Endangered species day made me think about the imbalance that humans have caused in many ecosystems on the Earth and the Siuslaw National Forest is not an exception. Something unusual is happening at the habitat restoration areas (HRA’s) or nesting areas that western snowy plovers use at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA). The HRA’s are restricted to small patches within the ODNRA and these small areas were suitable in the past when western snowy plovers numbers were extremely low. Conservation efforts of western snowy plovers had been successful and their numbers increased, however, it is important to remember that western snowy plover is territorial and as their numbers increase there will be more competition for nesting spots at the HRA’S. Consequently this year there are many western snowy plovers nesting outside the HRA’s apparently because of a large number of plovers that are restricted to these small patches.
Last week was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had at Siuslaw National Forest, we did exhaustive shorebird surveys, we also worked in the preparation of our IMBD event and I helped setting ropes and signs at HRA’s which are more than 20 miles of beach. Unfortunately, during last week we also observed a dead right-whale dolphin on the shore and we watched it until people from the marine institute collected it to determine the cause of death.
Finally, our IMBD event at Cape Perpetua was well received among the people that assisted and we were able to develop all the activities we proposed with success. Education and outreach are important for conservation, however, I must admit that these experiences have allowed me to rectify that my interest is scientific research (collecting and analyzing data).