Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 9, 2018

Presentation: Island Scrub-Jay Influences Native Oak Populations 10/11/18

Channel Islands News Release

Island Scrub-Jay Influences Native Oak Populations

Ventura, CA — On Thursday, October 11, 2018, Dr. Mario Pesendorfer from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will discuss his research on how the island scrub-jay’s practice of seed-hoarding plays a crucial role in the recovery of island oak habitat. (at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, in Ventura Harbor at 7:00 pm )

Island scrub-jays are the dominant seed dispersers of oaks on Santa Cruz Island, with individual birds hiding up to 6,500 seeds per year. Pesendorfer’s findings reveal the benefits of supporting their populations to help restore island oaks and similar habitats.

Pesendorfer’s research examines how the knowledge gained by studying island scrub-jay behavior can be used to help model research and restoration projects in oak and pine forests around the world. Jays and other corvids, once seen as nest predators and crop pests, play a critical role in the ecology of forests.

Pesendorfer is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. He studies behavioral and population ecology of birds and trees in temperate forests. Born and raised in Switzerland, he studied at the University of Vienna and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Pesendorfer has been conducting research on the Channel Islands for the last ten years.

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