26 September
  Amphitheatre 131 Auditorium
 09:00 – 17:30    Registration
09:45 – 11:05              Workshop 1 – Part I
Effective Owl Education Methods

Organizers: Karla Bloem and James Duncan
11:05 – 11:20 Coffee break
11:20 – 12:50 Workshop 1 – Part II
Effective Owl Education Methods

Organizers: Karla Bloem and James Duncan
Impacts of Human Infrastructures on Owls

Organizers: Rui Lourenço and Ricardo Tomé
12:50 – 14:20 Lunch
14:20 – 15:50 Workshop 2 – Part I
Telemetry, Nestcams and Data Analysis

Organizers: David Johnson and Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse
Round Table
Barn Owls Know No Boundaries: the Role of Nature Conservation in Peace

Organizers: Alexandre Roulin and João E. Rabaça
15:50 – 16:05 Coffee break
16:05 – 17:25 Workshop 2 – Part II
Telemetry, Nestcams and Data Analysis

Organizers: David Johnson and Dries van Nieuwenhuyse


27 September - Wednesday
08:15 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:25 Opening session
Ana Costa Freitas, Rector of the University of Évora
Carlos Pinto de Sá, President of the Municipality of Évora
Roberto Pereira Grilo, President of CCDR Alentejo
Pedro Rocha, Director of ICNF Alentejo Department of Nature Conservation and Forests
João Rabaça, Head of LabOr/ICAAM
09:25 – 09:30 Welcoming address | Inês Roque
09:30 – 10:05 Keynote presentation
52 years among Ural and Tawny Owls Strix uralensis and S. aluco – Why? (Pertti Saurola)
10:05 – 11:05 BREEDING BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR | Moderator: Al Vrezec
The breeding density of the Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops along the eastern Adriatic coast: Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro (Tjaša Zagoršek )
The reproductive success of Lanyu Scops Owls (Lucia Severinghaus)
Breeding Desert Owl Strix hadorami in Egypt, and notes on behaviour (Mohamed Habib)
Breeding ecology of captive-released and wild Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) in southwestern Manitoba, Canada (Alexandra Froese)
11:05 – 11:25 Coffee break
11:25 – 12:40 How do Barn Owl nestlings share food? An automatic interactive playback experiment (Pauline Ducouret)
Detailed analysis of Eagle Owl behaviour during courtship and egg incubation based on continuous IR-video recording at the nest site (Christian Harms)
Vocal development of the Great Horned Owl (Karla Bloem)
Male Little Owl Athene noctua taking over broodcare (Ronald Van Harxen)
Owls in the realm of avian anatomy (Arnold van den Burg)
12:40 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 CONSERVATION | Moderator: João E. Rabaça
Global owl distribution, diversity, and conservation hotspots (Steve Sheffield)
Knocking on the door of extinction: population dynamics and conservation measures for Little Owl in the Czech Republic (Martin Šálek)
Reintroducing the Ural Owl Strix uralensis to Austria – ingredients for a successful comeback (Richard Zink)
Review of and advances in the captive propagation and conservation of the Western Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia in British Columbia, 1983-2016 (Lauren Meads)
Field observations of Pere David’s Owl Strix davidi in Central China, 140 years after its first description (Wolfgang Scherzinger)
Population dynamics and conservation status of the Western Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia hypugaea in the United States and Canada: a 20-year update (Steve Sheffield)
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 17:15 Global assessment of overlap between owl species ranges and protected areas (Steve Sheffield)
Owl conservation efforts in Nepal (Raju Acharya Sharma)
The role of small NGO’s in owl conservation: case study – the Barn Owl Trust (David Ramsden)
“Why Hoot?” – an evaluation of motivations and scientific attitudes of citizen science owl surveyors in Manitoba, Canada (James R. Duncan)
Impact of forestry on a population of Tawny Owls Strix aluco in northwestern Switzerland (Michel Juillard)
28 September - Thursday
08:45 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:10                        Announcements and introduction
09:10 – 09:45 Keynote presentation
Owls in myth and culture – Insights from 30 countries (David H. Johnson)
09:45 – 11:15 CULTURE | Moderator: David H. Johnson
Understanding the illegal owl hunting and trade dynamics in Nepal (Yadav Ghimirey)
Social perception about Barn Owl Tyto alba role and abundance in an agricultural landscape in the North of Spain (Rubén Hernández-Soto)
From cures to curses – Owls and their place in traditional healing in Southern Africa (Jonathan Haw)
Perceptions and beliefs about owls in Turkey (Elif Göçer)
Social aspects as part of conservation targets for owls in Greece: Data analysis from cultural history and recent surveys (Vasileios Bontzorlo)
11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break
11:20 – 12:35 Owls in myth and culture – Interviews from Slovakia (Vladimír Nemček)
Attitudes and beliefs towards owl in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (Campeche, México): an approach to improve conservation (Paulina Camarena)
METHODS | Moderator: Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse
