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WFO/SJV Baja research expedition -- call for participants

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  • Gjon_Hazard@fws.gov
    Many California birders/field ornithologists regularly make trips down the Baja peninsula. Those of you with experience may find this of interest. If
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2008
      Many California birders/field ornithologists regularly make trips down the
      Baja peninsula. Those of you with experience may find this of interest.

      If interested, please see contact info near the bottom of the post (do not
      contact me). Feel free to forward to other appropriate lists or
      recipients. (Sorry for any cross-posting.)



      Gjon C. Hazard
      Fish and Wildlife Biologist
      Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office
      Carlsbad, California


      Dear field ornithologists:

      The Sonoran Joint Venture (SJV) and the Western Field Ornithologists (WFO)
      are jointly coordinating a bird monitoring expedition to the remote Sierra
      de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve of southern Baja California Sur (BCS),
      Mexico, from July 13-19, 2008. The objective of this expedition is to use
      the collective expertise of WFO members and SJV participants to collect and
      record natural history data on birds of conservation interest in the
      Biosphere Reserve. These data will be used by the Reserve staff to manage
      habitat for the birds of conservation interest.

      The elevation of this mountain range is over 5,000 feet and it has an
      extensive pine-oak forest community at the top. As a result of genetic
      isolation, there are a variety of endemic bird subspecies found here, such
      as the “San Lucas” American Robin, “Baird’s” Yellow-eyed Junco, and the
      “Sierra de la Laguna” Band-tailed Pigeon. We have been invited by the
      Reserve to collect data on breeding information and habitat relationships
      of these and other bird species, to photograph and obtain vocalization
      recordings, and to take DNA samples of captured birds. This is not a
      guided birding trip or a leisurely hike up a mountain, but a true
      biological data collecting expedition. This expedition is extremely
      strenuous. We will hike in on foot ourselves while the mules will pack our
      equipment and food into the mountains. The hike one-way is about 11 miles
      and gains over 4,000 feet in elevation over a difficult trail. It will be
      very hot, potentially quite humid, and we may experience torrential summer
      rains as well. We will camp for 6 days under primitive conditions. Our
      camp will be self-supported and all participants will be expected to share
      cooking duties and the general maintenance of the camp facilities.
      Participants must be in good physical condition and have experience in
      back-country camping, bring their own camping equipment, and have basic
      first aid skills.

      Each participant will volunteer for specific research activity and be
      responsible for collecting data and in some cases organizing and/or
      processing the data. Participants must be experienced in the field
      research activity they volunteer for (see list and table below), and also
      will need to bring the necessary field equipment to accomplish their
      assignments. Generally the skills needed include: identification of the
      birds of southern Baja; experience with auditory surveys; obtaining sound
      recordings and photos of birds; mist netting; area searches; and/or habitat
      use surveys (or be a REALLY good camp cook). The data will be compiled,
      analyzed and published with our Mexican partners and participants as
      co-authors, and all publications and data will be shared with the Reserve.

      Target Bird Species:

      Band-tailed Pigeon** Columba fasciata vioscae
      Cape Pygmy Owl** Glaucidium gnoma hoskinsii
      Xantus's Hummingbird** Hylocharis xantusii
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivourus angustifrons
      Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus peninsulae
      Oak Titmouse** Parus inornatus cineraceus (Baeolophus inornatus
      White-breasted Nuthatch** Sitta carolinensis lagunae
      American (San Lucas) Robin** Turdus migratorius confinis
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni cognatus
      Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassini lucasanas
      Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus victoriae
      Gray Thrasher** Toxostoma cinereum cinereum
      Yellow-eyed (Baird's) Junco** Junco phaeonotus bairdi
      Western Screech-Owl Otus asio xantusi/Megascops kennicottii

      **species we want to be sure to cover.

      If interested, please contact Carol Beardmore at the following address:

      Carol will be able to send you more detailed information on this great
      opportunity to do some real field work in one of the biologically unique
      areas of North America.

      Additional info about the organizers is available at:
      WFO <http://www.wfo-cbrc.org/>
      SJV <http://sonoranjv.org/>

      Thank you much.
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