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Evan Buechley, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
B.A., Willamette University; Ph.D., University of Utah

Evan R. Buechley is a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. His research focuses on endangered species conservation, scavenger ecology and movement ecology. Buechley works primarily with raptors and vultures, using cutting-edge tracking technologies to reveal movement patterns of animals across continents. This information is used to investigate species’ basic ecology and ecosystem services, and ultimately helps to inform their conservation.

Buechley's current projects include:

  • A research and conservation project in Ethiopia investigating the migrations, habitat use, ecosystem services and threats to seven vulture species
  • Various avian movement ecology studies worldwide, including Egyptian and turkey vultures, snail kites and bare-throated bellbirds
  • Field research on the endangered Asir magpie of Saudi Arabia
Buechley's work includes an analysis of the causes and consequences of vulture declines and a paradigm to set raptor research and conservation priorities globally. He is a world expert on vulture ecology and conservation, having worked in-depth with vultures on four continents. Working in partnership with the nonprofit HawkWatch International, his research informs a long-term applied conservation project in Ethiopia focused on saving critically endangered vultures from extinction.
Buechley received his bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Willamette University in 2006, with a thesis based on field research investigating the interactions between waterfowl and fisheries along Mexico's Pacific coast. He then worked on a myriad of avian research projects worldwide, including surveying bird communities of Micronesia, contributing to the recovery of the California condor in the Grand Canyon region, investigating the regional status of the augur buzzard in Kenya and assisting with bearded vulture reintroductions in Spain. For his doctorate at the University of Utah, Buechley worked with Cagan Sekercioglu conducting global analyses and field studies in Turkey, Armenia and Ethiopia. More recently, he has been a postdoctoral researcher in a collaboration between HawkWatch International and the University of Utah.
Buechley is an avid birder, skier, rock climber and flamenco guitarist.
Recent Publications: 

Buechley, E. R. & Şekercioğlu, Ç. H. 2016. The avian scavenger crisis: looming extinctions, trophic cascades, and loss of critical ecosystem functions. Biol. Conserv. 198, 220–228.

Buechley, E. R. et al. 2018. Identifying critical migratory bottlenecks and high-use areas for an endangered migratory soaring bird across three continents. J. Avian Biol. 49, 1–13.

Buechley, E. R. et al. 2019. Global raptor research and conservation priorities: tropical raptors fall prey to knowledge gaps. Divers. Distrib. 1–14.

Projects: