Parrot Researchers Group (PRG)
These guidelines outline the overarching vision, mission and objectives of the Parrot Researchers’ Group (PRG), and the underlying principles and processes designed to ensure it is a thriving, inclusive, respectful and productive environment promoting research on Psittaciformes.
The mission of the Parrot Researchers’ Group (PRG) is to promote and advance research of parrots (order Psittaciformes), with particular attention to regional conservation strategies by connecting researchers and practitioners in discussion, dissemination of research and collaborative research projects.
To support the development of collaborative research projects on Psittaciformes, with a particular emphasis on large scale projects which span multiple taxa, field sites, geographic regions, and/or researchers from different parts of the world.
To identify research gaps, needs and priorities, with particular attention to regional conservation strategies.
To identify and address barriers to effective research and science-based conservation of parrots.
To support, develop and implement strategies to increase geographical diversity in the membership of the PRG.
The primary means of communication and platform for discussions among group members is through the PRG Google Group, whose homepage can be accessed at https://groups.google.com/g/parrot-specialist-group
The PRG Google Group disseminates conversations via email or allows access to them through its homepage. Conversations in this group are private and can be read only by registered members visiting the homepage, or received per e-mail if members prefer.
To disseminate information to the general public we use the PRG website: https://www.parrotresearchersgroup.org/
To connect via social media, multiple social media channels are used by the PRG to disseminate news of relevance to parrot researchers:
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg0PWmoqvSCCzfjMJpeSjoA
Membership and structure
The PRG welcomes and encourages researchers from the different branches of science, including natural, formal, and social sciences, as well as zoogeographical regions and research interests, and recognizes that there is strength in diversity. To be appointed as member of the PRG, candidates are invited to fill a registration form:
The registration form requires basic information about affiliations, wild Psittaciformes expertise, areas of research interest, publications list (if any), and a list of parrot species included in their research. Membership is granted by and at the discretion of the Steering Team given that the applicant will be one of good standing and compliance, following the procedures described below . The Steering Team reserves the right to remove or refuse membership to anyone not adhering to the PRG guidelines. PRG is precisely aligned with scientific endeavors directed toward wild Psittaciformes and hence is more selective about membership criteria. Members and potential members should recognize that there are many other fora, social media groups, and professional organizations for discussion of captive Psittaciformes and aviculture.
Members code of conduct
All members are expected to be respectful to other PRG members and external parties, regardless of personal opinion or experience. We encourage respectful discourse at all times, including comments that may disagree with other members of our group; courtesy toward all participants in all discussions is required. However, we condemn posts that endorse or support smuggling, poaching, illegal trade or illicit activities. Posts of this kind, and/or comments offering or requesting parrots for sale will be immediately deleted and the member expelled. PRG does not condone entry of wild parrots into the pet trade nor any activities promoting such. Members will respect that parrot populations need discretion in the arena of public discussion and the members will so conduct themselves. The decision to delete posts from the PRG Google Group lies with the Steering Team. Use of explicit language, disinformation, harassment, spamming, flaming or doxxing, posts and comments seeking to insult, elicit harm, spread unsupported or unproven claims or that are considered defamatory or derogatory against the PRG, its members or any other party will be removed.
The Steering Team has the right to terminate the membership of any member based on failure to comply with these rules following careful review, and a chance for the member to restore relationships and change behavior.
The Steering Team or the Google Group Administrator have the right to refuse posts originating from outside the PRG.
The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of the PRG, unless otherwise stated.
No PRG member can express personal opinions as if they were in the name of the PRG. PRG members do not represent the PRG at external meetings with other parties.
Failure to respect the PRG guidelines may result in being blocked from the group and any posting/commenting privileges may be terminated without prior notice by the PRG. The guidelines here provided apply to all communication means, present and future, used by the PRG.
Roles and responsibilities
All Members are required to:
Have a good working knowledge of parrot(s) in their area of expertise and can actively contribute to the PRG and collaborations between members;
Provide technical advice to the Secretary and Steering Team;
Be actively informed and contribute to discussions;
Act at all times in the best interest of the PRG and parrot research and conservation;
Agree to directly address individuals with whom conflict or disagreement arises and seek to promote collaborative and compassionate discussion;
Abide by the guidelines here stipulated.
The Secretary of the PRG:
Steers the group to accomplish its mission;
Guides the smooth functioning of discussions with and between the working groups and coordinates on various functions of the PRG, such as the library and social media sites;
Leads the Steering Team;
Works for the achievement of the aims of the group;
Along with the Steering Team, makes decisions on the organization of the group and organizes the vote for officers;
Functions as a communication channel with the PRG members and the public, but never taking a position on any advocacy issue on behalf of the PRG without due process which involves seeking advice from the Coordinators and the decision of the Steering Team;
Supervises the proper functionality and use of all communication means within the PRG (see above) and the extranet where documents and materials may be stored;
Represents the PRG at external meetings, after consultation with the Steering Team;
Agrees to directly address individuals with whom conflict or disagreement arises and seek to promote collaborative and compassionate discussion, drawing on the advice of the membership and the Steering Team;
Records all decisions and outcomes of meetings to be posted for all PRG members to read, except when there is a need for confidentiality.
