IN MEMORIAM – In memory of Richard Hearn (1971 -2024)

Bonn, 28 February 2024 - It is with great sadness that the AEWA Secretariat has learned of the untimely death of Richard (Rich) Hearn at the age of 52 following an illness.

Rich was a much appreciated and active member of the AEWA Technical Committee, initially as the WWT representative, and then also representing IUCN in his role as Global Chair of the IUCN-SSC Duck Specialist Group. 

As a passionate waterbird conservationist and monitoring specialist, Rich undertook many projects, including capacity building, in all corners of the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia. Rich was also actively involved in action planning work, including for the Velvet Scoter, for the Long-tailed Duck and for the Baer’s Pochard.

Amongst other AEWA-related work, Rich was the lead author of the AEWA Conservation Guidelines on Waterbird Monitoring (Technical Series No. 73, 2018), worked extensively on the issue of goose-agriculture conflict, and co-authored the Conservation Guidelines on Sustainable Harvest of Migratory Waterbirds (Technical Series No. 62, 2015).

Rich was also closely involved in other AEWA processes, such as the European Goose Management Platform, and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership.

Aside from his innumerable contributions to international waterbird conservation, he will be remembered with warmth by all for his unassuming, friendly, and engaging personality, excellent sense of humour, and generosity of spirit, particularly to those in their early careers.

We are sincerely grateful for Rich’s many contributions to the work of the Agreement and for waterbirds throughout the AEWA region and we extend our heartfelt condolences to all those with whom he worked and lived, and especially to his family and friends. He will be sorely missed. 

Rich was very passionate about waterbirds, and herons and wildfowl in particular. He loved the time he spent in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, which is a stronghold of the globally threatened Slaty Egret. To honour his memory, Richard’s family and friends have established a fund where donations are being made to the conservation of the Slaty Egret for activities being undertaken by BirdLife Botswana in support of the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan for the Slaty Egret:

Donation Fund Richard Hearn

Last updated on 02 April 2024

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