Golden Gate Audubon’s monthly Speaker Series in San Francisco and Berkeley features renowned naturalists, photographers, ornithologists, authors, international travelers, and other fascinating speakers. To cover event costs, we ask non-members for a voluntary donation of $5. Non-members may attend for free if they join that evening. As always, GGAS members are welcome to attend free of charge. Speaker Series venues are:
Doors open for refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and the speaker will start promptly at 7 p.m.
Thank you to Recology- Our San Francisco Speaker Series Sponsor
San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Removal and Native Revegetation Program
Thursday, September 19
6:30 p.m. refreshments,
The San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project is led by the CA State Coastal Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with more than 150 landowners and resource agencies in all nine counties of the SF Bay Area. The overarching goal is to eradicate invasive Spartina in order to enhance ecosystem functions and overall ecosystem health for the benefit of many other native tidal salt marsh dependent fish, migratory birds, wildlife. The project is a critical phase of a major landscape-scale tidal wetlands restoration effort in San Francisco Bay, a collaborative effort by the Coastal Conservancy, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, East Bay Regional Park District, and dozens of other partners to restore tidal wetlands over the past several decades. Monitoring and treating invasive Spartina is a key step in protecting native coastal wetland habitat for CA Ridgway’s Rail, salt marsh harvest mice, shorebirds and waterfowl, and many other native species in the bay. The Project has conducted treatment of four species of invasive Spartina since 2005, and has achieved a 95% reduction in invasive Spartina over the 70,000 acres of tidal wetland and mudflat habitats in the Estuary. This is accomplished by mapping and treating invasive Spartina across 11 regions bay-wide, propagating and planting 450,000 native plants, and constructing restoration enhancements including 61 high tide refuge islands to date. This presentation will cover the planning and approach to eradicating Spartina while protecting CA Ridgway’s Rail and other native species.
Marilyn Latta is a Project Manager at the California State Coastal Conservancy, managing the SF Estuary Invasive Spartina Project, SF Bay Living Shorelines Project, SF Bay Creosote Removal Projects, and additional regional projects and collaborative planning efforts in San Francisco Bay and statewide. She studied Marine Biology/Zoology at Humboldt State University, and prior to joining the Conservancy she worked for a variety of non-profit organizations to educate and involve the public in the protection and restoration of ocean and estuarine resources. Marilyn manages the large network of local, state, and federal partners engaged in invasive Spartina treatment in San Francisco Bay.
Conservation Science at Audubon Canyon Ranch
Thursday, October 17
6:30 p.m. refreshments,
Nils Warnock is currently the Director of Conservation Science at Audubon Canyon Ranch in the Bay Area of California. Nils is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society and has over 30 years of experience pertaining to the ecology and conservation of Pacific Flyway birds, especially shorebirds. He has a PhD in Ecology from the University of California at Davis and San Diego State University. Nils started his ornithological career at what was then the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (now Point Blue), serving for 10 years as the co-director of the Wetlands Division. Until recently, Nils was the Executive Director of Audubon Alaska and a Vice President of the National Audubon Society (2010-2018).
Golden Eagles in a Changing World
How disease and ectoparasites represent new threats to eagle populations
Thursday, November 21
6:30 p.m. refreshments,
Golden Eagles are a well-studied, widely distributed raptor species. Long-term monitoring of Golden Eagle populations have revealed several current and emerging threats, including landscape-mediated diet shifts that may increase the potential for disease infection, and warming temperatures that may increase the distribution and abundance of eagle ectoparasites. This presentation will cover the prevalence of the disease trichomonosis and the abundance of ectoparasitic Mexican chicken bugs, and the risk factors associated with disease and ectoparasitism. Management to mitigate these threats requires first identifying and understanding factors that influence individual susceptibility within populations, and how eagles may adapt to these threats physiologically or mechanically through the use of aromatic nest material. Given the projections of current climate trends and the increasing human ecological footprint, monitoring threats to raptor populations and the ability of birds to respond to these threats, is important in a changing world.
Ben Dudek is a wildlife biologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his M.S. in Raptor Biology at Boise State University studying Golden Eagle nesting ecology in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho. Ben has worked with birds for organizations across the western United State including the Institute for Bird Populations, Hawkwatch International, and Yosemite National Park and he is a volunteer at Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.