The Steering Team:
Consists of five members, including the Secretary;
Serves as the principal governing body of the PRG, making routine decisions and when needed, further reaching decisions after consultation with the PRG members;
Advises and assists the Secretary;
Assists the group to accomplish its mission;
Works for the achievement of the aims of the group;
Assists the Secretary in performing administrative tasks;
Assists the Secretary to organize the vote for the officers;
Assists the Secretary to directly address individuals with whom conflict or disagreement arises and seek to promote collaborative and compassionate discussion;
Responds to communications within 3-5 days, engages in current issues and needs within the PRG, and assists the Secretary in making decisions and the daily running of the PRG;
Accepts new members;
Proposes changes to this Guidelines when needed. Routine changes can be conducted by the Steering Team directly. However, changes that may affect the mission, aims, structure, roles and responsibilities, and elections of the PRG must be made in consultation with the PRG members.
Elections and replacements
Steering Team members serve for 3 years with each election taking place in November. By the end of October of each election year PRG members who would like to nominate themselves as candidates to the Secretary position or as Steering Team members must inform of their intention and present their C.V. to the Steering Team. During the first half of November, the Steering Team will circulate the list of candidates and make it available to all PRG members. All candidates will be voted upon by the general membership by the end of November. A simple majority will determine the successful election of the next Secretary and the top four candidates in terms of numbers of vote will fill the 4 general positions of the Steering Team;
All positions may serve two consecutive terms and after waiting out an election cycle, may run again for a position;
If there is a resignation at any time, the Steering Team may appoint “acting” or “interim” Steering Team members and the Secretary who will serve until the next election. The Steering Team may continue operations with as few as 3 members until the needed member of the Steering Team is appointed.
Decision making process
The Steering Team will use the consensus process as the primary mode of coming to decisions, and after considerable discussion, a recorded vote shall take place based on a simple majority. For any major decisions, such as changing the Guidelines, the Steering Team will consult with the membership.
The PRG is not a legally registered entity within any jurisdiction. The PRG therefore has no rights to enter into, or sign, any legally binding agreement or document or manage finances.
Convening of expertise/taking a stand
The PRG will occasionally be asked, or might consider, to convene expertise on a specific subject relating to the conservation of parrots, ethical research, welfare of Psittaciformes and the human community and researchers, or wide societal impacts. As the function of the group is to facilitate communication, networking, and gathering and consideration of data, the PRG will not make a public statement or document on behalf of all members. Instead, our communications forums and regional expertise will serve to support the deliberation of individuals and self-organizing teams (“Collaborative Teams”) with their respective projects. Members are entitled to their own opinions and are encouraged to use the PRG’s communications platforms to coordinate position statements and petition-signature letters among PRG members. Any such outputs will not be considered outputs of the PRG but rather the independent products of the authors. Individual members can make any statement they wish on any matter in their independent and private capacity providing they do not violate the group’s guidelines, but they shall not represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the PRG unless they have permission from the Steering Team.
At any time, a working group may form out of the PRG membership to pursue common goals amongst those who elect to be part of the Working Group. Such Working Groups do not speak for the PRG membership but only for those involved in the Working Group. The Steering Team will support these Working Groups and solicit regular communications from them. The Coordinator of these Working Groups will be elected by common decision of the majority of the PRG members in that Working Group; the coordinator may have one member of the Working Group to assist. But, the Working Group members should decide if this figure is needed. The appointment of this Coordinator will be until the objective of the Working Group is achieved or the members of this Working Group consider a change in coordinator or group assistant is needed.
Conflict is a normal aspect of human relationships and organizations. As such as conflict arises individuals will be encouraged and supported to discuss the issue directly with the people involved. The Steering Team will strive to support members to talk to one another as will the Secretary assisted by the Steering Team. If direct conversation does not work or does not occur, the Secretary and the Steering Team will reach out to the involved parties to help them work through the conflict. If there is a breach in membership responsibility, the Secretary and the Steering Team will converse directly with the individual and suggest actions to reinstate the individual to right relationships to the PRG and its members. If this does not result in a positive outcome, the Steering Team may terminate membership of an individual. See Roles and responsibilities above.
