I had an amazing start to my Environment for the Americas internship! I went from learning a lot about the California Coastal National Monument, to joining meetings in person and over the phone with my supervisor regarding some of the next projects volunteers and professionals are involved with along the California coast in their quest to protect our resources and wildlife.
One of my favorite experiences this past week was being able to sit in a conservation action plan meeting for the Ashy Storm-Petrel with biologists and avian specialists. The Ashy Storm-Petrel is a brownish grayish small bird found offshore and rarely seen from land; therefore, in order to get a glimpse of it, you would need to go out on a boat into the ocean. What makes this bird interesting is that it is only found in coastal rocks off California and northern Baja California. This bird is restricted to only breeding on coastal rocks, as they build their nests in rock cavities. For this reason, biologists and avian specialists are working together to better manage this species to aid in breeding success every season.
Common Ravens are one of the threats this species faces, therefore one of the ways it is being managed is by building artificial raven-proof clay nests. A 3D clay printing project is being looked into at the moment to make nests more affordable and able to be made more quickly, since at the moment they are each being made by hand. The clay nests will provide more habitat and protections from ravens destroying nests.
I enjoyed being part of this meeting and seeing how a group of passionate biologists and avian specialists work together to increase the success of such a small but important bird.