Twan Leenders has joined the staff of Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy as the new ecological restoration manager.
âTwan’s passion for conservation, his extensive experience and knowledge will take CWC’s conservation activities to a whole new level,â said John Jablonski III, executive director of Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.
Originally from the Netherlands, Leenders has a degree in biology with a specialization in animal ecology. He worked in Europe, Africa and Central America before coming to the United States in 2000. After arriving in the United States, Leenders worked as a researcher at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University and later as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Sacred Heart. University of Fairfield, Connecticut In the years leading up to his move to western New York State, he was the conservation biologist for the Connecticut Audubon Society, where he developed innovative conservation and restoration projects. habitat throughout the state of Connecticut and oversaw the organization of more than 2,500 acres of natural sanctuaries that spanned old growth forests, managed meadows and intertidal marshes along the shores of Long Strait Island.
Closer to home in Chautauqua County, Leenders has been a conservation partner with CWC through the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, where he served as president for eight years and continues to be involved as a senior advisor. of the Institute for Conservation.
He has been a member of the CWC Conservation Committee since 2012.
As the new ecological restoration manager of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy. Leenders will work with landowners and conservation partners to carry out restoration projects that improve habitat quality, help reduce environmental impacts and increase the region’s climate resilience. He will also work with conservation staff on the management of existing reserves and the selection of new conservation projects. Leenders is currently working on resilience planning and habitat restoration projects with the Jamestown BPU and the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District and is developing several other initiatives across the county.
The projects are part of a larger initiative by Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy to develop a collaborative regional conservation strategy. The plan will also establish a potential framework for future land conservation to ensure that the region’s most important natural areas and natural resources are identified and protected as soon as possible.
In his spare time, Leenders is an avid nature photographer who enjoys documenting the natural treasures he encounters on his forays into the woods, at home or abroad. His photographs have been published widely in numerous books and magazines, including National Geographic, New Scientist, and National Wildlife. Although he enjoys all aspects of nature, it is true that he has a weakness for amphibians and reptiles.