Annex 1 - PRG historical overview (2010 to 2023)
The PRG was formed during a Round Table Discussion (RTD) entitled “Beyond the Parrot Action Plan: Challenges and priorities for the research and conservation of Psittaciformes” at the 25th International Ornithological Congress on 27 August 2010, in Campos do Jordão, Brazil (Organizers: Juan F. Masello, James D. Gilardi, Igor Berkunsky, Timothy F. Wright and Robert Heinsohn). The more than 80 participants at this meeting agreed by vote to form a new “Parrot Researchers Group” (PRG). During the meeting a wide variety of topics were discussed including the need for more studies on data deficient species, better dissemination of information (both published and unpublished), and the need for more research in many areas. A major topic of conversation was the need to revise and update the IUCN Parrot Action Plan 2000−2004, which participants agreed should be approached on a regional basis. Updates in various forms have been accomplished through a series of joint PRG studies published during 2014 - 2018 (Martin et al. 2014, Berkunsky et al. 2017, Olah et al. 2018). It was agreed to elect one head of the organization (the Secretary) and two to three regional coordinators for the principal biogeographical regions where parrots occur (Africa, Australasia, Neotropics, Indo-Malayan). Later on, thematic sections were added such as the Urban Parrot and the Wild Parrot Veterinary sections. However, since 2022, a different structure is used: a Secretary and four Steering Team members governs the PRG, and the regions and sections have been replaced by Working Groups pursuing common goals (see details at https://www.parrotresearchersgroup.org/ ). All members of the PRG have the opportunity to nominate candidates for the elections and to vote. This has already been accomplished three times (2014, 2018, and 2022). Since 2010, discussions, exchange of advice, and the coordination of joint projects (e.g. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2940-3) have been carried out through different communication means (see section Communication above). The group has changed names and affiliation over the years; starting as the Parrot Researchers Group before becoming the Research Coordination Committee on Parrots (2013−2015) and subsequently the Working Group Psittaciformes (2015−2019), from the International Ornithologist's Union (IOU), following changes in the structure of the IOU, of which the PRG was part during 2013−2019. In 2020, the PRG decided to become again an independent organization re-adopting its original name. In August 2022 these Guidelines were revised to remove sections and have the group come under the core leadership of five Steering Team Members and current working groups. Elections were held in August 2022 and the new leadership took effect on January 1, 2023.
Annex 2 – Previous officers
Secretary: LoraKim Joyner
Steering Team: LoraKim Joyner, Pat Latas, Johanne Martens
African region co-ordination committee
2018-2022: Dr. Rowan Martin, Dr. Kate Carstens, Dr. Nathaniel Annorbah
2014-2018: Dr. Rowan Martin, Dr. Nathaniel Annorbah, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Craig Symes
2010-2014: Dr. Rowan Martin, Dr. Steve Boyes, Prof. Dr. Mike Perrins
Australasian region co-ordination committee
2018-2022: Dr. Johanne Martens
2014-2018: Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsohn, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jörn Theuerkauf, Dr. George Olah
2010-2014: Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsohn
Indo-Malayan region co-ordination committee
2018-2022: MSc. Avinandan (deceased), Dr. Jessica Lee
2014-2018: MSc. Avinandan, Bonnie Zimmermann, Dr. Peter Widmann
2010-2014: MSc. Avinandan
Illegal Bird Trade in India: Dr. Asha Poonia
Neotropical region co-ordination committee
2018-2022: Dr. LoraKim Joyner
2014-2018: Dr. Igor Berkunsky, Ass. Prof. Dr. Donald Brightsmith, MSc. Martín Lezama López, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand
2010-2014: Ass. Prof. Dr. Donald J. Brightsmith, Dr. René Cardoso dos Santos, Dr. Igor Berkunsky, Olivier Chassot, MSc. Martin Lezama
Macaw Sub-group: Dr. Gabriela Vigo Trauco
Great Green Macaw Team: Dr. Guisselle Monge Arias
Parrot Outcome Study: Dr. LoraKim Joyner
Liaison, Grupo de Interés Temático de Psitácidos (Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biología y la Conservación): MSc. Martin Lezama
Loros Sin Fronteras: Juan Cantu
e-Bird initiative: Dr. LoraKim Joyner
Caribbean region co-ordination committee
2010-2014: Dr. Thomas H. White Jr., Dr. Sam Williams
Wild Parrot Veterinary Section co-ordination committee
2018-2022: Dr. Patricia Latas, Dr. Jessica Lee, Dr. LoraKim Joyner
Behavioural Ecology Section co-ordination committee
2020-2022: Dr. Carlos de Araújo, Dr. Juan F. Masello
Urban parrot section co-ordination committee
2014-2018: MSc. Roelant Jonker, Prof. of Research Dr. José L. Tella, Dr. Michael Braun
Extra-Tropical section co-ordination committee
2010-2014: MSc. Roelant Jonker, Dr. Michael Braun
2020-2022: Dr. LoraKim Joyner
2018-2020: Dr. Igor Berkunsky
2014-2018: Dr. Juan F. Masello
2010-2014: Dr. Juan F. Masello
Annex 3 – Social media
@workingparrotsgroup or https://www.instagram.com/parrotresearchersgroup/
Steered by Eliana Blanco Pérez (2018-2023)
Steered by Grrrlscientist
Steered by Roelant Jonker
Contact Juan F. Masello
Parrot Researchers Group public webpage
Steered by Pat Latas