ORAL ABSTRACTS

RESTORING THE NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY ON SCORPION ROCK TO ENHANCE NESTING HABITAT FOR BURROW AND SHRUB-NESTING SEABIRDS IN THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Josh Adams1*, David Mazurkiewicz2, Andrew A. Yamagiwa3, James A. Howard3, Catherine Carter3, A. Laurie Harvey4, and Annie Little5, 1U.S. Geological Survey-Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz Field Station josh_adams@usgs.gov 2Channel Islands National Park-Montrose Settlements Restoration Program 3California Institute of Environmental Studies 4Sutil Conservation Ecology 5U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

   Invasive, non-native plant species introduced to California’s Channel Islands can affect seabird nesting habitat quality and threaten population growth and recovery. Scorpion Rock, located off the northeast end of Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park, is an important seabird nesting and roosting location. A legacy of human use and visitation allowed the spread of invasive, non-native plant species on Santa Cruz Island and adjacent Scorpion Rock. The altered vegetative cover contributed to decreased abundance and quality of nesting habitat for the burrow-nesting Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus australis) and crevice- and shrub-nesting Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi). The removal and control of non-native vegetation and outplanting of >9,000 native plants from 2008 – 2016 has dramatically changed the landscape of Scorpion Rock. In 2008, vegetative cover was initially 94% invasive weeds (6 exotic species, mostly crystalline iceplant [Mesembryanthimum crystallinum]). Since 2011, percent native plant cover has remained consistent at ~60% cover, with a maximum in 2013 of 66%. Native plant richness included 6 species in 2008, and reached maximum richness in 2012 (21 species). Removal of non-native, invasive vegetation and the restoration of a native perennial Coastal Sage Scrub community on Scorpion Rock is providing better soil structure, nesting conditions, and cover for burrow- and shrub-nesting nesting seabirds, as well as new habitat for invertebrates and passerines. Evaluation of weed control methods and the development of remote-site-restoration-techniques from this project has also benefited other habitat restoration projects on the Channel Islands.

BREEDING POPULATIONS OF CASSIN’S AUKLET ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS AND IMPACT OF RESTORATION ACTIONS

Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Evaristo Mayoral-Rojas1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, and Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alejandro.aguilar@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

   The two recognized subspecies of Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) breed on Pacific islands off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico: P. a. aleuticus and P. a. australe. Relevant restoration efforts have been conducted during the last 18 years on these islands, including the removal of invasive mammals and the implementation of social attraction techniques to restore breeding seabird colonies. To assess CAAU's recovery, we have monitored the number of breeding pairs and the productivity of P. a. australis on San Roque and Asunción islands since 2008. We began monitoring P. a. aleuticus on Coronado, Todos Santos, San Martín, and San Jerónimo islands, and P. a. australe on Natividad Island in 2013 as part of a long-term seabird restoration project. We have recorded a remarkable increase of breeding pairs for P. a. australe, from 200 in 2008 to almost 2,000 in 2015 on San Roque and Asunción. This subspecies productivity has varied (0.3 to 0.7 fledgling/pair) over the years, probably due to anomalous and changing climate and oceanographic conditions. San Jerónimo supports the main breeding population of P. a. aleuticus with 70,000 to 100,000 breeding pairs. We confirmed CAAU breeds on Coronado, Todos Santos, San Martín, and Natividad islands, but in low numbers (5 to 29 breeding pairs). For the 2016 breeding season we carried out a more detailed monitoring effort that included banding, adult morphometry, chick growth, and diet composition.

THE TRAJECTORY OF RECOVERY: POST-RESTORATION EELGRASS MEADOWS AROUND ANACAPA ISLAND AND THEIR SIMILARITY TO DONOR BEDS

Jessica Altstatt, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, University of California Santa Barbara, Ocean Science Education Building 514, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6155 jessie.altstatt@noaa.gov

   Eelgrass (Zostera pacifica) meadows were present along the northern shores of Anacapa Island prior to the late 1980s, when sea urchin over-grazing led to local extirpation. In 2002, we initiated an experimental transplantation of ~500 eelgrass shoots from two large meadows at Santa Cruz Island (Smugglers, Prisoners) to Frenchy's Cove, Anacapa Island. Over the past 14 years, we have documented the short-term survivorship and growth of eelgrass at the transplantation site and continuing expansion of eelgrass from the restoration site to the east along northern Anacapa Island. In 2012, we reported upon the results of regular surveys of meadow dimensions, shoot density and reproductive status, along with density and species abundance of associated benthic invertebrates and fishes. In this paper we will report on current acreage, associated fish and invertebrate communities and make comparisons with current conditions within the donor beds at neighboring Santa Cruz Island. At Anacapa, eelgrass meadows have persisted longer post-transplantation than was spent without natural recovery prior to our efforts.

TRANS-HOLOCENE STABILITY AND RESILIENCE IN MARINE FISHERIES AT BAY POINT, SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Amira F. Ainis1*, Torben C. Rick1, Jon M. Erlandson1,3, and René L. Vellanoweth4, 1Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon aainis@uoregon.edu 2Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon; 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles

   We present the results of our analysis of marine fish remains from trans-Holocene deposits at two multi-component rockshelter sites located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island. A suite of over 80 radiocarbon dates demonstrate that archaeological deposits at Daisy Cave (CA-SMI-261) and Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) span most of the Holocene from ~11,700 to 1,000 cal BP. Previous analysis of Early Holocene fish remains from Daisy Cave demonstrated that people had relatively intensive fishing strategies by about 10,000-8,600 years ago—some of the earliest evidence for fishing in the Americas—which included exploitation of a variety of nearshore taxa using hook and line, nets, and other technologies. We place these Early Holocene data in the context of the Middle and Late Holocene fish assemblages from the site, and the ~7,600 year sequence from Cave of the Chimneys, providing an exceptional record of human fishing on San Miguel Island that spans most of the Holocene. Fish remains represented in these deposits indicate that people were catching a consistent though fairly wide array of nearshore and kelp bed fishes throughout this extensive sequence. Although fish densities oscillate between components, the consistency of represented taxa and relatively high densities of fish bone indicate relatively stable and resilient fisheries throughout this time period. Long-term historical ecological analyses of site-specific patterns, representing localized nearshore and kelp bed conditions in the context of human exploitation, demonstrate small-scale variation between island sequences. These data contribute to our understanding of how islanders utilized and shaped marine ecosystems in the past and inform on the relative resiliency of marine fisheries.

FROM DATA TO DECISION-MAKING: A PATH FORWARD FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROCKY INTERTIDAL COMMUNITIES

Richard F. Ambrose1*, Peter T. Raimondi2, and Lisa Gilbane3, 1University of California, Los Angeles rambrose@ucla.edu 2University of California, Santa Cruz 3Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

   Government agencies are charged with making policy and management decisions that affect natural resources, yet analyzing biological data to determine a course of action remains a challenge. Biological communities in rocky intertidal systems are considered an important resource and consequently are monitored continuously across 100 sites by more than 40 funding agencies and universities under the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe, see marine.gov). Assessing the condition of the rocky intertidal is difficult because of the extreme natural variability of these systems. Recent efforts to evaluate the condition or state of rocky intertidal systems have tried to overcome this challenge by relying on the professional judgment of subject matter experts, but it is still difficult to distinguish the impacts of humans from natural variability. We propose a different approach, focusing on the vulnerability of different rocky intertidal communities to human impacts. Using >20 years of data across multiple sites and bioregions, we develop quantitative metrics to allow us to compare vulnerability among sites. A vulnerability assessment such as this could provide the basis for evaluating the state of the coast.

BURROW NESTING SEABIRDS ON SAN BENITO ISLANDS, MEXICO: TWO MILLION INDIVIDUALS OF EIGHT PROTECTED SPECIES SHARING THE SAME SPACE AT DIFFERENT TIME

Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, and Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alicia.aztorga@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

   Eight burrow-nesting seabird species breed on the San Benito archipelago, a group of three small islands off the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico: Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus), Scripps’s Murrelet (S. scrippsi), Craveri’s Murrelet (S. craveri), Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas), Black Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma melania), Leach’s Storm-Petrel (O. leucorhoa), and Least Storm-Petrel (O. microsoma). All species are protected by Mexican law, and together form a community of around two million pairs. Auklets, murrelets, and shearwaters nest during late winter-spring, and storm-petrels in summer-autumn. We present a detailed account of their spatial and temporal nesting habitat use, timing of breeding, and productivity during breeding season 2015-2016. Murrelets and Least Storm-Petrel nest exclusively in rock crevices, while auklets, shearwaters, and Black and Leach’s Storm-Petrels occupied both sand burrows and rocky areas. Auklets and Black Storm-Petrels shared nesting areas. In rocky habitat we recorded a total of 163 auklet nests, 69 murrelet nests, 106 shearwater nests, and around 500 storm-petrel nests. The hatching period started in early March for auklets, in late March for murrelets, in early June for shearwaters, and in late July-early August for storm-petrels. The fledging period began in early May for auklets and early-mid October for storm-petrels. Breeding success was relatively low for auklets and murrelets (around 30%), and high for storm-petrels (>70%). Changing oceanographic conditions during the breeding period and different foraging strategies might be the cause for the high variability on reproductive performance amongst these species.

PROJECT MULTI-TASKING: A HELICOPTER BASED APPROACH FOR VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE SURVEYS

John Knapp1*, Morgan Ball2, Katrina Olthof2, and Kenneth Niessen2, 1The Nature Conservancy jknapp@tnc.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science

   The California Islands possess a wide array of habitat, climate and topography. These factors make it difficult to gather largescale archipelago-wide datasets that fall within a comparable, temporal period or allow for the detection of seasonally ephemeral species across a vast area. When executing a data-collection field effort, transportation and access prove to be the primary limiting factors for timely ground-based survey approaches. As a result, landscape managers are faced with decisions to either staff a very large group of highly trained surveyors for a shorter timeframe, or staff a smaller group across extended seasons which may sacrifice the optimal survey window and result in less consistent datasets. However, utilizing a helicopter for the collection of large datasets increases the ease and speed of transport for comparable costs while only requiring a small and specialized staff. If the transport mechanism is sped up and the timeframe reduced, then more surveys can be conducted, more data collected with less impact on resources, and occurs in the optimal time period for detection of species. In 2015, a multi-level survey was performed for invasive and rare plants, and cultural sites on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, in addition to an island-wide vegetation classification and bird survey on Santa Cruz Island. The use of the helicopter, innovative GIS mapping techniques, and GPS-encoded photo reconnaissance allowed us to conduct surveys across two islands in an abbreviated timeframe of 81 days taking advantage of the preferred survey period for the target species’ phenologies. These data can be used to prioritize invasive plant species management, restoration efforts, and rare plant conservation strategies at an archipelago-wide scale as well as function as a standardized baseline for other islands’ future efforts. Taking lessons learned from this multi-tasking approach, components of this methodology will be repeated on San Nicolas Island in Spring 2017.

SEABIRD RESTORATION PROGRAM ON MEXICAN ISLANDS: A DECADE OF SYSTEMATIC ACTIVITIES, OUTCOMES AND LESSONS LEARNED

Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1*, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Annie Little2, Jennifer Boyce3, Eduardo Iñigo-Elías4, and Stephen Kress5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 yuliana.bedolla@islas.org.mx 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 3Montrose Settlements Restoration Program Manager/NOAA Restoration Center, 501 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 4470, Long Beach, CA 90802 4Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 5Seabird Restoration Program, National Audubon Society, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

   Mexican islands are globally important seabird breeding sites. On some of these islands, seabird populations were extirpated by invasive mammals, and were also affected by DDT and oil spills. Over the past decade, we have been conducting a seabird restoration program on the Baja California Pacific Islands that includes social attraction techniques, habitat restoration, monitoring, applied research on genetics, population dynamics and ecology, and environmental education and outreach. We focus on 18 seabirds breeding on seven island groups. The results both for surface- and burrow-nesting species are encouraging. Artificial colonies with songs broadcasting are successfully attracting all species. Despite anomalous climate conditions in some of the past years, the general balance to date is very positive. Social attraction systems have been effective since the first year for Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni; HEEG), Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans; ELTE), and Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus; DCCO). We recorded 23 HEEG nests in 2008, and between 10 to 26 nests in subsequent years. While ELTE adults had been attracted only copulation has been recorded. For DCCO, we had one nest in 2014 and eight nests in 2015 within an artificial colony. Outcomes for burrow-nesting species took longer. After four years, Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) had occupancy of artificial burrows on all islands, except San Martín. The development of specialized capacities in this seabird priority region, the team-work of a skillful and experienced staff, the everyday on-site presence of conservation as a social actor, and the persistent collaboration with government agencies, both from Mexico and USA, academic institutions, and fishing cooperatives have been key for the project's success. The work with local communities on island biosecurity issues has been important to maintain the conservation gains. The results highlight the relevance of long-term and continuing conservation programs to effectively restore seabirds, sustained funding included.

Stable vs. evolving hillslopes: Setting the geomorphic stage for interpreting Santa Cruz Island soils

Nina Bingham1*, Bodo Bookhagen2, and Oliver Chadwick1, 1University of California, Santa Barbara nbingham@umail.ucsb.edu 2University of Potsdam

   On Santa Cruz Island (SCI), CA, short term (~102 years) overgrazing is coupled with long term (~104 years) sea level and climate fluctuations to drive increases in erosional pressure. The resulting landscape boasts vastly different hillslope morphologies within a small spatial scale: slopes range from gentle and soil-mantled to steep and rocky. The island’s soils are unique to each slope morphology; however current soil development theory is not readily transferable to the interpretation of hillslope soils. Presently, hillslope soils are often assumed a function of balanced erosion and rejuvenation processes, which minimizes spatial complexity even as observation suggests otherwise. When erosional processes are balanced by rejuvenation of the soil, hillslope morphology is unchanging. However, when perturbations such as base-level fall or land use change disturb this balance, hillslopes and their soils evolve accordingly (e.g., erosion dominated systems will see roughening in cm-to-m morphology and loss of soil). Our work seeks to advance soil development theory by providing the necessary spatial and temporal geomorphic context for interpreting hillslope soils when driving processes are out of balance. This study uses lidar point clouds and high resolution (0.25 and 1 m) digital elevation model analysis to segment SCI hillslopes by the degree of stability. Erosion rates from cosmogenic radionuclides and dated markers within fill terraces set constraints on the erosional forcing affecting the region. Actively evolving hillslopes are identified by increases in hillslope topographic roughness. We ascertain roughness by comparing changes in hillslope attributes, such as significant breaks in slope, curvature, and hilltop curvature and increases in relief and flowpath length. In statistical distributions of these properties, regions of active evolution display wider ranges in values compared to stable hillslopes. Our landscape analysis provides a robust spatial indicator of relative hillslope stability against which differences in soil morphology and chemistry can be assessed.

  

 

 

 

PROTECTING BLUE WHALES AND BLUE SKIES: VESSEL SPEED REDUCTION INCENTIVE TRIAL IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

K. Birney1, M. Byrd2, M. Carver4, R. Freedman3, S. Hastings3, S. Herron3, J. Morten3*, and B. Shafritz2, 1Environmental Defense Center 2Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District 3NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary jessica.morten@noaa.gov 4NOAA Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

   Shipping is vital to the global economy, but it comes with impacts on public health and the marine environment. In 2014, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, and the Environmental Defense Center launched a trial incentive program to slow ships down in the Santa Barbara Channel to reduce air pollution and protect endangered whales. The trial was based on existing successful ship speed reduction programs at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Seven global shipping companies participated in the effort and slowed 27 transits to 12 knots or less from July through November in the reduced speed zone, a time period coinciding with the busiest whale season and the prime period for high levels of ozone air pollution. The program resulted in emissions reductions of more than 16 tons of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides and approximately 500 metric tons of regional greenhouse gases--a more than 50 percent reduction from baseline emissions. The trial demonstrated the feasibility of such a VSR program and the willingness of shipping companies to participate in a voluntary, non-regulatory, non-port partnership, providing a solid foundation for rolling out a larger-scale program in 2016.

POTENTIAL FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) FOR ISLAND SURVEYS: A CASE STUDY FROM SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Leslie Bolick1*, Kimberly O’Connor2, Dawn Lawson3, and Nick Stroumtsos3, 1SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific leslie.bolick@navy.mil 2US Pacific Fleet Natural and Cultural Resources Program 3Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, Environmental Sciences and Applied Systems Branch, 53560 Hull Street San Diego, CA 92152-6310

   Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) provide remote sensing platforms that offer a number of benefits for conducting surveys on islands including rapid deployment, safe access to rugged and remote terrain and ultra-high spatial resolution imagery. UAS have seen expanded use in natural resources management in the last several years and rapid advances in technology continue to improve capabilities and reduce costs; however, there remain some challenges to broadly employing UAS. We present a case study from San Clemente Island, a US Navy training range with ten federally-listed endangered or threatened species regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Commander Pacific Fleet has initiated a UAS program in cooperation with SPAWAR SSC Pacific to support natural resources management on the island, where ground surveys are constrained by training activities, challenging terrain and unexploded ordnance. The first UAS missions were flown with the Aeryon Sky Ranger, a mini quadcopter equipped with an optical camera, tasked with collecting imagery across known locations of San Clemente Island Bush Mallow (Malacothamnus clementinus), a federally-listed endangered plant whose population status in the Shore Bombardment Area was unknown. We collected imagery at a range of altitudes to assess tradeoffs in data cost and utility, developed methods for efficient orthomosaic construction, and used ground control points to precisely co-register serial orthomosaics for fine-scale mapping and monitoring. We found that plant-level map accuracy is dependent on image spatial resolution, image quality and plant species, which should be considered when developing UAS missions to meet specific natural resources management objectives. We also present other examples of UAS-based surveys and some recent advances in technology that show promise for the expanded use of UAS for natural resources management in the near future.

GUADALUPE ISLAND BIOSPHERE RESERVE CONSERVATION

Donaxi Borjes Flores, Reserva de la Biosfera Isla Guadalupe. Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. México donaxi.borjes@conanp.gob.mx

   Guadalupe Island is the last frontier of Mexico at its western end, its volcanic origins and its distance from the mainland give it a unique biodiversity. Rooted 4,500 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean, this volcanic peak emerges 5,800 meters, in a privileged position, both for the establishment and development of numerous animal and plant species. The will of the Mexican government to recover and conserve the biodiversity of the island has been an arduous and commendable effort. On 25 April 2005, for the protection and conservation of Guadalupe Island, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources published a Decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation that declared the island, its islets and the surrounding marine area as a Natural Protected Area with the category of Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve are outstanding biogeographic areas at a National level, representative of one or more ecosystems that have not been significantly altered by the action of human beings or that need to be preserved or restored because they provide habitat for emblematic species of the national biodiversity, including those considered endemic, threatened or in danger of extinction. Since then, the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas, has carried out conservation and management measures that have helped the resilience of this protected area. Programs have been implemented to restore the only insular Guadalupe cypress forest (Cupressus guadalupensis), as well as monitoring programs for species such as the Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), species of pinnipeds and seabirds, which in turn have been accompanied by protective actions like enabling a feral cats fence excluder to protect the nesting colony of Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis). All this with active and inclusive participation of society, especially those whose livelihood and way of life are linked to the use of these resources.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE BEEN DE-LISTED! WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR CONSERVATION-RELIANT SPECIES? A CASE STUDY FROM THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Christina L. Boser, The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org

   The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is designed to provide protection for imperiled species and guidance for their recovery. Recovery Plans identify threats which should be ameliorated or removed before the Fish and Wildlife Service recommends de-listing from the federal endangered species list. Additionally, these plans can provide specific management recommendations to reduce threats. Increasingly, these recovery plans are incorporating metrics of population abundance, survivorship rates and population viability analyses to guide a quantitative assessment of the species’ path to recovery. In current era of climate change, proliferation of invasive species, and expanding habitat degradation, a greater number species are considered to be conservation-reliant; that is, they face continuing threats and require ongoing management to remain biologically viable. In practice, conservation-reliance alone is not an obstacle to de-listing. Moreover, island species may be inherently prone to conservation-reliance; they tend to have lower disease resistance, are inherently limited in their distribution, and tellingly, have higher historical extinction rates. We discuss a case study on the California Channel Islands where three sub-species of island fox may soon be de-listed. Conservation Management Agreements are in place, which dictate an additional 5 years of population management and monitoring. The recommendations are drawn from the Recovery Plan, which stipulated actions to reduce the impact of primary threats; disease introduction and predation. Island managers are facing the likelihood of vaccinating and radio-collaring foxes for the coming decades to protect the populations from mainland diseases and unexpected increases in mortality rates. This sustained management will draw significant resources without potential for federal funding that once existed when the foxes were listed. We suggest alternative paths for funding this management effort, and highlight the role of the California Endangered Species Act in the continued management of this conservation-reliant species.

CALIFORNIA ISLANDS BIOSECURITY WORKING GROUP: PRIORITIZING AND INSTITUTIONALIZING BIOSECURITY

Christina L. Boser1*, Tracy Hart2, Paula Power2, Bill Hoyer3, Melissa Booker3, Julie King4, Morgan Ball5, John Knapp1, and Kathryn R. Faulkner2, 1The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org 2The National Park Service 3The US Navy 4The Catalina Island Conservancy 5Wildlands Conservation Science.

