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Census of coastal bird-brings good news

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from Santa Cruz Sentinal September 28, 2011

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
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Census of coastal bird-brings good news

  1. 1. Census of Coastal Bird Brings Good News - Santa Cruz News Page 1 Home News Hotels Restaurants Attractions Real Estate Nightlife Events Directory Santa Cruz News » News Opinion Environment Business Community Obituaries In association with Census of Coastal Bird Brings Good News Subscribe Follow Us Become a Fan Survey says the rare black oystercatcher is faring better than previously thought Read More: Environment, birds By Mat Weir Wed, Sep 28, 2011 A A A 0 Comments Email Share 4 1 In June, the California Audubon Society set out to do something no other organization has. With clipboards, binoculars and GPS devices, volunteers hit the rocky coastlines to survey the native black oystercatcher. “Although it’s a focal species for the Fish & www.huddle.com Wildlife Service and you see its picture everywhere, very little is Most Discussed known about the bird,” says Book Expo’s Sorry Turn Anna Weinstein, Audubon Smoking Ban Enacted in Santa Cruz California’s Seabird Conservation Coordinator and Reform Needed in the Court System Regarding Child Custody head of the survey. Why I’m Voting ‘No’ on Prop 19 With its black plumage, vibrant Anti-Semitism At UCSC? orange-red bill and fiery eyes, Controversial Santa Cruz Priest Charged By the black oystercatcher is a Church The black oystercatcher likes rocky intertidal zones. showy sight on the coast Raft of Rules for Group’s Santa Cruz Apartments Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. between Southern California Santa Cruz Poets, Santa Cruz Inspiration: and Canada. Despite the Maria Teutsch misleading name, it only lives near oyster beds—it doesn’t feed on them. Instead, it snacks on a broad diet Junkie Town: Santa Cruz’s Heroin Problem of other marine invertebrates like limpets, making it a great indicator for the success of intertidal zones, Bungled Shark Tagging Leads to Infighting which have a great impact on the ecosystem as a whole. Previously, there was only a global estimate of about 11,000 individual oystercatchers, with approximately Ads by Google 1,000 living in California. The census revealed good news. Download Google Chrome A free browser that lets you do more of “The survey results were quite surprising,” Weinstein says. Volunteers from Orange County to the Oregon what you like on the web border covered an estimated 9 percent of California’s coastline (about 20 percent of the oystercatcher’s www.google.com/chrome habitat) and spotted 1,346 individuals and 175 nests. “The nesting success was shocking,” says Crossover Pictures Weinstein. “Perfect nests of a certain size and shape were discovered.” Off-Road ABS And an Optimized Rock Crawling Engine. Check Out The Pics This fledgling success is due to the oystercatcher’s habitat preference. Unlike marine birds that nest on www.Jeep.com/Patriot beaches, where predators or humans can disturb them, the oystercatcher’s love of rocky cliffs and Youth Triathlon Team intertidal geography allows for perfect camouflage. Because of this, the Audubon Society thinks the Nor-Cal Juniors Multisport Triathlon Training & Racing species could be doing even better than the survey suggests. www.norcaljuniors.org However, this doesn’t mean that the black oystercatcher has flown from danger. Natural predators like raccoons and possums brave the rocks to feast upon eggs, and while Weinstein doesn’t believe that humans are the biggest threat to the bird, she does acknowledge that seaweed harvesters and abalone divers can cause problems by disturbing nests and depleting food supplies. Oystercatchers are also extremely vulnerable to climate change, with rising sea levels and ocean acidification having already pushed them farther north than expected. “They’re tough and they know how to make it in the world,” Weinstein concludes, “but their world is changing fast.” A A A 0 Comments Email Share 4 1 Comments (0) Post a comment www.santacruz.org There are no comments for this entry yet. Post a comment Name: *

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