Whither Phalaropes
Photo: Jason Crotty/Flickr

Whither Phalaropes? Convening a working group to propel shorebird conservation research in Great Basin saline lakes

Grant Type: 

  • Network Innovation

Fellows: 

Award Date: 

November 2018

Amount: 

$10,000

Location: 

Santa Cruz, CA

Ryan Carle, Conservation Coordinator at Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, and Margaret Rubega, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, will convene and lead a working group of researchers and others to study two species of migratory bird whose population numbers are declining.  Wilson's Phalaropes and Red-necked Phalaropes both use highly saline lakes in the western U.S. (primarily, Mono Lake and Great Salt Lake) as critical stopover habitat on their way from breeding grounds in northern North America to wintering habitat in South America.  Strong anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers of birds at Mono Lake have declined significantly in the last 20 years.  Margaret, Ryan and a core team of researchers, with the support of the Mono Lake Committee, will design population surveys to take place over the next five years to collect data that will inform near-term policy decisions at Mono Lake, and depending on survey outcomes may inform conservation listing status of both birds.  The Switzer Network Innovation grant will fund the initial planning meeting and associated travel costs of key personnel.

Original Grant Proposal: 

Grant Outcome: 

Spotlight on Leadership

A century ago, we tried desperately to wipe out mountain lions in North America, and failed. Then American culture changed. In the mid-20th century, we offered mountain lions limited protection in the form of managed hunting. As a consequence, mountain lion populations rebounded far more successfully than anyone would have predicted, and probably more than many would have liked. Today, mountain lions are as abundant as they ever were in the West, and people are faced with a new reality. Can we peacefully coexist with such a successful predator? Mark Elbroch's new book, The Cougar Conundrum, is being published by Island Press on August 13th.Read more >

A vibrant community of environmental leaders