Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bird Watching in Kosrae

On March, 05, 2012, a team from University of Missouri arrived on Kosrae to survey forests birds and coastal birds as well. Two months earlier the same research was conducted in Pohnpei and Ant Atoll. Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO), Terrestrial Program, was assigned to assist and coordinate guides to escort the team to transacts surveyed on the island by US Fish and Wildlife conducted in 1983-84 on Kosrae. Regarding the survey protocol, each site starts at sunrise (6:15) until 11:00 am, which is the best time to watch the birds. It also requires sunny weather or at least light rain in the morning. The actual survey is 8 minutes aural/visual survey, recording species, time, distance, detection type and number of birds. Each transect point-count station are separated by 200 meters. 

The data collected during the survey will be analyzed and used to update the status of birds in Kosrae compared to surveys done in the past and will also be shared among natural resource agencies  for public awareness and most importantly as baseline information to modify resource  management regulations in Kosrae. With a lot of cuts, bruises, rashes, blisters and wet weather, the project finally accomplish its mission with 21 transects and a total of 630 stations. 

On behalf of the team, KCSO is very happy to extend its utmost appreciation to the team and to each and everyone who assisted the implementation of the project. Special acknowledgement to the following trail guides who put a lot of effort to the accomplishment of the project: Salik Wakuk, Larry Alokoa, Stoney Alokoa, Hamilson Phillip, Weston Palik, Kuken Taulung,Kanbu Taulung and YELA organizaiton Mr. William William; Mr.Rickson Jonathan and Robert Tulensru. With all your collaborative efforts the mission is successfully accomplished as planned. Additionally, we believe that throughout the survey, we’ve all learned the importance of the birds and how tragic they can be in the future if we do not comply to the regulations set in place to protect them. 

Posted by
Andy George
8:10 am

Tuesday, May 16, 2011
Location: Kosrae

Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Attempt to Establish Upland Protected Area for Kosrae

On December 19, 2011, Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO) and  Critical Ecosystem Partnership Funds (CEPF) signed  an agreement to implement a project entitled, “Protecting Kosrae’s Upland Forest”. The project aimed to deliver the following components; conduct a general survey and inventory of plants on Kosrae; raise awareness in schools and the communities on upland forest; promote the Olum watershed area for protection and recognition under the Kosrae State Protected Area Law; and mapping and reporting of  invasive weeds to assist control efforts on the island of Kosrae.
  KCSO staffs met with Malem Municipal Leadership on  “Protecting Kosrae’s Upland Forest” project. 
Left to right (Mayor Klava Klavasru, Terrestrial Program Manager, Jacob-Luke Sanney, 
Marine Program Manager, Marston Luckymis and Executive  Director Andy George)
On January 16, 2012, I, and Program Managers met with the Mayor, municipal leaders, church leaders, community leaders, senior citizens, youth, local farmers and landowners to discuss ongoing efforts to protect Olum Watershed and to initiate discussion on the proposed Pikensukar Marine Protected area.  At the meeting, I introduced and discussed regional and local needs to set up protected areas and to garner community support before project implementation takes place in Malem. The Mayor and members of the community indicated full support of the projects.
Kosrae Elementary School.
Following the 1st meeting, KCSO staffs conducted another visit on the 26th of January, 2012, with more stakeholders participated. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what, how, and why we should seriously consider protecting the natural condition of Upland Forest along with the marine areas of Kosrae. Through collaborative efforts and support among environmental agencies/partners, KCSO project team will be launching a conceptual modeling workshop with the community of Malem in May, 2012. 
From January 25th to February 7th, KCSO Terrestrial and Education Program completed the 1st round of Awareness in Kosrae Elementary School targeting 7th grade students. The team presented a general overview on the significance of Upland Forest and human impacts such as deforestation that contributes to a threaten community. A survey was also handed out during each visit that will be used at the end of the school year to measure changes in awareness level. 
Potential invasive.
For the past three months, KCSO Terrestrial Program conducted a series of  field trips all over the island collecting  new plant species and  mapping invasive weeds in the upland forests. We found a patch of Micania micrantha at 100m altitude in Saolung Tafunsak. This noxious weed can be seen all over the community which is where imports and commercial activities take place. In Utwe, the southernmost village, we sighted two patches of Clerodendrum quadriculare. This shrub is listed on the eradication protocol for KIRMA, which they did a good job taking down over 80%. 

We also found another potential invasive shrub identified as Pseuderanthenum carruthesii var. atropurpureum, on the coastal strands in Walung village. These invasive weeds was suggested by invasive species coordinators at both KIRMA (Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority) and DREA (Department Resource & Economic Affair)  for further observation regarding its invasive status and setting up of means of controlling the outbreak of the species in the future. KCSO will assist its local partners, KIRMA & DREA to identify and map the occurrences of invasive weed species and seek foreign assistance to do a feasible study on these noxious weeds.

Posted by
Andy George, KCSO Executive Director
3:10 pm
Sunday, May 6, 2011
Location: Kosrae


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Monitoring Season: REDUX!

Monitored areas
Data logger
“So, what’s been happening with the long-term coral reef monitoring program lately?”

I’m glad you asked! Dave Burdick already gave you the low-down on the monitoring program, so now it’s time to give you a little more specific information on what we’re up to for this year. As the monitoring season quickly approaches, we find ourselves finishing up our analysis of data collected during the 2010 and 2011 monitoring seasons and assessing which types of additional reef health data we may be able to collect this year. As a variety of reef health indicators (mentioned in Dave’s blog post) have already been established within the program, it is time to add-on!

With the procurement of two multi-parameter data loggers, several types of water quality data will be collected starting with this year’s monitoring activities. Turbidity (the cloudiness of a fluid caused by individual particles), dissolved oxygen (the amount of oxygen dissolved in a medium, i.e. seawater), pH (the measure of acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution), conductivity (a way to indirectly measure salinity), and temperature will be collected at multiple locations across all monitoring sites, but with the installation of data loggers at two, possibly three, sites, data will be collected continuously for several months in these areas. The collection of water quality data, along with the continued collection of benthic habitat and fish community data, will allow us to better understand how these environmental
factors affect reef health on Guam.

Another type of data which we plan on collecting starting this year is rugosity. Rugosity is a measurement of the variations in height of a surface and is used to determine benthic complexity in coral reef monitoring. Certain corals are often associated with areas of high rugosity or complexity. These areas with high complexity have also been found to be associated with higher fish abundance and diversity. Once we collect this rugosity data, we can analyze how our reef structure is related to our fish communities and when changes occur in one, how it may affect the other.

In addition to adding on to the types of data we are collecting, we are also adding on to the number of sites surveyed. To date, we have surveyed two reef areas on the western side (Tumon Bay and East Agana) and one in Apra Harbor (Western Shoals). We are planning on adding at least one more site on the western side, Piti Bay, as well as two sites along the southern coast. Tumon and Piti are Marine Protected Areas and monitoring these areas over time should give us a better idea of how they are functioning as MPAs (i.e. increased fish stocks and the return of top predators).

With all the new additions it’s bound to be an exciting monitoring season. Stay tuned to see what we find in the coming months!

Posted by
Roxanna Miller
2:49 pm

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Location: Hagatna, Guam