• From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>,<chapter-communicator@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 16:11:26 -0400

Contact: Steve Kress
skress@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:skress@xxxxxxxxxxx>


Peruvian Biologist Carlos Zavalaga to Supervise
Audubon Field Station as Part of Unique Fellowship

Ithaca, NY, May 19, 2003 - The National Audubon Society has named Carlos 
Zavalaga of Lima, Peru the first recipient of the Josephine Daneman Herz 
International Seabird Fellowship.  The Fellowship, created in 2003, honors 
Josephine Herz of Green Valley, Arizona, in tribute to her lifelong interest in 
bird conservation. 

Carlos Zavalaga, presently a graduate student at the University of North 
Carolina in Wilmington, will participate this summer in Audubon's Seabird 
Restoration Program on the Maine coast, where he will supervise Audubon's field 
station on Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in outer Penobscot Bay.  

This summer the Seabird Restoration Program is celebrating 30 years of 
protecting waterbird colonies on the Maine coast.  The program employs 17 
interns and 25 volunteers at seven Maine coast islands.  These sanctuaries 
provide habitat for 19 species of colonial nesting water birds, including 95 
percent of Maine's Atlantic Puffins, 84 percent of its terns, 63 percent of its 
Razorbills, and Maine's only mixed colony of ibis, egrets, and herons.  The 
techniques developed to restore and protect these colonies are now used 

While working at Seal Island, Zavalaga will learn techniques that have restored 
puffins and terns to this 100-acre refuge.  He will work with Dr. Stephen 
Kress, Director of the Seabird Restoration Program and other Audubon staff. The 
goal of the new fellowship is to teach biologists from developing countries 
restoration techniques that they can use to help rare and endangered seabirds 
in their home countries.

Zavalaga received his B.S. degree in biology and chemistry from the Universidad 
Peruana Cayetano Heredia, and has since studied seabirds and marine mammals in 
Peru for the past ten years. From 1993 to 1997 he studied the endangered 
Humboldt Penguin at Punta San Juan, a marine reserve in southern Peru in 
collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society.  He also collected 
information on the breeding biology of Inca Terns and Peruvian Pelicans; the 
diet of Guanay Cormorants; and the population size of Red-legged cormorants. He 
also conducted studies of maximum diving depth of Peruvian Diving-petrels and 
the nesting ecology of Peruvian Terns.  In 1997, he completed his undergraduate 
thesis on the breeding ecology of Inca Terns. 

In 1999, Zavalaga participated in the IX Peruvian Antarctic expedition, 
sighting and counting seabirds and marine mammals at sea.  After returning from 
Antarctica, he received a short-term scholarship from the National Park Zoo and 
Smithsonian Institution to analyze the Humboldt Penguin Project data in 
Washington, DC.  He was then accepted into the Department of Biological 
Sciences, at the University of North Carolina and began his Master degree 
research in 2001, studying the foraging ecology of Blue-footed boobies in 
northern Peru under the supervision of his major professor, Dr. Steve Emslie.  
He will complete his M.S. degree this year and will continue working toward his 
Ph.D. focusing on the use of seabirds as predictors of the health of fish 
stocks in the Peruvian Humboldt current ecosystem.  He has published ten papers 
in scientific journals on the ecology and conservation of Peruvian seabirds. 

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat 
that supports them.  Our national network of community-based nature centers and 
chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas 
sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages 
and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.

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