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.

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