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New Executive Director

Saturday 8th june 2024.


The Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) is pleased to announce that Rui Borralho was appointed as Executive Director in May.
Replacing the outgoing Executive Director, Domingos Leitão, Rui Borralho has enjoyed a solid career and nurtures a fervent passion for nature conservation, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience and a deep dedication to wildlife.
With a PhD in Forestry Engineering, specialising in Wildlife Management, from the University of Lisbon’s Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Rui Borralho has always been passionate about nature.

‘It’s a huge responsibility and challenge, and I’m very excited to begin my duties as Executive Director of SPEA,’ says Rui Borralho, adding: “Being a founding member of SPEA and a member of its first and third national boards, I’ve always been passionate about wildlife, and about bird watching, ecology and conservation in particular, so that taking on this position is literally the fulfilment of a professional dream.”

Throughout his career, Rui Borralho has excelled in a number of areas, including the preparation, coordination and execution of research projects, nature conservation and environmental management. He has also played a key role in environmental communication and marketing, promoting environmental awareness and citizenship through strategic campaigns. Highlights include his time at ERENA and Naturlink, and his participation in the creation of the Centre for Applied Ecology at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia.
His experience in operational management, heading departments, companies and associations, has always been characterised by a strong focus on efficiency and positive impact. Rui Borralho is recognised as an incorrigible enthusiast, constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to contribute to nature conservation.


He is committed to promoting initiatives that increase social responsibility and environmental awareness among citizens. His vast experience and solid training have made him a central figure in environmental conservation, and he has dedicated his entire career to nature protection and environmental education.

SPEA welcomes the arrival of Rui Borralho as Executive Director and looks forward to continuing its important work under his leadership. It also wishes to thank Domingos Leitão for his 23 years of dedication, eight of which were spent as Executive Director, and remains confident that his connection to SPEA will continue in other ways.


Uwe Heitkamp (64)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations: Dina Adão, John Elliot, , Patrícia Lara
Photos: Uwe Heitkamp

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