In 1978 Jerry
received two world first breeding awards for the Ariel Toucan
and the Emerald Toucanet. Seven more first breedings of toucans
followed over the next ten years leading to the world's largest
collection of toucans that has numbered as many as 25 species
and currently over 350 individuals.
in toucans eventually led him to visit Central and South America.
In 1994 Jerry acquired 200 acres of coastal rainforest habitat
near Golfito in the Osa area of Southwestern Costa Rica. A measure
of Jerry's dedication to conservation, this property has been
set aside to protect a variety of bird and mammal species including
the Swainson's Toucan and the Fiery Billed Aracari and several
species of new world primates. An ecotourism lodge is eventually
planned for this site. While other breeders talk about conservation,
we at Emerald Forest Bird Gardens take action.
In 1996 Jerry acquired property in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, which
has been developed into a breeding farm for several species of
Ramphastids not currently maintained in collections in North America.
The offspring from this farm have been imported into the United
States beginning in 2002 to add to the breeding collection at
Emerald Forest Bird Gardens. These include the Chestnut Eared
Aracari, Ivory Bill Aracari and the Curl Crested Aracari and are
the sole source for these birds in the USA.
Jerry is a
retired attorney in San Diego, California. He spends most of his time managing Emerald Forest Bird
Gardens and traveling to his projects in Latin America.
He has written
numerous articles on the management of toucans, toucanets, and
aracaris and has lectured on the subject in North and South America.
He is a contributor to the book, "Biology, Medicine, and
Surgery of South American Wild Animals", 2001, Iowa State
Jerry is the founder of the American Federation of Aviculture and served as its president from 1973-76 and 1985-87. He is a life member of the International Wild Waterfowl Association and a Life Member of the Avicultural Society of America, the latter of which he serves as the Director of their Annual ConferenceHe is a member of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Director of the Toucan Preservation Center, a non-profit research foundation. He is fluent in Spanish and German and speaks some Norwegian.