Over the last 30 years there have only been three prior symposia. The first held in Seattle in 1978, hosted by Jan Roger van Oosten, then director at Woodland Park Zoo. The next two were held in Los Angeles, California the first in 1983 and the last in 1987, both were sponsored by Gary Schulman. The 1987 symposium was of special notice in that it commemorated the life of Jean Delacour, who passed away in November, 1985.
What set apart the ISBBC from similar avian symposia was the sheer quality and diversity of the speakers, coupled with the avicultural and conservation related topics into one event, made it an occasion well remembered. Due to the high caliber of speakers, it attracted many delegates of avicultural, zoological and ornithological backgrounds; it amassed conservationists of all types and set a standard for avian symposiums, one that has rarely been reached since the last.
There were numerous reasons for hosting a fourth symposium. Despite the fact that nearly twenty years have passed since the last, there had been some vast changes to the avicultural and ornithological communities on an international scale making a cohesive reunion of great potential importance.
Symposium topics varied greatly, however an emphasis was placed on the role of aviculture in the conservation of avian biodiversity, hence the title that emerged from the event- Conservation Through Aviculture: Proceedings of the IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity.