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I am a conservation biologist and data scientist with a passion for the natural world and figuring out how it works. I am currently conducting a conservation research survey of the birds of the Karoo Biome, South Africa, on behalf of BirdLife South Africa, after 5 years researching birds of the Fynbos Biome at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. I continue to be involved with research in the Peruvian Amazon, where I did my PhD, but I now live and conduct most of my research on Blue Hill Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa. As a member of the Lee Family Trust running the Blue Hill Escape guest house, I am also able to support various research projects: Cape Rockjumper and Leopard research currently. I have accomplished 3 big projects that were largely thought to be impossible: obtaining density estimates for Blue-headed Macaw and other parrot species; a biome wide survey of the endemics birds of the fynbos conducted on foot and by bicycle; and obtaining density estimates, population sizes and ecological parameters determining the distribution of the Hottentot Buttonquail, an endangered fynbos endemic. Due to undertaking and completion of these projects I have been labelled an 'extreme biologist'.

I am currently Editor-in-Chief of Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

A good place to find out more about me is on my blog:

Alan T. K. Lee's reports and publications

Lee ATK, Simon CA. 2018. Publication incentives based on journal rankings disadvantage local publications. South African Journal of Science 114: 1-3. Publisher link (free).

Lee ATK, Reeves B, Wright DR. 2018. Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus: Endangered or just overlooked? Bird Conservation International. Publisher link. Kudos link.

Abdu S, McKechnie AE, Lee AT, Cunningham SJ. 2018. Can providing shade at water points help Kalahari birds beat the heat? Journal of Arid Environments. Publisher link.

Wright DR, Lee ATK. 2017. Bird -friendly Habitat Management Guidelines for the endemic birds of the Fynbos Biome. Johannesburg, South Africa: BirdLife South Africa. Free download.

Lee AT, Wright DR, Reeves B. 2018. Habitat variables associated with encounters of Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus during flush surveys across the Fynbos biome. Ostrich: 1-6. Publisher link.

Lee AT, Marsden SJ, Tatum-Hume E, Brightsmith DJ. 2017. The effects of tourist and boat traffic on parrot geophagy in lowland Peru. Biotropica 49: 716-725. Publisher link.

Lee ATK. 2017. Sentinel behavior or vigilance at a macaw claylick? Ornitologia Neotropical 28: 253-260. Publisher link.

Berkunsky I, et al. 2017. Current threats faced by Neotropical parrot populations. Biological Conservation. Publisher website.

Lee, A.T.K, Wright, D.R. & Barnard, P. 2017. Hot bird drinking patterns: drivers of water visitation in a fynbos bird community. African Journal of Ecology. doi:10.1111/aje.12384 Publisher link. Prepublication proof

Mackay, B., Lee, A. T. K., Barnard, P., Møller, A. P., & Brown, M. 2017. Urbanization, climate and ecological stress indicators in an endemic nectarivore, the Cape Sugarbird. Journal of Ornithology, 1-12. pdf.

Lee, A.T.K, Altwegg, R. & Barnard, P. 2017. Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International. Publisher link. Prepublication proof

Lee, A.T.K & Barnard, P. 2017. How well do bird atlas reporting rates reflect bird densities? Correlates of detection from the Fynbos biome, South Africa, with applications for population estimation. Ostrich 88(1). Publisher link. Prepublication proof

Milne, R; Cunningham, S.J.; Lee, A.T.K.; Smit, B. 2015. The role of thermal physiology in recent declines of birds in a biodiversity hotspot. Conservation Physiology 3: doi:10.1093/conphys/cov048. Free download from publisher website.

Lee, A.T.K. & Barnard, P 2015. Spatial and temporal patterns of insect-order activity in the fynbos, South Africa. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 3(6): 95-102. Free download from publisher website.

Lee, A.T.K. & Barnard, P; Hockey, P. 2015. Population metrics for fynbos birds, South Africa: densities, and detection and capture rates from a Mediterranean-type ecosystem. Ostrich. 86(1-2). 179-186. Ostrich.

Lee, A.T.K. & Barnard, P 2015. Endemic birds of the Fynbos biome: a conservation assessment and impacts of climate change. Bird Conservation International. pdf prepub proof.

Lee, A.T.K. & Oswald, K.N 2015. Rock Kestrel attack on a Cape Rockjumper caught in a spring trap. Afring News. 44: 9-10. Free download from publisher website.

Lee, A.T.K. & Barnard, P 2014. Aspects of the ecology and morphology of the protea seedeater, Crithagra leucopterus, a little-known Fynbos endemic. African Zoology. 49(2): 295–300. pdf proof.

Lee, A.T.K. & Simmons, R 2014. What’s eating Black Harriers Circus maurus? Two predation events camera-recorded on a ground nesting raptor. Gabar. pdf proof.

Lee, A.T.K., Donald J. Brightsmith, Mario P. Vargas, Karina Q. Leon, Aldo J. Mejia and Stuart J. Marsden 2014. Diet and Geophagy Across a Western Amazonian Parrot Assemblage Biotropica 46(3): 322–330. prepub proof. Biotropica abstract.

Lee, A.T.K & Barnard, P. 2013. The birds of Blue Hill Nature Reserve: the Fynbos Endemic Bird Survey. Afring News 42: 21-28 download pdf

Lee, A.T.K 2013 Parrots and parrot claylicks of Peru and South America. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. Link

Educational Poster: Know your Fynbos Endemic Birds. Download (1.5Mb)

Lee, A.T.K 2012. Cape Sugarbird: Flowering Protea may predict occurrence and abundance. Poster presented at the Fynbos Forum. Download pdf version. This poster won the prize for best poster, out of c30 posters.

Lee, A.T.K. 2012. Road Rage (If you speed, you're a killer). Africa Birds and Birding. 17(4): 8 - 10 Blog post featuring the text of the article

Lee, A.T.K and Barnard, P. 2012. Endemic fynbos avifauna: comparative range declines a cause for concern. Ornithological Observations. Download pdf

Lee, A.T.K and Marsden, S.J. 2012 The Influence of Habitat, Season, and Detectability on Abundance Estimates across an Amazonian Parrot Assemblage. Biotropica. Download pdf

Lee, A.T.K. 2010 Parrot Claylicks. PhD. Download pdf (3Mb)

Brightsmith, D. and Lee, A. 2010 Macaw conservation in the Tambopata National
Reserve, Peru: evaluation of tourism impacts and population management techniques. Earthwatch Science Report. Download

Lee, Kumar, Brightsmith and Marsden 2010 Claylick distribution in South America - do patterns of where help answer the question why? Ecography Download || Supplementary material

Lee, A. 2009 Discovering Claylicks. Psittascene Download

Biosphere 2009 Mammal recovery after hunting Download

Biosphere 2008 Including seasonal patterns of Red-and-green macaw activity; and macaw social behaviour at claylicks Download

Biosphere 2006 Including the impact of boat traffic on macaw behaviour and feeding Download

Biosphere 2005 Download

News articles featuring Alan Lee

Helge Eek 2010 A Norwegian article on Biosphere Expeditions 2009 Icons of the Peruvian Amazon. Download

Lawrence Mackin 2009 CSI: Amazon. Irish Times. Download1 2

Martin Amanshauser 2009 ZU SECHZEHNT LEHM LECKEN. Univsersum. Download