Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I finally met Francesca, the lead for the hawk mitigation team. She is just back from an exciting field trip to study Mangrove Finches. Her primary role for that project is to establish a second population area of the highly endangered Mangrove Finch. When they went back to their study area, they found a male. Not only was he established in the territory, but he was singing for a female (only happens during breeding season, which is beginning to get underway).
The team was very excited. I learned a lot about the challenges all of the finches are facing with an invasive botfly, Philornis downsi. The larvae of the botfly parasitizes nests, causing nestling mortality.
Still working on the plan for getting all of the parts to this project to interface. Our "hawk team" is planning to go to Rabida Island for four days to work with the hawks and see if we can make the capture component of the plan a bit easier.
I have included photos of a Palo Santo tree and Opuntia cactus, Galapagos Mockingbird, and Cactus Finch (different than the Mangrove Finch).
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Give to the Max Day is Tuesday, November 16!
Please join the supporters of The Raptor Center and help keep eagles like Max soaring!
Click here to donate.
Your gift will help:
Provide care and treatment for nearly 700 sick and/or injured raptors.
Fund raptor education programs for more than 200,000 children and adults.
Provide specialized training in raptor medicine, surgery and rehabilitation for veterinarians from around the world.
More than 60% of our funding comes from individuals like you! Please join in supporting The Raptor Center. As an extra incentive, each hour during “Give to the Max” on Tuesday, November 16 one donor who's gift was given through the GiveMN site will be randomly chosen to have $1,000 added to their gift!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tomorrow – GALAPAGOS!
Note from TRC: We will continue to post Dr. Ponder's adventures as she is able to get information to us. For background on this project, please visit our website at www.TheRaptorCenter.org. Thanks for following!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Reality is that I would be lying if I didn’t admit to a little apprehension. It weighs heavily on me that I am preparing for an unknown. I have never spent any time observing Galapagos hawks in the wild and no one has ever managed them in for an extended period of time. I am trying to prepare for all eventualities by bringing a well supplied medical trunk and hoping not to need most of what I take. This could be very routine work, but those of us working with live animals (especially wildlife) know that nothing is ever “routine”.
So – what brings me peace? By remembering “nanos gigantium humeris insidentes” – I am a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants. There is tremendous depth and breadth to those around me and I am grateful for all the support:
The incredible team at The Raptor Center, who generously share their years of knowledge and experience every day.
The volunteers and donors at the center who provide the support that makes our program possible. Without you, The Raptor Center would not be what it is and would never have had this opportunity.
A special thanks to 3M and Lafeber for helping to out with supplies!
My newest colleagues at the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation, Island Conservation and University of Missouri, St. Louis who are doing such exceptional work in the Galapagos islands. They have been so very welcoming and easy to work with, sharing knowledge and ideas daily. These will be my teammates for the project and I look forward to meeting them soon!
And, of course, I remember that I am going to be spending 6-7 weeks in one of the most amazing places on earth! Thanks for all the well wishes! I will send updates as I can - technology permitting - so keep checking the blog!