   In 2012, island managers and conservation practitioners began a collaborative project to coordinate biosecurity efforts among the California Channel Islands and the Farallones. A jointly-written Biosecurity Program affirmed the group’s commitment to the institution and practice of biosecurity and prioritized actionable objectives, including proactive permitting, the development of educational materials, and biosecurity checks of boats departing to the islands. Participants recognized that the accidental establishment of some species to one island may facilitate their unwanted transport to neighboring islands and thus the fate of biosecurity on the Channel Islands is entwined. The managers affirmed that collaboration in the development and implementation of biosecurity protocols would reduce the likelihood of invasive species introduction and establishment while also economizing limited resources. The creation of a biosecurity manager was described as the most critical element to the success of the inter-island collaboration. Thus, the Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service and the US Navy collaborated to fund that position for the northern Channel Islands and San Nicolas Island. To date we have made significant progress in developing a first-of-its-kind proactive NEPA compliance document which will facilitate a quick response to a rat introduction, should it occur on one of the presently rat-free islands. The pre-approval by all stakeholders regarding a detailed decision tree which prescribes action steps in case of a rat introduction is paramount to the success of the document. We’ve also increased the use of remote cameras to detect incipient populations of invasive animals such that motion-sensing cameras are now placed on each of the Channel Islands. Future efforts will prioritize the development of educational materials and public outreach so as to create a culture of biosecurity on the California Islands.

Argentine Ant Eradication efforts on Santa Cruz and San Clemente Islands

Christina L Boser1*, Korie Merrill2*, David Holway3, Ida Naughton3, Cause Hanna4, Kate Faulkner5, John Randall1, and Scott Morrison1, 1The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego 3University of California San Diego 4California State University Channel Islands 5The National Park Service

   Established invasive invertebrates, such as Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), can have long-term and cascading adverse ecological impacts for native communities. In mediterranean ecosystems, they out-compete most native ant species and harm plants such that they interfere with pollination, reducing seed set. In 2013-2016 we developed and carried out a unique treatment protocol on four Argentine ant infestations on Santa Cruz Island, totaling 410 ha, and on eight infestations on San Clemente Island, totaling 225 ha. We used polyacrylamide beads, hydrated with 6 ppm thiamethoxam and 25% sucrose water distributed at a rate of 148 liters per hector via helicopter and hopper. Post-treatment efficacy and detection efforts thus far have included a combination of visual searching and attractive lures, both of which can be difficult to implement at such large scales. Additionally, Argentine ants are not reliably detected using these methods, even if they are present in the vicinity. Thus, we created an experimental design to determine the type of lure and micro-habitat placements that produces the greater probability of detection. We tested the impact of environmental co-variables (i.e. soil moisture, vegetation type, and seasonality) which may contribute to the effectiveness of Argentine ant lures. Post-treatment detection efforts will continue 2016-2020 throughout all treatment areas, aided by a fine-scale model of probability of detection and probability of persistence by vegetation type, and detection dogs. Ultimately this technique shows promise as an eradication tool. Further refinement of a post-treatment detection strategy and probabilistic modeling is needed to increase confidence in detection results while ensuring economic feasibility.

Culturing of biocrusts from San Nicolas Island: a feasibility study to determine ecological restoration potential

Matthew Bowker* and Kyle Doherty, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University matthew.bowker@nau.edu

   San Nicolas Island suffered catastrophic erosion due to historic livestock grazing. Some portions of the island remain in an actively eroding state. Nevertheless, the island is a habitat for multiple well-developed biological soil crust (biocrust) communities, often very distinct from those found on the mainland. Biocrusts are a consortium of cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens and other organisms. In drylands, biocrusts enhance soil quality by (1) aggregating soil particles, thereby reducing wind and water erosion; (2) modifying the water run-off infiltration balance, increasing infiltration in many cases; and (3) increasing soil fertility by N and C fixation. Our goal was to determine the feasibility of artificially growing biocrust organisms in a greenhouse setting. It is conceivable that just as native plants are cultivated for seed for restoration activities, biocrusts could be cultivated and used to address soil erosion, hydrological, or soil fertility problems in degraded ecosystems. We initially collected biocrust organisms from the field and cultured them on beds of sand in an automatically irrigated culture system. We experimentally crossed soil substrate, 4 watering regimes, and 3 fertilization regimes. Total biocrust cover in the best performing treatment attained 84.3%, from an initial cover of 15%. This was achieved by applying continuous (7 days per week) hydration, on soil sourced from San Nicolas Island, with at least monthly fertilization, and at least 3 months of growing time. It is also notable that in only 2 months, under the same growing conditions a lesser but still impressive amount of cover may be attained (66.1%). These results are promising enough to suggest that greenhouse culture should be further optimized, and greenhouse-grown inoculum should be tested in the field to control soil erosion and enhance ecosystem function.

INFLUENZA A VIRUS INFECTION IN CALIFORNIA PINNIPEDS

Walter M. Boyce1, Ignacio Mena2, Pamela K. Yochem3*, Frances M.D. Gulland4, Adolfo Garcı´a-Sastre2, Noelia Moreno2, Daniel R. Perez5, Ana S. Gonzalez-Reiche5, and Brent S Stewart6, 1Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA 2Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY 10029, USA 3Physiology and Ocean Health Program, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, CA 92109, USA 4The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA 5Department of VeterinaryMedicine, University of Maryland, College Park,MD20742, USA 6Ecology Program, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, CA 92109, USA

   Exposure to influenza A viruses in marine mammals was first recognized in the 1980s and has been detected in several marine mammal families in the U.S., including at least five seal species, two whale species, California sea lions, walrus, and sea otters. We have shown that three California pinniped species were exposed and produced antibodies to the highly contagious virus (Inflluenza A[H1N1]) associated with a human influenza outbreak in 2009. Although antibodies to the virus were detected in California sea lions and harbor seals, only northern elephant seals showed evidence of widespread transmission, maternal antibody transfer and rapid geographic spread.

SEABIRDS OF THE FARALLON ISLANDS: UPPER TROPHIC LEVEL RESPONSES TO VARIABILITY IN OCEAN CONDITIONS OFF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Russell Bradley1*, Pete Warzybok1, Gerry McChesney2, Jan Roletto3, Danielle Lipski4, and Jaime Jahncke1, 1Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive, #11, Petaluma, CA, USA rbardley@pointblue.org 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA, USA 3Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA 4Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA, USA

   Point Blue Conservation Science has been continuously monitoring the abundance, phenology, productivity and diet of marine birds breeding on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles west of San Francisco, since 1971 in collaboration with the USFWS. The Farallon Islands host the largest seabird breeding colony in the contiguous United States, with nearly 400,000 breeding birds of 13 species. Our work seeks to protect and conserve the rich wildlife on the islands in the face of accelerating impacts from changes in climate and other human stressors, utilizing both near-term and long‐term data to detect changes, project future ecological responses and guide adaptive, climate-smart management strategies. Warm PDO regimes and El Niño events have typically resulted in decreased populations, delayed breeding, low productivity, and major changes in diet of studied species. Major population recoveries for some species have been observed in the last 2 decades (e.g. Common Murre and Rhinoceros Auklet) while other species have shown marked declines, likely driven by foraging conditions (e.g. Brandt’s Cormorants). Changing ocean conditions and seabird diets drive changes in productivity and breeding phenology. Variable conditions in the past decade have shown unique seabird responses to ecosystem changes. Putting our colony based work into the broader regional marine context, Point Blue has collaborated with the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries since 2004 to conduct at-sea surveys to assess oceanographic processes, and the abundance of mid- and high-trophic levels off central California. Warm ocean periods in 2005-06 and 2014-15 were associated with lower zooplankton abundance, lower abundance of lipid-rich copepods and krill, and increased abundance of gelatinous zooplankton.

Connecting to Marine Science Across the Santa Barbara Channel

Todd J. Braje1*, Jillian Maloney1, David Ball2, Loren Davis3, Neal Driscoll4, Jenifer Dugan5, Jon M. Erlandson6, Amy Gusick7, Mark Page5, Robert Miller5, Leslie L. Reeder-Myers8, Alex Nyers9, and Donna Schroeder2, 1San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology tbraje@mail.sdsu.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 3Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology 4University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 5University of California, Santa Barbara, Marine Science Institute 6University of Oregon, The Museum of Natural & Cultural History 7California State University, San Bernardino, Department of Anthropology 8Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 9Northwest Archaeometrics, LLC

   Recent archaeological discoveries from Alaska to Oregon, southern California, and Chile suggest that Pacific coastlines were centers of travel, subsistence, and settlement for at least 14,000 years. Some of the earliest sites in the New World are located near the coast, contain evidence of coastal exploitation, and were likely first settled by maritime groups who traveled along the margins of the North Pacific Rim. Unfortunately, there currently is no scientific standardized “best practices” methodology for identifying submerged relict landscapes off the west coast. As part of an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional effort to document the submerged landscapes of the Pacific Coast and identify indicators of submerged archaeological and biological resources, we recently began the second year of a four-year project to map paleoshorelines, characterize the geology of submerged landscapes, identify intact paleosols, assess important biological features, build a predictive GIS model for the identification of potential submerged archaeological and biological sites, and ground-truth our results. Here, we report on our recent GIS modeling outputs, terrestrial archaeological surveys, geophysical mapping, and geo-technical sampling for the Northern Channel Islands.

INFLUENCE OF PREDATION AND CHICK PROVISIONING ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1 and Eduardo Iñigo-Elías2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. esmeralda.bravo@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

   The Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia; CATE) population on the Pacific Coast is currently expanding its distribution, and breeds on San Martín and San Jerónimo islands, off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. As part of an ongoing long-term seabird restoration project on seven island groups within this California Current region, we have monitored the reproductive success of CATE colonies on both San Martín and San Jerónimo islands during the last three years. We assessed the influence of predation from the nesting Western Gull (Larus occidentalis), chick provisioning, and diet on the reproductive performance of CATE on San Martín. At this island, CATE has been more productive and numerous (around 120 nests) than the colony at San Jerónimo (less than 30 nests) over the period. Although CATE colony on San Martín is completely surrounded by gulls, we found that the probability of losing eggs and chicks due to gulls’ predation is low. Some ethological strategies, such as defensive behavior, makes it difficult to prey upon terns. On San Martín, adults had a high frequency of food provisioning with fish from the groups Clupeidae, Engraulidae, and Synodontidae, allowing CATE to produce two fledglings per breeding pair. These results suggest that the colony at San Martín is well established and growing, with its high reproductive success associated to the suitable habitat and high food availability in the surrounding productive waters

SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND MARINE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

Jessica Bredvik1* and Suzanne Graham2, 1Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest jessica.bredvik@navy.mil 2SPAWAR Systems Center Command Pacific

   Throughout the United States, the highest density of federally protected species is found within Department of Defense lands. Resource managers are tasked with protecting those numerous sensitive species and habitats while maintaining the military mission. One of the primary management tools for military installations is the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan. Until recently, most coastal installations with Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans did not include the adjacent nearshore waters in the management boundary. San Clemente Island, the most southern of the Channel Islands, has been owned and managed by the Navy since 1934. The island boasts productive and diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with several endemic and federally listed species. Recently, the management boundaries of San Clemente Island were extended out 3 nautical miles seaward with the implementation of eight safety zones around the island. Within the structure of the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan, the San Clemente Island marine resource program focuses on monitoring sensitive and listed marine species and the intertidal and subtidal ecosystems they inhabit. One of many goals of the marine program is to build collaborations and participate in regional efforts to most effectively manage the resources on San Clemente Island. As a result, researchers have provided valuable information regarding the population status and habitat requirements of the endangered black and white abalone. Additional regional collaborations with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network allow for comparisons of temporal trends of the rocky intertidal habitat, including the investigation of the onset of the 2013 sea star wasting disease. With participation in the California regional eelgrass monitoring program, San Clemente Island was the first of the Channel Islands to conduct comprehensive eelgrass surveys. This collaborative focus has allowed natural resource staff to build a program that covers the recent vast expansion of the San Clemente Island management boundary.

COMPLEXITIES OF CONDUCTING FIRE RELATED RESEARCH CONCERNING ENDANGERED SPECIES ON SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Teresa Brennan1*, Jon Keeley1, and Dawn Lawson2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Field Station, Three Rivers, CA 93271 tjbrennan@usgs.gov 2Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, Environmental Sciences and Applied Systems Branch, 53560 Hull Street San Diego, CA 92152-6310

   San Clemente Island, which shares many of the same attributes as the other California Channel Islands, is unique in that it is subjected to an unnaturally high frequency of wildfire due to its use as a military training ground. This high frequency of fires coupled with a century of overgrazing by non-native herbivores has profoundly affected the balance between native and non-native vegetation and is of particular concern in the management of a number of endangered species. The aim of our research was to provide information necessary to understand the potential impact of fires on the recovery of boxthorn scrub vegetation, which is critical habitat for a number of endangered animal species, as well as on the impacts of fire on three federally listed plant species (Sibaria filifolia, Malacothamnus clementinus, and Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense) found within various ecosystems on the island. Our initial study designs relied heavily on the use of prescribed fire to study these impacts; however, the constraints of working with endangered species forced us to significantly alter these designs. While we were unable to burn intact boxthorn scrub to assess the impact of fire on the entire community, we were able to assess the recovery of Lycium californicum, the dominant shrub, from burns conducted in highly degraded scrub. Our results showed that this species recovers from fire by vigorous resprouting but not post-fire seeding. We were also unable to study the direct impacts of fire on the three federally listed plant species due to their status, so we turned to seed germination experiments to evaluate how they would respond to heat shock and smoke. Results from these experiments were consistent with patterns expected based on life-history studies of other species in fire-prone ecosystems and thus provided information of how these species might be impacted by fire.

PEST ANIMALS INVADING ISLANDS IN NEW ZEALAND WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?

Keith Broome, Euan Kennedy Department of Conservation New Zealand kbroome@doc.govt.nz

   We Kiwis excel at eliminating pests from islands. Our pests seem to excel at getting back there. Recurrent incursions have a number of explanations. We are now eradicating pests from islands with high rates of visitation or within easier reach of mainland sources of infestation. These vulnerabilities are compounded by inadequate quarantine for visitors. Pests are also swimming further than we have anticipated, and some novel pathways have materialized in recent times. To sustain eradication pay-offs, we must be alert to all likely invasion pathways for new and familiar organisms. We need to improve our conventional tactics of prevention, detection and rapid response. New tools are tantalizingly close but won’t be realized without concerted institutional support. Current initiatives in biosecurity awareness and collective knowledge are striving for better public outreach. In these ways, defense of our vulnerable islands is teaching us how to normalize biosecurity consciousness at home on the mainland and sustain pest-free sites there too.

BATS OF THE CALIFORNIA ISLANDS: NEW RECORDS SINCE 1978

Patricia Brown1* and William Rainey2, 1UCLA, Integrative Biology & Physiology (retired) patbobbat@aol.com 2U C Berkeley, Dept of Integrative Biology

   The current paper reviews new bat records over the past 40 years from the California Islands. A presentation on “Land mammals of the California Islands” including bats was given by von Bloeker at the First California Islands Symposium in 1967. Additional bat surveys by P. Brown in the 1970s resulted in “The distribution of bats of the California Channel Islands” at the Second Symposium in 1978. Methods of detecting and identifying bats have changed over the past 6 decades. Collections for museums using shotguns have been replaced by mist-netting and recordings of echolocation calls. Not only has the recording equipment become smaller and easier to use in the field, but also identification of bats via acoustic signals has become recognized as valid “vouchers” for bat identification if the species in question emits calls that are not confused with others. For example, echolocation signals have identified western mastiff bat (Eumops perotis) from Santa Cruz Island; and red bat (Lasiurius blossevillei), hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) and Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) from San Nicolas Island. 

THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF ISLAND RANCHING: ENGAGING STUDENTS THROUGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICE LEARNING ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Courtney Buchanan1*, Colleen Delaney2, and Jennifer Perry2, 1California State University Fullerton courtneyhbuchanan@gmail.com 2California State University Channel Islands

   On Santa Rosa Island, archaeological evidence of human occupation stretches from more than 12,000 years ago to the last ranchers to occupy the island in the late 20th century. The cultural resources of Bechers Bay are particularly significant due to the time depth and intensity of habitation and use, including it being the location of the main operations of the Vail and Vickers Ranch. The needs and opportunities for archaeological projects have intensified as a result of increased visitation to the island by tourists, researchers, students, and others who spend much of their time at Bechers Bay and in the immediate plateau surroundings. Since 2014, the Anthropology Program at California State University, Channel Islands (CI) has been conducting weekend field trips to document and record the historic and archaeological resources of the Vail and Vickers Ranch. These trips have given students hands-on authentic learning experiences with heritage preservation and management issues, as well as provided the basis for several Anthropology senior capstone projects. The 2016 Archaeological Field School, spanning two weeks of fieldwork on Santa Rosa Island, represents the culmination of service learning and collaboration opportunities between CI’s Anthropology Program and Channel Islands National Park. Field-based instructional activities train students in ‘best practices’ in archaeological methods, and students provide information that assists the National Park Service in managing cultural resources on the island. In this presentation, we report on activities undertaken from May 2014 to July 2016, with a summary of recent and current student research stemming from our fieldwork, and present the opportunities for future student involvement in the documentation, assessment, and interpretation of cultural resources around Bechers Bay. In doing so, we highlight the unique nature of island ranching life and its relevance to the Euro-American history of the American West.

CORAL ABRADERS FROM ESPÍRITU SANTO ISLAND: EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND RESIDUE ANALYSIS

Karim Bulhusen Muñoz1* and Ariel Cruz Villacorta2, 1Centro Regional INAH, B.C.S. karimbulhusen@gmail.com 2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste

   Excavations at the J17 Covacha Babisuri site on Espíritu Santo Island, where the occupation started in the Late Pleistocene and continued to the Late Holocene, yielded a distinctive type of artifact made of coral. This kind of artifact, identified as an abrader, occurs in three general forms derived mainly from the original shape of the coral but also from its use. Although corals have not been directly dated, the evidence of its use at this site spans between 10,000-300 years B.P. This type of coral abrader has been found at two other coastal sites in the La Paz area so far: the A119 Cañada de la Enfermería Sureste 3 and A176 Cueva Tecolote 2. The 14C dating is not yet available for the first site and the coral abrader from the second site was found in a disturbed context. In these three sites these abraders seemed to be associated with Pinctada mazatlanica shell fish hooks. Experimentation was done in order to determine the manufacture process of shell fish hooks, using different shapes of coral abraders. In addition, residue analysis of archaeological coral samples was carried out using a scanning electron microscope equipped for X-ray analysis.

BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Ann Scarborough Bull, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ann.bull@boem.gov

   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a small agency within the much larger U.S. Department of the Interior that has specified jurisdiction over the Outer Continental Shelf. The term "Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)” by law refers to all submerged land, its subsoil and seabed that belong to the United States and are lying seaward and outside the states' jurisdiction. The Pacific Region of the OCS stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border and includes the area around the State of Hawaii. BOEM Pacific Region’s responsibility encompasses ongoing oil and gas operations, renewable energy development from both wave and wind energy, and mineral leasing, especially for sand. The Environmental Studies Program (ESP) was initiated in 1973 to support the U.S. offshore leasing program, and develops, conducts and oversees scientific research to inform decisions regarding OCS energy and mineral resources. Laws that authorize BOEM science include the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which added studies specifically for renewable energy. The BOEM ESP provides information needed to help predict, assess, and manage impacts from offshore energy and marine mineral exploration, development, and production activities on the human, marine, and coastal environments. Studies are designed to provide an improved understanding of the ecosystem, a baseline for assessing cumulative effects, and the scientific basis for development of regulatory measures to mitigate adverse impacts. Each year, BOEM’s ESP funds roughly $35M of research in a broad spectrum of scientific investigation. Research covers physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, protected species, social sciences and economics, submerged cultural resources, and environmental fates and effects. BOEM is a leading contributor to the growing body of scientific knowledge about the nation’s marine and coastal environment.

WILL CRABS CROSS THE LINE? EFFECT OF EMF ON CRAB CHOICE IN RESPONSE TO BAITED COMMERCIAL HARVEST

Ann Scarborough Bull1* and Mary M. Nishimoto2, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ann.bull@boem.gov 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   Offshore renewable energy installations convert wave or wind energy to electricity and transfer the power to shore through transmission cables laid on or buried beneath the seafloor. West coast commercial fishermen, who harvest the highly prized Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) and rock crab (Cancer spp.), are concerned that the interface of crabs and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from these cables will present an electrified fence on the seafloor that their targeted resource will not cross. Combined with the assistance of professional fishermen, submarine transmission cables that electrify island communities and offshore oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel provide an opportunity to test the harvest of crab species across power transmission cables. In situ field techniques give commercial crab species a choice to decide if they will cross energized, EMF emitting, power transmission cables, in response to baited traps. Each independent trial is either one of two possible responses: the crab crosses the cable to enter a trap (1) or the crab does not cross the cable to enter a trap (0). Conditions vary among sample units by the following categorical, fixed factors (i.e., covariates) of cable structure (buried or unburied); direction of cable from cable position (west or east, north or south); time and season. A generalized linear model is fit to the data to determine whether any of these factors affect the probability of crabs crossing an energized cable to enter baited traps. Additionally, the experimental design, aside from the number of runs (set of sample trials) and the dates of the runs, is the same in the Santa Barbara Channel for rock crab and Puget Sound for Dungeness crab, and allows us to compare the capture rates of the two species in the two areas. We present results from field testing in 2015.