Using bioacoustics to study habitat use and vocal behaviour of Barred Owls, Boreal Owls and Great Horned Owls (Julia Shonfield)
Snowy Owls sit on high – selection of vantage points revealed by number of owl pellets (Roar Solheim)
Using the MP3-trap technique to capture male Burrowing Owls (David H. Johnson)
12:35 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Snowy Owl hunting behaviour and prey spotting distance revealed by vole lures (Roar Solheim)
Breeding biology of the Mottled Wood Owl in west-central India (Satish Pande)
EVOLUTION, TAXONOMY AND PHYLOGENY | Moderator: Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse
Omani Owl Strix butleri – its taxonomy, distribution, vocalisations, diet, and relationship to Desert Owl S. Hadorami (Magnus Robb)
Evolution and phylogeny of owls (Michael Wink)
Barn Owl Tyto alba colour cline in Europe: the exception proves the rule (Ana Paula Machado)
Evolutionary dynamics of colour polymorphism in Tawny Owls Strix aluco (Patrik Karell)
15:30 – 17:00 Buffet and informal poster session
17:00 – 19:00 Welcome to Portugal Evening
Commented Wine Taste – Tyto alba Companhia das Lezírias | 17:00 | Downstairs to the grand auditorium
Fado concert | 18:00 | Grand auditorium
29 September - Friday
08:45 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:10 Announcements and Introduction
09:10 – 09:45 Keynote presentation
Being with owls – From faunistic surveys to ecosystem research (Al Vrezec)
09:45 – 11:00 MONITORING | Moderator: Ricardo Tomé
Insights into the distribution of Pueo or Hawaiian Short-eared Owl: Utilizing citizen science to aid monitoring survey (Javier Cotin)
An evaluation of 25 years of volunteer nocturnal owl surveys in Manitoba, Canada (James Duncan)
Status and monitoring of Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus in North and South America (Marcel Gahbauer)
Program NOCTUA-Portugal – studying the trend and distribution of owls (Rui Lourenço)
The Eurasian eagle owl Bubo bubo as biomonitor of contaminants in Southeastern Spain: an overview of 25 years of study (Pilar Gómez-Ramírez)
11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break
11:20 – 12:35 Monitoring owl populations in a natural mountainous forest in the Austrian Alps (Duerrenstein Wilderness Area, IUCN Category I) (Thomas Hochebner)
Monitoring of owls in Europe – results of pan European EURAPMON inventory of raptor monitoring schemes (Al Vrezec)
MIGRATION AND DISPERSAL | Moderator: Ricardo Tomé
Tyto Tagus: Barn Owl post-fledging dispersal in the Tagus Valley (Portugal) (Inês Roque)
Juvenile Barn Owl dispersal: a radio tracking study (David Ramsden)
Migratory behaviour and breeding dispersal of Burrowing Owls in the western United States (David H. Johnson)
12:35 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:15 Discovery of fall migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls Aegolius acadicus in the Ozarks of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma (USA) (Kimberly Smith)
Home range, perch heights and reactions to approaching humans by three radio-tagged Ural Owls (Roar Solheim)
Long-term telemetry study of reintroduced Ural Owls Strix uralensis in the Duerrenstein Wilderness Area, Austria (Ingrid Kohl)
Home-range and habitat of the Barking Owl Ninox connivens in Southern Australia (Rod Kavanagh)
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 – 17:00 Barn owl Tyto alba habitat selection and foraging strategies (Robin Séchaud)
Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus: sensitivities to changes of land use in upland Britain (John Calladine)
Movements and habitat selection of Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus in North America (Marcel Gahbauer)
Habitat selection and movement patterns of wintering male and female Snowy Owls on the Canadian prairies (Karen Wiebe)
Little Owl Athene noctua literature update 2007-2017 (Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse)
Protein sources for egg production: why do diurnal raptors and nocturnal owls respond differently to forest degeneration? (Arnold Van den Burg)
30 September - Saturday
08:45 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:10 Announcements and introduction
09:10 – 09:45 Keynote presentation
Living in a variable environment: Tengmalm’s and Pygmy Owls and the three-year high-amplitude population cycle of voles (Erkki Korpimäki)
09:45 – 11:15 ECOLOGY | Moderator: Rui Lourenço
The irruptive nature of Snowy Owls: going full cycle (JF Therrien)
How does diet influence the breeding’s success of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco in the forests of Burgundy? (Hughes Baudvin)
How Tawny Owls Strix aluco survived in a dynamic guild of predators and turned from a source into a sink population (Fred Koning)
Birds as food of owls – an intra- an inter-specific comparison (Simon Birrer)
Modeling voles’ spatial distribution through Barn Owl diet analysis: Setting the scene for a pest-control nest box scheme in Thessally, Greece (Vasileios Bontzorlos)
Age and sex of Snowy Owls during summer irruption on Beliy Island, Yamal in 2015 (Roar Sohleim)
11:15 – 11:35 Coffee break
11:35 – 12:35 Closing session
12:35 – 14:00 Lunch
Free afternoon: consult side events programme


