Bird Study, Brazil, Brazil 2017, Red Knot, Shorebird

Our Brazilian Expedition – Trapping Shorebirds in Panaquatira

Share

Previous Post The capture of Arctic nesting shorebirds first brought us to Brazil in 2013.  We also brought 125 geolocators and caught both ruddy turnstones and red knots, attaching 85 on the former and 30 on the latter.  But we also came to create a new perspective on shorebirds in this place, one of the most important shorebird habitats in the world. For all intents and purposes, shorebird work in this area started In the mid-1980’s, when Canadian biologists, Guy Morrison and Ken Ross surveyed from an airplane, the entire coast of South America.  In this monumental and dangerous survey,…

Read more
1 Comment
Brazil, Brazil 2017, Red Knot, rural communities, Shorebird

Our Brazilian Expedition – The Rights of Traditional Communities

Share

Previous Post Over the last few days of our expedition, we left the state of Para and flew to Sao Luis in the adjacent state of Maranhao.  There we begin the next phase of our work, trapping red knots, ruddy turnstones and other species, as we have done since 2014.     Traditional Communities Have Rights But prior to leaving Para, while we stayed in the village of Apiu Salvatore, the fishermen asked to meet with Max.  He hadn’t planned it, so at first, the reason was unknown. The fishermen of the village knew Max represented ICMBio, and that Apiu Salvatore…

Read more
164 Comments
Bird Study, Brazil, Brazil 2017, Red Knot, rural communities, Shorebird

Our Brazilian Expedition – Going to the heart of the Mangrove and Beach Ecosystem

Share

Previous Post It took us long into the night to reach our next port.  We went from the relatively populated area of Braganca to the dark heart of this coastal region of Viseu.   In three trucks, we caravanned through a maze of remnant tropical rainforests, cattle pasture and impenetrable second-growth woodland.  Along the rain-slicked red clay road, small and desperate looking towns popped out of nowhere always looking like the past was a better day. The road cut through countless mangrove forests that define this region.  We reached Viseu too late to do anything but find a place to stay…

Read more
1 Comment
Bird Study, Brazil, Brazil 2017, Red Knot, rural communities, Shorebird

Our Brazilian Expedition – Conducting a Scientific Investigation in a Tropical Wilderness

Share

Previous Post Tough Conditions for Scientific Investigation   It’s hard to imagine the difficulties of people living at latitude 37 degrees north when coming to the equator in northern Brazil. It challenges even the best-prepared field investigations.  But after three days our team has not only acclimated but accomplished surveys in two separate estuaries.     The tide cut short our first day in the field.  High tide persisted longer than we expected and our survey must take place when birds forage.  Shorebirds typically forage until 1 to 2 after before high tide and start again 1-2 hours after, usually…

Read more
540 Comments
Brazil, Brazil 2017, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Our Brazilian Expedition – investigating the plight of shorebirds and rural people

Share

We leave a cold and dark NJ with mix feelings for our destination tropical Brazil.  It will be warm and sunnyish –  forecasts predict drenching thunderstorms threatening us every day of our trip.  We will explore a very new place, the ocean coast of Para, a largely unsurveyed coast known to be a wintering shorebird mecca.  At the same time, we will undergo trials experienced by few biologists.  Zeke is prevalent in Para, but recent cases of malaria are equally alarming.  Of course one must be ever vigilant for food and water pathogens.  Last year I developed food poisoning ending…

Read more
343 Comments
faith, Science

Having Faith in Action on Climate Change?

Share

What hope do we have now? A Trump presidency has so many implications for our world, it would be hard to know where to start. For at least half the country it would be a path of fear, lost ideals and calamities. But of all potential misfortunes that could befall us,  the worst will almost certainly ride behind all the others. The delay could make action to solve the problem of global warming too little too late. Climate may defeat us. Soon the string of climate firsts will add up to a national awareness. The unprecedented and ferocious floods,  fires, tornadoes,…

Read more
55 Comments
conservation

Why Not Climate Change?

