Origins of the American Bird Conservancy: conservation institution-building is difficult and unpredictable
CRAIG S. HARRISON,1 STEPHEN D. ECCLES,2 STANLEY E. SENNER3 & CYNTHIA LENHART4
14953 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, USA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
28904 Narem Place, Annandale, VA 22003, USA
34110 SE Hawthorne Blvd., PMB 144, Portland, OR 97214, USA
4294 Lake Hosea Drive, Saluda, NC 28773, USA
HARRISON, C.S., ECCLES, S.D., SENNER, S.E. & LENHART, C. 2017. Origins of the American Bird Conservancy: conservation institution-building is difficult and unpredictable.
Marine Ornithology 45: 67
Received 11 November 2016, accepted 12 January 2017
Date Published: 2017/04/15
Date Online: 2017/02/28
Key words: American Bird Conservancy, bird conservation, BirdLife International, conservation in the Americas, conservation leadership, establishing a new conservation organization, International Council for Bird Preservation
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) was founded in 1995 after years of complicated negotiations among 50 organizations affiliated with the International Council for Bird Preservation, now BirdLife International. Today it is a great success, but at crucial points in its genesis the enterprise was close to failure. ABC never became, as originally intended, the US partner of BirdLife International. Yet it fills the niche for an entity whose focus is bird conservation in the Americas. ABC's success is an example of the importance of goodwill and persistence by the founders of any conservation organization. Fledgling organizations will always face governance and financial challenges. Entrenched interests, including financial competitors, will often be an obstacle, and founders need to be flexible in how they accomplish their goals.
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