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Friday, May 1, 2015

Mariana May

This month, I'm going to try to do something a little different with the blog.  For the first time, I'm going to have a monthly theme, focused around one topic, a topic which many zoos and government agencies have been dealing with for years, but one which hasn't received too much attention from most people (certainly less than global climate change or poaching).  That topic is the avian extinction crisis of the Mariana Islands.

Though governed by the United States, the Mariana Islands are the most far-flung parts of the country, lonely crescent of islands south of Japan, north of New Guinea.  As with many islands far removed from land, they are home to unique creatures found nowhere else on earth... and that unique wildlife - especially the bird life - is under siege.  For the ornithologist, the Marianas must have seemed an Eden of friendly, beautiful birds, evolving in a world free from danger.

Every Eden, as we'll see tomorrow, has a snake, however...

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