Friday, May 3, 2019

Field Observation by Ann Marie Gawel

Field Observation by EBL PhD candidate Ann Marie Gawel: I found Aglaia that seemed to be nice and ripe on Guam... until I found this little insect inside.

#30earthmonthheroes: Posting about Heroes of the Envirnonment

This past month EBL and others have been posting about heroes of the environment. These post can be found on the EBL Facebook page and on the twitter handle #30earthmonthheroes

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tree Growing Around a Deer Skull... interesting find by the EBL Crew

The EBL team spends much of its time out in the field collecting data and once in a while we come across strange and unique findings. EBL'ers Martin Kastner and Zia Crytser came across one of these findings just the other day. It is a deer skull stuck in a tree and the tree has grown around it. Any ideas about how this happened? (Photo taken by Zia)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New Member of the EBL Team! Welcome Moneka!

The EBL team has a new member on the crew! Moneka De Oro is a proud daughter of the Marianas. Her academic, professional, and community endeavors have been grounded in protection of the natural environment and promotion of Chamoru culture. She has a BA in Anthropology and is currently completing her masters thesis in Micronesian Studies from the University of Guam. She served as an RET with EBL in 2017 and the EBL team is excited to have her back assisting in research!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

EBL Project has a New Publication in The Royal Society B!

The EBL Project has a new publication discussing how animal movement drives variation in seed dispersal distance across entire communities. 
Click here to read the publication. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

The EBL Project hosted a National Geographic reporting writer and the finished product has been published!

In November 2018 the Ecology of Bird Loss Project hosted a reporting writer for National Geographic, Alexandra Ossola, on Guam. During the host period she attended the MTCC conference, went on a Brown Treesnake night search, attended a DOD sponsored field trip to active restoration sites, interviewed multiple stake holders on Guam, and interviewed EBL's PI Haldre Rogers (who is quoted in the article). Below is the link to the finished product in National Geographic.

Guam's ecological fate is in the hands of the U.S. military

Monday, November 26, 2018

New Publication in Micronesica!

Check out this new publication in Micronesica! During the 2017 field season, we caught 3 brown treesnakes (BTS) that had consumed our fledgling Såli. When we analyzed the physical traits of these snakes, we found that they were all large individuals in very good body condition, suggesting that young Såli (and birds in general) may be a particularly rich meal for snakes that are used to eating smaller meals of geckos and skinks. In 2018, we caught 12 more BTS and saw the exact same pattern. In addition, we found that snakes that had recently eaten fledglings hunkered down in hollow trees for 4-6 days at a time, presumably to digest their food. These results echo those from a recent study by Siers et al. (2018), and provide important additional information about snake behavior and activity cycles – snakes that are full after a large meal are less detectable and harder to catch. This research (Wagner et al. 2018) was a collaborative effort between our entire 2017 field crew and is now available here: (!


Siers, S. R., A. A. Yackel Adams, & R. N. Reed (2018). Behavioral differences following ingestion of large meals and consequences for management of a harmful invasive snake: A field experiment. Ecology and Evolution 8: 10075-10093.

Wagner, C., C. Tappe, M. Kastner, O. Jaramillo, N. Van Ee, J. Savidge, & H.S. Pollock (2018). First recorded predation of fledgling Micronesian starlings (Aplonis opaca) by brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam. Micronesica 6: 1-7.  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bird Skull Mystery

While taking measurements at roost sites recently, there was a morbid find under a Calophyllum in an urban area on Andersen Airforce Base. It is generally a popular roost site for starlings, sparrows, and doves, but the birds above in the canopy just make the scene below them at the base of the tree seem more chilling. What looked like a graveyard for nearly 50 birds could have been a cache made by some predator lurking around base of the tree. Let us know what you think could have caused this mass grave.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Post-typhoon Mangkhut: Rota Update

Rota was hit directly by Typhoon Mangkhut on Monday, Sept. 10th. EBL Field Biologist Erin Fitz was on Rota this week and said that there were "many huge trees broken and uprooted. The canopy of much of the forest is now very open and there are lots of dead leaves everywhere." Compared to Guam, the magnitude of damage on Rota was more severe Luckily field sites are still intact and we will be able to look at post-storm forest impacts. Below are photos of Rota's Alaguan Bay pre- and post-typhoon.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Post-typhoon Mangkhut: Update from the Islands

Post from ISU graduate student, Ann Marie Gawel: Typhoon Mangkhut blew through the Mariana Islands the night of Monday, Sept 10. While the island of Rota felt the brunt of it, Guam also experienced typhoon-force winds. I went out post-storm with EBL intern Erin Fitz (pictured in album under her mosquito net) to check on two of our Guam field sites. I was interested in seeing if the storm had knocked down many fruits, thereby impacting future fruit-picking efforts for my pig-feeding trials @SERDPESTCP #SERDP . The good news was that many trees were still fruiting, and we observed multiple species with fruits on the trees, both ripe and unripe throughout the forest. (big sigh of relief) Although there were some fruits, fallen branches, and many fallen leaves scattered about the forest floor, the forest looked intact, and we only saw a few fallen trees in and around our sites.

We also checked on eight different chicken-wire fences used in our canopy gap experiments and did a quick damage assessment of our long-term forest grids @NSF_Bio #NSFfunded. Two of the fences were damaged from fallen papaya trees, which we quickly mended to prevent any infiltration from wild ungulates (deer and pigs), and so we could continue to monitor seedlings in those plots. We saw a number of interesting critters in the forest including a Philippine deer, a singing sali (only heard), lizards, some large cane toads, a land crab with an interesting "shell", and many many mosquitoes.

Stay tuned for news from Rota, where the storm seemed to have a much bigger impact.