Presenter: David “Doc Quack” Riensche
Historical records show that diverse Canaries in our “coal mine” environment generally have been disappearing, despite protections. Since 1994, consistent breeding bird censuses in a protected riparian area on San Francisco Bay have been conducted. An overall decline in breeding birds, though not always steady, has been detected there, hypothetically corresponding to steadily increasing human activity in adjacent areas. Bird data has been compared with weather records to test these hypothetical effects. Trends in comparing general weather and breeding bird data might not be clear in such coastal, relatively benign climates, within birds’ adaptations. Yet occasional, extreme environmental events, particularly in a protected area avoiding much habitat degradation, appears to have additional major negative, lasting effects on these breeding populations.
David “Doc Quack” Riensche is the Wildlife Biologist II, Certified Wildlife Biologist, for the East Bay Regional Park District, a biology and ecology professor at Las Positas College in Livermore, California., and one of our Directors at Large. He and Christopher L. Kitting, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University East Bay, conducted the research and co-authored the paper on this presentation’s topic.