May 18, 2011

Video: Researchers Monitoring Masonboro Island

Here's a great video that follows researchers Heather Wells and Byron (NLM) from the NC Coastal Reserve as they go about their work on Masonboro Island. It was shot this past weekend and posted on Youtube by shathaway26.

The video shows how they monitor the island water quality through a network of water testing stations. They stations measure salinity, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen and water depth.

They talk about the importance of not disturbing the various shore birds that nest on the island, specifically the American Oyster catcher whose numbers are declining due to loss of habitat.

They also remind visitors not to let dogs off leash as their presence can cause distress for the nesting birds. If a bird is forced to leave the nest, even for just several minutes, it can cause the eggs to become non viable. Also, it is important to observe the no walk areas as the shallow nests are difficult to spot and can easily be stepped upon.

They discuss why the red fox, a non-native predator on the island, is so destructive to the local habitat and what you can do to help stem the damage they cause.

So if you would like to learn more about this wonderful local treasure, spend nine minutes watching this informative video. I'm sure you'll find it as interesting as I did. Not to mention, if you've never had the opportunity to visit the island, the video offers some great images from around the area. Enjoy!

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