Chair: David Jeggo

David retired in October 2016 after 46 years with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT). For much of that time he was head of their Bird Department, responsible for the bird conservation breeding programmes at the Trust’s headquarters in Jersey. Many of the species involved were highly threatened, including the Bali myna with which he worked from its arrival at the Trust in 1971.

During his time with DWCT he also carried out fieldwork, principally in the Caribbean with the threatened Amazon parrots of the Lesser Antilles.  

In the 1990s when the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) was establishing its Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) David along with Theo Pagel of Koln Zoo, assumed responsibility for the Passeriformes TAG, an involvement which continues to this day steering it as its chair and vice-chair.

Recognition that the most threatened and conservation relevant breeding programmes overseen by the Passeriformes TAG were all Asian species and all threatened to a large degree by the cage bird trade led to the formation of a sub-group of the TAG, the aim of which was to better connect these EAZA breeding programmes with in-situ conservation efforts.  Formerly referred to as the Threatened Asian Songbird Working Group it has now been renamed the Threatened Asian Songbird Alliance (TASA), with David as its chair.

In May 2017, with IUCN approval of the formation of the SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group, David also took on the role as its chair. 

Field Research Vice-chair: Stuart Marsden

I am Professor of Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. My work seeks to find solutions to problems of biodiversity loss in the tropics. This means identifying and dealing with threats to endangered wildlife, but also requires addressing poverty and development issues faced by local communities and governments. I work on a range of taxonomic groups but have a particular focus on parrots and other tropical birds. A major theme of our work is building conservation science capacity within developing countries, especially through doctoral training. I am currently working on various aspects of ecology and human behaviour to address challenges in supply and demand for the cagebird trade in Indonesia.

Genetics Vice-chair: Frank Rheindt

Frank is a passionate world birder in his free time, and an evolutionary and conservation biologist by trade. He and the students in his lab at the National University of Singapore employ a spectrum of approaches, ranging from field research to contemporaneous genomic analysis, to inform conservation efforts. Some of his field work takes him to remote corners of Indonesia for the discovery and rediscovery of avian diversity, which is supported by bioacoustic and genetic work once back in the lab. Recently, his lab has become involved in providing counsel to conservation-breeding programs of terminally endangered species in the region.

Conservation Breeding Vice-chair: Andrew Owen

I am the Curator of Birds at Chester Zoo in the UK.  Responsible for the large and varied bird collection, and the zoo’s bird conservation-breeding programmes.

With active involvement in the recovery programmes of a number of highly threatened bird species.  Previous conservation programmes have included the Mauritius fody, Mauritius Olive white-eye, Montserrat oriole and Gurney’s pitta.

Development of breeding and reintroduction programmes in Indonesia for threatened songbirds and providing technical support to Cikananga Wildlife Centre in Java has been paramount.  I manage the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) EEP studbooks for Javan green magpie and Sumatran laughingthrush.


An active member of a number of EAZA’s Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), including the Passeriformes TAG and its sub-group TASA, the Threatened Asian Songbird Alliance which focuses on the conservation of species primarily threatened by illegal trade. I am also a member of the Bali myna International Advisory Board.

Conservation Breeding Vice-chair: Luis Neves

Dr Luis Carlos Neves is the current Director of Zoology for the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) zoological parks, which include the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari. Altogether he is responsible for the management of close to 1000 species under human care out of which 420 are birds, which are his primary passion.

Before his current role in WRS Luis was the Assistant Director of the Bird Department at Jurong bird park  for 3 years and the lead veterinarian at Loro Parque, Tenerife from 2003 to 2005. In between he was an assistant Professor of Avian Medicine and Clinical Pathology and consulting avian veterinarian in Lisbon, Portugal.

Luis has been involved in aviculture for close to 20 years and has been involved mostly with Psittacines as well as Passerines and Columbiformes. Ever since he started working for WRS in 2010, he also had the privilege of managing the world’s largest collection of Hornbills, with 20 species and over 80 birds. In recent years he has dedicated increasing amount of time to threatened Asian species, in particular songbirds, and has taken the position of co-vice chair for Ex-situ Programs and Reintroduction in the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group. In parallel, Luis is a member of the Bali Myna International Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the EAZA TAGs for Passeriformes, Hornbills, Pigeon & Dove and Psittaciformes and is the MON-P for Blue-eyed Cockatoo. Luis is also the WRS liaison for the ZAA Bird TAG.

Luis is a firm believer on conservation aviculture and in the role that welfare-based, scientifically-managed  and sustainability-driven captive breeding of birds can be used as an important part of species recovery.

Trade and Legislation ice-chair: Dr Chris R. Shepherd

Chris has spent over two decades investigating and researching the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade and motivating solutions to this growing crisis.  He has worked on a wide range of species threatened by trade, including the Critically Endangered Ploughshare Tortoises, Asian Elephants, Sun Bears and Straw-headed Bulbuls – and a multitude of other songbird species. Chris played a major role in catalysing many of the conservation interventions for newly emerging threats to Asia's wildlife, putting the spotlight on urgent issues, such as the growing songbird trade crisis.  Chris has a PhD from Oxford Brookes University and is an active member of many IUCN SSC specialist groups, and has published numerous papers on the songbird trade, and on solutions to mitigate this threat.  As Executive Director of Monitor (Monitor Conservation Research Society), Chris is committed to delivering evidence-based research, enforcement support and advocacy results to ensure no songbird species are lost due to the illegal ad unsustainable trade.

Education and Community Engagement Vice-chair: Anuj Jain

Anuj divides his time coordinating BirdLife International (Asia)'s Preventing Species Extinctions and the Illegal Bird Trade program. He is particularly interested in field-based conservation of species that are impacted by wildlife trade working closely with field teams to monitor the populations and ecology of hornbills, parrots, songbirds and butterflies and with local communities to understand how socio-economic conditions drive poaching and demand for wildlife.   


Anuj co-coordinates the IUCN SSC Helmeted Hornbill Working Group and is working on a regional project as a National Geographic Explorer to identify population strongholds for the Helmeted Hornbill in Southeast Asia. Anuj’s interests also span biomimicry, landscape ecology and ecosystem service assessments.

Education and Community Engagement Vice-chair: Novia Sagita

Coordinator: Jess Lee

Jess is based in the Conservation & Research Department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, where she oversees and helps coordinate avian conservation projects in Singapore, but also wider Southeast Asia. She has specific interests around conservation planning for critical Asian bird species, rescue centre management, trade identification and genomic assessments for cryptic species

Coordinator: Serene Chng

Serene is the Programme Officer for TRAFFIC, currently leading TRAFFIC’s regional programme in Southeast Asia on the trade of wildlife for pets. She manages and implements multi-year projects in multiple countries relating to tackling illegal and unsustainable international and domestic trade in birds and reptiles, particularly focusing on the Southeast Asia region.

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