Recent news and events at ABR.
The ABR Ecological Land Survey team recently completed the second of two summer field expeditions in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The team was conducting a soil and vegetation inventory as well as collecting data on landforms and surface hydrology. The first trip of the summer investigated coastal areas, whereas the second trip focused on the interior regions of the park. On both trips, field crews experienced diverse and dynamic landscapes, and even carnivorous plants!
All around the Arctic from Norway to Russia to Alaska, arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are finding themselves nose-to-nose with a new challenge: the bigger and more aggressive red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Evidence of this change is presented in 3 recent peer-reviewed articles co-authored by ABR biologists (Berteaux et al. 2017, Colson et al. 2017, Elmhagen et al. 2017).
On Saturday, 22 July 2017, a large contingent of ABR employees, past and present, attended Erin Johnson’s Celebration of Life in Chugiak, Alaska. It was a gorgeous sun-drenched day, and both the formal celebration ceremony and the gathering afterwards gave Erin’s family and friends an opportunity to remember her beautiful spirit and incredible life of love and accomplishment. Tears, hugs, and collective grieving were interspersed with music, dancing, laughter, and an overall sense that we all were privileged to have been part of Erin’s short but remarkable life.
A new paper co-authored by ABR Senior Scientists Brian A. Cooper and Robert H. Day illustrates conservation issues being faced by seabirds in the Hawaiian Islands. Populations of Hawaiian Petrels (Pterodroma sandwichensis) and Newell’s Shearwaters (Puffinus newlli) have been declining over the past 25 years, based on counts of both species on ornithological radar and on recoveries of newly fledged shearwaters in the island-wide “Save Our Shearwaters” (SOS) program.