A further adventure 🐟 & 🪶

San Antonio Group Campground: Electroshock fish day.

Among the activities that have been carried out during these two weeks, the following stand out:

a) Electroshock fish survey: Method implemented to collect scientific information from water sources.

b) Bird counting points: We want to keep track of the bird populations present in Bandelier.

c) Pinyon Jay Survey: Would you like to know why it is done? Check out my previous post 😉.

d) Hummingbird Banding: The most common species at our station are: Broad-tailed Hummingbird & Black-chinned Hummingbird. Would you like to know what is performed here? Well, go to my previous post 🪶.

e) MAPS Bird Banding (songbirds): Yes, check my previous post 😉. But… I would like to introduce you to songbirds. Generally speaking, they are species that possess an organ that allows them to reproduce spectacular melodies and multiple vocal sounds, which is called Syrinx. Some of the species that are catalogued as songbirds are: crows, finches, flycatchers, shrikes, swallows, tanagers, vireos, wrens and warblers.

(There are different methodologies to work with the different varieties of birds, e.g. hummingbirds, diurnal raptors, nocturnal raptors, songbirds…).

f) Repair of mist nets: The repair of mist nets is important so as not to cause accelerated deterioration of the nets. Care of working materials should be considered as an additional task in research projects.

Short-Horned Lizard: One of its tactics to deter the predator is to squirt blood from its eyes.
Repair of mist nets

Electroshock Fish Survey

In conjunction with the Valles Caldera research team, the Electroshock fish survey is carried out at different points (locations) that are interconnected with each other. The idea is to collect in a single transect per site, with a length of 100 meters. The species collected (native or invasive); unusual characteristics of the individuals collected; weight; and total length (TL) are data that strengthen the short and long-term evaluation. This project wants to know how the fish populations are in each study site. However, it is considered essential for future projects, such as managing and controlling invasive species.
It should be noted that native species correspond to all those that naturally belong to a given ecosystem and are a key piece; their absence can damage biological connections. On the other hand, we have another concept: sometimes little-known, invasive, or exotic species that humans introduced into an ecosystem. Their presence is harmful and affects the connections and roles of every living being in the area. For example, we have the Rainbow Trout and Brown trout, which are not found naturally in this area and cause that species to move to other sites. During these last two weeks, we have found species such as Rio Grande chub (native), Rio Grande sucker (native), Longnose dace (native), Fathead minnow (native), and Brown trout (exotic). Have you ever thought about the harm caused by invasive species? Please never move species between states or deposit aquarium fish in water sources ‼️

Brown Trout: Electroshock Fish day.

Bird counting points.

These operations are carried out 15 minutes before sunrise. This monitoring is relevant because it is an important source of long-term information. In it, you can consult about the dynamics of the species over time and space. In addition, environmental data such as cloud cover, wind speed, and air temperature are taken, which provide clues about why more or fewer species were observed at the site sampled. 

So far we have observed 32 species  –>  among them include: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Brown-headed Cowbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Grace’s Warbler, Hepatic Tanager, Juniper Titmouse, Killdeer, Lark Sparrow, Northern Flicker, Pine Siskin, Rock Wren, Song Sparrow, Violet-green Swallow, Western Tanager.

Pine Siskin

One of the actions taken during wildlife monitoring is as follows:

To monitor wildlife it must be taken into account that the welfare of the researchers, assistants and volunteers, is fundamental. It is not recommended to carry out activities in unfavorable weather conditions, and it is also not ethical to manipulate wildlife in conditions that are generally unsuitable.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Thanks for the support, don’t miss my next post.

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