Donald Bruning, Ph.D.

Professional Title:Chair and Curator, Department of Ornithology, Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Education: PhD. and MA Colorado University, undergraduate work at UCLA and Colorado University. Thesis research was conducted in NY and in Argentina on the Grey Rhea.

Professional career:Don started his Zoo career as a curatorial trainee at the New York Zoological Park (Bronx Zoo) in 1967. He became assistant curator in 1969, associate in 1973 and curator in 1975 and chair in 1986. Don also supervised an extensive travel program of the Society from 1974 to 1986. He served as adjunct professor at Fordham University between 1974 and 1986 as well as teaching courses at Manhattanville college. Don taught courses for the veterinary school of the University of Pennsylvania as well as giving lectures at Cornell University and to many local Audubon, and avicultural groups.

Don served the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in many ways over the years. He served on the AZA Board, and chaired their Ethics Board, their Wildlife Management and Conservation Committee as well as their program and legislative committees.

Don represented AZA and WCS on the Cooperative Working Group on the Bird Trade from 1988 to 1991. He testified before congress to help get the passage of the Wild Bird Conservation Act. He advised and helped the state of New York develop its regulations on bird and animal trade in the state. Don developed and gave training courses for USFWS and USDA officers in bird identification.

Don has written over 100 articles for professional and hobbyist journals and newsletters. He served as advisor to Time Life Books on many of their nature and wildlife series. He authored a book with photographer Art Wolf on Bald Eagles.

International work: Don served as the representative for WCS and AZA to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) from 1985 through 2002. These international meeting determine the international endangered status of flora and fauna around the world. These conferences were held in Buenos Aires Argentina (1985), Ottawa, Canada (1987), Lausanne Switzerland (1989), Kyoto, Japan (1992), Ft Lauderdale , Florida (1994), Harare, Zimbabwe (1997), Nairobi, Kenya (2000), and Santiago, Chile (2002).

Don has served on the Council of the Bahamas National Trust, and on the Boards of the Research and Conservation Foundation of Papua New Guinea, the Faunalink Foundation, the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society, Hawaiian Bird Advisory Committee, and the Malaysian Wildlife Department Advisory Committee. Don has conducted numerous collecting trips to Papua New Guinea and helped establish the conservation foundation there. He helped establish a large protected area, Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area in PNG along with developing an intensive education program for Papua New Guinea.

Don and his wife Barbara are retiring to Colorado and moved to Durango in 2002.