Photo Exhibition | Owls of Portugal

by STRI-ALDEIA in partnership with LabOr-UÉvora, sponsored by ALTRI FLORESTAL

During the conference | Downstairs to the Auditorium

STRI-ALDEIA in partnership with the local WOC2017 Organization will proceed to the inauguration of the collective photography exhibition Owls of Portugal on September 26th. This exhibition will remain at the Conference venue during the event and will then have a traveling itinerary. The purpose of this exhibition is to raise awareness for the importance of owl conservation. The exhibition is sponsored by Altri Florestal.

Cultural Event | Welcome to Portugal Evening

28 September

17:00 – 18:00              Commented wine taste by Companhia das Lezírias, S.A. | Downstairs to Auditorium

18:00 – 18:40              Fado concert by Ana Roque | Auditorium

Walking Tour | Best of Évora

by Évora Cultural Experience

30 September | Departure from the University after lunch

Discover the most impressive treasures of this UNESCO World Heritage City, awarded in 1986. Visit the main monuments of this extraordinary Museum City, principal representative of the golden age of Portuguese maritime discoveries. Ideal for visitors wishing to get an overview of the major events that marked the city of Évora, which has always been linked to the most significant moments of Portugal history.

Registrations open until 28 September by email: with the subject “WOC2017 Best of Évora”, indicating name, age, and country.

Duration: 2:30 – 3:00 hours
Difficulty: Medium
Main Attractions: Giraldo’s Square, Roman Temple (Diana Temple), Cathedral (includes visit to the Cloisters), St. Francis Church and Bones Chapel

Conference price: 20€ – Amount payable to the guide at the start of the walking tour (14:30 at University of Évora). Includes tickets into monuments with entrance fee.

The WOC2017 partner Évora Cultural Experience offers a discount of 15% to conference participants and accompanying persons on all the experiences available at

Post-conference Trip 1 | Coruche cork and owls cultural tour

by LabOr-UÉvora and Municipality of Coruche – Cork and Cork Oak Observatory

1 October

09:00     Departure from Évora
10:15     Arrival to the Cork and Cork Oak Observatory*
11:00     Departure to Coruche | Landscape vantage point viewing followed by a walking tour at the historical centre
12:30     Lunch
14:00     Visit to a montado area
16:30     Departure to Évora

Alternative buses to Lisbon from Coruche Bus Station: departure 17:50 and 18:25 – ticket is not included in the cost of the visit.

