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Santa Barbara Independent Names USGS Scientist and Colleague as "Local Heroes" for Western Snowy Plover Protection
The Santa Barbara Independent recently recognized U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Kevin Lafferty of the Western Ecological Research Center and Cristina Sandoval of the University of California's Natural Reserve System as "Local Heroes 2003."
They were honored for successfully providing a 400-yard "nursery" area that enables threatened western snowy plovers to nest undisturbed by human activity on a popular beach at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)'s Coal Oil Point Reserve.
The boundaries of the nursery were designed to minimize inconvenience to beach users, and a volunteer and educational effort was implemented to increase public awareness and interest in the species.
Last summer, just 2 years after a simple fence was erected, 39 young western snowy plovers fledged on the Coal Oil Point Reserve beach, signifying the first evidence that a reduction in human disturbance can lead to the recovery of a formerly abandoned snowy plover breeding site.
Last fall, the Natural Areas Association also recognized this project by bestowing its 2003 Resource Stewardship Award on the three organizationsthe U.S. Geological Survey, the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, and the University of California's Natural Reserve Systemwhose members are collaborating in the effort.
in this issue:
"Local Heroes" of Western Snowy Plover Protection
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