Share

    Despite its nastiness, the presidential election has served to educate the American public in several unexpected ways. The influence of a male-dominated culture on women has been exposed and the impact is still growing much to the dismay of the Donald, Bill Cosby and thier kind. The tragic targeting of Afro-Americans by law enforcement was important before the election but it it has now grown into an important political issue and a national movement.  Last month a spokesperson for the National Association of Police Chief offered a seemingly sincere and unprecedented apology. But one thing this election has not…

Read more
117 Comments
Expeditions and Travels, Tierra del Fuego 2004

Expedition to Tierra del Fuego – 2004: Introduction

Share

On our fifth campaign to Tierra Del Fuego, we hope to achieve a variety of scientific and conservation goals focused on the red knot and their chief non-breeding or wintering area on Bahia Lomas. Guy Morrison and Ken Ross will continue the aerial survey of all shorebirds species along the Atlantic coast of Argentina and the Chilean coast of the Straits of Magellan. Our main team, composed of Chilean, Argentine, Dutch, Canadian and American biologists, will conduct several projects including red knot capture and banding, foraging efficiency, and invertebrate prey inventory. Concurrently, we will continue our effort to assist Chilean…

Read more
Chile, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, Tierra Del Fuego 2003

Expedition to Tierra del Fuego – 2003: Introduction

Share

On our fourth trip to the southern-most tip of South America, our team will focus once again on the condition of the wintering red knots (summering knots for South Americans). These are the same birds that stopover on the Delaware Bay each May to refuel before flying to nest in the Canadian Arctic. After leaving the Arctic in late July, red knots make a journey that nearly spans the globe to the shores of Chile and Argentina where we will do our work. When they leave in late February they will slowly work their way up the South American coast…

Read more
Chile, conservation, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, Tierra Del Fuego 2002

Expedition to Tierra del Fuego – 2002: Introduction

Share

In our third trip to Tierra Del Fuego, we will continue assessing the status of wintering red knots with a international team of biologists from Chile, Argentina, US, Canada, and Australia. We do this to accomplish two major conservation goals. The first goal is to help focus attention on the important concentration areas for wintering birds like Bahia Lomas in Chile, Bahia San Sebastion in Argentina, and the Atlantic Coast beach of Rio Grande in Argentina. Our second goal is to determine the population numbers and the age ratio of the wintering flocks in Bahia Lomas, which accounts for a…

Read more
Chile, Expeditions and Travels, Tierra Del Fuego 2001

Expedition to Tierra del Fuego – 2001: Introduction

Share

On February 1, biologists with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program will lead a team of other biologists from the US, Canada and Chile to Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of South America, to study the Red knot. The knot, a dove sized, red breasted shorebird, flies an incredible 10,000 mile journey from arctic breeding grounds to winter in Tierra del Fuego. On their return journey to the Arctic, the birds run out of fuel and stopover on the Delaware bay, where they gorge on the eggs of the horseshoe crab. The…

Read more
Arctic, Arctic 2002, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our third expedition 2002 – June 18 first day

Inuit Art
Share

Go to An Introduction on the Purpose of Our Expeditions   Going Early to Understand More Risking colder and more unpredictable weather we decided to begin our 2002 Arctic Expedition ten days earlier than our previous trips. We are trying to carry out our surveys when red knots more actively defend territories. Predicting the timing of knot breeding remains elusive, however. Last year’s incubation started at least ten days earlier than the previous year, leaving us asking the critical question, what is normal? We still have a lot to learn about the complex breeding behavior of the knot. Earlier is…

Read more
Arctic, Arctic 2001, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our second expedition 2001 – July 15

searching for knots
Share

Previous Post   Bearing Arms We must be among the few biologists who study the habits of innocent tiny bird chicks while armed. Because two bears set up temporary residence within sight of our esker we must now split into only two groups, each with shotguns. Our fifth bear, massive and slow, hauled himself over the ridge south of camp, lay down, and slept for the next three days. He slumbered near two of our three instrumented birds with broods, leaving little chance to work on them. Our sixth bear rested near the south ridge close to our only other…

Read more
Arctic, Arctic 2002, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird

Arctic Shorebirds – Our third expedition 2002 – June 30

red knot nest
Share

Previous Post Sunny Day Dark Outcome I can’t imagine the sun shines more brightly anywhere else in the world than it does on a clear day on the tundra. With no wind and no clouds the sun warmed us until we were compelled to work in short sleeve shirts. Although our spiritual beliefs ranged widely, we were all thankful to the same spirit on that warm day. In contrast to the day of the 50 mph winds, we felt like we had taken a trip to the Caribbean. Our luck with the birds took the opposite twist. We had delayed…

Read more
Translate »