Top global scientists descend on Gibraltar to study bird migration between Africa and Europe

SCIENTISTS from across the world plan to study bird migration between Europe and Africa via Gibraltar at an annual conference held on the Rock.

The Calpe Conference 2022 from September 22-24 hones in on a book written fifty years ago by Oxford scientist Reginald Moreau called ‘The Palaearctic-African Bird Migration Systems’.

Now in its 26th edition, it will look at how ‘developments in the fields of genetics, biochemistry and tracking techniques’ have affected the study of the migrating birds in the area, the Gibraltar government’s department of the environment said in a statement.

The topic heads an exciting programme for the University of Gibraltar event.

It followed the launch of a European-African Migration Observation Network on the Rock.

Spearheaded by Minister of the Environment John Cortes, a keen birdwatcher himself, the network brings together the top local and international experts on the subject and coincides with the 50th anniversary of Moreau’s book.

“The importance of Gibraltar’s location in the bird migration system is unquestioned, and the contribution to knowledge that has been accumulated here through the decades is hugely significant,” Cortes said in the statement.

“Research continues from the Rock, and it is very fitting that with this year’s Calpe Conference, Gibraltar should celebrate the anniversary of a book that contributed so much to understanding the phenomenon of migration.

Cortes noted his interest in the subject as he contributed to background to the book.

“Gibraltar-based ornithologists will no doubt benefit from, and appreciate, listening to world-renowned experts on the subject talking and discussing right where the migration happens,” the minister added.

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