MAPPING THE UNKNOWN: ESTABLISHING SEAFLOOR MAPPING PRIORITIES THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Chris Caldow1*, Laura Kracker2, Tim Battista2, and Ryan Freedman1, 1NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary chris.caldow@noaa.gov 2NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

   Place-based fisheries and coastal zone managers depend on fine scale bathymetry and habitat maps for an array of critical decisions including: navigational safety, disaster response, endangered species and fisheries management, conservation, research, energy development, and marine planning. Yet, in southern California nearly 90% of U.S. waters remain unmapped at an appropriate resolution. Within NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) that number is over 50% with the majority being characterized by single beam and lead line data from the 1930s. With management requirements necessitating seafloor data for this ecologically and economically critical area, an inclusive and strategic path forward was demanded. Toward this end, the southern California seafloor mapping initiative was kicked off in August of 2015. Organized by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and CINMS, a workshop was held in Santa Barbara, CA that included participation from seventeen federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs. Regional priorities and requirements were captured spatially using an innovative participatory GIS approach. In addition to the sanctuary itself, other areas including the Santa Monica Basin, unmapped Essential Fish Habitat, deep canyons and the nearshore white zone were identified as important data gaps. This synthesis of agency needs is now being utilized to prioritize future data acquisition efforts.

PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SUBSPECIES OF THE LEACH’S STORM-PETREL (OCEANODROMA LEUCORHOA) BREEDING ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Ana Gabriel Cárdenas-Tapia1,2*, Faustino Camarena-Rosales2, Luis Manuel-Enríquez Paredes2, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 ana.cardenas@islas.org.mx 2Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico 22800

   The Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa; LESP) is the most widespread breeding species of the order Procellariiformes in the Northern Hemisphere. On Guadalupe Island, in the Mexican Pacific, the American Ornithologist’s Union recognizes two subspecies of LESP based on differences in reproductive chronology, patterns of coloration, vocalizations, and morphological characters. This subspecies level assignment has been controversial and even some authors regard them as two species. In order to provide elements to solve this issue, we have incorporated molecular tools that allow establishing whether there are genetic differences between these groups. We collected blood samples from both subspecies during 2014 to 2016 breeding seasons, as well as from the other storm-petrel species breeding on the Baja California Pacific islands, Mexico. Phylogenetic relationships were established based on sequence variation of mitochondrial DNA control region (361 bp) using Neighbor-Joining clustering method. Preliminary results indicate a genetic distance of 12-13% between recognized species. LESP individuals from Guadalupe Island form a monophyletic clade with a support of 100% (1000 replicates per boostrap). A very small genetic distance between subspecies (0.3-0.6%) indicate they could be conspecific. Our results do not elevate the two subspecies at species level and further analysis will confirm whether the subspecies should be considered as a single species.

BIOGEOGRAPHY OF VASCULAR AND NON-VASCULAR PLANTS ACROSS THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Benjamin Carter1* and C. Matt Guilliams2, 1San Jose State University benjamin.carter@sjsu.edu 2Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

   Vascular and non-vascular plants have strikingly divergent life histories, physiological constraints and dispersal strategies that can lead to different biogeographic patterns. We use recent improvements to our understanding of the vascular and non-vascular floras of the Channel Islands to demonstrate where these two components of island floras share commonalities and in which cases they differ. We used a variety of analyses including regressions, clustering analyses and ordinations to understand the effects of geographic factors (e.g. island size, distance from mainland, distance from other islands) on both richness and composition of the vascular and non-vascular floras across the archipelago. We found broad similarities between the floras, especially with respect to the influence of island size. There were also key differences, especially with regard to distance among islands that relates to the different dispersal strategies of the two groups. We place our findings on the similarities and differences in the floras within the context of the continuing recovery of island vegetation and the escalating influence of climatic change.

TECTONIC GEOMORPHOLOGY AND MEGAFLOODS ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Bruce Carter, bacarter1@mac.com

   Santa Cruz Island, the largest of California’s Channel Islands, is undergoing rapid uplift that makes its steep slopes highly susceptible to mass wasting. Two major prehistoric occurrences, perhaps seismically-triggered, in the Central Valley (a bedrock slump west of the field station and a rock avalanche on the east end of the valley) have directed the drainage down Canada del Puerto to Prisoners’ Harbor following the base of an ancient beach cliff. This drainage of slightly more than 30 square kilometers and elevations to 740 m has cut downward 200-300 meters through resistant volcanic rocks since this course was established. At Cascada the slump diverted the drainage northward out of the east-west Santa Cruz Island fault zone (left-lateral, north-side up) that bisects the island, but rubble that must have once blocked the valley below the slump is now absent. An older, partially buried channel, lying about 100 m to the north and up to 15 m above the modern channel, can be traced for about 1300 m along the northern part of the valley below the slump. The older channel marks the northern edge of the slump rubble that once filled the valley. Initiated by debris flows off the high ridge north of the fault, a more recent megaflood removed in excess of 10 million cubic meters of debris from the valley floor. The flood carried this material down Canada del Puerto, leaving many large boulders (some exceeding 100 tons) along about 700 m of the upper stream course. The flood produced a significant stream capture and strongly suggests that bedrock plucking is responsible for the downcutting of the canyon. This flood/debris flow event is likely to have left a large deposit in the Santa Barbara Channel north of the island.

TOP-DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP EFFECTS ON RESISTANCE TO AN INVASIVE ALGAE IN A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Jennifer E. Caselle1, Katie Davis1*, Lindsay M. Marks2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of CA Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA USA. kdavis@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of CA Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA USA

   Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often purported to provide ecosystem resilience but what this means for temperate rocky reefs and kelp forests is unclear and direct evidence for resilience is lacking. In 2003, a non-native macroalga, Sargassum horneri was introduced into southern California and has since spread throughout the region. Southern California is also the location of a large network of MPAs. Using a long-term kelp forest monitoring dataset, we investigated the effects of predators (lobster and fish), grazers (urchins) and native algae (macro- and turfs) on the abundance of the invasive S. horneri across an MPA with adjacent zones of varying age and types of protection. Two zones are 39 and 14 years old and are no-take reserves. A third zone is also 14 years old but allows both commercial and recreational take of spiny lobster. We also studied a fished reference area. In the oldest no-take zone, we found that community structure was consistent with a classical ‘top-down’ food web. Predators were abundant and large, urchins were rare, native macroalgae were abundant and the invasive S. horneri was at very low density. In the newer no-take and partial-take zones, results were complex but on average, predator and native macroalgae density was lower, urchin density was higher and invasive S. horneri density was high. The fished reference area was an urchin barrens; devoid of predators, native macroalgae and invasive algae. Our results show that an established, no-take reserve with a healthy kelp forest community appears to be resistant to the invasion of a non-native algae.

EVIDENCE OF PREHISTORIC EXOTIC TRADE BETWEEN THE NORTHERN COLORADO DESERT AND COASTAL CALIFORNIA

Jim Cassidy, California State Parks, Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area jim.cassidy@parks.ca.gov

   Research into the late prehistoric infillings of Lake Cahuilla in the northern Colorado Desert has been ongoing for over half a century. A great deal of attention has been paid to the related movement of people from the Gulf of California into the Salton Trough. However, less attention has been given to ongoing relations that existed with populations to the west and extending to the California coast and Channel Islands. Recent surveys conducted at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area have yielded new evidence of interaction with these maritime regions. These new data suggest that spheres of interaction and mechanisms of social complexity, and related social hierarchy, may have been more developed that previously assumed.

PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE SCRUB PLANT COMMUNITY ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Martha Lizeth Ceceña-Sánchez1*, José Delgadillo-Rodríguez2, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz3, and Luciana Luna-Mendoza3, 1Maestría en Ecosistemas de Zonas Áridas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 22830, Ensenada, Baja California, México martha_ardilla@hotmail.com 2Herbario BCMEX, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 22830, Ensenada, Baja California, México 3Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alicia.aztorga@islas.org.mx

   This is the first phytosociological study of the scrub plant community present on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. A total of 133 inventories were done using the phytosociological method from Braun-Blanquet. Five associations—four of them endemic to the island—and their successional stages were identified: (1) Sphaeralcea sulphureaPerityle incana; (2) Sphaeralcea sulphureaLupinus niveus; (3) Atriplex barclayanaLycium californicum; (4) Sphaeralcea palmeriSphaeralcea sulphurea; and (5) Ambrosia camphorataAtriplex barclayana; plus a vegetal sub-association, Deinandra greeneana ssp. greeneana-Sphaeralcea palmeri. We provide a description of the structural, ecological and floristic aspects of each association, as well as their successional stage. To classify the vegetation, a cluster analysis was done using the Jaccard index, which identified the similarity between communities. The results indicated the formation of two main groups, one in the north and one in the south. A total of 75 taxa in 30 families and 55 genera were identified in the scrub plant community: 30 perennial subshrubs, 43 herbaceous, and two geophytes. The families Asteraceae (14 taxa) and Fabaceae (8 taxa) had the greatest richness of native species on the sampled sites. Our analysis indicates that there is a positive homeostatic or resilient response of the island’s original plant communities following the eradication of feral goats.

BURROWING OWL DIET AT A MIGRATORY STOPOVER SITE AND WINTERING GROUND ON SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Sara L. Chandler*, James R. Tietz2, Russell W. Bradley2, and Lynne A. Trulio, 1San Jose State University saraleechandler@gmail.com 2Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive, #11, Petaluma, CA

   On the Farallon Islands, Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are a native migrant and predator of the non-native house mouse (Mus musculus) and the native Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa). Previous research has shown that Burrowing Owl predation on Ashy Storm-Petrels is likely unnaturally exacerbated by the abundance of house mouse prey in the fall, which may encourage more owls to overwinter. When the cyclic mouse population crashes in winter, the owls switch to preying upon the storm-petrels, a species of conservation concern. From September 2010 to May 2011, we conducted daily owl surveys and a diet study of Burrowing Owls on Southeast Farallon Island. One goal was to document seasonal changes in Burrowing Owl diet composition through assessment of pellets. During our study period, 12 banded owls overwintered an average of 118 days and contributed 64% of the 679 analyzed owl pellets. Insects were the most numerous prey item detected in pellets, but mice and storm-petrels comprised 98.5% of the total prey biomass in the diet. Mouse consumption correlated positively with mouse abundance, and owls exhibited seasonal prey switching behavior from mice to storm-petrels, when mouse abundance declined during the winter. These findings suggest that a mouse eradication on the Farallon Islands would result in fewer owls overwintering and subsequently reduce impacts to the storm-petrel population.

NEW ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS WEBSITE—A RESOURCE FOR STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND RESEARCHERS

Elizabeth Chapin1, Susan Chapin2, Yvonne Menard3, Susan L. Morris4, Carol Peterson5*, and Sara L. Schwebel6, 1National Park Service 2Ventura Unified School District (retired) 3National Park Service 4Susan L. Morris Consulting 5National Park Service (retired) cpeterson93023@gmail.com 6University of South Carolina

   A new website on NPS.gov takes students, teachers, and researchers beyond Island of the Blue Dolphins to connect them to the real places, historical events, primary and secondary source materials, and exciting new archeological discoveries relating to the true events that inspired Scott O’Dell to write the book. Island of the Blue Dolphins has been translated into over 30 languages. It is the sixth bestselling children’s paperback of all time and is arguably the most widely taught piece of historical fiction in the United States. This website contains a digital archive and other features of interest to researchers. Archeologists and historians who’ve contributed to the project’s development anticipate it will be the go-to site for research on the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. Dr. Sara Schwebel of the University of South Carolina developed the archive in conjunction with the publication of her new book, Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader’s Edition. It collects, transcribes, annotates, and maps more than 450 nineteenth- and twentieth-century documents relevant to the Lone Woman’s story. The archive presents both a digital surrogate of each document and an annotated transcription. Each document is marked up using the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) to encode all named persons, geographical places, and groups, as well as cultural tropes such as the Lone Woman figuring as a “girl Robinson Crusoe” and as “the last of her tribe.” The multimedia gallery collects historical images, photos, and videos, including short clips developed from footage shot for the documentary “West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Islands.” Activities and lessons included on the website are aligned to the Common Core State Standards; College, Career, and Civic (C3) Life Framework for Social Studies; and the Next Generation Science Standards.

CHARACTERIZATION OF SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND SEEDBANKS

Richard Chasey1, Barbara Holzman1*, Ellen Hines1, Brian Petersen2, and V. Thomas Parker2, 1SF State University Department of Geography & Environment bholzman@sfsu.edu, 2SF State University, Department of Biology

   Characterization of soil seed banks (‘seed banks’ hereafter) are important to increased understanding of the vegetation communities and can shed light on their true diversity as well as their response to and recovery from disturbance. These factors help guide effective environmental management, especially in disturbed ecosystems. We performed the first characterization of the seed banks on Southeast Farallon Island, assessing species richness, density, distribution, and temporal variation, and through these the status of native and non-native seed banks on the island. These were compared with the above-ground vegetation in order to reveal patterns within and between the above- and below ground assemblages. Results show that the seed banks and above-ground vegetation were heavily impacted by non-native species in richness, density, and cover, although native species remain present and widespread in both systems. Seasonal variation characteristic of Mediterranean annual vegetation communities was exhibited in both the seed banks and above-ground vegetation, although no yearly variation was detected. Results suggest the existence of a largely homogenous seed bank across the island, of which the annual expression in the above-ground vegetation is dependent upon numerous factors including disturbance, environmental factors, germination cues, and seed input from previous seasons. By revealing a widespread and robust presence of native seeds in the seed banks, this study can help guide effective restoration of native vegetation on SEFI and provide a baseline dataset that future studies can use to assess impacts of ongoing and proposed management actions on Southeast Farallon Island and other temperate island ecosystems.

 

 

LATE PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE AVIFAUNA ON SAN MIGUEL AND SANTA ROSA ISLANDS: REEXAMINATION OF SMALL AVIAN REMAINS FROM FOSSIL SITES AND PREHISTORIC CAVE DEPOSITS

Paul W. Collins1*, Dan A. Guthrie2, Emily L. Whistler3, Rene L. Vellanoweth4, and Jon M. Erlandson5, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History pcollins@sbnature2.org 2The Claremont Colleges 3Washington State University 4California State University Los Angeles 5University of Oregon

   Previous studies of the fossil avifauna on the northern Channel Islands have focused principally on identification of larger-sized and more intact avian bone with little effort expended to identify smaller and/or more fragmented Passerine and non-Passerine landbird bone. We report on the revaluation and identification of most small avian remains recovered from 29 fossil sites on San Miguel and Santa Rosa islands and from trans-Holocene archaeological and paleontological deposits excavated from Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) and Daisy Cave (CA-SMI-261). Identification of these small avian remains added 60 species to the fossil avifauna of the islands bringing the total to 138 species. Most of the new species records for this fossil avifauna were from the orders Passeriformes (34 species) and Charadriiformes (13 species). The fossil passerine fauna is comprised of 41 species with most species recorded today as common spring and fall migrants or winter visitors. Ten passerine species identified in the fossil record are known to breed today on the islands while three species have disappeared as breeders from one or both of the islands. Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis) bone was identified from three cave deposits on San Miguel and from one fossil site on Santa Rosa which documents for the first time the Holocene occurrence of this species on both islands. Juvenile Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) bone and multiple bones of Bewick’s Wrens (Thryomanes bewickii) were recovered from several sites on San Miguel suggesting that both species were probably resident prehistorically on San Miguel. The disappearance of resident populations of these three species from San Miguel Island is probably a result of the prehistoric disappearance of pine and oak woodlands for Island Scrub-Jay and the historical decline of dense scrub habitats as a result of overgrazing by introduced livestock.

BREEDING AVIFAUNAL CHANGE ON CALIFORNIA'S CHANNEL ISLANDS FOLLOWING ARCHIPELAGO-WIDE CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Paul Collins1*, H. Lee Jones2, Tyler M. Dvorak3, and Justyn T. Stahl4, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History pcollins@sbnature2.org 2Punta Gorda, Beliz 3Catalina Island Conservancy 4Institute for Wildlife Studies

   Intensive conservation efforts on the Channel Islands during the past half century to control or remove feral herbivores and nonnative predators, such as rats and cats, have facilitated the recovery of habitats adversely affected by overgrazing and predation. As a result, habitat conditions for the islands’ breeding avifauna have improved. Additionally, some species that either declined or disappeared as breeders from the islands as a result of DDT contamination have returned or been reintroduced following the decline of this contaminant in waters of the southern California Bight. In response to these conservation efforts, ecosystems on the islands are changing, resulting in corresponding changes to the breeding avifauna of the islands. We review and update information on the breeding avifauna of the islands and discuss the factors that have led to changes in this fauna. In all, we can account for 107 species that have nested or are suspected to have nested on the Channel Islands (32 aquatic/marine species and 75 terrestrial species). Conservation programs have resulted in the removal of Golden Eagles, Wild Turkeys, and Common Peafowl from the islands and the reestablishment of Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles. Twenty-six species have been confirmed nesting or are suspected to have nested for the first time on one or more of the Channel Islands, including 3 species of waterfowl, 1 grebe, 1 heron, 1 eagle, 2 hawks, 1 rail, 1 shorebird, 3 seabirds, 1 dove, 1 owl, and 11 passerines. This update of the breeding avifauna of the islands includes a total of 150 island-specific changes in the breeding distribution and status of birds recorded nesting on the Channel Islands. New confirmed breeding records for individual islands ranged from a low of 5 on San Miguel to a high of 14 and 15 on San Clemente and Santa Catalina, respectively.

ISLAND FOXES AND DROUGHT: A TALE OF TWO ISLANDS

Timothy J. Coonan1* and Angela Guglielmino2, 1Friends of the Island Fox timcoonan81@gmail.com 2University of California, Los Angeles

   Management of rare species through the impending impacts of global climate change will require information on how individual species are affected by climatic factors, yet few data exist for such species. Four of six subspecies of island fox (Urocyon littoralis) were Federally listed as endangered in 2004, and several have been the subject of intense demographic study since the 1990s. We used demographic data from island fox studies on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Island to investigate island fox response to the recent and ongoing intense drought in southern California. When the drought began in 2011, island foxes existed at high densities, perhaps close to carrying capacity, on the smaller San Miguel Island (38 km2) than they did on the larger Santa Rosa Island (215 km2). On San Miguel, island fox annual survival declined over the period of the drought, as did average adult weight, and the adult population declined by the end of the 4-year period. Reproductive effort (pups/adult female) on San Miguel declined to the lowest levels ever recorded, and was largely responsible for the population decline. Most island fox carcasses recovered during annual radiotelemetry monitoring were emaciated, and many had high infestation by an acanthocephalan parasite not previously seen in island foxes. In contrast, on Santa Rosa Island fox survival, average adult weight and reproductive effort did not decline, and the population increased during the drought. Although island foxes have endured intense drought before, their naturally small population sizes and vulnerability to pathogens require land managers to continue annual monitoring of this rare carnivore, and to retain the ability to implement conservation measures should populations again fall to unacceptably low numbers.

IMPROVING MANAGEMENT OF AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES USING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH: THE CASE OF ASIAN KELP CONTROL

Carolynn Culver1,2*, Marissa Bills2, and Jeffrey Goddard2, 1California Sea Grant Extension, University of California San Diego c_culver@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   Integrated pest management is an approach widely used for successful eradication and control of agricultural pests, yet it has been little applied to aquatic invasive species. It calls for targeting multiple life stages of a pest using one or more tactics in an adaptive manner. Tactics include chemical, biological, physical/mechanical and cultural methods, with the less benign methods applied sparingly. Asian kelp, Undaria pinnatifida, is an invasive seaweed threatening the structure and ecology of native marine ecosystems. Primarily contained within harbors in California since 2000, it recently was found at Anacapa Island. Removal of this species by hand has been a control method used with limited success. To increase the success of Asian kelp control efforts, we explored potential components of an integrated pest management strategy. We surveyed Santa Barbara harbor for its presence and compared the distribution with previous surveys to determine whether abundance varied within the harbor over time. Filter-feeding mussels (Mytilus spp.) also were surveyed, grazing limpets (Lottia fenestrata) were manipulated, and consumption of Asian kelp by the native kelp crab (Pugettia producta) was assessed in the laboratory and field to evaluate their potential use as biocontrol agents. Our results revealed that 1) certain areas within the harbor consistently support a larger abundance of Asian kelp than other areas, thereby identifying ‘hot spots’ to apply control measures, 2) mussels and limpets are not effective biological control agents for Asian kelp, and 3) kelp crabs may be a viable site-specific control agent for this invader. Additional studies are needed to refine this work, explore other potential tactics (e.g., benthic mats), modify removal methods, identify effective outreach, and combine tactics in a strategy feasible for managing this invasive kelp in various habitats. Applying additional tactics would likely enhance the success of removal programs and overall control of U. pinnatifida.

THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS: A BLOOMING HOT SPOT?

