This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Can we come too?!
Who owns the NW Hawaiian Islands?
WE ALL DO! The NW Hawaiian Islands are called...
...and these 3 government agencies watch over the Monument:
state of Hawaiʻi
US Fish & Wildlife Service
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Since the Monument belongs to us, let’s go volunteer, or mālama, our kūpuna islands!
Let’s join the Sept. 2013 NOAA expedition to the PMNM!
This is Jessie Lopez, the Chief Scientist, and her hoaloha.
Before we can sail, we have to load the NOAA ship, the Oscar Elton Sette.
Come up the gangway; welcome aboard!
Jessie needs to check everyone’s passport.
We also need to watch a cultural training video about the Papahānaumokuākea MNM, because these are special kūpuna islands.
Let’s go! Who’s the captain of this ship?
NOT these guys!
Here we go ; passing a submarine, as we leave Pearl Harbor.
We’re passing the Waiʻānae coast of Oʻahu off the starboard (right) side of the ship, heading for the NW Hawaiian Islands.
Hey! Who’s in Jessie’s bunkbed!
The Sette has a laboratory...
Checking navigation charts for the NW Hawaiian Islands.
On our 2nd day out we enter the Monument; here’s Nihoa, the first island.
Now that the Sette is in the Monument – what kind of volunteer work could we do?
Monk Seals are the focus of the Sette’s mission this September.
Other scientists specialize in Hawaiian Monk Seals, Ka ʻīlio-holo-i-ka-uaua...
credit: P. Hartzell
One important task is to help Monk Seal pups. At French Frigate Shoals, pup survival has been lower than any other NWHI location for more than a decade because of....
...unusual predation by some Galapagos sharks. (The next picture will show a Seal pup with a healing (!) shark bite.)
Happily, this pup survived!
Scientists will capture carefully about 6 Monk Seal pups in a “stretcher net” like this, transport them by boat...
...to a deck of the Sette where each Seal will be put into a cage and translocated (moved) from French Frigate Shoals...
...to Laysan Atoll, where scientists think the Seals will be safer.
Jessie will also direct the transfer of scientists and supplies from the ship to some of the islands...
...where scientists will conduct Monk Seal monitoring. They’ll walk carefully around each island, and when they see...
...a Hawaiian Monk Seal!
They’ll write down their observations about the Seal in their data table, and they might also collect some...
POOP! (also called “feces” or “scat”)
Looking at scat under a microscope, a scientist --
•can see what viruses or parasites might be making a Monk Seal sick
•or can figure out what prey a Monk Seal ate, from leftover bones and other hard parts in the scat.
This Hawaiian Monk Seal has caught an octopus. They also eat squid, lobsters, crabs, eels and fish. They don’t eat very many sport fish, like ulua and pāpio, because Seals prefer prey that is slower and easier to catch.
Let’s look at some Monk Seal “scat” (it’s really chocolate pudding!) to see what kinds of prey they’ve been eating.
Let’s pretend that if you find a green candy in the chocolate pudding “scat,” it’s a bone from this eel:
Puhi are found in coral near the seafloor in shallow water.
But if you find a brown candy in the “scat,” it’s a bone from a Wedge Triggerfish:
This species swims freely at 90 ft. or shallower.
Let’s volunteer for the Monument by looking for remains of 7 different prey items in Seal scat.
Before we start our Monk Seal volunteer work -- what is some other work we could do, too?
We could help restore the habitat.
Verbesina...nice flower, huh?
Here’s Verbesina growing with Bunch Grass, the native Hawaiian plant, Kawelu.
But because Verbesina produces so many seeds...
This is what happens! Where can birds nest?!
Volunteers (like me) help fight invasive plants, like this Verbesina on Midway and Kure...
There’s a greenhouse...
...where we can grow native plants...
...and Goosefoot, or ʻAweoweo...
...and use the native plants to REVEGETATE the islands.
Now the birds will have room to live. These are Laysan Albatross that nest on the islands, but not right now, in September; they’re on land from about November – July.
Laysan Ducks are on Midway year around. They need volunteers to help them.
credit: K. Janthansang
Laysan Ducks used to live on most all of the Hawaiian Islands, including the Big Island, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi.
But then they became extinct on most of the islands. The only Laysan Ducks in the world were on tiny Laysan Atoll.
What do you think would happen to the ducks if a series of tsunami waves washed over Laysan Atoll?
