, an understanding of the impact of deforestation on forest dynamics and species diversity. This study might be followed by further research, in which the mechanisms generating the observed effects of fragmentation will be addressed. Future studies might also address the effect of forest fragmentation on the evolution of plant-herbivore interactions, as well as the implications of the ecological and evolutionary impact of fragmentation to tropical forest conservation.


Katheryne Aldas Saltos is a masters student from Ecuador in the Department of Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Katheryne was awarded an ICTE Research Scholarship to support the field work she describes below.

The study site for this project is the Bosque Protector Mindo and Yanacocha cloud forests, 3500-3600 m above sea level, on the northeast slopes of the Pichincha Volcano in Ecuador. The area is characterized by deep slopes, high humidity, and low temperatures. The rainy season extends from February to April, although precipitation occurs year-round. My research is focused on Fuchsia vulcanica and Fuchsia ampliata. As these species are closely related phylogenetically, co-occur at the study site, and are pollinated by hummingbirds, they present an excellent opportunity to study the effects of neighborhood on pollinator visitation rates. Eight species of hummingbirds with a large range of bill shapes and sizes occur in the study area. My research is designed to determine if plant reproductive success is limited by pollinator visitation, and if so, does the floral neighborhood of conspecifics versus heterospecifics influence visitation rates for either species.

I am addressing three research questions. First, what is the magnitude of intra- versus inter-specific variation in floral morphology, nectar production and quality, and plant size? Second, does pollen limit reproduction in either species? Third, is there an effect of intra-specific density and/or inter-specific frequency on the visitation rate of hummingbirds to either species that eventually results in effects on seed production?

To test for pollen limitation, I carried out seven pollination experiments that allowed me to differentiate among each species' capacity for self pollination, self fertilization, pollen limitation, and pollen competition for congeneric members of Fuchsia. I determined if neighborhood size influenced the frequency of pollinator visits with measurements of intra-specific density and/or inter-specific frequency and visitation rates of hummingbirds.

Results indicate that both species of Fuchsia are self-incompatible, and both experience pollen limitation. Apparently, flower clumping affects the frequency of pollinator visits in both species, an increase in the flower density of heterospecifics increases the visitation rate in the neighborhood but decreases the frequency of visits on the study plants. Also, intra-specific density affects the frequency on the visitation rate of hummingbirds to the focal plant on the neighborhood.


Faculty and graduate students from the ICTE and Department of Biology, together with the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Audubon Society, Webster Groves Nature Study Society, World Bird Sanctuary, Washington University, and St. Louis University will serve as the host for the 1998 JOINT NORTH AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGICAL MEETING from 6-12 April 1998 in St. Louis. This will be the largest ever gathering of ornithologists in North America including the following professional societies: the American Ornithologists' Union, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Colonial Waterbird Society, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Raptor Research Foundation, and the Wilson Ornithological Society. Anyone wanting further information about the meeting should contact Bette Loiselle (tel. 314-516-6224; email: or go directly to the Official NAOC Meeting web page at (


In the last Newsletter Dr. Stephen Mulkey was credited with writing the article on the use of canopy cranes. This article was in fact written by Dr. Andrew Berry and circulated by Stephen. We are responsible for this error and apologize to both Stephen and Andrew for any inconvenience caused.