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chile

Bird Study, Chile, Chile 2008, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Science, Shorebird

Tierra del Fuego – Gale Winds and Shorebirds

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Previous Post Our Seventh Expedition to Tierra del Fuego: 1/20/08 Our Friday morning started by saying goodbye to Sergio and Gabriella, the veterinary students from University of Santo Thomas. Their major professor is Carmen Espoz. Carmen left the night before. We were sorry to see them go; they are hard working intelligent people who are always willing to lend a hand. Now we have a team of 7 people, small but adequate. (Carmen with her daughter Antonia.)   While working on the catch of Magellanic Oystercatchers, Ricardo found a new roost for red knot, the oddest one we had ever…

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Bird Study, Chile, Chile 2008, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Science, Shorebird

Tierra del Fuego – Our First Catch of Knots

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Previous Post Our Seventh Expedition to Tierra del Fuego: 1/18/08 Guy Morrison and Ken Ross carried out their recount but found no more knots than on their first aerial count of the bay. They plan to fly a third time to confirm the count but already it seems certain that the red knot population in Bahia Lomas has fallen by a further 30% over the past year. It’s premature to ask why, but along with declines in other wintering areas, it appears that the red knot population may be in greater danger than it was only a year ago. In…

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Bird Study, Chile, Chile 2008, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Science, Shorebird

Tierra del Fuego is Still Losing Red Knots

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Previous Post Our Seventh Expedition to Tierra del Fuego Humphrey and I left Punta Arenas early to survey the area for red knots along the Strait of Magellan at high tide. We left our comfortable digs at the Hotel Noriega at 7.00 am, leaving the rest of the team to pull together all we would need for the first leg of our three week field trip. Fortunately Jorge Jordan and his staff lent us a hand, gathering equipment left since last year, helping to arrange hard-to-get supplies as well as organizing rooms at the hotel. (Jorge Jordan and Mandy at…

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Bird Study, Chile, Chile 2008, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Science, Shorebird

2008 Expedition to Tierra del Fuego

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Our Seventh Expedition to Tierra del Fuego: 1/12/08 Our seventh expedition to Tierra del Fuego began with an early evening arrival at Punta Arenas Airport. This small city has either grown more attractive over the last 7 years or we have gradually awakened to its often subtle qualities. Chile has grown more integrated into the world economic system in the last seven years, even establishing a free trade agreement with the US. There are a few chain stores, but even those give a cosmopolitan feel as they are Chilean or European rather than US. I don’t remember coming across a…

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Arctic, Arctic 2007, Bird Study, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Science, Shorebird

Climate Change or Just Lucky? – Canadian Arctic 2007

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Previous Post A cold wet fog ended the long run of unseasonably warm weather we’ve had since our arrival on Victoria Island. Normal for this time of year is a high of about 46 degrees but over the last five days we have basked in temperatures as high as 75 degrees. Although most of the town of Cambridge Bay enjoyed the short reprieve from winter, it felt ominous. Was this global warming in action? Or was it just an odd spell of warmth punctuating the usual cool summer weather? Climate change or not, it was glorious. Warm gentle breezes, coupled…

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Chile, Expeditions and Travels, Uncategorized, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 – Shorebird Project Team

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Larry Niles PhD is the Chief Biologist with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation and former chief of the NJ Endangered Species Program. He has led expeditions to the Arctic and Tierra del Fuego for the last 7 years. He co-leads this expedition with Amanda Dey. Amanda Dey PhD is a Senior Biologist with NJ Endangered Species Program, Shorebird Project Leader for NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Sepcies Program, and co-leader of the Expedition. This is her fifth Tierra del Fuego expedition. Humphrey Sitters PhD is with the International Wader Study Group, Edits the Wader Study Group Bulletin,…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Red Knot, Shorebird, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 Catching Godwits and Whimbrels on Chileo Island

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Previous Post With a good catch of Hudsonian Godwits, we had satisfied one of the goals of the Chiloe part of our expedition. Whimbrels proved to more elusive. Problems arose with our two small cannons that threw relatively light projectiles which lost momentum quickly when fired into the wind, even if the wind was not very strong. They were of a different design to those we now use in the US, weighting far less, with less power even though they use more powder. Six years ago, we took these cannons to Chile because they were lighter and easier to transport….