Scientists thought the ducks might become extinct, so they decided to translocate some ducks from Laysan Atoll...
...to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
In 2004 the habitat on Midway Atoll was modified. Sand was dug out and the holes filled with freshwater...perfect for Laysan Ducks!
credits: J. Klavitter
Then scientists went to Laysan Atoll...
credit: USFWS volunteers
...and lived in tents to prepare for the translocation.
credit: C. Rehkemper
Scientists observed Laysan Ducks (LADU), especially near the hypersaline lake in the middle of Laysan Atoll...
credit: C. Rehkemper
...where the ducks find some of their favorite food – brine flies!
credit: C. Rutt
The healthiest adult ducks were chosen, and then fed nutritious food, water and electrolytes...
credit: C. Rehkemper
... given bands on their legs for identification...
...and then put on the boat to travel to Midway!
This is what Midway Atoll looks like from an airplane.
When on Midway, the LADU were put into the aviary (large cage) to be cared for.
Each duck was weighed...
...and fed nutritious solid food
Here’s Aviary seep, where the first Laysan Ducks were released to the wild.
And here is a duck being released! Success!
Laysan Ducks are now doing well on Midway Atoll...well, most of the time.
Sometimes the LADU get sick with botulism,
a poison produced by aquatic microbes that increase in number when the seeps heat up in hot weather.
Sick ducks are captured, wrapped in clean cloths, and transported ...
...to the lab, where they are given food, water & electrolytes and an anti-poison shot...
...and housed & cared for in an aviary for several days.
The wooden “tent” protects them from wind & rain.
The nest of cloth props up their head, so they can breathe.
After 3 days they’re taken outside to an open-sided shelter...
credit: G. Schubert
credit: G. Schubert
Part of a volunteer’s job on Midway is to monitor these endangered ducks to see how well they’re doing. Let’s bicycle to one of the seeps and check on the Laysan Ducks.
Here we are at beautiful Parade seep.
1. Look at the bottom data table on your paper and find “P” for Parade seep. 2. Look at this duck and Identify the band color & symbols and... 3. which leg it’s on. 4. We know this is a male because he has a bluishgreenish bill and bright orange legs.
Here is the correct data--
Now we’re at shady Communications seep.
1. 2. 3. 4.
On the data table find “Com” for Communications seep. Look at this duck and Identify the band color & symbol and... which leg it’s on. This duck is a female because she has a pinkish bill and light orange legs. Also, ducklings hang out with females more than males.
credit: M. Kuter
Here is the correct data for both ducks--
Imagine you are a volunteer on Midway Atoll. In addition to Monk Seal work, you’ll bicycle around to these 4 seeps to monitor the Laysan Ducks.
P Com S
Please volunteer for us!
SCF reviewers -• At the end of the Ppt., I hold up copies of the Laysan Duck and the Monk Seal data tables; I briefly review both. • The classroom teacher organizes the students into small groups; each group gets a copy of the Seal data table. • Each student group is then assigned to one of about 6 stations around the classroom perimeter. Some stations have Monk Seal artifacts, one has the Jello “scat”, and each of two have large photos of a duck seep w/accompanying photos of individual ducks w/bands. • Students are alerted as to when to rotate to the next station. Let the fun begin!
SCF reviewers -• The Laysan Duck activity was done during a September classroom visit, a time when there are no albatross on Midway. • During most other months, instead of the LADU, I would do an albatross activity, “Find Me If You Can”, an activity invented by a young USFWS Tern Island volunteer. I mentored her and we co-authored the unit “Find Me If You Can”. • Please enjoy the following slides, showing some of our activities.
Powerpoint version including geological formation of the NW Hawaiian Islands
Laysan Duck activity
Albatross Activity: student albatross wearing an aux (auxiliary) band
Albatross Activity: scientists monitoring the classroom albatross colony
getting advice from Laysan Albatross hoaloha (friend)
Powerpoint prep for Monk Seal Activity
Monk Seal skull
Monk Seal Activity: sorting “scat”
Monk Seal Activity: entering data
Monk Seal Activity: data analysis
Google+ Hangout with NOAA ship, Sette
for a 3-minute video clip of a Skype with Tern Island: http://vimeo.com/40331283
student thank you notes
SCF reviewers – Thank you for considering my application for the SCF. aloha, Barb Mayer