Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Events at AMP this Thursday and Friday

On Thursday, May 2nd at 4:15pm, the Mariana Avifauna Conservation Project will be conducting a presentation on their bird conservation efforts in the CNMI. The public is invited to attend, see details below.

And of course, May's First Friday Film will be May 3rd at 6:30pm. Please join us for Planeat, a film about nutrition and diets that are good for your health and may be good for the environment. More details to come.

Upcoming Presentation on Mariana Islands Birdlife:
The mid-1980s saw the brown tree-snake either extirpate or drive to extinction nine of 12 species of forest bird on Guam.  Almost 20 years later the U.S. Department of the Interior determined that Saipan may support an “incipient” population of this serious invasive predator.  In 2005 the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) determined that preemptive action was necessary for the CNMI’s birdlife to avoid the fate that befell Guam – thus, the Mariana Avifauna Conservation (MAC) Project became a reality.

The MAC Project’s endeavors are two-fold; 1) the maintenance of captive populations (which serve as genetic reserves) of the CNMI’s native and endemic forest bird species at AZA affiliated institutions on the U.S. Mainland, and 2) the establishment of satellite populations of these bird species on islands in the Mariana archipelago deemed safe from brown tree-snakes.  Captive breeding programs at participating zoos on the U.S. mainland have thus far experienced success with the Mariana Fruit Dove, the White-throated Ground Dove, and the Golden White-eye.  Likewise, satellite populations of Bridled White-eyes, Golden White-eyes, and Mariana Fruit Doves have successfully been established on Sarigan via a program of conservation introduction.  In both endeavors, however, there is more work ahead of the MAC Project.

In April and May of this year 16 staff members from 10 AZA affiliated zoos and conservation organizations will join DFW on Saipan to execute the eighth year of the MAC Project’s annual field efforts.  This year’s focus will be the translocation of Mariana Fruit Doves and Rufous Fantails from Saipan to Sarigan, and the addition of fantails and Bridled White-eyes to captive programs at zoos in the States.  

Presenting on this topic will be CNMI Ornithologist Mr. Paul Radley, together with visiting scientists Mr. Herb Roberts of the Memphis Zoo, and Ms. Ellen Gorrell of the Toledo Zoo. Additional program information is available by visiting the Facebook page Ms. Gorrell maintains via https://www.facebook.com/MarianaAvifaunaConservation. For more information about APASEEM, please visit our website at http://www.apaseem.org.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Three short films about marine protected areas

In celebration of Environmental Awareness Month, we wanted to pass along these three short films about marine protected areas in the Pacific region from the Ocean Health Index Film Festival. Check them out!

Don't forget to check deq.gov.mp for information on upcoming activities, including:

April 13, 8am -- Bird Hike and Invasive Species Removal at Bonzai Trail

April 19, 6pm -- Deadline for the OurLaolao Photo Contest (on facebook)

April 20, 9am -- Coral Watch Dive at Laolao Bay

April 20, 12pm -- Recycled Boat Race at Kilili Beach

We hope to see you at some of these events!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gasland this Friday and EAM kickoff!

Welcome To GASLAND

Happy April! Many of you know that April is Environmental Awareness Month, an excellent time to consider how you use and how you affect our environment, and also a great time to give back! Check out http://deq.gov.mp/ for a list of EAM events taking place all month. 
To kick things off, First Friday Films will be showing the documentary “Gasland” this Friday, April 5th at 6:30pm in American Memorial Park’s theatre. 
The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. 

Fracking has been an important subject in the mainland environmental movement, but how does it relate to Saipan? Andrew Ashburn from the CNMI Energy Office will give a brief presentation before the film about where our energy comes from and what the costs and benefits of energy use are for our island. 
First Friday Films is a partnership between American Memorial Park, the Division of Environmental Quality, Coastal Resources Management and the Humanities Council with support from other organizations. This particular film is sponsored by CRM. As always, our film events are free and open to the public. For planning purposes, this event will run about 90 minutes.

Stay tuned for more information and short videos to check out this month to celebrate Earth!