Recent news and events at ABR.
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.
Senior Scientist Dr. JJ Frost will moderate the Arctic Roundtable public event next Mon 8 May 2017 at the Blue Loon. The topic is "Arctic Seas in a Time of Change: Status, Trends, and Implications Within and Beyond the Arctic." Senior Scientist Dr. Adrian Gall is serving as an expert panelist along with University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) professors Dr. Tom Weingartner and Dr. Lawson Brigham. This event is organized by the Arctic Institute of North America, and co-sponsored by the Week of the Arctic which will be taking place at UAF next week. As an added enticement there are free hors d'oeuvres before the event. Come one, come all!
When oil spills on the North Slope of Alaska, Senior Scientist “Tundra Tim” Cater is often called in to provide advice on the strategy for clean-up. He developed a set of guidelines to share with responders that provides the nuts-and-bolts mechanics for implementing those strategies. The 3rd edition of the Tundra Treatment Guidelines has been recently added to the Technical Guidance page of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC)’s Contaminated Sites Program, where it is available to download. These guidelines address the impacts of spills on tundra in the Arctic environment, and provide a selection of response tactics to: (1) recover contaminants; (2) rehabilitate affected lands; and (3) assess and monitor impacts to the environment. This manual acknowledges that the ecological damage from a cleanup can sometimes be greater than the deleterious effects of residual contamination. Our primary goal is to help responders strike a balance between these two objectives.
The advent of radio-telemetry collars in the 1970’s transformed wildlife biology. For the first time, biologists could follow individual, highly mobile animals throughout the year. In the years since, telemetry collars have become much smaller, more accurate, and more technologically advanced. They have changed from bulky VHF collars that had to be located by an observer to smaller collars that can record frequent, highly accurate GPS locations, transmit locations daily via satellite, and can even be programmed to change the frequency of locations recorded when the animal is within a pre-defined area.The advances in telemetry collars have also been accompanied by a deluge of data as collars record locations as frequently as every 15 minutes and transmit new locations every day.