Overview of the eleven Pan-African Ornithological Congresses

  • Michel Louette Royal Museum for Central Africa, Leuvensesteenweg 13, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
  • Emil K Urban Department of Biology, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904-2200, USA


This paper gives an overview of all Pan-African Ornithological Congresses (PAOCs) held through to 2004. Comments are made on topics covered in each Congress in terms of science, conservation and stimulus for ornithology in Africa. Comments are also made on how the PAOCs have become truly Pan-African, with Congresses held in all major regions of Africa including anglophone and francophone nations. Other topics covered include: the nation of origin of participants, including indigenous Africans (0% in 1957 in the first Congress to more than 60% in 2004); organisations involved (the South African Ornithological Society in the beginning and later the International Council for Bird Preservation/BirdLife International and the African Bird Club); and important events such as the formation and election of the PAOC Committee, the preparation and approval of the PAOC constitution, including elections of officers beginning in 1988, and the continued validity and use of the PAOC constitution. Among the topics covered in the Congresses, conservation was especially important, starting with PAOC 1, and it became increasingly so in subsequent Congresses.

Ostrich 2007, 78(2): xiii–xxiv

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525