(Airdate: October 25, 2023) Nature Now host Jackie Canterbury talks with Dr. Steve Hampton about the plight of the Caspian Tern colony on Rat Island near Flagler campground on Marrowstone Island. Hampton discusses the events of 2022 and 2023 that led to an 80% loss of the breeding colony due to human disturbance and an avian flu outbreak. If we understand the historical perspective of the Caspian Tern dilemma, perhaps humans and the agencies responsible for the management of Rat Island can make 2024 less painful.
In September Jackie spoke with Dr. Katie Hanan, Wildlife Veterinarian and Dr. Scott Pearson, Senior Research Scientist – both with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife about the avian flu outbreak on Rat Island. The program allowed listeners to understand the basics of the Avian Influenza virus, its pathogenicity, transmission, and relationship to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.