Guidelines for IOU Working Groups

  1. Mission. Working Groups (WGs) are established to address issues and areas of interest and concern in ornithological science, from both basic and applied perspectives, when such needs arise and require attention. IOU WGs consist of experts in the field and reach out to ornithologists, conservationists, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, educators, and other stakeholders.

  2. Membership. Each WG comprises a Chair or two Co-Chairs, and three or more members from different countries, including one of the Co-Chairs. The Chair or both Co-Chairs must all be members of the IOU; other members of a WG are preferably but not necessarily IOU members providing they are established experts in the field. IOU members interested in joining a particular WG may do so through contact with its Chair or Co-Chairs. The Chair or Co-Chairs must keep a record of WG members and its business. IOU membership information and application forms can be found at

  3. Formation of a WG. Proposals for establishing a WG must include a mission statement and guidelines for the operation of the WG and the dissemination of its proceedings, policies, and other products/services (for examples, see the mission statements for the WG Psittaciformes and the WG Avian Nomenclature Proposals for new WGs must be signed by at least four IOU members and may be submitted to the IOU President at any time; submissions within 6 months of a coming IOCongress will not be considered until after that IOCongress. Proposals are reviewed by the IOU President and IOU Executive Committee. Upon recommendation by the IOU Executive Committee, the President approves the Chair or Co-Chairs, and the official establishment of a WG with nominated members under IOU auspices.

  4. Responsibilities. The Chair or Co-Chairs of a WG provide a written report on their Group's past 4-year and prospective activities to the IOU President within three months of the conclusion of each IOCongress. All WGs must organize a Round-Table Discussion or a Symposium on issues relevant to their mission statement at each IOCongress, and prepare abstracts for these initiatives for IOCongress published programs. They shall also prepare relevant information for posting on the IOU web site. WGs actively recruit members.

  5. Terms of appointment. The terms of appointment of WGs and their members, Chairs or Co-Chairs, are in principle indefinite, but are subject to review and renewal every four years by the IOU President after each IOCongress. WGs are encouraged to offer recommendations to the President for the appointment of their Chairs or Co-Chairs at those times. Renewal will be granted by the President upon receiving the required report on WG activities (see paragraph 4 above). In the interval between the previous Congress and presidential approval, a WG will continue to operate as in the previous inter-Congress quadrennium. Failure to submit the required report to the President for review, failure to organize a Round-Table Discussion or Symposium at an IOCongress, failure to provide materials for posting on the IOU web site, or WG action considered inimical to the interests of the IOU by the IOU Executive Committee, may result in the dissolution of a WG. A dissolved WG may be reactivated upon submission of a revised proposal to the IOU President and upon the recommendation by the IOU Executive Committee and IOU President.