Carolynn Culver1,2*, Gregg Langlois3, and Sarah Amiri2, 1California Sea Grant c_culver@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara 3California Department of Public Health

   Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are natural events that impact commercially- and recreationally- caught marine species. In particular, domoic acid (DA), a toxin produced by species of the diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, accumulates in bivalves and filter-feeding fishes and is subsequently transmitted through food chains to predatory invertebrates, fishes, birds and mammals. This toxin causes amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans (and marine mammals and seabirds), with serious illness and even death occurring following consumption of marine organisms containing DA. Concerns about HABs along the West Coast have been heightened following an intense DA-producing bloom that extended along the entire coast in 2015. Record high DA levels were documented in California waters and some species during this bloom. California Dungeness and rock crab fisheries were closed in affected areas for several months, with the duration of the closures varying among species and areas. While the 2015 HAB was unprecedented for its widespread distribution, its persistence and intensity were similar to previous HAB events in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), including around the Northern Channel Islands. Limited data indicate that frequent, persistent and intense blooms have been common in the SBC since 2007. Extremely high levels of DA (200-600 ppm) were recorded in fished crustaceans in association with these previous blooms - levels that far surpassed the FDA action levels of 20 ppm for shellfish meat and 30 ppm for crustacean viscera. Often DA levels remained elevated in crab long after the bloom dissipated and for longer periods of time at island versus mainland coastal sites. Reasons for the prolonged high DA levels at the islands are unknown, but may be due to benthic sources of DA including prey containing high levels of DA. The severity of DA-producing blooms in the SBC has increased the need for more robust monitoring, particularly at the islands.

ENRICHING ISLAND HISTORY THROUGH THE LENS OF GRAFFITI

Jazmine Cureno, California State University Channel Islands jazmine.cureno533@myci.csuci.edu

   Research concerning the historical period of the Channel Islands, more specifically on Santa Rosa Island, have been developed; yet their contributions have not succeeded to the same levels of prestige as the island’s prehistoric studies. This study recorded and analyzed graffiti markings found at three locations where major historical human habitation took place on the island: Sam’s Cave, standing ranching structures near Bechers Bay, and a lighthouse located at South Point. The new inquiry of graffiti markings strengthens the marking’s material significance by studying more closely its spatial context, which provides information about past uses of time and space, and interprets underrepresented human activity that occurred within it. Similar to prehistoric rock art, historical graffiti markings can provide valuable information about our ancestors and should be considered as significant cultural resources.

 

 

ISLAND FOX FORAGING PATTERNS ON SAN NICOLAS ISLAND RELATIVE TO FERAL CAT REMOVAL

Brian Cypher1*, Erica Kelly1, Francesca Ferrara2, Tory Westall1, and Brian Hudgens3, 1California State University-Stanislaus, Endangered Species Recovery Program bcypher@esrp.csustan.edu 2Naval Base Ventura County 3Institute for Wildlife Studies

   Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) are a species of conservation concern that occur on six of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. The fox populations are small and vulnerable, and understanding the factors that drive population dynamics is important. We analyzed use of food items by island foxes on San Nicolas Island during 2006-2012 to assess the influence of feral cat removal on fox foraging ecology. Our objective was to determine whether fox foraging patterns shifted in response to the cat removal, thus indicating that cats were competing with foxes for food items. We also examined the influence of annual precipitation patterns and fox abundance on fox foraging patterns. Based on an analysis of 1,975 fox scats, use of vertebrate prey (deer mice [Peromyscus maniculatus], birds, and lizards) increased significantly during and after the complete removal of cats (n=66) from the island. This shift in item use was indicative of a reduction in exploitative competition. However, annual precipitation also increased markedly during and after cat removal. Deer mouse abundance on monitoring plots was significantly related to annual precipitation and to use of mice by foxes. Furthermore, fox abundance declined markedly coincident with the removal of cats and deer mouse abundance was inversely related to fox numbers. Consequently, multiple interacting factors likely influence food item abundance, which in turn affects fox foraging patterns. The role of cats may have been minor and local. We recommend restoration and management actions that enhance food item abundance and diversity to increase food security for foxes.

COLLECTORS OF BALD EAGLES AND THEIR EGGS ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS (1871-1957)

Marla Daily, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, 5045 Wullbrandt Way, Carpinteria, CA 93013 marla@scifoundation.org

   The decline of the historic population of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) on the California Channel Islands can be traced, in part, through specimens in the collections of museums and institutions. Forty-one men—oologists, ornithologists, naturalists, a surveyor, a sheep rancher and a grocer—are known to have collected Bald Eagles on seven of the eight California Channel Islands between 1871 and 1957. Bald Eagles nested on all eight islands; San Nicolas Island is the only island lacking historic specimens. During the course of this study, 17 birds, skins or skeletons and 74 egg sets containing 141 individual eggs were located in seventeen institutions and museums in the United States and Great Britain, representing a total of 158 individual specimens of Bald Eagles. Additional collections remain unaccounted for; others were destroyed by the 1962 fire at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Instances of live-capture of 12 Bald Eagles have been found in historic records; two chicks were reportedly eaten raw by shipwrecked sailors on San Clemente Island in 1895. Hunting for sport and shooting and poisoning for extermination also occurred. The oldest known specimens are two Bald Eagles shot by U. S. Coast Survey employee, George Davidson, on San Miguel Island in 1871; the most recent a Bald Eagle found dead on Santa Barbara Island by William Bullard in 1957, an apparent casualty of the rabbit eradication program initiated by Channel Islands National Monument. The most traveled specimen is a Bald Eagle egg collected by Henry W. Henshaw on San Miguel Island in 1875 that made its way, unbroken, across the Atlantic to the Natural History Museum, Tring, England. In May 1950 ornithologist Alden H. Miller removed two live eagle chicks from their nest on Santa Rosa Island—the last known chicks historically hatched on a California Channel Island.

PROVENANCE OF JUANA MARIA'S FOUR KNOWN POSSESSIONS, INCLUDING THE UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY OF HER DONUT STONE IN 2008

Marla Daily, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, 5045 Wullbrandt Way, Carpinteria, CA 93013 marla@scifoundation.org

   Juana Maria (?-1853), the legendary “Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island,” thought to be the last surviving Nicoleño, was removed from San Nicolas Island in 1853 by Captain George Nidever (1802-1883). For more than 160 years, her story has been told and retold, researched and examined. At the time of her removal, various personal possessions were brought off the island with her, including her feathered dress, reportedly sent to the Vatican, and a limpet shell necklace later acquired by Santa Barbara banker, James Wesley Calkins (1831-1911). Despite searches for both, these remain unaccounted for today. Nidever gave a number of Juana Maria’s possessions, including beads, a mortar, and her water bottle, made of woven grass, to his friend, Captain Charles J. W. Russell (d. 1857). Russell, in turn, deposited them with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. These specimens were lost in the devastating fires that followed the San Francisco earthquake of April 16, 1906. Four possessions that accompanied her removal from San Nicolas Island in 1853 survive today. Each has a traceable provenance: an abalone shell fishhook; a stone bird point; a whale baleen hairpin; and a donut stone — an unexpected discovery coming to light in 2008.

ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD DISTRIBUTION AND RANGE EXPANSION IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS AND ADJACENT MAINLAND

Katie Daniels*, Allison Alvarado, and Brett Hartman, California State University Channel Islands katie.daniels708@myci.csuci.edu

   In the 1920’s, examination of Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) specimens led to the realization that the species consisted of two subspecies with very different life histories. S. s. sedentarius evolved on the Channel Islands, and research suggests that it can be distinguished from its mainland counterpart based on differences in morphology and migratory behavior. The island subspecies re-colonized the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the 1960’s and may now be expanding its geographic range into that of the nominate migratory subspecies. For this study, we utilized citizen science data and a geographic information system (GIS) to investigate the chronology and extent of S. s. sedentarius’ mainland range expansion. We obtained species occurrence data from eBird Basic Datasets (EBDs) in California from 2013 to 2015, and we restricted our analysis to winter bird sightings (October to December) to control for only non-migratory S. s. sedentarius sightings. We used ArcGIS and the latest published S. sasin distribution map from Birds of North America (BNA) Online database to create a map that illustrates range expansion of S. s. sedentarius. S. s. sedentarius sighting localities during winter extended beyond the BNA’s 2012 range map. In addition, recent S. s. sedentarius observations revealed a potential contact zone within S. s. sasin’s southern breeding range. Preliminary GIS analysis of winter eBird checklists in southern California provides insight regarding the ongoing expansion of S. s. sedentarius’ mainland range. Our distribution map reflects the most current data available and can be used to test hypotheses about the rate, direction, and possible drivers of this recent range expansion.

 

 

 

MYTHS OF AVALON: RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT CA-SCAI-29, CATALINA ISLAND

Sara Dietler1*, John Dietler2*, Alyssa Newcomb2, and Bill Kendig2, 1Environmental Science Associates saradietler@gmail.com 2SWCA Environmental Consultants

   An island paradise in the western sea is how the mythical city of Avalon is described in Arthurian legend. This is a fitting namesake for the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, a beautiful tourist destination whose ancient history has long been lost, only to be replaced by myths of its own. Development activities to create a picturesque island resort and a long tradition of looting have unearthed artifacts and human remains in Avalon since the 1880s. As these were remnants of a prehistoric Native American settlement that has not been subjected to modern investigative methods and data collection, this prime locale has long been a blank spot on the archaeological map of the Channel Islands. A series of excavations completed in the last three years within the city have yielded surprising results, including intact materials from site CA-SCAI-29, long thought to have been all but destroyed. Archaeological data recovery, artifact analyses, historic research, and specialized testing have provided the first systematically collected data from site. This paper provides an overview of the artifacts, faunal collection, dating results, and intact stratigraphy encountered within the site boundaries. These data reveal a fresh portrait of a thriving Native American village that was occupied for thousands of years, most intensively during the Intermediate or Middle period, by a seafaring people with strong ties to other island and mainland groups. By taking a fresh look at the village’s pattern of habitation, ritual, mobility, trade, and resource exploitation, this paper presents the beginnings of a story even more fascinating than the myths it replaces.

ESTABLISHING TWO NEW ROCKY INTERTIDAL MONITORING SITES ON SANTA ROSA WITH NOVEL METHODOLOGY

Geoff Dilly*, Angelea Gephart, Sarah Assar, Jenna Miani, and Evelyn Garcia, California State University, Channel Islands geoff.dilly@csuci.edu

   The rocky intertidal zone is a dynamic, biologically rich environment facing unprecedented challenges due to global ocean change. Incremental shifts are difficult to detect over short durations; thus long-term ecological monitoring methods are critical for identifying subtle trends. National Park Service (NPS) currently monitors five sites on Santa Rosa; however these locations are limited to the south and west of the island. Here, we describe the establishment of two new sites, expanding geographic coverage to the northern side of Santa Rosa: east-facing Bechers Bay (34.0054 °N, -120.0470 °W) and north-facing Skunk Point (33.9820 °N, -119.9933 °W). These sites were first surveyed in Spring 2015 and have been monitored continuously since. We use a suite of methods and protocols that both interface with current NPS methodology and establish new techniques for studying the rocky intertidal. We installed 20 fixed plots per site, with 5 semi-random locations in each of 4 tidal zones: low, medium, high, and splash. These fixed plots are surveyed using photos and point-intercept counts. Starting in Spring 2016, we also deployed 3 temperature loggers per zone, collocated with photoplots to establish zonal temperature fluctuations from diurnal and tidal cycles. A 30m baseline was established and 11 vertical transects were extended perpendicularly at 3m intervals. These vertical transects extend 25m towards the water and are sampled at 100 discrete points, allowing for site-wide characterization. These vertical transects were photoprofiled using a novel method combining a1m2 PVC camera rig taking 65% overlapping images with image composite software to create a single 1x25m phototransect. The photos are then rasterized using ArcGIS, trained to identify species based on color mapping, allowing for quantification of broad-swath transects. Establishing Bechers Bay and Skunk Point sites adds both new ecological data and additional methodological resources for the long-term monitoring of the rocky intertidal.

MODELING CHANGE IN THE ROCKY INTERTIDAL: CORRELATING SHIFTS IN SPECIES ABUNDANCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL VARIATION

Geoff Dilly1, Jenna Miani1*, Stephen Whitaker2, Jesica Mendoza1, and Melissa Hamm3, 1California State University, Channel Islands jenna.miani420@myci.csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park, National Park Service 3Ventura Community College

   The National Park Service has continuously monitored rocky intertidal sites on five of the Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Rosa) in an on-going data series that presently includes 21 locations. These sites contain fixed plots placed on target dominant zonal species (e.g. Endocladia muricata, Silvetia compressa, Mytilus californianus, Chthalamus spp.), and are monitored for species abundance during Fall and Spring seasons annually. We collocated these data with measurements of environmental variables including sea surface temperature, total chlorophyll, wave height, wind speed, and duration of emersion, curated from publicly available buoy and satellite databases. We describe here significant changes in abundance of dominant species over the 30+ year data series and examine potential correlations with shifting environmental variables. Preliminary findings show a significant increase of bare rock/sand substrate over time across a majority of sites, corresponding with broad-based losses in Silvetia compressa coverage as well as localized declines in Mytilus californianus. We conclude that early decreases in target species coverage may be due to decreased dominance within a non-randomly designated fixed plot over time as species migrate through a site. However, more recent shifts may be due to other factors including negative correlations to sea surface temperatures and emersion times. In contrast to this general trend, populations of barnacles, including those within Chthalamus spp. plots, remained stable at a majority of sites. We suggest that these animals are better suited to continual emersion and elevated temperatures due to their natural adaptations to living in high tidal zones. Overall, this dataset demonstrates numerous complex relationships between environmental variation and species abundance. These findings underscore the need for long-term and continual monitoring of rocky intertidal sites to reveal the effects of incremental environmental shifts on ecological assemblages, such as those due to climate change.

Multi-Media Approach to Public Outreach about Wildlife Restoration on the Channel Islands

Gabrielle Dorr, NOAA gabrielle.dorr@noaa.gov

  The Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) has been working with partners to actively restore Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and several species of seabirds onto the Channel Islands for over a decade now. Public outreach has complimented all of our restoration projects and is considered a critical component of their success. One of our main goals for public outreach is to promote stewardship of species and their habitats. Given the somewhat remote location of the Channel Islands and the difficulty with engaging people directly with island wildlife, we brought species to life through 3-D interactive exhibits, films, social media, and online webcams. We engaged in several effective social media campaigns and some of our films have been shown to national audiences. We will present outreach tools that we used to engage the public in our Channel Island restoration efforts, methods we used to distribute tools to the public, and how we measured their success. We will also briefly discuss technical challenges that we faced working remotely and how we dealt with the unpredictability of wildlife with public and media audiences.

 

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF THE ISLAND NIGHT LIZARD ON SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Charles A. Drost1*, Gary M. Fellers2, Patrick Kleeman3, and Brian J. Halstead3, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center charles_drost@usgs.gov 29 Goldfinch Court, Novato, CA 3USGS Western Ecological Research Center

   The island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana) was removed from the Federal list of "Threatened" species in May 2014. This strongly-differentiated species is endemic to three of the southern California Channel Islands—San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Barbara. Suitable habitat for island night lizards is extensive on San Clemente Island, and the species is quite abundant there. However, habitat is much more limited and fragmented on San Nicolas Island and small Santa Barbara Island. Drawing on extensive field surveys and mark-recapture sampling, we synthesize available data for island night lizards on San Nicolas Island, and calculate mark–recapture population estimates for the species in major habitats on the island. Cactus (Opuntia spp., Cylindropuntia prolifera) and California boxthorn (Lycium californicum) are the primary island night lizard habitats on San Nicolas Island, and we combine the population estimates with much-improved measurements of the extent of cactus and boxthorn on the island to arrive at a more accurate estimate of island night lizard numbers. We also present preliminary information on trends in cactus and boxthorn habitat, and their relationship to lizard populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires a post-delisting program for "monitoring the overall health of the island night lizard..." to assure the continued long-term viability of the species in its restricted distribution. The information on population size and habitat presented here will help inform and guide conservation and management efforts by the U.S. Navy on San Nicolas Island over the coming years.

THE LAND SNAILS AND SLUGS OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS: A CURRENT INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT

Charles A. Drost1*, Jeffrey C. Nekola2, Timothy A. Pearce3, and Barry Roth4, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center charles_drost@usgs.gov 2Department of Biology, University of New Mexico 3Carnegie Museum of Natural History 4745 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA

   The land snails and slugs have the highest rate of endemism among all major animal groups on the California Channel Islands, with approximately 75% of the species confined to one or more of the eight islands. In spite of this, and in spite of the rarity of some species, they are also one of the most poorly-known groups. We present the first comprehensive overview of the land mollusk fauna of the Channel Islands, along with the results of recent intensive inventory studies. Surveys on San Clemente Island have increased the number of land mollusk species known from that island by 60%, and similar numbers of new additions to the fauna are likely for the poorly-surveyed northern Channel Islands. This improved understanding provides new insights into trends in species diversity and biogeographic patterns, with marked differences in species composition being evident between the northern and southern islands. We also discuss preliminary observations on the distribution and abundance of native snails and slugs on the islands. Our surveys to date suggest a strong link between the recovery of native vegetation on the islands, and the population status of land snails and slugs, with substantially larger populations of native mollusks on those islands that have been free of non-native mammals the longest. Survey work is continuing, but it is clear that there are some very rare endemic snails and slugs on the islands that merit specific management attention.

 

Long-term Monitoring of Deer Mice on the California Islands: Comparison of Population Estimators for Trend Detection

Charles Drost1, Catherin Schwemm2, Timothy Coonan3*, John Orrock4, and Thomas Stanley5, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center 2Institute for Wildlife Studies 3Friends of the Island Fox timcoonan81@gmail.com 4University of Wisconsin 5USGS, Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO 80526

   The National Park Service deer mouse monitoring program on two of the California Islands, Santa Barbara and San Miguel, has resulted in 20 years of data that illustrate the extreme temporal variability in abundance of these populations. Mice are a critical component of simple island systems, so changes in mouse abundance and density have important implications for island communities. Statistical models used to analyze mark-recapture data as are collected in the deer mouse monitoring program work well when populations and recaptures rates are high but are fairly unreliable when those conditions are not met. Population indices such as the number of unique individuals captured per event can be easily generated under all conditions but do not incorporate differences in individual animal behavior and other environmental inputs that influence trapping success. In an effort to determine which data analysis methods fulfilled the need for both obtaining realistic estimates under all conditions while also illuminating population trends we compared population estimations generated by models and simple index methods. We included in this analysis data from 122 trapping sessions (3 nights each) across 18 years on the two islands. Density estimates from multiple models were strongly correlated and were also strongly correlated with a simple count-based density index. All methods detected similar patterns in population variation and trend over time. For long-term population monitoring aimed at ecosystem assessment and management our findings suggest that the use of a simple index may provide adequate understanding of population trends for island mice, information that can further be assessed to better understand the role of mice in island ecosystems. We recommend continued monitoring of deer mouse populations with data analysis methods that are consistent and detect population trends while also being resilient to observer interpretation.

CO-PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF CHANNEL ISLAND DEER MICE AND THEIR ECTOPARASITES

Paul Durst1* and V. Louise Roth2, 1UNC Chapel Hill pdurst@unc.edu 2Duke University

   The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is the only terrestrial mammal native to all eight California Channel Islands, with each island housing a morphologically distinct subspecies. A great deal of work has characterized the morphology, behavior, and development of Channel Islands deer mice, but comparatively little is known about the genetic relatedness of the subspecies. Allozyme and RFLP data suggest a shared origin for northern islands mice, but limited inferences can be made in the absence of base-pair resolution data. We assessed the relatedness of mice across the Channel Islands and two mainland sites using sequence data from the mitochondrial control region along with genotype data for 5 microsatellite loci. We found that while each island harbors at least one private haplotype, mice from six of the eight islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, and San Nicolas) share a haplotype. Microsatellite data confirm the shared population structure of the northern islands with the exception of Anacapa, which could be due to a population bottleneck imposed during the recent extirpation of Anacapa’s black rats. Santa Catalina and San Clemente mice were more related to mainland mice than to other island mice, suggesting independent colonizations of these islands. With these data, we were unable to firmly establish the divergence pattern among northern islands mice. However, parasites, with their faster mutation rates, have been shown to provide insight into the evolutionary history of their hosts. Accordingly, we also assessed the relatedness of the most common ectoparasite found on Channel Islands deer mice, a flea (family Ceratophyllidae). Using sequence data from cytochrome oxidase I (mtDNA), we found a correlation between the genetic relatedness of fleas and mice across islands. Together, these findings are consistent with a divergence pattern mirroring the breakup of Santarosae at the end of the last glacial maximum.

THE PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL, AND TOXICOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PACIFIC REGION SHELL MOUNDS

Mark Eckenrode, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management mark.eckenrode@boem.gov

   Environmental monitoring data is used by BOEM to evaluate mitigation measures and project conditions to improve the effectiveness of protecting the marine and coastal environment. In order for BOEM to make better and more informed decisions, the BOEM Pacific Region has conducted an Environmental Mitigation Monitoring Study program to evaluate environmental mitigation techniques and methodologies to determine the most efficient environmental mitigation methods for preserving and protecting the quality of the human, marine, and coastal environments. Over the life of outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas platforms, drilling muds and cuttings discharges interlayered with shells and marine organisms have resulted in topographic features referred to as shell mounds. Current regulations in place require the complete removal of platform structures and associated debris and site clearance following decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities. The physical, chemical and toxicological characterization and internal composition of these shell mounds was generally unknown and further analysis and documentation was necessary to help determine the future disposition of these shell mounds. Multiple studies have been conducted in the Pacific Region to determine the physical variables and characteristics of OCS shell mounds associated with 16 of the 23 Pacific OCS Region oil & gas platforms. Multi-beam hydrographic surveys of the presence and physical characteristics conducive to shell mound formation around and under Pacific OCS Platforms, and sampling and chemical profiling of OCS shell-mounds were conducted. Chemical characterizations were utilized to determine potential contaminants, petrogenic hydrocarbons and trace metals to assess whether concentrations contained within the shell mounds are migrating into the marine environment and posing risks to marine organisms. Results on the multiple shell mound studies will be presented to discuss the effects on the marine environment of the potential abandonment or removal of shell mounds following decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities.

