Join us for a featured presentation on the Causes of a Mangrove Dieback in the Galapagos and its Consequences for the Mangrove Finch
Presented by: Dr. Ilka “Candy” Feller, Emerita, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA
Dr. Feller is a Senior Scientist Emerita after 20 years at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Since the only mangroves at SERC are in the growth chambers, Candy spent most of those 20 years in the tropics working on mangrove ecosystems around the world. Although retired, she still spends most of her time investigating the consequences of global change on ecological processes in mangrove forests.
Candy will present a travelogue of her recent field trip (March 1 – April 2, 2020) to the Galapagos with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) to investigate a mangrove dieback on Isla Isabel, the largest island in the Galapagos Archipelago.
Candy is collaborating with a team of CDF ornithologists who are working on the Mangrove Finch, one of Charles Darwin's original 14 finches which are obligate mangrove residents that nest in black mangrove and feed in red mangrove. However, the Mangrove Finch is critically endangered with less than 100 individuals remaining.
The bird team is trying to save the remaining individuals and restore populations in other parts of the Galapagos. The major threats to this and other finches in the Galapagos are invasive species including a recently introduced parasitic fly, rats, feral cats, as well as habitat loss. The remaining Mangrove Finches live in two small stands of mangroves on the NE coast of Isla Isabel, where the dieback was first observed by the CDF scientists. Candy's role in the project is to help identify what is causing the dieback and try to stop it.
Get Comfortable and Enjoy the Session
This will be an informal evening session, so bring a snack and feel free to enjoy your favorite beverage and relax at the end of the day as Candy tells the captivating story of what she experienced during a 13-day stint on the remote Galapagos Archipelagos.
We will conclude the evening with open Q&A and interactive dialogue so be sure to join us!