At an August 2003 event attended by over 150 people, the California Rice Commission celebrated the Sacramento Valley's designation, by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), as a site of hemispheric importance to shorebirds.
PRBO's collaborative Pacific Flyway Project in 1988-95 provided a basis for the WHSRN designation. Rice lands comprise nearly 80% of the 650,000 acres in the newly recognized reserve, which provides habitat for 14 shorebird species, including several species of concern.
The Rice Commission, representing 2,500 growers and a half-billion-dollar per year industry, honored several organizations at the August event, including PRBO. Catherine Hickey, PRBO's Shorebird Conservation Specialist, and Gary Page, Co-Director of our Wetlands Ecology Division, were given an award by the Rice Commission that honors PRBO's role in the reserve's designation. Also contributing to the occasion were Staff Biologist Dave Shuford and Education specialists Sue Abbott and Melissa Pitkin. Congratulations to all!
More information can be found at the California Rice Commission's website: www.calrice.org/shorebird/index.html.
The Pacific Flyway Project is featured in Observer 102, Winter 1995.
One of 14 awards announced by the California Sea Grant Program in October 2003 has been won by William J. Sydeman, PhD, Director of PRBO's Marine Ecology Division, with Nadav Nur, PhD, Director of Population Ecology. This new grant will support PRBO research, beginning in 2004, on the feeding habits of Common Murres in the California Current marine ecosystem. The information gained will be of particular value in the development of ecosystem-based fisheries management, recently mandated by the State of California.
"In the past," explains Bill Sydeman, "we've looked at fish stocks and said 'How much can we take?' A different level of questioning is to ask 'What can we take and still maintain sufficient reserves for the ecosystem?'" By calculating the amount of food required to sustain seabird populations, PRBO aims to provide information about the California Current marine ecosystem
Sea Grant's website is www-csgc.ucsd.edu/.
PRBO's marine ecosystem research is featured in Observer 127 and Winter 2002.