CRESCENT BAY: RECONSTRUCTING THE GEOGRAPHY AND HUMAN USE OF A PALEO-LANDSCAPE ON THE SOUTH SHORE OF SANTAROSAE ISLAND

Jon M. Erlandson1*, Dave Ball2, Todd J. Braje3, Loren Davis4, Kristina M. Gill5, Amy Gusick6, Jillian Maloney3, Alex Nyers7, Leslie Reeder-Myers8, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon jerland@uoregon.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 3San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology 4Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology 5Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara 6California State University, San Bernardino, Department of Anthropology 7Northwest Archaeometrics, LLC 8Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

   Between ~23,000 to 9,000 years ago, lower sea levels united the Northern Channel Islands (NCI) into a larger island known as Santarosae. Up to 125 km long and three times larger than the NCI today, Santarosae was colonized by seafaring Paleoindians at least 13,000 years ago. Modeling Santarosae’s dynamic geography, we have identified a large south-facing embayment beneath the waters of the Santa Cruz Channel, called Crescent Bay. A submarine canyon flowed southward through this area, channeling the flow of several major drainages. Rapidly rising seas flooded the mouths of these canyons, creating one or more estuaries and marshes by at least 11,200 years ago. Late Pleistocene dune ridges crossed Carrington Point on northeast Santa Rosa, blowing onto the coastal lowlands to the southeast. Around the margins of Crescent Bay, we have identified >15 Paleocoastal sites dating between ~12,000 and 8,000 years ago. The bay provided a relatively protected, productive, and well-watered landscape that attracted Paleocoastal peoples for millennia. Many of the Paleocoastal sites have produced chipped stone crescents and stemmed projectile points. Faunal remains from archaeological components indicate the presence of a paleoestuary and wintering waterfowl at least 11,200 years ago, some of the earliest evidence for estuarine foraging by humans along the California Coast. The submerged shorelines and landscapes of Crescent Bay almost certainly contain the remnants of additional sites that now lie on or below the seafloor of the Santa Cruz Channel.

TOWARDS A REGULATION IN BIOSAFETY: ARCHIPELAGO JUAN FERNANDEZ, A CASE STUDY

Aurora Espinoza, Servicio Agricola y Ganadero aurora.espinoza@sag.gob.cl

   The AJF is composed of 3 islands out of the 3739 islands that Chile has throughout its territory. The AJF is located more than 670 km from the South American mainland. This archipelago is characterized by its high rate of endemic flora (over 64%), making it a living laboratory. The State of Chile declared part of this territory as a National Park (1935), leaving an area for the village of Robinson Crusoe. Currently it has a population of approximately 600 inhabitants, who primarily dedicate themselves to fishing. They are connected with the continent through regular maritime and aerial transport, with 2 trips by sea per month and flights from 4 to 10 times per month. The transport of all types of products without oversight to prevent the entry of EEI is the main problem for the conservation and protection of natural resources, since there are no regulations for the regular transport of products throughout the interior of the country. To mitigate this situation, a collaborative agreement has been signed between CONAF, INDAP, SAG and municipality of JF whose objective is to protect the biodiversity and natural resources of the archipelago, with emphasis on education and the provision of voluntary processes to facilitate good passenger conduct.The Convention consists of workplans for diffusion, mitigation and monitoring, including for example: a list of high-risk products, import registration cards, among others. To date there have been 14 diffusion activities in the boarding area with 105 passengers instructed, 2 trainings for biosecurity inspectors, mitigation activities and monitoring activities.This initiative will be the trial phase of legislation on Biosafety

GENETIC DIVERSITY AND POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF THE MEXICAN ENDEMIC BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (Puffinus ophistomelas)

Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Luis Enriquez-Paredes2, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. alejandra.fabila@islas.org.mx 2Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

   The Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus ophistomelas) distribution is restricted to the Pacific coast of North America, and breeds exclusively on islands off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. This Mexican endemic species is listed as endangered by Mexican law and Near Threatened by IUCN Red List. We evaluated the genetic diversity and the population genetic structure of breeding colonies from Natividad and San Benito islands using sequence analysis of mitochondrial DNA control region. Indices of genetic diversity were higher on Natividad, which is consistent with the population size as this island supports the main breeding colony (>95% of the world’s population). While we found significant genetic differentiation according to Wright’s fixation index considering haplotype frequencies (FST = 0.037), considering nucleotide diversity (Φst 0.016) we found no genetic structure. The latter suggests different proportions of haplotypes on each breeding colony with a small difference amongst them. This low genetic differentiation might be due to the short geographic distance between subpopulations, which allows gen flow. Nonetheless, it is possible to advance further hypotheses about other mechanisms that could play an important role and should thus be investigated. Our results indicate that the implementation of conservation actions is necessary on both colonies to ensure genetic variability and connectivity, thus reducing the risk of extinction of the Black-vented Shearwater.

BRINGING SANTA ROSA ISLAND INTO CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK; THE WRITTEN DOCUMENTS 1979 – 1987

Kathryn Roney Faulkner, Channel Islands National Park (retired), U.S. National Park Service, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 kerfaulkner@gmail.com

   There are conflicting accounts regarding the circumstances and terms under which the National Park Service (NPS) purchased 54,000 acre Santa Rosa Island in 1986. Santa Rosa Island was owned by Vail & Vickers (V&V) in 1980 when Congress included the island within the boundaries of Channel Islands National Park. V&V had initially opposed the inclusion. However, failing to have the island excluded, they requested that, rather than continue as private land within the park, the land be purchased by the federal government as soon as possible. The government and V&V evaluated various land sale options. A primary interest of V&V was for continued cattle ranching and guided hunting of non-native deer and elk. However, to maximize the sales price of the island, V&V did not retain rights for those uses when they sold the island to the federal government. Instead, they reserved a right to “use and occupancy” of only a 7.6 acre portion of the ranch complex for non-commercial purposes. The written purchase offer from the government, accepted by V&V, authorized 3 months of continued use of the remainder of the island for their ranching and hunting operations. Continuation beyond 3 months, or termination of operations, was dependent on negotiations between the parties. Negotiations did not conclude during that period and the following year saw the beginning of the differing accounts that later spawned lawsuits, political involvement, legislation, and controversy regarding island management, rights of the former landowners, authority of the NPS, and access by the public. The written documents from 1979 to 1987, from establishment of the Park through the sale of the island to the NPS, provide a record against which later descriptions of the terms of the land sale can be compared.

UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF NESTING SEABIRDS ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS MEXICO, FOLLOWING RESTORATION ACTIONS

Maria Félix-Lizárraga*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Esmeralda Bravo- Hernández, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Julio Hernández-Montoya, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, B.C. México. 22800 maria.felix@islas.org.mx

   The advances to date on island restoration on Mexican islands are positive and relevant, both nationally and globally. Restoration actions include: 58 eradications of invasive mammals’ populations from 37 islands all over the country; the implementation of social attraction techniques on 10 of these islands to restore seabird breeding colonies; and habitat restoration through the removal of weeds or reforestation of native species. These actions are complemented with applied research, environmental education and outreach with local communities. The Baja California Pacific Islands are important nesting and resting sites for seabirds, while the rich surrounding California Current waters are key for food provisioning. In 2008, we initiated on Asunción and San Roque islands the first seabird restoration project through social attraction techniques in Latin America. In 2013 we expanded this project, as a program, to the other region's islands. This has allowed us to closely monitor all seabird species on nine island groups, from the Coronado Archipelago in the north to San Roque in the south. Encouraging results have been recorded, such as new breeding sites for the Ashy Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) on Todos Santos Island; Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) on San Martín Island; Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) and Caspian Tern (H.caspia) and Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) on San Jerónimo Island. Also, other species have returned to nest—in some cases after a century of absence—like Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) on Coronado Island, Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) on Todos Santos, San Martín, Natividad, San Roque and Asunción islands, and Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) on Todos Santos, San Martín, San Roque and Asunción islands. A total of 127 bird species were recorded, with 21 species of seabirds breeding on these islands.

Past sea surface temperature and human intertidal gathering during the Holocene on Santa Cruz Island: Evidence from oxygen isotope (δO18) and archaeomalacological data

Carola Flores1*, Amy E. Gusick2, and Heather Thakar3, 1Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2), Chile carolaflowers@gmail.com 2California State University, San Bernardino, USA 3Texas A&M University, USA

   Oceanographic conditions, especially sea surface temperature, exhibit strong influences on intertidal habitat and species performance. The Northern Channel Islands of California are located within a complex oceanographic pattern with persistent cooler and warmer waters on north-west and south-east coasts of the islands, respectively. These patterns result in diverse natural conditions for intertidal species gathered by humans since the Late Pleistocene. Pertinent to research on past human subsistence strategies is the influence that oceanographic conditions may have had on foraging decisions. The current study combines archaeomalacological and paleoceanographic data to explore spatial and temporal variations in coastal resource availability and human harvesting strategies around Santa Cruz Island during the Holocene. Shellfish species diversity and relative abundance from archaeological deposits dating between 10,000 and 500 years cal BP and SST data from oxygen isotope analysis (δO18) on archaeological mollusk shells are used to explore past oceanographic conditions around Santa Cruz Island and their effect on intertidal gathering strategies of human groups through time. We consider 10 archaeological midden sites on the Island. The coastal sites are located on the western, southern, and northeastern shores while the pericoastal and interior sites are located within Christy Canyon on the western side of the island. Archaeological sites located on coasts with warmer (south-east) and cooler waters (north-west) present patterns of past SST and archaeomalacological assemblages that provide insight into temporal and spatial variations of not only environmental factors, but also social, economic, and technological factors that may contribute to foraging decisions among ancient islander populations. These data add to elucidating the paleoecology of Santa Cruz Island and the Channel Islands as a whole.

HOW A TEAM AIMS TO SAVE A DESERT ISLAND-ENDEMIC RODENT: THE AMARGOSA VOLE

Janet Foley, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine jefoley@ucdavis.edu

   The critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) became a highly specialized Mojave Desert endemic as the increasingly dry post-Pleistocene climate isolated marsh habitats on which the vole depends into tiny patches. Within these desert marsh islands, the vole is dependent on a single, marginal quality food-source, Olney’s three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus olneyi) and requires bulrush litter in which to tunnel, nest, and evade predators. This species is found in the wild only in marshes within a single town, Tecopa, California, and until the last two decades had been the subject of almost no research. Urgent challenges to understand its biology focused on detecting basic demographic parameters, population size estimates, metapopulation structure (genetic and occupancy), and basic details of its behavior, nutritional requirements, physiology- well, everything! Even as research intensified, ongoing regional water withdrawal and then the western North American drought further depleted habitat, requiring managers to collaborate with researchers to create an emergency captive breeding colony (even in the absence of most basic biological data), develop techniques for radiotelemetry, perform emergency translocation, and initiate habitat stabilization and creation in the type locality from which the vole has been extirpated. Here we review adaptive prioritization that has characterized the last five years of initiative vole research and then immediately implementing aggressive vole management. We also describe key features of Amargosa biology that may serve the vole well if it can be successfully saved as well as difficulties that will inhibit successful recovery.

Conservation of the rare plants of the Amargosa River Basin in the northern Mojave Desert of California

Naomi Fraga, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden nfraga@rsabg.org

   The Amargosa River Basin is essentially an ‘island’ of wet habitats fed by a large and extensive supply of underground water, surrounded by the expansive and arid Mojave Desert that receives only about 2 to 3 inches of annual precipitation a year. The region is home to a suite of endemic plants and animals that are associated with wetland habitats such as alkaline meadows, marshes, seeps, channel outflows, and springs. Much of the isolated wetland habitat is protected within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. However, threats to these rare species still remain because the high water table is in danger of dropping due to groundwater pumping for nearby agriculture and residential development. The Amargosa niterwort (Nitrophila mohavensis) and the Ash Meadows gumplant (Grindelia fraxinipratensis) are two federally listed plant species that occur in these wetlands in California and rely on the ancient flow of water underground. Recent efforts to aid in conservation of these two rare plant species include long-term seed banking, surveys of potential habitat, and population monitoring. A summary of past and ongoing work will be presented, including an overview of the full suite of rare and endemic plant taxa of the region.

EXPLORING DEEP-SEA CORAL COMMUNITIES IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: A HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Laura Francis1*, Rietta Hohman2, and Jennifer Stock3, 1Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary laura.francis@noaa.gov 2Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 3Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

   Deep-sea coral communities, like the ones found in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park are home to many diverse species. This high school curriculum takes students on a journey into the deep sea without ever leaving the classroom. Students will learn to identify the soft corals, hard corals, invertebrates and fish found in these communities and to investigate the unique biology of deep-sea corals. They will also learn about threats, such as ocean acidification, that can impact these precious ocean ecosystems. Using research footage from Remotely Operated Vehicles, students utilize real scientific methods to explore this rarely visited ocean environment. They will learn about the importance of long-term scientific monitoring and protection and will hone and practice monitoring skills such as assessing the number, size and types of organisms found along an underwater transect. Video footage of Footprint and Piggy Bank reefs near the Channel Islands are included in the web-based curriculum, as well as footage from the other four West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries (Monterey Bay, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones and Olympic Coast). The curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and all materials are available for free to teachers. The Deep Sea Coral Communities Curriculum can be downloaded at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/teachers/deep-coral-communities/.

Understanding Island Connectivity: Preliminary Evidence Using Fish Movements

Ryan Freedman1*, Andy Nosal2, Noah Ben-Adert2, Taylor Chapple3, Mike Castleton3, Barbara Block3, Sal Jorgensen4, Paul Kanvie3, Scot Anderson3, Connor White5, Chris Lowe5, and Chris Caldow1, 1NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary ryan.m.freedman@noaa.gov 2Scripps Institute of Oceanography 3Hopkins Marine Station Stanford University 4Monterrey Bay Aquarium 5California State University Long Beach

   The Northern Channel Islands are protected by a number of Federal and State designations, including a national park, a national marine sanctuary, areas of special biological significance, and a network of no-take marine reserves. These spatially explicit protections have proven effective at preserving a number of ecological communities. However, they may not be as practical for highly mobile species without understanding species’ habitat utilization patterns. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) maintains a passive telemetry array around the islands in partnership with California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and the Southern California Acoustic Telemetry Tracking Network (SCATTN). The array has detected tagged individuals from a number of different projects along California. Preliminary data indicated that a variety of predator fishes, including White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi), Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) and Soupfin Sharks (Galeorhinus galeus), used sanctuary waters after tagging in mainland locations. Individuals sometimes traveled long distances to reach the sanctuary, with some tagged fishes having traveled up to 545 km from their original tagging location. Californian islands likely represent relatively undisturbed habitats compared to mainland ecosystems, and this lack of ecological disturbance may draw in mobile predators. Understanding available movement data is the first step for resource managers to enact useful conservation actions for highly mobile species by considering how island ecosystems demonstrate connectivity with the mainland sites.

RECENT WARM WATER CONDITIONS FACILITATE INCREASES IN ABUNDANCE AT THE NORTHERN RANGE LIMIT AND A RANGE EXPANSION OF THE CROWNED SEA URCHIN (CENTROSTEPHANUS CORONATUS) IN CALIFORNIA

Jan Freiwald*, Colleen Wisniewski, and Dan Abbott, Reef Check California jfreiwald@reefcheck.org

   Crowned sea urchins (Centrostephanus coronatus) are present in much lower densities than other common sea urchin species throughout its southern California range. Nevertheless, C. coronatus has increased in abundance at many sites over the last three years in southern Californian. Reef Check California, a program that uses citizen scientists to survey California’s rocky reefs using standardized 60 m2 belt transects, has surveyed the densities of this species since 2006. These surveys document the spatial and temporal variation of crowned sea urchin recruitment and increases in population densities, especially in 2015, at the species’ previously reported northern range limit, the northern Channel Islands. One specimen was even found in Monterey Bay, 330 km north of the reported species range. The increased population densities at the northern end of the range of this subtropical species and the northward range expansion are likely due to the recent marine coastal warming that has persisted along the California coast since 2013, referred to as the ‘warm blob’, and the El Niño that followed. Similar recruitment of this species was observed in association with a warm water event during the 1997/98 El Niño around the northern Channel Islands and in the southern part of the species’ rage during El Niño conditions in 2009/10. Standardized citizen science surveys of the nearshore ecosystem along the California coast and its islands help detect species range shifts such as this and support marine resource managers in preparing for and cope with changing ecological communities in a warming ocean.

TRADITIONS OF EARLY HUMAN GROUPS IN BAJA CALIFORNIA AND POSSIBLE ROUTES FOR THE PEOPLING OF THE PENINSULA

Harumi Fujita, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia harumifuj@gmail.com

   Although the Clovis First hypothesis dominated debates concerning the peopling of the New World for decades, suggesting that the first people to enter the peninsula of Baja California were Paleoindians with Clovis type fluted points, recent archaeological evidence indicates additional early entries by other human groups. Radiocarbon dates, geomorphological settings, subsistence strategies, and material types and technologies indicate that other routes and traditions such as the Western Pluvial Lake Tradition and Paleocoastal migrants might have reached the Cape Region by the Terminal Pleistocene. Select artifacts from Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene contexts in the Cape Region are similar to those identified for the Western Pluvial Lake Tradition and Paleocoastal sites in California and the Great Basin. Similar lithic artifact types include leaf shaped projectile points, eccentric crescents, and end and side scrapers. However, there are some differences. In the Cape Region sites, the use of shell and coral for tools, containers, and ornaments was very prominent. At the Covacha Babisuri site on Espiritu Santo Island some unique items were uncovered in the lower cultural strata (12,000-8,000 B.P.). Fossil shells, both modified and unmodified, dated between 35,500 and > 47,500 years ago, were used for hyde-working and containers, and to make scrapers. Partial and totally fluted pearl oyster (Pinctada mazatlanica) and clam (Megapitaria sp.) pearls were used to manufacture ornaments; pearl oysters were used to make fishhooks and purple olive (Olivella spp.) shells to make spire lopped beads; fragments of coral were used as abraders and worm snails (Vermetidae) as straws or pipes. Most of these tools and ornaments continued to be manufactured and utilized during the Middle Holocene, except the fossil shells. Shellfish gathering, fishing, and sea turtle hunting were the principal subsistence activities, complemented by plant gathering. These characteristics are also considered part of the Paleocoastal tradition.

CHANGES IN SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES BETWEEN 6,000 AND 2,500 YEARS AGO AT SCRI-333, A LARGE SHELL MOUND SITE ON THE WEST END OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Lynn Gamble, Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara gamble@anth.ucsb.edu

   Intensive archaeological investigations at the largest extant shell mound in the Santa Barbara Channel area and one of the best-preserved Early Period archaeological sites on the northern Channel Islands have produced an array of radiocarbon dates within solid stratigraphic contexts. The large mound (El Montón−SCRI-333) near Forney’s Cove measures 270 by 210 meters and is approximately 5 hectares in area. A total of 85 radiocarbon dates, most of which are in clear stratigraphic context, makes El Montón one of the most carefully dated sites in the Santa Barbara Channel region. Analysis of floral and faunal remains from contexts dating to 6,000-2,500 cal B.P. provides information on shifts in subsistence strategies. Excellent preservation of ethnobotanical remains recovered from numerous flotation samples offers evidence that some plants were rare or not present at all during the earlier part of the site’s occupation (i.e. acorns and Calandrinia spp.), while others were much more important during later periods. Analysis of shellfish remains also documents shifts in invertebrate species, although some of these changes appear to be more related to the context of the shellfish versus the time period from which they were recovered. Fish and sea mammals, not surprisingly, dominate the vertebrate assemblage from the site; changes in taxa also change over time. For example, the remains of Delphinus sp. are only observed in samples that predate 5,000 years, while the remains of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) only occur after 5000 years ago. Changes in subsistence remains are investigated along with documentation of prehistoric climate change. The samples are analyzed not only within a chronological perspective, but also within a contextual framework that takes into consideration the spatial and cultural context of the finds. The contextual analysis provides a cautionary example for researchers who interpret changes in subsistence remains primarily within a chronological framework.

HOT ISLANDS, BIG BILLS: THE EFFECT OF GENE FLOW AND SELECTION ON MORPHOLOGY

Maybellene P. Gamboa1,2, T. Scott Sillett2, W. Chris Funk1, and Cameron K. Ghalambor1, 1Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO mgamboa@rams.colostate.edu 2Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, D.C.

