Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

WHSRNews Special Note

2015 Pablo Canevari Award Winner Announced


WHSRN Director Rob Clay presents "the check" to Eduardo for the Pablo Canevari Award. / © Laura Blutstein

In honor of WHSRN’s 30th anniversary in 2015, Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Program issued a special edition of the Pablo Canevari Award this year. On behalf of Manomet, which administers the WHSRN Executive Office, we are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 award is Dr. Eduardo Palacios Castro!

Dr. Palacios is Senior Researcher at Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. He was selected from among several, highly qualified candidates that had been nominated for the 2014 award. We had the pleasure of presenting this award to our friend and colleague in person on 15 September, during the 6th Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group meeting in Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.

Pablo Canevari was Manomet’s first director of the WHSRN Executive Office. Born in Argentina, Pablo was a beloved colleague, scientist, illustrator, and a dear friend to all who knew him. He passed away suddenly in 2000, and is particularly remembered for his dedication, extraordinary enthusiasm, and personal and professional commitment to shorebird conservation in the Americas. Manomet created an award in his honor that year to recognize and support the work of a Latin American individual, organization, or company that exemplifies this. Winners of the biennial award receive a commemorative plaque and US$2,000.

For more than 25 years, Eduardo Palacios has been an active and innovative member of the shorebird conservation community, particularly in Mexico and especially throughout its Northwest region. As a scientist, partnership builder, conservationist, and educator, the breadth of his contributions is second only to his generous spirit.

Pablo Canevari

In 1989, Dr. Palacios met Pablo Canevari and, together with Laura Payne and Anamaría Escofet, organized the first shorebird field workshop in Mexico in 1990. Ever since, Dr. Palacios’ work has been foundational for the conservation of shorebirds in Mexico. Several of the publications he authored or co-authored became the basis for establishing population sizes, and served as a critical reference point for others’ work, particularly on Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus), American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri), and other species that winter in northwest Mexico. His findings have also helped inform shorebird management, conservation activities, and even national regulations.

With other colleagues, Dr. Palacios wrote and presented science-based proposals that ultimately helped to secure federal legal protection (NOM-059-SEMARNAT) for four shorebird species: American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) / Endangered; Red Knot (Calidris canutus roselaari) / Endangered; Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) / Threatened; and Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus) / Threatened. He also helped develop the shorebird monitoring protocol and program now being implemented at 11 federal protected areas (including WHSRN sites) across Northwest Mexico.

The unique Red-headed Sandpiper, Calidris palacios / Wings and photo courtesy of Mirta Carbajal, Fundación Inalafquen

Dr. Palacios collaborated with previous Canevari Award winner Dr. Xico Vega to develop the Northwest Mexico Shorebird Recovery Plan in 2009, and later served as Manomet’s regional Shorebird Recovery Project coordinator for 2 years to help implement it.

Dr. Palacios is a founding member of several nonprofit conservation organizations and initiatives: Pro Esteros, A.C., Terra Peninsular, A.C., Northwest Mexico Bird Group (GANO by its Spanish acronym), and Grupo Ostreros, a regional American Oystercatcher working group. He is also an active member of the binational Sonoran Joint Venture Technical Committee.

He initiated the successful nomination of two WHSRN sites on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico: San Quintín and Bahía Magdalena. Dr. Palacios also recently served a critical (volunteer) role for the Network by representing it on a technical committee advising the Secretary of Environment (SEMARNAT) about environmental impacts of the new international airport “proposed” on/near Texcoco Lake, a WHSRN Site in Mexico City.

Many thanks to Jennie Duberstein (USFWS), who nominated Eduardo on behalf of the Sonoran Joint Venture. / Courtesy of Eduardo Palacios


Eduardo received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS); Master’s degree in Marine Ecology from CICESE; and Doctorate from University of California-Davis, USA. He then became a senior researcher at CICESE and a mentor to a number of avian biology students. He also teaches a variety of courses and workshops in Mexico and internationally on shorebird and waterbird ecology, monitoring, and management.

In the words of his nominator, “Dr. Palacios is actively engaged in new and developing networks and efforts for shorebird conservation in Mexico and beyond. His substantial contributions to not only shorebird conservation, but bird conservation in general, will have a lasting, positive impact for many years to come.” Many thanks to Jennie Duberstein, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Sonoran Joint Venture, for having nominated Dr. Palacios on its behalf.

¡Aplausos a todos!

Editor’s note: The Canevari Award’s biennial schedule now coincides with WHSG meetings, also held every 2 years. The next call for nominations is in 2017. Please see the Canevari Award webpage for more information.