Thursday, December 2, 2010

Galapagos Journal Entry #7

How quickly things can change! It has been a very busy 10 days, with the unexpected result of a significant delay in our project and a brief return home for me. Due to a growing number of complications and logistical challenges, the decision was made to postpone project implementation until January, allowing time to regroup and be sure that all components of the project (rodent eradication, hawk mitigation, and pre- and post-eradication survey work) are ready to go. The decision was not made lightly as there had been a significant amount of money and resources already invested to get things done in this calendar year. In addition, there were several experts/consultants (in addition to me) on-site and ready to go. While such a decision has significant ramifications, I totally agree that it was the prudent thing to do – it was important to step back and re-group.

My time in Galapagos, however, was not wasted. It was extremely helpful to see the situation and meet the people. We worked hard to tie up loose ends in the hawk mitigation plan, setting a stronger base for successful implementation. In addition, we spent several days in the field, observing and working with the hawks on Rabida Island. What a thrill it was to be able to have that time in the field. We were able to successfully accustom the birds to feeding around us at specific sites for eventual trapping.

After being there, I am more than ever convinced of the importance of this project, and have an increased awareness of the magnitude of what is being attempted. The project is being rescheduled for January and The Raptor Center will continue to be involved. I have many stories to tell (and more to come) – I look forward to continuing to share the journey with you. Some pictures here are of an adult female Galapagos Hawk; the bands on a sub-adult bird; one of the family groups I monitored, and a hawk near sea lions.

Thanks for all your well wishes and support!

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