   Natural selection across heterogeneous environments may favor locally adapted ecotypes, but identifying the mechanisms that underlie adaptive variation in natural populations remains a challenge. Disentangling the environmental and genetic underpinnings of phenotypic variation requires systematic sampling of populations across different environments and under varying degrees of isolation. Climate variation is increasingly appreciated as a strong selective pressure on morphological characters including the bird bill. The bill may be used as a tool for thermoregulation by dissipating excess heat and, consequently, is under selection from climate. On the Northern California Channel Islands, song sparrows (Melospiza melodia graminea) occupy a distinct east-to-west climate gradient ranging from hot and arid on Santa Cruz Island to cold, wet, and windy on San Miguel Island. Previous work on museum specimens found a correlation between bill size and maximum temperature, but whether this pattern is genetically-based versus environmentally-induced is uncertain. To infer the genetic and environmental basis of phenotypic variation, we genetically sampled and measured morphological characteristics of song sparrows occupying similar habitat types across Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Island from 2014-2015. As predicted, bird bills were significantly larger on hotter islands (Santa Cruz) than those found on colder islands (Santa Rosa, San Miguel). STRUCTURE analysis, DAPC, and PCA of thousands of SNP markers reveal low FST values and distinct clustering by island suggesting population structure despite gene flow. Thus, strong selection across a relatively small spatial scale may counter the effects of gene flow and should be considered in further studies of the evolution of insular populations.

ISLAND FOX RECOVERY ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: A LESSON IS COOPERATION, DEDICATION AND PERSEVERANCE

David K. Garcelon1* and Timothy J. Coonan2, 1Institute for Wildlife Studies garcelon@iws.org 2Friends of the Island Fox

    Four subspecies of the island fox (Urocyon littoralis) became highly endangered in the late 1990s, with two island populations declining to 15 or fewer individuals by 1999/2000. The decline of these populations spurred the formation of the Island Fox Conservation Working Group (IFCWG), a consortium of biologists, managers, veterinarians, pathologists, and zoo personnel from federal and state agencies, NGOs and academia convened to determine the cause of the decline and formulate conservation strategies. The identified causes of decline were predation by golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) on the three northern islands and canine distemper virus on Santa Catalina Island. Recovery strategies were developed and/or recommended by the IFCWG and then implemented by the managing agencies/organizations. These efforts included captive breeding, translocation, golden eagle removal, monitoring of remaining wild fox populations, release of captive bred foxes, feral animal removal, and other recovery actions. The four island subspecies were finally listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004 and an official recovery team was appointed. The recovery team worked alongside the IFWG to continue fox conservation efforts and create a recovery plan. Three of the fox subspecies are proposed to be delisted in 2016, the fastest delisting of a mammal ever. The IFCWG has met annually since 1999, and the quick recovery of island foxes was in part due to its consensus approach to problem solving. The group represents a cooperative approach to rare species management independent of official listing activities. This approach may become increasingly necessary given the impacts to rare species from impending global climate change. Existing as small populations on small islands, persistence of the island fox populations may continue to be reliant on monitoring and diligence regarding disease introduction and other threats, and the IFCWG will continue to aid in guiding those responsibilities.

CHLOROPHYLL DYNAMICS AROUND THE SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Craig Gelpi*, Catalina Marine Society craig@catalinamarinesociety.org

   We determine spatial and temporal dynamics of chlorophyll for the Southern California Bight through analysis of 10 years of 4-km resolution chlorophyll product obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Earth observing system satellite Aqua (MODIS-AQUA). Concentrating on the Southern Channel Islands, we find an island mass effect associated with San Nicolas, that is, some chlorophyll originates near the island. This signal is most evident during the fall after the typical spring phytoplankton bloom subsides. In contrast, there is a relative dearth of chlorophyll around Santa Catalina Island and its seasonal modulation corresponds to the spring bloom, implying the dynamics are much simpler for this island. Previous studies of temperature in the inner Bight about Santa Catalina indicate that a simple one-dimensional model of temperature diffusion explains well the seasonal and depth temperature modulations found there. We couple the temperature-derived vertical diffusion coefficient with nitrate measurements from California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) cruises, to make a simple one-dimensional model relating chlorophyll, insolation and nitrate for Santa Catalina.

MULTI-AGENCY ROCKY INTERTIDAL NETWORK: TRENDS AND ASSESSMENT OF LONG-TERM SURVEYS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Lisa Gilbane1*, Stacey Ostermann2, C. Melissa Miner3, Rani Gaddam3, Richard F. Ambrose4, Steven Lee4, Dan Richards2, Stephen Whitaker2, Peter T. Raimondi3, Jayson R. Smith5, and Jennifer Burnaford6, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management lisa.gilbane@boem.gov 2Channel Islands National Park Service 3University of California, Santa Cruz 4University of California, Los Angeles 5California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 6California State University, Fullerton

   The Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) is a collaborative effort of over 40 agencies and universities to monitor rocky intertidal populations using two sets of standardized approaches at over 100 sites from Alaska to Mexico. Together, these data sets provide the ability to examine spatial and temporal trends of rocky intertidal species. Recent analyses of long-term data from MARINe sites on the Channels Islands and the mainland of the Santa Barbara Channel show strong declines over time in the number of black abalone and ochre sea stars, while mussel, rockweed, and surf grass percent cover changes are more varied and site specific. When the monitoring program began, long-term surveys of fixed plots were designed primarily to compare rocky intertidal communities during pre-oil spill and post-oil spill periods. A Before After Control Impact Paired analysis was used to show that for most species, long-term surveys have statistical power of >80% to detect punctuated changes in abundance of >20% using >10 sampling occasions (i.e., once/year for the most recent 10 years). Data from the long-term surveys are also useful to detect slow, gradual changes in species abundances such as those anticipated as a result of climate change. An analysis of power to detect trends in data from Channel Island National Park sites found 80% power to detect gradual changes (2 to 4% change per year) after 20 years for most species. Data from MARINe monitoring have been used in Natural Resource Damage Assessments and for assessing impacts from urban runoff, evaluating effectiveness of California Marine Protected Areas, listing the black abalone as Federally Endangered, and tracking the spread of disease. This partnership is a successful model for providing data that inform resource management along the Santa Barbara Channel and the Pacific coast.

Maximizing the effectiveness of community biosecurity plans: public outreach and education on the Pribilof Islands, Alaska

Chris Gill1*, Pam Goodard2, Ann Harding3, Peter Holdum4, Tonia Kushin5, Gregg Howald6, Ram Papish7, Laura Divine8, Pamela Lestenkof8, Karin Holsez9, Priscilla Wohl10, Kendra Bush-St. Louis11, Heather Renner11, Scott Hall12, Sally Esposito6, and Moretta Shuert1, 1Coastal Conservation chris@coastalconservation.ca 2Thalassa Education 3Auk Ecological Consulting 4Oikinos 5Pribilof School District 6Island Conservation 7St. Paul Island Seabird Camp Leader and wildlife artist 8Ecosystem Conservation Office, Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul 9St. George Institute 10Northern Research Technical Assistance Center 11The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge 12National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

   The remote Pribilof Islands in Alaska are an important breeding area for seabirds and gulls, including 80% of the world’s population of red-legged kittiwakes. These islands are currently free of invasive rats, which threaten native ground nesting birds on other islands. To prevent the introduction of rats to the Pribilofs, the city governments of St. Paul and St. George have passed ordinances banning rodent-infested ships from entering the harbour and instituted biosecurity programs for onshore fish processing companies. However, a successful community biosecurity plan also relies on the public's understanding and acceptance of the actions required to effectively implement the plan. This often involves modifying behaviours and changing the way decisions are made, which can be a challenging task for adults who, over time, have developed personal beliefs and preconceived notions. Children are often more open to the introduction of novel concepts; thus promoting children’s understanding of and commitment to protecting native wildlife from invasive species is an important goal of biodiversity conservation. This long-term project aims to change behaviour and increase understanding within the communities on the Pribilof Islands, with an emphasis on children, so that the introduction of rats or other invasive species is viewed by the community as a negative and severe consequence with significant ecological impacts. To accomplish this, the project focused on educating children in the Pribilof School District through: 1) developing a curriculum that explores the impact of introduced invasive species on biodiversity and what can be done to prevent invasive species such as rats from becoming established; and 2) providing valuable ‘hands-on’ opportunities for the children to learn about the global importance of the Pribilof Islands for breeding seabirds, and their vulnerability to invasive species. Engaging the local community in an early detection and prevention program is a critical step in the effort to keep the Pribilof islands rat-free.

SHELL MIDDENS, ARCHAEOBOTANY, AND ANTHROPOGENIC LANDSCAPES: HOW ANCIENT ISLAND CHUMASH LAND USE SHAPED VEGETATION COMMUNITIES ON THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Kristina M. Gill1*, John Knapp2, John Randall2, and Jon M. Erlandson3, 1Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara kristinamariegill@gmail.com 2The Nature Conservancy, California Chapter 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon

   Prior to the Historic era, the Island Chumash and their ancestors harvested, managed, and co-evolved with Northern Channel Island flora for 13,000 years or more. Recent archaeobotanical research documents 10,000 years of Chumash plant use on the islands, suggesting that food plants from grassland/forb field communities were very important, especially carbohydrate-rich geophytes like blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), and small seeds like grasses and chenopods. Some archaeological sites also show that food plants like manzanita berry pits (Arctostaphylos spp.) from chaparral communities also were used, as well as a variety of other taxa from different community types. Over time, through processes of various harvesting methods (e.g., collecting, digging/tilling, pruning), Native peoples selected for and encouraged certain plants at the expense of others. More intentional management practices such as annual burning probably were practiced on the islands, as has been well documented elsewhere in California. These Native management strategies were likely differentially applied in various island areas, depending on local conditions and Islander needs. In this paper, we present archaeobotanical data from several sites on Santa Cruz Island’s West End dating to the last 2,500 years prior to the Historic ranching era. We use these data to explore past vegetation communities and the potential anthropogenic forces that shaped them, as well as the long-term effects anthropogenic features such as dense shell middens have on modern plant communities. Our results raise questions about the assumption that island vegetation was dominated by coastal scrub/chaparral communities prior to the ranching era. Finally, we show that the study of paleobotanical remains from archaeological sites can help to inform modern land managers about past plant community distributions and composition.

CHANGES IN CONDITION AND COMPOSITION OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS’ MACROBENTHIC COMMUNITIES

David Gillett* and Ken Schiff, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project davidg@sccwrp.org

   Since 1998, the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program has conducted surveys at five year intervals to monitor and assess the health of the soft-sediment macrobenthic fauna across the Southern California Bight, including the continental shelf of the Channel Islands. The Bight monitoring program uses a probabilistic sampling design providing unbiased estimates of condition for the Channel Islands, and the condition of other habitats within the region. Based upon the results of the 2013 survey, the continental shelf portions of the Channel Islands are relatively healthy (>70% in reference condition), but are in comparatively worse condition than similar habitat from the mainland continental shelf. Furthermore, trends in the data suggest that there may be a small, but steady decline in the condition of Channel Islands shelf habitat over the last 15 years. Concurrently with this change in habitat condition, there has also been a clear, steady change in macrobenthic community composition since 1998. The pattern at the Channel Islands mirrors similar changes in macrobenthic community composition that have been observed in almost every other macrobenthic habitat across the region. These changes may be reflective of changes in regional-scale stressor exposure (i.e., eutrophication or physical disturbance), well as basin-scale changes across the entire Northern Pacific Ocean (i.e., global warming and ocean acidification). Continued monitoring efforts designed to identify the stressors potentially affecting the region will be needed to determine if the changes in macrobenthic community condition and composition are an ongoing trend or short-term anomalies.

Environmental Factors Affecting Shellfish Utilization at Two Prehistoric Habitation Sites in Santa Cruz Island’s Interior

Michael Glassow, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara glassow@anth.ucsb.edu

   In 2014, I carried out test excavations at two prehistoric habitation sites on Santa Cruz Island, CA-SCRI-758 and CA-SCRI-796, in order to learn more about the use of the island’s interior by populations occupying the island between 5,000 and 3,300 cal B.C. Shellfish remains at the two sites are dominated by California mussel (Mytilus zonarius), but strata within this time interval also contain significant quantities of red abalone shells (Haliotis rufescens). CA-SCRI-758 contains deposits dating between 4,700 and 1,600 cal B.C., which allowed investigation of change through time in shellfish utilization. Variation in species proportions between sites appears to reflect shellfish collecting along differing segments of the coast, although inhabitants at both sites probably collected red abalone along coastlines in the island’s western sector. Transport of red abalone to CA-SCRI-758, at an elevation of approximately 450 m, would have been over distances of ~8 km to either the south coast near Punta Arena or the west coast at either end of Christy Beach. Proxies for mussel shell length show no clear temporal pattern at CA-SCRI-758, but mussels are significantly longer at CA-SCRI-796 than at CA-SCRI-758 within strata containing abundant red abalone shells. Differences in population mobility patterns between sites and over time probably account for much of the variability in the shellfish assemblages.

CHANGES IN ABUNDANCE AND SIZE OVER TIME OF TARGET AND NON-TARGET FISHERY SPECIES BETWEEN ISLANDS AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Katie Grady*, David Kushner, and Joshua Sprague, National Park Service, Department of Interior katharineogrady@gmail.com

   To assess spatial and temporal variation in abundance and individual growth of target and non-target fisheries species at The Channel Islands National Park (CINP), we analyzed population density and size frequency data for 12 fish and invertebrate species from 2006-2016. Data were collected by the National Park Service Kelp Forest Monitoring Program using fixed-width transect surveys, roving diver fish counts and in situ size estimates at 33 subtidal kelp forest sites across Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. We expect to see differences in density and changes in average size over a 10-year time period between sites, indicating variability in abundance and individual growth, in part due to a high degree of variation in abiotic factors (e.g. sea surface temperature) between the southern, eastern, and western islands. Comparison of these differences between fished areas and marine reserves across the islands may elucidate how the demography of these species are influenced by fishery and biogeographic factors, independently and interactively. The potential for these interactions are often heightened by large temperature perturbations, such as the most recent El Niño event in Southern California. Analysis such as these could be important for conserving marine fauna and guiding ecological management strategies throughout the CINP.

CHANGES IN CAULACANTHUS USTUALTUS AND ENDOCLADIA MURICATA AT SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND DURING A WARM WATER EVENT

Suzanne Graham1*, Jessica Bredvik1, Brendan Saunders2, and Brian Hong3 1U.S. Navy sgraham@spawar.navy.mil 2Cardno 3National Park Service

   There are limited published data regarding ecological effects of Caulacanthus ustulatus, a non-native red turf algae that was introduced to the southern California intertidal in the 1990s. Most studies have been conducted at mainland sites and little is known regarding Caulacanthus within the Channel Islands. At San Clemente Island, Caulacanthus has been commonly found in mid-high intertidal zones, which is habitat suitable for native red turf algal species such as Endocladia muricata. Recent mainland intertidal studies have shown that Caulacanthus has negatively affected macroinvertebrate populations while also increasing seaweed and meiofauna biodiversity in high intertidal areas. This study investigates differences between percent cover and species richness within adjacent Caulacanthus and Endocladia long-term fixed monitoring plots at San Clemente Island. Five Caulacanthus and five Endocladia fixed plots were established in Spring 2013 and Fall 2010, respectively. Data collected from these plots were used to quantify percent cover and establish species presence by using a 100-point scoring grid during annual Spring/Fall surveys (2013-2016, n=7). Both species’ percent cover decreased during this period. Percent cover of Caulacanthus was highest in spring and fall 2014 at 7% and decreased to 0% in 2016. Similarly, Endocladia plots contained highest percent cover in spring 2014 (22%) and began a declining trend in fall 2014 with 0% cover in 2016. The reduction in percent cover for both species could be an effect of the warming conditions that began in Fall 2014, which ultimately resulted in the 2015-16 El Niño event. To better understand biodiversity and abundance effects that Caulacanthus may have on the intertidal at San Clemente Island, a longer data set will be pursued. Additionally, manipulative experiments between native and non-native competitors will be crucial in better understanding the consequences Caulacanthus has with respect to biodiversity and abundance changes within intertidal assemblages at San Clemente Island.

USING SPATIAL PHYLOGENETICS TO INFORM CONSERVATION AT THE ARCHIPELAGO-SCALE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS PHYLODIVERSITY PROJECT

C. Matt Guilliams1*, Andrew H. Thornhill2, William A. Freyman2, Steven A. Junak1, Adriana I. Hernandez1, Chelsea Wright1, Christina E. Mitine1, Ashleyann Bacay1, Bruce G. Baldwin2, and Brent Mishler2, 1Department of Conservation and Research, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden mguilliams@sbbg.org 2University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley

   Conservation and land management actions are often prioritized in part using ahistorical measures of biodiversity such as the sum of minimum-rank taxa (MRT; i.e., species, subspecies, and varieties) in a region of interest. Although familiar, this approach has serious shortcomings, including 1) treatment of all MRT as biologically equivalent, when it has long been recognized that taxa at a given rank may differ greatly in depth and extent of evolutionary divergence and are therefore non-comparable, and 2) inability to detect spatial phylogenetic patterns in the area of interest, such as regions with concentrations of short-branch MRT or long-branch MRT (areas of putatively high neo- and paleo-endemism, respectively). An alternative approach is to explicitly incorporate phylogenetic history in the estimate of biodiversity. Phylogenetic diversity assessments overcome some of the shortcomings of ahistorical biodiversity metrics, but until recently have been difficult to implement due to the cost of generating sequence data for large numbers of taxa and a dearth of available analytical methods. An ever-increasing volume of DNA sequence data and fine-scale geo-referenced specimen data coupled with new phylogenetic methods and phylodiversity metrics now permit the estimation of phylodiversity at relatively fine phylogenetic and spatial scales. Here we introduce the Channel Islands Phylodiversity Project (CIPP), a collaborative effort to understand the fine-scale distribution of plant phylodiversity on the California Channel Islands (ChI). Building on momentum generated by the California Plant Phylodiversity Project, which focuses at the major clade level across California, our project seeks to estimate the phylodiversity on the ChI, including all 1,000+ plant MRTs. Here we outline the general goals of the CIPP, with an emphasis on spatial phylogenetic methods and metrics. We highlight our progress toward a phylogeny of the ChI flora, a tree that now includes over 750 of the ~1,050 ChI MRT, and conclude with a discussion of the novel perspective that spatial phylogenetics can provide toward the conservation of the remarkable ChI flora.

Old Collections and New Fieldwork: Understanding Development of Socio-Political Complexity at the Agua Santa Site, Santa Cruz Island

Amy E. Gusick, California State University, San Bernardino amy.gusick@csusb.edu

   Since the late 1970s, the Agua Santa Site (SCRI-195) on Santa Cruz Island has been the subject of various archaeological investigations. This comes as no surprise as the site spans a period within the cultural history of the island that population aggregation, shifts in subsistence economy, technological innovations, and an increase in violence have all been documented and cited as evidence for increasing complexity. Aqua Santa, a large village site that includes sixteen structural depressions on the surface, has dense cultural deposits that offer an unparalleled opportunity to collect substantial data pertaining to the Middle Period and the Middle-Late Transitional Period on Santa Cruz Island. These are important time periods in which island populations were involved in significant economic and social changes and the Aqua Santa site appears to represent the larger pattern of apparent population aggregation into coastal village sites and of the increasing socio-political complexity that coincided with this settlement shift. Data from a previous large scale excavation at the Aqua Santa site were never fully processed, but hint at the richness of the site. The current research utilized the old field notes and excavation data to gain a better understanding of the context of the excavated material in order to continue processing the data. These data were then used to target areas for additional sample collection to fill information gaps noted in the collection. Both the previously excavated material and the newly collected samples helped to understand and process the “orphaned” collection which ultimately lead to a better understanding of the development of socio-political complexity within the region.

BLACK ABALONE (HALIOTIS CRACHERODII) POPULATION STRUCTURE SHIFTS THROUGH DEEP TIME: HISTORICAL ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS ALONG THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS, CALIFORNIA

Hannah Haas1*, Todd Braje1, and Matthew Edwards2, 1San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology hannahghaas@gmail.com 2San Diego State University, Department of Biology

   For more than 10,000 years, black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) were an important subsistence resource in southern California, first for the maritime communities of coastal Native Americans, and then beginning in the nineteenth century, as the first commercial shellfishery in the state. By 1993, after years of overfishing, rising sea surface temperatures (SST), and the spread of withering syndrome, black abalone populations had become decimated, resulting in the wholesale collapse of commercial abalone fishing in California. Then, after nearly 25 years of careful management and recovery efforts, black abalone are now showing signs of ecological recovery along some Channel Island shorelines. However, black abalone recovery tends to be measured by their sizes and population densities, largely through information provided by the Channel Islands National Park (CINP) monitoring efforts that began in 1985. As part of a growing need to apply deeper historical perspectives to better inform modern fisheries management and restoration practices, we analyzed black abalone size data from San Miguel Island at prehistoric and historical archaeological sites spanning the last 10,000 years and compared these populations to those described by CINP between 1985 and 2013. We found a statistically significant relationship between SST and of black abalone distributions during the ancient record along with dramatic shifts in population size structure between the nineteenth century and modern periods. Taken together, our study provides a deep historical perspective of abalone population size distributions, patterns within these distributions through time, and parallels to modern abalone populations. Our results can help resource managers determine whether the modern (and perhaps future) size and age structure of intertidal black abalone populations on the northern Channel Islands are “natural” and “healthy”, compared to those that occurred during the previous10,000 years when they were continually and intensively harvested.

