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Ia Ora Na

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020 on Tetiaroa. This portends to be a big year for Tetiaroa Society on local and regional levels. Our Habitat Restoration Project is picking up steam with the goal of a rat-free Tetiaroa in sight for the end of the year. International research teams working on the effects of removing rats have planned their dates for field work and the plant team is already at work on the island.  The results of the planned research is expected to have a global impact on invasive rodent eradications and contribute to the effort to prevent native species extinctions and enhance coral resilience.  As you will read Tetiaroa Society is also partnering with major research institutes across four Pacific islands to create a "Pacific Transect" to study island/ocean systems during the UN Decade of the Ocean and inform the future of Oceania. Thanks very much for your interest and support and plan to come and see us this year - it is going to be a good one. 

Black-tip reef sharks

Carcharhinus melanopterus or Mauri in Tahitian is a fish to be appreciated for its many unique traits, as well as for the crucial role it plays in our lagoons. Among the five reef sharks worldwide, the Black-tip Reef Shark is the most common and is especially prominent in the waters surrounding Tetiaroa. This shark is easy to spot by its black-tipped dorsal fin and its habitat preference of shallow reef waters near land.

Owing to their powerful presence and ecological importance, sharks are important in Polynesian culture across the Pacific. Because of this Polynesians have not historically killed sharks for food. On the contrary island groups have legendary sharks that protect the island, and tribes and families have sharks as taura or totems that are ancestors and protectors.

Since the spring of 2006 French Polynesia has banned the hunting and killing of sharks within 5 million square kilometers (2 million square miles) of the French Polynesian economic zone. Since then, the waters surrounding French Polynesia have supported a healthy shark population which has contributed to a healthy marine ecosystem.

Read more

4Site "Pacific Transect"

Tetiaroa Society was invited this month to participate in a workshop in Santa Barbara, California, at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). The workshop, which was sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, was convened to create a network of sites across a North/South transect in the Pacific Ocean.

Transects are established sampling strategies, and in this case the 4Site Pacific Transect will run from Hawai’i to French Polynesia and will be anchored at research hubs on Oahu (University of Hawai’i), Palmyra (The Nature Conservancy), Moorea (University of California Gump Station and CNRS-EPHE CRIOBE), and Tetiaroa (Tetiaroa Society). The sites offer a spatial, sociocultural, and biogeographical gradient and representation of both high islands and atolls. The partnership between these institutions will leverage already existing data on each site and create new research and monitoring programs across sites to help promote a sustainable future for Oceania.  More on this later!

There was a great sense of purpose and focus during the workshop, and excellent management by the NCEAS staff, that resulted in directives for all participants for the next six months. The goal will be to take this time to build the organizational framework for the collective and develop pilot projects across the sites. Stay tuned for more news to come…

More about 4Site

Quantifying the Effects of Rat Eradication
with Jean-Yves Meyer

Jean-Yves Meyer is a Terrestrial Ecologist and Conservation Biologist who has done research in French Polynesia and other Pacific Islands for the past 30 years. He was hired as a research scientist at the French Polynesian Department of Research (Délégation à la Recherche de la Polynésie française) in 2002, and is now its Director since September 2014.
Jean-Yves is heading up the plant section of the Tetiaroa Atoll Restoration Program, which aims to record and study the effects of rat eradication across all island ecosystems.

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.

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