Sea-Level Rise Forecasted in New Study Poses Grave Threat to Many Nesting Birds at Pacific Islands
ABC media release
Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for birds at some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the so-called passive models used in earlier research, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report.
A team led by research oceanographer Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center compared passive “bathtub” inundation models (which analyze rising sea levels without considering effects of wave action and storm wind) with dynamic models for two of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team studied Midway, a classic atoll with islands on the shallow (2–8 meters or 6–26 feet deep) atoll rim and a deep, central lagoon, and Laysan, which is higher, with a 20–30 meter (65–98 feet) deep rim and an island in the center of the atoll.
Together, the two locations exhibit landforms and coastal features common to many Pacific islands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are also among the world’s most important seabird nesting sites, as well as being home to the endangered Laysan Duck, Laysan Finch, and a recently established population of Millerbirds…
The Silent Forests of Guam: How Bird Losses are warming a forest
by Emma Bryce
The Mariana Fruit-dove—a vibrant creature decorated with what looks like multicolored puffs of spray paint across it chest and crest—is just one bird of many on the forested island of Guam that will never again be spied through a birder’s lens. The pigeon disappeared famously along with many other native birds in the wake of an invasion by brown tree snakes after World War II. Only now are scientists starting to piece together the effects—among them a thinning forest canopy increasingly riddled with holes, like Swiss cheese, the researchers say.
Over the next four years, ecologists from Rice University and the University of Guam will be investigating how this thinner canopy might be linked to the disappearance of the island’s birds. The US territory, which lies at the southernmost tip of the Mariana island Archipelago, once held 12 avian species, but ten were decimated by waves of voracious brown tree snakes, brought in unintentionally on ships during island reconstruction after the war…
By Matt Jenkins, Nature Conservancy magazine Senior Editor
Twenty four hours after touching down on Palmyra Atoll— a profoundly remote spot 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, where the skies are rarely marred by even the contrail of a passing airliner — photographer Tim Calver and I were aboard the research boat Zenobia. That morning, a team of researchers had been catching Gray Reef Sharks and implanting tracking tags in them; now it was time for lunch. As Kydd Pollock steered the boat back to the research station, something in the distance caught his eye — a frothy eruption on the ocean’s surface, with a scrum of seabirds wheeling overhead…
The critically endangered Millerbird. Scientists are tracking the growing number of Millerbirds on Laysan Island.
by Michelle Wilcox
This post resumes our series with scientists on Hawai’i’s Laysan Island in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, where they are following up on a multiyear effort to establish a population of the critically endangered Millerbird. Two translocations of Millerbirds from Nihoa Island to Laysan were completed in 2011 and 2012, and scientists are now monitoring breeding success and tracking the growing number of Millerbirds on the island. The effort has been carried out by a team of biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Bird Conservancy…
The strangest stowaways yet have arrived on U.S. shores via debris possibly from the 2011 Japan tsunami: live striped beakfish (Oplegnathus fasciatus)!
The fish, which live off the coast of Japan and Hawaii, apparently made their way across the Pacific in a drifting 18-foot (5.5 meter) skiff. Of the five fish that made the journey, one is still alive and is being kept at the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon.
“These fish could have been originally from Japanese waters, or they could have been picked up going close by the Hawaii coast,” said Allen Pleus, the aquatic invasive species coordinator at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife…
The Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina) feeding on an unidentified species of moray eel (Gymnothorax sp.) in Fiji. Location was a patch reef off Pacific Harbour at a depth of about 30’. The krait had already killed the eel and was swallowing it when my wife, Marj Awai, found it.
New genus of Squat Lobster, with 5 species, Described
Feb. 15, 2013
On recent expeditions to Madagascar and the French Polynesia, two Spanish researchers have discovered five new species of crustacean and a new genus named Triodonthea.
Experts from the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes and the University of Barcelona (UB) collected and studied different crustacean specimens during recent expeditions to Madagascar, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Philippines and French Polynesia.
Using morphological and molecular data they have discovered five new species of crustaceans in the waters of these regions. They are genetically different but morphologically very similar and they also found a new genus, named Triodonthea. The five new species documented in the study belong to the Lauriea genus of the Galatheidae family, which is differentiated easily from other species of the group as it has very long setae and their legs end in a double spine…
… is a species of moth of the familyCrambidae. It is known from south-east Asia, as well as Fiji, Japan and Northern Australia. The wingspan is about 3 cm. The larvae feed on Alstonia scholaris and Gardenia jasminoides. Young larvae feed on the flesh of the leaves leaving a skeleton of veins.They are pale green with several raised black lumps on each segment, and a pale brown head. They live in a shelter created from curled or joined leaves held with silk. Pupation takes place in this shelter.
Will Poisoned Mice Solve Guam’s Problem With Introduced Brown Tree Snakes?
by Mark Lallanilla
In a desperate bid to reduce Guam’s population of poisonous brown tree snakes, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture believe they’ve hit on a foolproof plan: air-dropping dead mice onto the Pacific island.
It gets weirder: Before the airdrop, the dead mice will have their bodies stuffed with Tylenol (acetaminophen), which is toxic to the snakes, according to the Guardian.
Wait — it gets weirder still. Each mouse will be fitted with a tiny parachute so they’ll be more likely to get snagged in trees where the snakes live. That will also reduce the risk that the dead mice will poison other animals..
The brown tree snake, a native of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, hitched a ride to Guam on military transport ships shortly after World War II. Though poisonous, the invasive specie’s venom isn’t lethal to humans..
This video is about an island in the ocean at 2000 km from any other coast line. Nobody lives, only birds and yet, you will not believe what you will see here.
Please don’t throw anything into the sea. Unbelievable, just look at the consequences…
sad thing is that many of us will dismiss our participation in this by saying that we don’t throw anything in the ocean. we dispose of our trash in the bin. Many wont see that the trash they throw in the bins indiscriminately will eventually find its way in the oceans because we do not really have the real consciousness of the impact of trash. Change must begin at home…
Is a species of pigeon found through Southeast Asia and parts of Oceania. Unlike most doves this species is arboreal and feeds almost exclusively on fruit. They are generally found in rainforests, woodlands and near sources of water like streams and mangroves.
The oldest known wild bird in the United States has hatched a chick — for the sixth year in a row.
The Laysan albatross named Wisdom, thought to be at least 62 years old, hatched a healthy-looking chick on Sunday (Feb. 3), according to a statement from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Wisdom and her young chick inhabit Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), which is famous for its Laysan albatross population.
“Everyone continues to be inspired by Wisdom as a symbol of hope for her species,” said Doug Staller, the Fish and Wildlife Service superintendent for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which encompasses Midway Atoll NWR.
Wisdom was first banded in 1956 while incubating an egg; bands are attached to the legs of birds to help scientists track and study them. At the time, she was estimated to be at least 5 years old…
The Silvereye or Wax-eye (Zosterops lateralis) is a very small omnivorous passerine bird of the south-west pacific. A small bird 11 to 13 cm in length and around 10 g in weight, it has a conspicuous ring of white feathers around its eye.Silvereyes breed in spring and early summer (mainly between September and December), making a tiny cup of grass, moss, hair, spiderweb, and thistledown, suspended from a branch fork in the outer reaches of small trees or shrubs…