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Patricia Zurita

Chief Executive Officer

patricia zurita, BirdLife ceo, Birdlife international

Patricia Zurita is CEO of BirdLife International, the world’s largest nature conservation partnership of civil society organizations. BirdLife comprises more than 115 national partners representing every continent. Trained as both an environmental scientist and economist, Zurita believes that nature is the underlying system that supports all of humanity. She strives to work with governments, business and local communities to conserve and restore nature and address the climate crisis for the benefit of humanity and the planet.  

Zurita was born and raised in Ecuador, and she is the first woman from a developing country to lead an international conservation organization. She believes that for conservation to succeed, the role of nature (including nature conservation and restoration) must be mainstreamed in all sectors of our economy. This work must be led at the local level and must be beneficial to local communities. Equally and critically important, it must then result in meaningful changes at national, regional and global levels to enable our survival and prosperity.

Before coming to BirdLife, Zurita served as executive director for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and held positions at Conservation International and the World Resources Institute. Zurita holds a master’s degree in environmental management (natural resource economics) from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in environmental science from Universidad San Francisco de Quito. 

Zurita resides in Cambridge, England, with her husband and twin daughters. 

“Although a cliche, birds truly are the canary in the coal mine as indicators for the health of our planet given the speed with which they adapt to ecosystem changes, their ubiquity around the planet, and how deeply studied they are. My hopes for future conservation are dependent on the critical need to listen and urgently act upon what birds are telling us as they disappear in ever-increasing numbers.”

More about BirdLife

About us

We are a global family of over 115 national Partners covering all continents, landscapes and seascapes.

How we work

We share a belief that people working for nature in their own local patch, connected to others elsewhere, is the key to sustaining all life on this planet.

Our science

All of BirdLife’s work is underpinned by scientific research. Our science is used to set priorities, inform action on the ground, and shape policy and advocacy.

Our network of over 2 million birders, scientists and local volunteers helps us to track, follow, analyse, conserve and understand every bird species in the world.

Select a flyway on our interactive tool and follow migrating birds to see
The Partnership in action.

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