Earth Day Becomes “Earth Month” in Cape Horn

1.jpgTo celebrate “Earth Day,” Ximena Arango and Rodrigo Molina, local coordinators of the Omora Program in Puerto Williams, organized a month-long series of activities including guided visits to the Omora Park, “ecological walks,” a pet sterilization campaign, collection of trash along the coast, a movie series for children, a photography competition and a special ceremony for the 22nd of April. To date, more than 200 people from diverse institutions, such as the Chilean Navy, the ladies’ auxiliary, Scouts, school children and other residents have participated.

Read more at Radio Polar about the Omora Park’s efforts to help control the feral dog and cat population on Navarino Island.

UNT and UMAG Sign Agreement to Strengthen Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program

UNT-UMAG_signing_79.jpgOn April 16th in Denton, Texas, the President of the University of North Texas Dr. Gretchen Bataille and the Rector of the Universidad de Magallanes Dr. VĂ­ctor Fajardo signed a formal agreement to consolidate the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, being led by both universities in conjunction with the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity. The agreement will formalize program offices in each university, as well as initiate the process to create a dual masters degree program in the integration of environmental philosophy and ecological sciences. In addition, this new stage of the binational relationship will help strengthen existing programs, such as the Tracing Darwin’s Path field course, the exchange of students and the application for external funding. For more information from the NT Daily, click here.

During the weeklong workshop surrounding the signing celebration, academics from UNT, UMAG and IEB also worked with scientists from the U. of California Los Angeles, the U. of Connecticut and the Ibero-american Biosphere Reserve Network to prepare a new $1.5 millon dollar proposal to fund international partnerships in research and education, focusing on the unique biodiversity of the subantarctic region, its ecological functions and the integration of research in decision-making through understanding perceptions and valuation of ecosystem services.

New Study Explores the Freshwater Fish of Cape Horn

michelle1.jpgMichelle Moorman (OSARA Board of Directors) recently published the results of her pioneering study on Cape Horn’s freshwater fish in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. The work, based on her master’s thesis research conducted in 2006, surveyed the native freshwater fish species in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve and determined the effect of multiple invasive species on this relatively unknown biodiversity. These surveys discovered two rare and threatened fish speices that were previously unknown south of the Beagle Channel (Aplochiton zebra and A. taenitus). In addition, it was not possible to confirm the previously reported presence of invasive brown trout in the CHBR, but introduced brook and rainbow trout were common in many catchments. The overall effect of invasive beavers on puye, the only common native fish species, was to actually increase abundance of this species, while predatory trout reduced these numbers. For more information visit the journal’s website.