* The Cork and Cork Oak  Observatory was designed by the architect Manuel Couceiro with the aim of creating an organic that refers to the metaphor of cork oak as a living element. The objective of this project is to become a structure for the valorization of the cork oak forest as an ecological niche of great value, working in partnership with associations of producers, universities, researchers and business associations.

Post-conference Trip 2 | Companhia das Lezírias montado and birdwatching tour

by LabOr-UÉvora, Companhia das Lezírias, S.A. and Municipality of Évora

1 October

09:00     Departure from Évora
10:30     Arrival to the Companhia das Lezírias (charneca) | Guided tour in the farm with reference to LabOr research projects
12:30     Arrival to EVOA* visitors centre | Lunch
13:30     Visit to EVOA* visitors centre
16:30     Departure to Évora

Alternative buses to Lisbon from Vila Franca Bus Station: departure 17:1817:5118:1819:18 and 20:38 – ticket is not included in the cost of the visit.

*EVOA is situated in the Natural Reserve of the Tagus Estuary (RNET), which is included in the Natura 2000 network since 1980 and is recognized as a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Site). The visitor can enjoy the wild birds, mostly in three freshwater wetlands, with 70 ha, created by the project and managed for birds. The necessary tranquility and convenience for visitors are guaranteed through hidden trails and hides that are strategically located.



Workshop 1 | Effective Owl Education Methods | Karla Bloem and James Duncan

An open, respectful and inclusive discussion of owl education methods used in the field, classroom, and online in different cultures around the world.

Objectives: Share owl education methods used in different countries and cultures. Learn the difference between interpretation and information. Discuss regulations and their impact on education. Rejuvenate enthusiasm for conserving owls through education.

Target audience: Anyone who does owl education in the field, classroom, or online.

Maximum number of participants: Limited by the number of places available in the room.

Panelists: Raju Acharya (Nepal), Suruchi Pande (India), Jonathan Haw (South Africa), Trystan Williams (Scotland), Karla Bloem (USA), James Duncan (Canada)

Themes: Public attitudes about owls. Purpose of the programs. Description of their audience(s). Description of their program(s). Challenges.

Limited vacancies to non-members of the WOC2017. Registration here.


Workshop 2 | Telemetry, Nestcams and Data Analysis | David Johnson and Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse

A workshop focused on the equipment, digital, and methodological aspects of owl studies.

Objectives: To offer information and insights into key technologies for owl research, conservation, and monitoring.

Target audience: Ornithologists and managers whose work involves owls and raptors.

Maximum number of participants: Limited by the number of places available in the room.

Panelists: Dries Van Nieuwenhuyse, David Johnson, Sarah Levett, Ronald van Harxen, Ingrid Kohl

Themes: Telemetry, Geolocators, PinPoint Tags, Data Loggers and New Harnessing Material. Video/Nest Cams (equipment and methods). Data Processing. Data Depository/Warehousing.

Limited vacancies to non-members of the WOC2017. Registration here.


Symposium | Impacts of Human Infrastructures on Owls | Rui Lourenço and Ricardo Tomé

Objectives: Review and discuss the effects that human infrastructures (roads, powerlines, windfarms) have on owl populations.

Target audience: Researchers, technicians and workers from environmental and infrastructure companies, decision-makers.

Maximum number of participants: Limited by the number of places available in the room.


Owls and roads: a review of the impacts and solutions | Rui Lourenço (University of Évora, Portugal)

Electric powerlines and owls: situation in mainland Portugal | Julieta Costa (SPEA, Portugal)

Owls and windfarms: review of the conflicts and parallels with diurnal impacts | Ricardo Tomé (Strix, Portugal)

Owl casualties on Portuguese roads: results of the IP National Monitoring Program | Graça Garcia (IP, Portugal)


Round Table | Barn Owls Know No Boundaries: The Role of Nature Conservation in Peace | Alexandre Roulin and João E. Rabaça

Objectives: The aim is to show that the study of owls can go much beyond the usual scientific aspects of nature conservation. This can bring people together and help develop trust between communities that are in conflict.

Target audience: Ornithologists but also any conservationists and general  public.

Maximum number of participants: Limited by the number of places available in the room.

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