Dr Wingate Lecture Tonight At Warwick Academy

March 23, 2012

Warwick Academy is celebrating its 350th anniversary this year and Bermuda is marking 400 years of permanent settlement.

The school is keen to combine these two milestones and what better way than considering what impact settlement has had on those who were here before us – the island’s native inhabitants, the most numerous of which were birds. The school will host a special public lecture in partnership with the Bermuda Audubon Society this evening [Mar.23].

Bermuda’s pre-eminent conservationist and world-renowned ornithologist, Dr. David Wingate, will explore the effect of man’s settlement on our natural environment in “From Oceania to Suburbia: 400 years of dramatic change for Bermuda’s bird community”.

“For anyone with an interest in Bermuda’s history and/or environment this lecture is not to be missed. You don’t need a special interest in birds to find the story of the island’s changing natural landscape fascinating,” said Andrew Dobson, President of Bermuda Audubon Society.

“David Wingate has the most comprehensive knowledge of Bermuda’s environmental history of anyone alive, and we are delighted that he will be sharing that with the public in what promises to be a highlight among 400th anniversary events.”

Dr Wingate explains: “Bermuda’s environmental history can be discovered through the fossil records in pre-history and later through the eye-witness accounts of settlers, amateur naturalists and scientists over the centuries.

“By drawing on those accounts, I hope to bring to life what Bermuda really was like back in the early days. Before man, birds were the most numerous species on the island, and it is through their story that I will trace the island’s changes over 400 years.”

“Although the changes since settlement have been devastating for Bermuda’s birds, it is not all bad news. The continuing success of the Cahow recovery programme, with 100 nesting pairs achieved this year, shows that there can be hope in this new millennium for man and birds to live together provided we are sensitive to our environment and protect what is left of our open space,” said Dr. Wingate.

The lecture will be held at Warwick Academy at 7:00pm this evening [Mar.23]. Tickets will be sold at the door: $10 for Adults and $5 for children. Proceeds will be shared between the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Warwick Academy student bursary fund..

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