Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coty's Final Weeks

Hey Everybody! Sorry that its been such a long time since my last post. In the last few weeks of my internship, I was involved with two more Seabird surveys with the USFWS. First we conducted a Coastline Cormorant Survey and second we did an Island Strom Petrel Survey.

The coastline cormorant survey took two days to conduct. The objective of the survey was to count Comorant nests along a stretch of shorline from Deopoe Bay to Yaquina Bay. The first day was a on-foot patrol of the Yaquina head location.
The second day My metnor and I took a boat form Depoe Bay to Yaquina Bay while slowly surveying the shorline with binochulars for cormorant nests. In past years there have been close to 1000 Comorant nests in this stretch of shoreline, but this year we observed that manyof the spots where there once were hundreds of nests, are now completely vacant :(

The Island Storm Petrel Survey took place off the Southern
Oregon Coast. There were four islands that we were interested in surveying, but we could only get on to one of them due to bad weather and strong tides. There were two objectives of this survey, 1. To obtain data that would later help generate am estimate of the petrels population size and 2. To gather samples of any invertebrates/ vertebrates that exixt on the island. The Petrels on these islands build their nests in burrows, so in order to obtain data about the population we "grubbed". Grubbing is the action of carefully slipping your arm down into the burrows and feeling around with your finger tips for burrow content. To conduct the survey we used a 100 meter transect along the hillside of the island, and took a 1m X 1m quadrat sample at every 10 meter mark along the transect.We found there was an average of 8-12 burrows per quadrat sample and nearly all of the burrows had either eggs or chicks in it! We had to wear snowshoes while we were on the island because we didnt want to step into the burrows with our feet and possilby disturb the petrels nesting within.

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