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Ia Ora Na

This month we feature our Lagoon School, where the Tetiaroa Society Guides share the wonders of Tetiaroa and Tahitian culture with the young guests of The Brando. We also cover a great event put on in Seattle by one of our long-term partners, the University of Washington, where research programs based on Tetiaroa were presented by UW professors and previews of work to come were discussed. Our organism of the month is a remarkable endangered bird that is threatened by invasive rats. Luckily for this species and several others on the island, Tetiaroa Society and partners are moving ahead full steam with the rat eradication program.  Finally, two key people on our team are introduced.
Thanks again for all your support and stay tuned here, on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news.

Lagoon School on Tetiaroa

Education is a vital component of Tetiaroa Society’s mission. In our Education Program we use the island of Tetiaroa as a classroom for local and international students and community groups to teach about the natural and cultural heritage of the island and about the importance of sustainability.

For young guests of The Brando the Tetiaroa Society Guides host Lagoon School to teach about sea turtles, marine mammals, plants and marine ecosystems through immersive and interactive activities.

The Guides are continually developing new ways to teach about the wonders of Tetiaroa.  Recently they created two new games to teach about the biodiversity of the islands and marine mammals. 
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Te'ue | Bristle-Thighed Curlew

This month’s organism, the Bristle-Thighed Curlew, called Te'ue in Tahitian, is a unique shorebird that stands out for some surprising behaviors.

Of all of the unique traits the Bristle-Thighed Curlews possess, having one of the longest nonstop migration flights of all known birds is the most remarkable. With a travel distance of an astounding 2,500 to 3,700 miles (4,000 to 6,000 km) to and from their breeding and wintering habitats, adult Bristle-Thighed Curlews log up to 7,500 miles (12,000 km) yearly.

The Bristle-Thighed Curlews breed in Alaska and are the only shore birds that winter exclusively on islands and atolls in Oceania.  They are also the only shorebirds that have adapted the use of tools in foraging behaviors,  and the only birds to become flightless during molt.

During molting, roughly half of the population is unable to fly, leaving them vulnerable to invasive predators such as rats. The Bristle-Thighed Curlews that overwinter on Tetiaroa will benefit greatly from the upcoming rat eradication.

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Biologists join the team

David Ringler

Baudouin Le Montiers

Tetiaroa Society welcomes two new team members to the atoll.  They bring with them a diverse array of experiences in the management of invasive species on islands.

David Ringler has a PhD degree in tropical ecology from La Reunion University with specialization in invasion ecology. He is particularly interested in biology and impacts of invasive mammals on threatened native biodiversity of island ecosystems. After more than 10 years working in the Indian Ocean region (including La Reunion, Madagascar, Eparses Islands, and French sub-Antarctic islands) as a scientist and ecological restoration project leader, David has joined Tetiaroa Society as part of the Tetiaroa's rat eradication program which will take place later this year. He is supporting this project both by informing the operational team with continuous scientific monitoring and by implementing innovative experimental protocols which will allow a better understanding of the ecological mechanisms guaranteeing the success of rodent eradication operations in tropical environments. David’s work is supported by grants from our great partners the University of Auckland and Island Conservation.

Baudouin Le Montiers is the Island Conservation Project Manager for the rat eradication scheduled for September. Baudouin studied Evolution and Conservation at the University of Lausanne and was the Project Leader in charge of monitoring and managing invasive mammals on Kerguelen and Amsterdam Islands.  He has been working for our partner Island Conservation for a year and is also involved in the restoration of the lagoon islands on Wallis and Futuna.

Labs Unlocked

Tetiaroa Society has had a long and productive partnership with the University of Washington. This partnership has resulted in three long-term research programs studying Ocean Acidification, Shark Population Ecology, and Seabird Conservation.

The "Labs Unlocked" event held at UW College of the Environment featured this exciting research. It was an interactive, thought-provoking evening where guests learned how UW College of the Environment's faculty and students are developing new ideas and technologies on our remote and pristine location to help safeguard the world's seas and marine life in a changing climate.

More about the 'Labs Unlocked' project

Donations in action

Tetiaroa Society receives generous support from The Brando for our core operations, but our ability to carry out innovative programs depends on your help -- any amount is appreciated!

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Share the beauty of Tetiaroa

Tetiaroa Society is a US registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID #45-1080688). We host scientific research, develop and implement conservation and education programs, and curate the island's knowledge base. We partner with The Brando to establish Tetiaroa as a model for sustainability, where businesses, non-profits, scientists, educators and the local community work together for common goals. Our program objectives are summarized in our Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan, which is available on our website.

© Tetiaroa Society 2020

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