satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Happening on Tern Island?

Sooty Tern, ʻEwaʻewa; photo by Paula Hartzell
Previously, in this blog, we've mentioned our neighbor Hawaiian Island to the northwest, Kure Atoll:
  • Dolphin Survey -- May 2010: Pictures and a video clip showing dolphin work done by Cynthia Vanderlip, Matt Saunter and Ilana Nimz a crew of staff and volunteers at Midway prior to their deployment to Kure.
  • Kure Atoll: Part of the ʻOhana -- August 2010: This post begins with an explanation of how the chain of Hawaiian Islands was formed from volcanoes.  Hawaii state Department of Land and Natural Resources staffers, Syd Kawahakui, Jr. and Jason Misaki, are introduced on their way to Kure.
Tern Island within FFS is part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Now we "tern" our attention to our neighbor to the southeast, Tern Island Field Station within French Frigate Shoals.

Visit the French Frigate Shoals: Kānemilohaʻi, Tern Island Blog.  Beginning in December, a new crew will be doing oceanic bird work, habitat restoration, marine debris monitoring and other projects over the winter and spring seasons.  During the summer, there will be additional work with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals  You can follow all the happenings on the blog.   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Albatross Losses from 2011 Winter Storms and Tsunami

two adult Laysan Albatross,
It's the end of November and the albatross are back; hurray!!!

Worldwide, most of the Black-footed Albatross (BFAL) and Laysan Albatross (LAAL) live in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.  That's 95% of the global population of BFALs and even more, 99%, for the LAALs.  Therefore, it's important to keep track of how well albatross are doing in the NW Hawaiian Islands.

Before we really get into this season, let's take a look back at how well the albatross chicks did last year.  Specifically, let's look at how well they survived the heavy winter storms and the March Japan tsunami; the following numbers are provided by Dr. Lindsay Young, Wildlife Biologist with Pacific Rim Conservation.
Wow!  Looks like Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was particularly hard hit!  Let's hope the 2012 hatch year is lots better!