Salish Sea Gull Project Talk and Walk on Mar 15/16

Join Metchosinites at the District of Metchosin Council Chambers at 7:00 pm, Friday, March 15, for a slide presentation by Sonya Pastran on the Salish Sea Gull Project. This project is a vital component of the Salish Sea Marine Bird Monitoring and Conservation Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

This collaborative research initiative, spearheaded by Dr. Mark Hipfner of Environment and Climate Change Canada and supported by partners such as Dr. Tony Williams, Dr. Amy Wilson, Dr. Marie Auger-Methé, Dr. Theresa Burg, Dr. Keith Hobson, and Dr. John Elliott, was launched in 2020. It is an ongoing exploration into the lives of gull species in the human-impacted Salish Sea. Join Sonja as she shares insights into the movements, diets, and contaminant levels of these coastal avian residents.The Project’s research is expanding what we know about the dynamic ecology of marine birds in the Salish Sea.

For the walk portion of this Talk and Walk, we will gather at 9:00 am, Saturday, March 16 in parking lot at the end of Witty’s Beach Road. The walk, approximately two hours long, will be a sea-watch. We will identify birds on the water and look for colour-banded gulls. Bring binoculars if you have them. (An added bonus–Sonya’s partner, Joachim Bertrands, will be co-leading the walk. Joachim is an international bird tour guide and has done a number of bird identification workshops for Rocky Point Bird Observatory.)

Sonya Pastran is a member of the Wildlife Research Division in Environment and Climate Change Canada. She is based out of the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, BC.

Sonya earned her Bachelor’s degree in Ecology from the University of Calgary, where she later gained field experience as a Wildlife Monitor for a consulting firm. This hands-on work fueled her decision to pursue a Master of Science degree in Biology at Simon Fraser University focusing on the marine habitat use of Marbled Murrelets on BC’s North Coast. Since completing her academic journey, she has participated in various seabird projects across the Pacific region. In her current role, she contributes to planning and executing innovative seabird research. Part of this research involves the Salish Sea Gull Project along the British Columbia coast.

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