News: Conservation

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Catch up on the latest news from Victor Emanuel Nature Tours by reading the latest VENTflash.

Paton's Birder Haven Saved

March 03, 2014

Paton’s Birder Haven, southeast Arizona's mecca for thousands of birders worldwide, is now assured of long-term protection following a successful and spirited international fundraising campaign. American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Tucson Audubon Society, and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours worked together to raise the funds to acquire the historic property.  More than 1,000 bird-lovers—many former visitors to the Paton property—answered the call for contributions, with several...


Conservation Spotlight: Missouri Prairie Foundation

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Steve Hilty: March 05, 2012

The Missouri Prairie Foundation was founded in 1966 and has grown into an extraordinarily dynamic and effective organization. But, to be honest, I was unaware of its existence for many years despite my "prairie" background. As a kid, I grew up on a farm in western Missouri where putting up prairie hay was an annual summer event and Greater Prairie-Chickens, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and Dickcissels were an important part of my youth. Huddled in a borrowed tent I spent many chilly ...


Conservation Spotlight: Neotropical Grassland Conservancy

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Jeri Langham: March 05, 2012

Gary Langham, President of the Neotropical Grassland Conservancy, Chief Scientist for National Audubon Society, and former VENT leader, was inspired to create NGC while working on his Ph.D. thesis in the Llanos of Venezuela. Through interaction with professors in Venezuelan universities, Gary learned that little money is available to graduate students who choose to work in grasslands, so many are forced to change their field of interest. A desire to help preserve Neotropical grasslands motiva...


Conservation Spotlight: American Bird Conservancy

December 02, 2011

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is the only bird conservation group that tackles the tough job of preventing the extinction of the rarest birds throughout the Americas. ABC works in many of the countries where VENT international tours go, and Victor himself is a member of the organization's board of directors. ABC also works in the U.S. on policy and habitat conservation programs, to eliminate threats to birds, and to address conservation at a landscape scale for our declining migratory s...


VICTOR EMANUEL RECEIVES INAUGURAL CONSERVATION AWARD

November 30, 2010

Austin, Texas – Early this year, the Audubon chapter of Austin, Travis Audubon Society, announced the creation of the Victor Emanuel Conservation Award, an honor that will be given annually to a "conservation hero" of Texas. In a remarkable display of generosity and respect, Travis Audubon not only named the award for Victor, but designated him as the first recipient.On October 16, 2010 the first Victor Emanuel Conservation Award luncheon was held at a downtown Austin hotel. A...


Interior Secretary Salazar Presents: State of the Birds 2010

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Victor Emanuel: March 12, 2010

Yesterday, March 11, I attended an event of considerable importance to the world of birds and to me personally. United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar came to Austin, Texas for a press conference to announce the release of the 2010 State of the Birds report. The ceremony was held at the Zilker Botanical Garden, only a few minutes from the VENT office, on a beautiful spring-like day. My friend and naturalist Greg Lasley was the official event photographer. Also present with Secret...


VENT Teams with ABC on Donor Weekend

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Barry Lyon: August 14, 2008

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) held its annual donor's trip on the Upper Texas Coast April 24-28, 2008. For the second straight year, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours was proud to host the event. As a member of ABC's Board of Directors, Victor Emanuel was present to lead the trip, along with Barry Lyon. Dr. George Fenwick, Executive Director of ABC, was in attendance and gave everyone an opportunity to hear about the exciting work his organization is doing.Based out of a private beach...


VENT and Cornell Chairman’s Council Enjoy Another Successful Trip

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Barry Lyon: July 16, 2008

Continuing a long tradition, VENT and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology teamed up once again, April 10-13, 2008, for the Lab's annual Chairman's Council retreat. The destination selected was one not visited for many years, the private Prade Ranch, situated in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.The Chairman's Council trip is designed as a special travel opportunity for the most generous benefactors of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. More than a simple getaway,...


Austin, Texas Birding Festival Supports Military Earth Day Fund

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Barry Lyon: July 11, 2008

This April 9-13, 2008, VENT's first-ever Austin, Texas Birding and Nature Festival was held to celebrate the arrival of spring in Central Texas. The event marked the first occasion in the 32-year history of our company that VENT travelers visited us in our home city. Unlike a traditional birding tour, the festival was designed to bring together a larger group of people to share and enjoy the pleasures of early spring in a special destination. Daily field trips to three distinct regions we...


Arizona Winter Birding Festival a Winner for Conservation

March 13, 2007

On the heels of the success of 2005's 30th Anniversary Celebration, VENT hosted its Arizona Winter Birding Festival, January 10-15, in scenic Tucson, Arizona. Long revered as a summertime birding haven, southeast Arizona is also a sensational wintertime birding destination. For the event we assembled a talented cadre of leaders that included Victor Emanuel, Kenn Kaufman, Barry Zimmer and Barry Lyon. Kenn is one of the foremost field observers in North America, whose interests have ex...


VENT's 30th Anniversary Celebration Benefits Valley Land Fund

May 25, 2006

The 30th Anniversary Celebration of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours was held in McAllen, Texas, April 26-May 1, 2006. Featuring 18 field trip leaders, 4 guest speakers, and 103 participants, the event was an exciting, action-filled program commemorating VENT's 30 years of offering international birding tours. In keeping with our commitment to protect wild birds and their habitats, VENT sponsored an element of conservation in the festivities. The Valley Land Fund (VLF) was identified as the co...


VENT Supports ABC/Birdlife International's Campaign to Save Albatross and Other Seabirds

May 24, 2006

From American Bird Conservancy publications: "The large graceful albatross is perhaps the most venerated of seabirds. The inspiration behind Samuel Taylor Coleridge's classic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, albatrosses have some of the longest wingspans of any birds, and spend much of their lives flying thousands of miles over the open ocean in search of food. However, with demand for large ocean fish at an all-time high, hundreds of thousands of albatrosses and other seabirds...


First South American Reserve for North American Songbird

August 17, 2005

Today I received the following press release from the American Bird Conservancy concerning a new refuge in Colombia to protect the Cerulean Warbler on its wintering grounds. The Cerulean Warbler is one of my favorite birds. I remember vividly the first time I saw one. I was 16 and attending high school in Houston. A rainstorm had caused a fallout of warblers in a woodlot along a bayou near my home. When I entered the woods I found them filled with warblers. All of a sudden I saw a warbler wit...


American Bird Conservancy Seeks to Save Emerald Hummingbird Habitat

March 25, 2005

The Honduran Emerald is a hummingbird that is endemic to a small area of dry forest in Honduras. Its total world population is less than 200 individuals. Its habitat is being destroyed for farming and ranching.I recently received this email from George Wallace, the Vice President for International Programs at the American Bird Conservancy:Hi Victor, Just thought I would drop you a line to find out how your trips to the Honduran Emerald area in the Aguan Valley went, or are going, and to updat...