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Chile, Chile 2007, Red Knot, Shorebird, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 Going Home

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Previous Post This image marks the trapping sites on Chiloe Island. The coordinates for Castro, the main city on Chiloe, shown on the bottom left of the image are: S 42 28 00.52 W 73 48 07.81 The Shorebird team has completed its work in Chile and is now en route back to New Jersey. We will update with final posts from this work as soon as the team returns and regroups    

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Uncategorized

Chile 2007 – Chiloe Island, A Shorebird Paradise

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The moment we stepped out of the plane on Friday 2/3, we knew Chiloe Island would be the exact opposite of Bahia Lomas. The warm air carried by a gently breeze smelled of lush vegetation and the sea. Jorge Valenzuela, a Chilean grad student and Luis Espinosa a retired Chilean teacher met us at Puerto Montt airport. Both have done extensive work on shorebirds on Chiloe Island and are familiar with its birds and landscape. After a short drive from the airport, and a ferry ride to Anclud we were on our way to Castro, a small city which is…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, travel and wildlife, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 – Leaving Tierra del Fuego onward to Chiloe Island

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Previous Post Extraordinary winds complicated our last day on the Island of Tierra Del Fuego. We woke early to breakdown our camp and pack everything as tightly as possible into our two trucks. They could barely carry all our equipment even though some would remain with Carmen and Ricardo on Bahia Lomas so they could finish work on invertebrates and foraging. The sun shone brightly and dried our tents making the packing easier. In the background was a stiff but not uncommon wind. By mid morning the wind had freshened significantly. Humphrey and I left earlier to try and make…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007- Towards a New Wildlife Conservation Center on Bahia Lomas

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Previous Post In as good condition as one can muster coming out of the field Carmen, Humphrey, Ricardo and I met with the administrator of the Province of Primavera, Ivan Herrera, in his office in Cerro Sombrero. Ivan is the deputy mayor of an area that covers much of the Chilean portion of Tierra del Fuego; it is nearly the size of NJ but with a relatively tiny human population. We came to discuss the new biological research center after considerable discussion amongst ourselves as to its location, type and strategic direction. We proposed the center as a new bird…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Red Knot, Shorebird, shorebird ecology, wildlife conservation

Chile]2007- An Important New Food for the Shorebirds of Bahia Lomas

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Previous Post After two days of warm sun and a mild wind the weather has turned to wind and cold rain. Good reason to be writing in the warmth of our cook tent. With little communication from the outside world we seem to have lost our sense of the day of the week and date. We just know how much time we have left. These last two days have opened up an entirely new line of investigation that will require all the time we have. Guy Morrison and Ken Ross completed their yearly flight of the Strait of Magellan and…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Red Knot, Shorebird, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 – Two Populations of Shorebirds on One Bay

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Previous Post Recovering from a 24 hour day of work would be difficult for anyone, but our relatively high average age and the cold damp weather make sleeping in our tents a chore. We finished processing the birds from our night of mist netting an hour after dawn. Without exception we rose bone-tired, eyes swollen from the nearly constant wind, our clothes in serious need of washing, but we felt satisfied with our progress and anxious to start the day. We followed the flock of Red Knots that had gathered at high tide for most of the day. One of…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, wildlife conservation

Chile 2007 – Trapping Birds Night and Day

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Previous Post We began the day preparing for a cannon net catch of red knots on the salicornia marsh close to our camp. Over the last few days, Knots have gathered in the area during the highest tides looking for a good place to roost. At normal tides the birds spend all their time feeding or roosting along the tide line. But twice in each lunar period, at the new and full moon the high tides rise much higher forcing them to roost ever closer to vegetation bringing them within hunting grounds of predators like the Patagonia fox. These spring…

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Chile, Chile 2007, Expeditions and Travels, Red Knot, Shorebird, travel and wildlife, wildlife conservation

Chile Expedition2007 A Tide to Remember

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Previous Post After traveling nearly 8000 miles over two days we have established our camp at Bahia Lomas on the northern shore of the island of Tierra Del Fuego, just inside the entrance to the Strait of Magellan, close to the Atlantic coast. Over the next two weeks, our small team will determine the status of the population of red knots that spend the northern winter on the Bahia Lomas mudflats. When our studies began in 2000, we found more than 50,000 red knots and 26,000 Hudsonian godwits (both pictured at left) spread throughout the length of the Bay. The…

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