PARENTAL ADJUSTMENTS IN THE FACE OF DANGER: IS IT FOR THE BIRDS?

Michael Hague1*, Anna Chalfoun2, and Scott Sillett3, 1University of Wyoming mhague@uwyo.edu 2University of Wyoming 3Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

   Nest predation can strongly limit fitness in birds. Selection should therefore favor individuals that are better able to assess nest predation risk and adjust their nesting behavior accordingly. Additionally, passerines exhibit fixed oviposition, and should rely on plasticity of parental care behavior to minimize nest predation risk. To test this hypothesis, we studied how variation in predator assemblages is related to parental care behavior in Island Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma insularis) by 1) quantifying mean on and off bout lengths and male visitation rates during incubation, 2) estimating an activity index for primary nest predators (Common Raven (Corvus corax) and Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)) on focal territories within two habitat types: oak chaparral and pine woodland, and 3) estimating daily nest survival probabilities. We located and monitored 269 nests in 2015 and 2016, and deployed 24-hour cameras at a subset of those nests to quantify mean bout lengths during incubation. We used distance sampling of fox scat along transects and conducted raven surveys within individual territory boundaries (n = 64) to index nest predator activity. We found that nest success rates were higher in pine woodland where raven activity was higher and fox activity was lower. Additionally, preliminary results show that mean on and off bout lengths were longer in the pine woodland, suggesting that Island Scrub-Jays can adjust parental behavior in response to ambient nest predation risk and that these adjustments are conditional on nest predator species. This study advances our understanding of how animals mitigate predation risk through behavioral adaptations.

SANTA ROSA ISLAND TORREY PINE POPULATION STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT

Travis Hall1*, Andrew Brinkman1, Paula Power2, Kathryn McEachern3, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands halltravis2010@gmail.com 2Channel Islands National Park 3U.S. Geological Survey

   The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is the rarest pine species in North America, with populations of distinct subspecies limited to Del Mar, CA and Santa Rosa Island (SRI). Over the past 150 years, disturbance from non-native ungulates and feral pigs resulted in widespread erosion and conversion of native vegetation from shrublands to grasslands and barrens. We censused the SRI Torrey pine population to determine its size and growth patterns, spatial patterns in stand structure, environmental factors related to seedling recruitment, and the conservation gains associated with ungulate removal. Cores were taken from 19 trees of different sizes to determine the relationship between diameter at breast height and age. We tested distance bands (m) of seedlings and saplings associated with mature trees in high and low densities using a local Moran’s I test within ArcMap. Results were then used in a hot spot analysis to find significant recruitment areas within 3 groves (P<0.01). We established long-term demography plots to monitor the survival and growth rate of the plants. In total, 24,194 individuals make up the SRI Torrey pine population, 3,062 of which are sexually mature; 79% are seedlings and saplings. Recruitment patterns and size structure indicate that protection from disturbance has been critical in preserving the pines. The population has a pronounced reverse j-shaped size distribution, and it is expanding into recovering native vegetation at the stand boundaries. Continued protection is critical to the future conservation of both the Torrey pine populations.

THE SANTA ROSA ISLAND RESEARCH STATION: A UNIQUE FIELD STATION PARTNERSHIP

Cause Hanna1*, Dan Wakelee1, and Russell Galipeau2, 1California State University Channel Islands cause.hanna@csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park

   The Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) provides students, faculty, researchers, and our local community with the resources and opportunities to engage in natural and cultural resource based research and education via a partnership between the US National Park Service and CSU Channel Islands. The majority of field stations in the United States are operated by universities; however only eight university-run field stations are located inside US National Park System units. Partnerships between the US National Park Service and universities can broaden and strengthen the strategic objectives of a field station. We examine and summarize the accomplishments and challenges of the SRIRS since its establishment in 2014. The SRIRS has cultivated a diverse and more inclusive community of scholars and initiated innovative resource management solutions by supporting research, inquiry-based education, and public outreach programs across disciplines. The ability of the SRIRS community to address management challenges from multiple perspectives has and will continue to enable energetic, adept and successful responses to our changing natural and human landscapes. The increased activity at and demand for the SRIRS over the past three years has resulted in an increased number of research projects and partnerships; however it has also emphasized the need to prioritize our programmatic and collaborative opportunities so the SRIRS can successfully achieve its strategic objectives using limited resources. The exploration of this unique partnership between Channel Islands National Park and CSU Channel Islands can inform other collaborative interactions between federal agencies, universities, and their allied stakeholders.

Seabird restoration on Guadalupe Island, México

Julio César Hernández-Montoya*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, Luciana Luna-Mendoza, Federico Méndez-Sánchez, María de los Ángeles Milanés-Salinas, Ariana. Duarte-Canizales, Zayra Peña Moreno, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, and María Félix-Lizárraga, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México, 228 julio.montoya@islas.org.mx

   Guadalupe Island and its surrounding islets are a key breeding site for seabirds. However, feral cats, introduced to the main island more than 100 years ago, are a serious threat, particularly to the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL) and the Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus; GUMU). To protect these species, since 2003 we have a long-lasting cat control program around seabird colonies in the northeast and the southern tip of the island. The positive impacts to seabirds are being closely monitored. LAAL’s colony has grown during the last 30 years, increasing from 4 in 1984 to 199 breeding pairs in 2016, just on the main island. From December to July each year since 2007, every nest has been monitored from egg-laying to chick-fledging. Three locations were monitored: the main Guadalupe Island (Punta Sur), Zapato Islet and Morro Prieto Islet. During 2016, we recorded a total of 867 active nests. We have assessed the reproductive success of LAAL during the past nine years, which in 2015 was 87.59% for chicks and 79.89% for juveniles (n=747 individuals). To protect the LAAL colony from feral cat predation, an exclusion fence was built on Punta Sur in 2014. The 730-meter fence created a 62-hectare cat-free peninsula. The fence, along with cat control in other areas of the island might also encourage GUMU and other seabird species to sustained nesting on the main island: in April 2016, 3 GUMU chicks were recorded within the fenced area. There is now a commitment from a group of donors to fund the feral cat eradication on Guadalupe Island, a highest-priority conservation action. It will be a 4-5 year project that should start in early 2017.

CASSIN’S AUKLET (PTYCHORAMPHUS ALEUTICUS) RESTORATION ON BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Alfonso Hernández-Ríos*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, María Félix-Lizárraga, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México, 22800 alfonso.hernandez@islas.org.mx

   Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) is listed as Near Threatened by IUCN Red List and as endangered by Mexican law. On islands in the Pacific Ocean off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, some populations were either extirpated by introduced mammals or decimated by DDT and oil spills. Successful eradication of cats and rats on all these islands allowed the natural recolonization of the species on San Roque and Asunción islands. However, this has not been the case for the rest of the islands. Therefore, in 2013 we started a comprehensive long-term seabird restoration program on seven island groups to enhance the recovery of the California Current region’s seabird populations, including auklets. Activities include the use of artificial burrows, sound systems playing vocalizations from regional colonies, and habitat enhancement. To evaluate the effectiveness of social stimuli we have systematically monitored seabird activity in artificial burrows, and have used camera traps. From our experience over the years, we suggest an adaptive management approach and site specific for this particular species. We have observed that habitat preference differs amongst islands, which has then led us to use different designs of artificial burrows, increase their numbers, and modify their configuration and orientation. We also have faced predation by Barn Owl, Common Raven, and Western Gull on some of the islands. During 2014 and 2015, we recorded the species on Todos Santos, Coronado, Natividad and San Martín islands after not being recorded for decades and currently, in 2016, we have recorded artificial burrow occupancy on all islands except San Martín. Our positive results highlight the importance of a long-term conservation program to restore CAAU and other seabird colonies in Mexico.

Collagen Fingerprinting Reveals Earliest Marine Mammal Hunting in the Americas

Courtney A. Hofman1*, Torben C. Rick2, Jon M. Erlandson3, and Mike Buckley4, 1Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma courtney.hofman@ou.edu 2Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 4Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester

   Marine mammals were among the largest and most attractive resources available to coastal hunter-gatherers, but marine mammal bones are relatively rare and often highly fragmented in terminal Pleistocene/earliest Holocene Paleocoastal archaeological sites in the Americas. This often precludes our understanding of the species that early coastal peoples were hunting or scavenging. Here we present the results of collagen fingerprinting of marine mammal bones from two Paleocoastal sites on California’s Channel Islands dated to ~11,200 and ~9,500 cal BP. These sites produced aquatic birds, shellfish, finfish, and marine mammals, but little is known about the marine mammal species present. Collagen fingerprinting documented at least four species, including Elephant seal, California sea lion, sea otter, and fur seal. Elephant seals are extremely rare in trans-Holocene sites on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, with our data raising the possibility that they were more important to Paleocoastal peoples than people later in the Holocene. Seals, sea lions, and sea otters were an important component of diverse Paleocoastal subsistence strategies and may have helped fuel the coastal peopling of the Americas.

Distribution and spread of the introduced Argentine ant on the California Channel Islands

David Holway1*, Christina Boser2, Korie Merrill3, and Ida Naughton1, 1Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego dholway@ucsd.edu 2The Nature Conservancy, Ventura 3Soil Ecology Research Group, San Diego State University

   The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is a widespread and abundant introduced ant species that disrupts ecosystems throughout its introduced range. The Argentine ant was inadvertently introduced to Santa Catalina Island, San Clemente Island, Santa Cruz Island and San Nicolas Island at various points during the past century. The Argentine ant invades areas dominated by native perennial vegetation on all four islands. Although aridity limits the extent to which the Argentine ant penetrates seasonally dry environments on the southern California mainland, these constraints appear to less strictly apply on the Channel Islands, where the relatively cool and foggy maritime climate seems conducive to the spread of this invader. Longitudinal records of invasion from San Clemente Island and Santa Cruz Island, for example, reveal radial patterns of spread into a variety of natural habitat types. Multiple infestations within the same island are largely the result of repeated, accidental introductions by people. On Santa Cruz Island, detailed studies of the effects of Argentine ant invasions provide clear evidence of native ant displacement and disruption of plant-pollinator mutualisms. Continued expansion of the Argentine ant on the Channel Islands thus represents a grave environmental concern. Eradication programs underway on San Clemente and Santa Cruz Islands will hopefully result in island-wide elimination of this damaging invader.

PORTABLE RITUAL OBJECTS ON THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Kristin Hoppa1*, Sherri Andrews2, and Jennifer Perry3, 1UC Santa Barbara kristinhoppa@gmail.com 2ASM Affiliates 3California State University Channel Islands

   This paper explores the material conveyance of ritual objects from the northern and southern Channel Islands. We specifically focus on portable material, including charmstones, pendants, effigies, and other specially curated objects. We describe artifacts encountered by the authors during survey and excavation on Santa Cruz Island and San Clemente Island, and discuss the significance of these findings in relation to ethnographic and archaeological evidence from other sites on the Channel Islands and within coastal southern California.

PERVASIVE PLASTICS: A NEW CHALLENGE FOR CRABS AND OUR SANDY BEACH ECOSYSTEM

Dorothy A. Horn*, Micaela Miller, Sean Anderson, and Clare Wormald Steele, California State University Channel Islands dorothy.horn078@myci.csuci.edu

   Marine debris is an emerging global issue and millions of tons of debris are added to marine and coastal systems annually. Plastics are a significant component of marine debris, and of particular concern is the propensity of plastics to attract pollutants, and to degrade into microplastics (particles or fibers <5mm) that are easily ingested. Sandy beach ecosystems accumulate debris from marine and land-based sources, and sandy beach invertebrate infauna, and their predators, are at risk of ingesting microplastic pollution. We sampled sand from 51 beaches across California (northern San Francisco, to San Diego, including the California Channel Islands) and found microplastics present at every beach. We also sampled and dissected Pacific sand crabs (Emerita analoga) from the same geographical area. Sand crabs are found intertidally upon almost every Californian sandy beach, and so are an excellent potential sentinel of ecosystem change across shorelines. We found microplastics present within the bodies of adult sand crabs: an average of 35% of sampled crabs had ingested microplastics. We have demonstrated the ubiquity of microplastics in coastal environments and identified a mechanism of entry into coastal food webs. We are determining any interference caused by plastic ingestion in predator avoidance and reproduction. Given the current rise of plastic pollution across our seas and coasts there is an increasing likelihood of plastics entering marine food webs and impacting coastal ecosystems.

REPRODUCTIVE MONITORING OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET COLONIES ON SANTA BARBARA ISLAND IN 2007-2016

Jim Howard1*, Peter Larramendy1, David Mazurkiewicz2, Laurie Harvey3, Kevin Barnes2, Sasha Auer2, Reneé Robison1, and Darrell Whitworth1, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies jim_howard@ciesresearch.org 2National Park Service 3Sutil Conservation Ecology

   Santa Barbara Island hosts one of the largest nesting population of Scripps’s Murrelets in the world, however various anthropogenic impacts over the Island’s history have restricted habitat availability to sparse vegetation and small caves on the island’s perimeter. Habitat restoration activities on Santa Barbara Island were started in 2007 to promote nesting success and colony expansion of seabirds, especially Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliborhamphus scrippsi). To evaluate habitat restoration efforts, reproductive monitoring has been conducted from 2007 to 2016. Clutch success of Scripps’s Murrelets was highly variable from 45% of nests in 2009 to 74% in 2015. Egg failure due to depredation by native deer mice was identified as the greatest threat to nest success. Previously undetected or new nesting sites were found throughout all monitoring sites annually. In 2015, murrelets were documented nesting for the first time in the restoration sites. Four nests were located in the Landing Cove site and one nest was documented at the Arch Point-North Cliffs site. This milestone marks an expansion of the murrelet colony into the interior of the island. We estimate that approximately 10 acres of available nesting seabird habitat has been created by our restoration efforts.

GEOGRAPHY OF ARROYO DEVELOPMENT AND IMPACTS TO HUMAN LAND USE ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CA

Jeff Howarth, Department of Geography, Middlebury College, VT jhowarth@middlebury.edu

   This article presents evidence from historical maps, historical archaeological features and lidar data to document changes to stream channels in Quaternary deposits caused by erosion following the initiation of sheep ranching on Santa Cruz Island, California. Topographic sheets by the US Coast Survey in 1874-75 indicate spatial variability in the presence of arroyos, or vertically-walled stream channels in valley bottoms at watershed-scales. When compared to a shaded relief map derived from lidar data collected in 2010, arroyos migrated up the valleys of all canyons and can also be observed in locations where they were not depicted on the 1875 map. Two lines of evidence indicate that these changes likely occurred before the end of the 19th century. First, hand-drawn plans by the Santa Cruz Island Company indicate substantial erosion in valley bottoms occurred in the mid-1880s, including gullying in smaller tributaries. Second, the locations of dry masonry check dams, built by ranch workers in the 1880s and 1890s, also document the presence of arroyos and gullies in smaller tributaries. The spatial location of check dams relative to other land use features indicate that eroding stream channels impacted ranching and agricultural activities, particularly cultivation and transportation. Annotations on the plans also document both an explicit and implicit normative perspective towards stream channels that stood in contrast to descriptions of the environmental conditions as they existed then. This article contributes to previous investigations of human-induced environmental change in California’s Channel Islands by documenting both a window of time and spatial variability for the development of arroyos on Santa Cruz Island. In addition, this research also highlights a two-way relationship between historical human activity and environmental change, where human activities not only contribute to environmental change, but environmental changes in turn influence human activities and attitudes towards the environment.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS COLABORATIVE: A BLUEPRINT FOR THE RECOVERY AND CONSERVATION OF BOTANICAL RESOURCES

William Hoyer III1*, John Knapp2, Morgan Ball3, Donaxi Borjes4, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, C. Matt Guilliams7, Julio Hernández8, Emily Howe3, Denise Knapp7, Lyndall Laughrin9, Luciana Luna8, David Mazurkiewicz5, Kathryn McEachern10, Bryan Munson11, Ken Niessen10, Tom Oberbauer12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall2, Sarah Ratay3, Dirk Rodriguez5, Heather Schneider7, and Sula Vanderplank14, 1US Navy- San Nicolas Island william.hoyer@navy.mil 2The Nature Conservancy 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4Comisión Nacional de Áreas, Naturales Protedgidas 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 8Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas 9University of California Natural Reserve System 10US Geologic Survey- Biological Resources Division 11US Navy- San Clemente Island 12Tom Oberbauer 13Channel Islands Restoration 14Botanical Research Institute of Texas

   Following the reduction or removal of introduced vertebrates across most of the islands in the United States and Mexico within the California Floristic Province over the last four decades, many plant taxa and vegetation communities appear to be on a clear trajectory towards recovery; however, others have not fared so well. Island botanical resources have received little attention directly compared to the conservation of endemic fauna. The most urgent work to conserve island fauna has been completed. More resources are now available for focused conservation and recovery of botanical resources. Many island endemic plant taxa have been extirpated from one or more islands, others are on the brink of extinction. Recovery of native vegetation has stalled in many areas, invasive plants still remain and novel species will continue to invade unless prevented, and the threat of climate change looms over all the islands. In the last three years, island managers and mainland collaborators have developed a comprehensive bi-lateral conservation program: the Islands of the Californias/Islas del las Californias. We share knowledge, expertise, strategies, prioritization schemes, equipment, and fundraising power to collectively address the most urgent challenges. The Collaboration’s five key initiatives are: 1) Plant Extinction Prevention Program, 2) Invasive Plant Management Network, 3) All Taxa Database, 4) Restoration Network, and 5) Workshare Program. Island managers and mainland collaborators realize that in order for this program to be effective and sustainable, strong personal and organizational relationships and ongoing interactions will be vital.

Conservation preservation in Gwaii Haanas - keeping islands biosecure within the constraints of a remote field environment, multiple users and less time than you’d like

Robyn L. Irvine, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site robyn.irvine@pc.gc.ca

   Island restoration projects within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site created four rat-free islands to enable seabird conservation gains. The challenge of keeping them free of invasive rats was made painfully real when one of the islands was reinvaded with rats. The development of a biosecurity program has been ongoing, but the complexities of implementing it and ensuring that our own staff boats and processes are not enabling reinvasion will be discussed. The ideal biosecurity program would firstly be completely secure with respect to transport. It would also have continuity, oversight at various locations and scales, and staff and community ownership. I will discuss how we are working to improve our current program and some of the current challenges.

MOUNTAIN MEN IN THE CALIFORNIA ISLANDS: OTTER HUNTING, BULL BOATS, AND ENCOUNTERS WITH NATIVE AMERICANS INCLUDING THE LONE WOMAN OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Steven R. James, Division of Anthropology, California State University at Fullerton, P.O. Box 6846, Fullerton, CA 92834-6846 sjames@fullerton.edu

   During the late 1820s and 1830s, a number of American fur-trapping expeditions traveled to California in search of beaver and other fur-bearing mammals. Many of the so-called “Mountain Men” traversed the region and headed back to the Rockies or further east to the United States. However, some stayed in southern coastal California and turned to otter hunting in the Channel Islands and elsewhere along the Pacific Coast. A few individuals also married into Mexican land-owning families and became prominent citizens and cattle barons. The mountain men highlighted here include Francis Branch, Lewis Burton, Job Dye, George Nidever, Isaac Sparks, Isaac Williams, and George Yount. Historical accounts of these men provide descriptions of their otter hunting exploits, construction of watercraft including use of elephant seal skins to make “bull boats”, and encounters with Native populations on the Channel Islands, which are discussed in this presentation. One account describes the Nicoleño of San Nicolas Island a few years before they were removed from the island in 1835, including perhaps a brief mention of a young female who later became known as the Lone Woman—the last surviving Nicoleño. In all the descriptions about the legendary Lone Woman, as well as recent archaeological publications, we tend to forget that George Nidever, the otter-hunting sea captain who searched for and removed the Lone Woman in 1853 from San Nicolas Island, was a former mountain man, grizzly bear hunter, and used other Native California Indians as servants during the Gold Rush. Other mountain men who stayed in California even fathered children with California Indians in southern California. Finally, the possibility that elephant seal skin watercraft constructed by the mountain men as “bull boats” might have been used in prehistory on the Channel Islands, perhaps even by Paleoindians, is examined.

Coastal Archaeological Site Erosion on Santa Rosa Island, California

Christopher Jazwa, University of Nevada, Reno cjazwa@unr.edu

   Erosion threatens archaeological sites along the California coast, including the Channel Islands. Many of the largest settlement sites on the islands, including historically documented village sites, are located along the coast and at risk of damage or loss. Historic grazing and natural coastal processes have destabilized the soil and led to increased erosion during the past century. I show the effects of annual erosion at 11 archaeological sites around the coast of Santa Rosa Island from 2013 to 2016. I have monitored erosion through GIS mapping, measurement of permanent points, and photography. These observations are compared with local weather data, including daily precipitation, average wind speed, and wind gusts. I discuss interannual and geographic variation in archaeological site erosion on Santa Rosa Island, including the effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño. Future coastal site erosion monitoring on the northern Channel Islands could help preserve the unique cultural resources present there.

Lithologic, Climatic, and Anthropogenic Controls on Gully Incision into Bedrock: Santa Cruz Island, CA

Kerri N. Johnson1,2*, Scott McCoy2, Oliver Chadwick1, and Kevin Schmidt3, 1University of California, Santa Barbara KNJohnson@ucsb.edu 2University of Nevada, Reno 3U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park

   Gullies (or Arroyos) exist at the threshold between stable soil mantled hillslopes and bare bedrock landscapes. Gully incision produces large amounts of fine sediment which can choke aquatic, riparian and off-shore habitat. In many contexts around the world, gully incision corresponds in time with land use and vegetation change, but the process and controls on gully incision diversity remain a mystery. Santa Cruz Island offers an excellent laboratory to study the controls on gully incision and hillslope recovery because of its diverse bedrock lithology, and its well documented grazing and vegetation recovery history. Gully density varies across the island with lithology as the first order control. Our goal is to better understand the way the process of gully incision differs by lithology. From this understanding we explore the way precipitation patterns, fog, slope aspect, soil depth, and vegetation influence gully incision and healing. We focus on one of the most extensively gullied lithologies: the Cañada Formation mudstone which is found primarily in Sauces and Pozo Canyons. We show that in contrast to the classic conceptual understanding of gullies eroding into soil and slowing when they get into harder bedrock, in landscapes underlain by mudstone like the Cañada formation with high shrink-swell clay content, bedrock is more erodible than soil and soil forms a protective cap on the landscape. When gully incision outpaces soil formation, bare bedrock is exposed to rapid drying, fracture, and loss of resistance to continued gully incision. We estimate erosion from one episode of drying (2016) and explore how precipitation patterns, fog, slope aspect and vegetation influence the processes of soil formation and gully channel incision in this unique yet common lithology.

Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates from Arlington Springs, Santa Rosa Island

John R. Johnson1*, Thomas W. Stafford, Jr.2, G. James West3, Thomas K. Rockwell4, Don P. Morris5, Katherine Bradford6, and Fred Schaeffer1, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History jjohnson@sbnature2.org 2Stafford Research 3University of California, Davis 4San Diego State University 5Channel Islands National Park (ret.) 6University of California, Santa Barbara

   Six seasons of fieldwork have taken place at the Arlington Springs Site, CA-SRI-173, on Santa Rosa Island between 1994-2008, documenting the stratigraphy through exposing the side wall of Arlington Canyon, obtaining sediment cores, and LIDAR scanning the excavations and site vicinity. More than 70 radiocarbon dates document the Late Pleistocene and Early-to-Middle Holocene sedimentary record at this location. The chronostratigraphic evidence thus acquired supports the previously published calibrated age of around 13,000 cal BP obtained from collagenous protein from Arlington Springs Man's femora. These bones were embedded in a stratum underlying a prominently visible black layer marking the Younger Dryas Cooling Period that began about 12,800 cal BP. The sedimentation rate as revealed in the Arlington Springs cores mirrors the reconstructed sea level curve during the Late Pleistocene.

THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF ANACAPA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Steven Junak* and Ralph Philbrick, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sjunak@sbbg.org

   The three islets of Anacapa Island, with a combined area of 2.9 square km, lie 20 km off the coast of southern California. Historically, each of Anacapa's islets have been subjected to periodic grazing by sheep, and the eastern islet has also had a sizeable population of introduced rabbits. In spite of these past perturbations, the recovery of the island's vegetation has been remarkable since sheep removal in 1937. Despite its small size, Anacapa Island supports a surprising diversity of vascular plants, with over 235 taxa from 50 plant families. Twenty of these taxa are restricted to the California Islands; one annual species of Malacothrix occurs as a narrow endemic found only on Middle Anacapa Island, while another annual subspecies of Malacothrix is known only from West and East Anacapa. The floral diversity of this island has apparently been influenced by its close proximity to the mainland and other larger islands, and by its diverse topography. Anacapa Island supports a slightly larger native flora than San Miguel Island, which is about 13 times larger and is located about 80 km to the west. The Anacapa native flora is more than twice the size of that found on Santa Barbara Island, which has about the same area as Anacapa Island but is located approximately 100 km to the southeast. Even though botanical exploration began on Anacapa in 1889, the current work represents the first complete enumeration of the island's flora.

Use of Fire in Controlling the Balance of Native and Non-native grasses

Jon E. Keeley1*, Teresa J. Brennan1, and Dawn M. Lawson2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Field Station, Three Rivers, CA 93271 jon_keeley@usgs.gov 2Environmental Scineces and Applied Systems Branch, San Diego, CA 92152

   California has many native grassland fragments dominated by the bunchgrass Stipa pulchra. However, most all share dominance with exotic annual grasses and forbs. Theoretically there is reason to believe that one can alter the balance between natives and non-natives through carefully planned prescribed burns that negatively impact the latter more than the natives. This was tested in native grasslands on San Clemente Island. In the first growing season after the Rx burns, native grasses declined only slightly due to resprouting from surviving bunchgrasses. However, exotic annual grasses were substantially reduced. This reduction has persisted for three years postfire.

COLLISION AND DISPLACEMENT VULNERABILITY AMONG MARINE BIRDS OF THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM ASSOCIATED WITH OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

Emma C. Kelsey1*, Jonathan J. Felis1, David M. Pereksta2, and Josh Adams1, 1U.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz, CA ekelsey@usgs.gov 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Pacific OCS Region, Camarillo, CA

   Capitalizing on open areas with persistent winds, offshore wind-energy infrastructure (OWEI) has the potential to produce a significant proportion of the power necessary to reach the United States’ renewable energy needs. Marine birds are vulnerable to collision with and displacement by OWEI. We created a comprehensive database of marine bird vulnerability to OWEI in the California Current System (CCS). Using available information on population size, demography, life history, flight heights, and avoidance behavior for 62 seabird and 19 marine water bird species that occur in the CCS; we generated three vulnerability values: Population Vulnerability, Collision Vulnerability, and Displacement Vulnerability. Population Vulnerability was applied to Collision and Displacement Vulnerability as a scaling factor to generate two comprehensive indices: Population Collision Vulnerability (PCV) and Population Displacement Vulnerability (PDV). Pelicans, terns, gulls, cormorants, and Ashy Storm-Petrel had the greatest PCV scores. Alcids, terns, loons, and Ashy Storm-Petrel had the greatest PDV scores. Using the most recent aerial at-sea survey data (U.S. Geological Survey and Humboldt State University 1999 – 2002), we mapped bird densities within the southern CCS (Morro Bay to the California-Mexico border) as a function of their cumulative PCV and PDV scores to create a PCV distribution and PDV distribution for the suite of species in the southern CCS. The PCV distribution and PDV distribution for these species provides estimates of marine bird vulnerability levels in locations where OWEI construction is being considered, including the recent Trident Winds LCC lease request off Morro Bay, California. PCV and PDV distribution estimates can be used by BOEM and other resource managers to help inform siting decisions that can impact seabird conservation.

STABILITY AND CHANGE IN KELP FOREST HABITATS AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Michael Kenner1* and M. Tim Tinker2, 1University of California Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab, 100 Shaffer Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 mkenner@ucsc.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060

   Kelp forest communities are highly variable over space and time, but despite this complex variation it has been suggested that kelp forest communities can be classified into one of two states: kelp dominated or sea urchin dominated. It has been further hypothesized that these represent “alternate stable states”, since a site can remain in one or the other state for decades before some perturbation causes a rapid shift to the other state, in which it may in turn remain. Our research group has maintained a 37-year subtidal community monitoring program at San Nicolas Island, consisting of twice-annual, scuba-based surveys at 6 sites distributed within 4 regions around the Island. Three types of perturbations could potentially have impacted the subtidal community at San Nicolas: 1) physical disturbance, in the form of major storm events and ENSO events; 2) invertebrate diseases, which periodically decimate urchin populations; and 3) the re-introduction and subsequent increase of sea otters. These three perturbations differ in spatial and temporal specificity: physical disturbance and disease outbreaks occur periodically and could affect all 4 regions, while sea otter predation has been concentrated primarily at West-end sites over the last 15 years. Spatiotemporal discrepancies in perturbations and the duration of the time series make San Nicolas an ideal data set with which to test the “alternate stable state” hypothesis. We use Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to examine spatial and temporal patterns of community similarity at the three regions. In particular, we evaluate support for the existence of stable states, which are represented on NMDS plots as distinct spatial clusters. Community state can be described as a biased random walk in NMDS space, with evidence for separate basins of attraction; moreover, we show that transitions from one stable state to another may be influenced by interactions between multiple perturbations.

FROM ABUNDANT TO NEAR EXTINCTION AND BACK: THE ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IMPLEMENTED IN SAVING THE CATALINA ISLAND FOX

Julie King, Santa Catalina Island Conservancy jking@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Catalina Island fox subspecies declined by approximately 95% in 1999 as a result of canine distemper virus most likely introduced by a stowaway raccoon. The Catalina subspecies, along with three others were petitioned for listing under the ESA in 2001 and ultimately listed as endangered in March 2004. Swift implementation of science-based recovery actions under an adaptive management framework was essential and included translocations, captive breeding, prophylactic vaccination, radio collar monitoring for mortality, annual health screenings, veterinary care, educational outreach, and threat abatement. Additional conservation actions such as feral pig and goat removal, invasive plant management, and native plant restoration were happening concurrently and have greatly improved fox habitat from pre-decline conditions. The Catalina Island Conservancy’s non-profit status allowed for financial flexibility, enabling the rapid redirection of general operating funds towards fox recovery and has allowed for non-governmental funding strategies such as black-tie galas, family foundation support, recreational events, and earned income to be earmarked towards recovery activities. The Island Fox Conservation Working group convened following the decline of all four subspecies and provided a platform for a diverse group of collaborators to investigate additional questions that would influence future management decisions. Their contributions to what we know about the genetic diversity, diet, pathogen prevalence, home range, and population dynamics of island foxes has been invaluable to the ongoing successes of all six subspecies. Catalina’s fox population has made a remarkable comeback since 1999 and has achieved population viability with an estimated 1,812 foxes in 2015, however factors leading to its original listing have not been thoroughly mitigated to achieve legal delisting. The Catalina Island fox continues to face challenges similar to those found on the mainland including human-caused mortalities, project funding limitations, potential disease introduction, and multiple stakeholders with differing missions and goals.

IMPACTS OF MESEMBRYANTHEMUM CRYSTALLINUM ON THE PLANT AND ARTHROPOD DIVERSITY OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Denise Knapp* and Chris Garoutte, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden dknapp@sbbg.org

   Crystalline iceplant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) is an invasive weed from South Africa that was recorded as abundant on San Nicolas Island as early as 1898. It is known to accumulate salts on the soil surface and forms high ground cover throughout the island, but the resulting impacts to plant and arthropod communities have not been quantified. In April 2016, we gathered baseline plant and arthropod biodiversity data prior to initiating experimental restoration treatments. We performed pitfall trapping and visual plant cover surveys in a series of 42 2x2 meter plots in each of three locations on the island. We found that results differed among the three sites, with significant negative effects of Mesembryanthemum on both plant and arthropod richness at two sites (plants 65% and 23% lower, p=0.005 and 0.042 respectively; arthropods 38% and 35% lower, p=0.002 and 0.010 respectively), and the third site displaying no difference in plant richness but somewhat greater arthropod richness in Mesembryanthemum plots (19% greater, p = 0.06). Furthermore, we found a strong negative correlation between Mesembryanthemum cover and both plant and arthropod richness at the first two sites (Pearson’s r = -0.61 and -0.49 for plants, -0.76 and 0.70 for arthropods). The site with fewer differences is dune sand, which supports sparser vegetation and may leach salts more readily. In future work, we will investigate soil texture and salinity as well as differences in arthropod composition, particularly those taxa known as preferred food sources for island foxes. Then in fall 2016, we will apply two Mesembryanthemum reduction treatments (grow-kill, which should leach any salts, and herbicide, which is more cost-effective) and hydroseed native plants in a portion of those plots.

FACT, FICTION, AND HEARSAY: THE STATUS OF FOENICULUM VULGARE ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

John Knapp*1, Morgan Ball2, and Katrina Olthof2, 1The Nature Conservancy 532 E. Main St., Suite 200, Ventura, CA 93001 jknapp@tnc.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science

   Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) was first discovered on the Isthmus of Santa Cruz Island in the late 1800’s, and soon after was regarded as a pest. It expanded throughout the island, but occurred at very low densities for nearly a century. Following the removal of feral herbivores in late 1980’s, and a strong El Niño event in the early 1990’s, F. vulgare infestations expanded dramatically resulting in extensive mono-typic stands. The Nature Conservancy developed effective control methodologies in the 1990’s; however, other conservation priorities postponed any F. vulgare management until 2008, but were limited to a roadside weed management program to stop the anthropogenic dispersal of the species to high value sites. Research in the 1990’s investigated the long-term trajectory of F. vulgare stands and concluded that over time native vegetation would recolonize dense infestations. Since that time there has been a wide array of great speculation by island managers and mainland researchers regarding the status of F. vulgare, which has resulted in island managers taking relatively little action to reduce F. vulgare abundance. To address these questions, the results of an island-wide aerial weed survey performed in 2007 were compared to a repeat effort conducted in 2015. Analysis of the two surveys indicates that historically large stands of F. vulgare have reduced in density while native plant cover has increased. However, F. vulgare continues to dominate those sites. Conversely, areas with small, remote infestations are currently expanding in their extent and density, indicating that F. vulgare has not yet reached naturalized equilibrium. Although native vegetation may recolonize F. vulgare stands after two decades of passive restoration, an extensive seedbank exists that may be triggered by a wildfire event, thus favoring F. vulgare over native species. Based on F. vulgare distribution and abundance, multiple watersheds could be controlled to zero density, while large infestations will require a long-term strategy.

FIRST REPORT AND ASSESSMENT OF THE INVASIVE ALGA UNDARIA PINNATIFIDA AT THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 david_kushner@nps.gov

   The Asian kelp Undaria pinnatifida was first discovered in Southern California in 2000. Since, it has spread as far north as Bodega Bay, California. As early as 2001 it was observed at Catalina Island, but was not observed at any of the other offshore Islands until 2016. On June 24th, 2016 Channel Islands National Park Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFMP) discovered U. pinnatifida at one of the 33 KFMP sites it monitors annually. This is the first documented report of U. pinnatifida at the five Northern Channel Islands. Surveys were conducted to document the extent of the invasion. This is an update of information collected, as well as a discussion for a possible control and eradication attempt of this invasive species.

ISLAND BIOSECURITY AT WORK: EARLY DETECTION AND RAPID RESPONSE ON MEXICAN ISLANDS

Mariam Latofski-Robles1*, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Cynthia Jáuregui-García1, Araceli Samaniego-Herrera1, Patricia Koleff-Osorio2, Georgia Born-Schmidt2, José Bernal-Stoopen3, Eduardo Rendón-Hernández3, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. mariam.latofski@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

   Island Biosecurity Protocols include prevention measures, early detection methods and incursion response plans. Although the most cost-effective strategy is to prioritize efforts in preventing any incursion, early detection methods are of critical importance to discover an elusive individual and thus evaluate our prevention measures. Incursion response plans consider a communication and involvement strategy, the allocation of responsibilities, and methods to confirm/deny the incursion, as well as to assess the dispersal and establishment of an invasive species. During the last years, we have had six incursion response cases on four Mexican islands, all of them involving rodents as the prime suspects. Three of the cases were false alarms; on two more, the incursion was detected on time and stopped by means of a fast reaction; while on the last case, we found that the species was already well established and thus eradicated years later. As Mexico’s Island Biosecurity Program starts to unfold on a group of selected islands all over the country, and the committee of each island or islands group elaborates its own Island Biosecurity Protocol, our experiences with these incursion response cases provide lessons to be adopted nationwide. Local capacity building, for instance, is of vital importance for a swift and decisive incursion response. Also, strong partnerships and straightforward communication between local communities, island managers and other stakeholders (e.g., tourist operators) are essential to effectively implement a rapid response. Furthermore, the ad hoc design and wide distribution of outreach materials for each island is important to raise awareness and inform both local actors and visitors. Finally, these incursion response cases have had economic costs not specifically allocated for that matter, so the creation of a national biosecurity fund for emergency incursion responses will be an important step forward.

AN OVERVIEW OF ORNITHOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE STUDY

Lyndal Laughrin1*, Linnea Hall2, Linda Dye3, and Peter Larramendy4, 1University of California Natural Reserve System lyndal.laughrin@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology 3Channel Islands National Park 4California Institute of Environmental Studies

   There have been many projects conducted on birds associated with the California Channel Islands, and some of these have been described in the eight publications since 1965 from this California Islands Symposia series, as well as many other papers in the scientific literature. A recent check-list of 422 historic and current bird species of the northern Channel Islands also has been published (Collins and Jones 2015), which compiles numerous historical and current observations of birds since the mid-1800s. A summary of all research projects on the islands was presented in the 5th California Islands Symposium (Klinger and Van Buren 1999), but a summary of all bird projects, in particular, has not been compiled for this symposium series. This presentation will review avian projects conducted on the Channel Islands, and will highlight recent population studies on eagles, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Scripp’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa), Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi), and other terrestrial and marine species. We also will summarize current trends in the status of terrestrial species from a long-term National Park Service monitoring project on the northern islands, and discuss the species for which more specialized research seems warranted based on those trends.

LANDSCAPE MODELING TO PREDICT THE POTENTIAL NATURAL VEGETATION OF SANTA CATALINA ISLAND (CALIFORNIA)

Travis Longcore1*, Nina Noujdina1, and Peter Dixon2, 1University of Southern California, School of Architecture and Spatial Sciences Institute longcore@usc.edu 2Catalina Island Conservancy

   The vegetation of Santa Catalina Island has been significantly transformed through a history of introduction of exotic plant species and disturbance by large introduced herbivores. Many of these disturbances have been reduced in recent decades through the careful control of the number of bison and removal of feral pigs and goats. The success of subsequent vegetation restoration actions requires the choice of the right plant community for a location, which may not be obvious for an island with extensive habitat alteration attributable to the effects of exotic species. Environmental niche modelling is an approach to re-create the spatial distribution of habitat types for such a purpose. Such models, however, often require both presence and absence data for a species of interest, which does not exist in this scenario. Maximum entropy modeling is a technique to model species distributions with presence-only data that has been shown to produce accurate results. We used this modeling tool to model the environmental niche for distinct vegetation types on Catalina Island as a means to predict those locations where restoration actions would be most successful and to predict potential natural vegetation prior to anthropogenic disturbance. We extracted random points from within the polygons defining each native vegetation type in a 2005 vegetation map. We then modelled the habitat suitability for each vegetation type using high-resolution environmental data that included elevation, aspect, hillshade, northeastness, slope, soil type, solar insolation, and topographic wetness index. The resulting models were combined to produce a map of potential natural vegetation. We compared four dominant communities (woodland, chaparral, scrub and grassland) to the 1977 map of potential vegetation by Küchler. Our new map of potential natural vegetation has high spatial complexity, high resolution, and shows naturalistic responses to topography that are consistent with the broad patterns predicted by Küchler while providing fine-scale resolution to inform restoration efforts.

IMPACTS OF RECENT ENVIRONMENTAL ANOMALIES ON SEABIRDS OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Yutzil Lora-Cabrera*, David Martínez-Cervantes, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, María Félix-Lizárraga, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. yutzil.lora@islas.org.mx

   As part of a long-term seabird restoration project on seven island groups in the Pacific Ocean, off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, we have been monitoring colonies of Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis; BRPE) and Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus; BRAC). During the past couple of years, these two species have experienced an unusual nesting and reproductive behavior. We assessed the relationship between the number of BRPE and BRAC nests and environmental anomalies within the region. A general decrease was observed in the amount of nests for both BRPE and BRAC during 2014 and 2015 in comparison with historical numbers. We recorded a maximum of 510 BRPE nests and 3,500 BRAC nests in these two years. In 2015, 38% of BRPE nests and 50% of BRAC nests were abandoned and a low reproductive performance was recorded for both species (<0.5 fledglings/breeding pair). Sea surface temperatures (SST) around all seven island groups were warmer in 2014 and 2015 than the typical year (calculated for the period 2003-2016) while chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration was lower than the 14-year average. The highest anomalies of both SST and Chl-a were recorded during 2015. Therefore, changes in seabird nesting patterns, reproductive performance and survival are most likely due to less food availability during warm El Niño type climatic anomalies. Extensive and long term research on seabirds is being conducted on the Baja California Pacific Islands, including: nest censuses, productivity analyses, feeding behavior studies and at-sea movement pattern monitoring. Additionally, the relationships between ocean and atmospheric conditions, breeding success and migration patterns will continue to be evaluated.

CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS: HISTORICAL DIET PATTERNS IN RELATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES

Mark S. Lowry, Alan R. Jackson, and Robert Holland, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries Mark.Lowry@noaa.gov

   Historical diet patterns of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in relation to environmental changes were examined from analysis of 16,449 seasonally collected scat samples collected during 1981-2015 at San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island. Environmental variables, such as the Multivariate El Niño Index and Sea Level Height at Los Angeles harbor, were examined in relation to the diet of sea lions and to pup production. Of 133 prey species identified, seven common prey were found in scat samples. Northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) dominated the diet during the 1980s and market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) dominated the diet during the 1990s and 2000s; and when consumption of these species declined, sea lions switched to other common prey and consumed more non-common prey. Consumption of the non-common prey taxa group increased during warm-water El Niños when pup production decreased and consumption decreased during cold-water La Niñas when pup production increased. Size of prey consumed averaged 12.6 cm, but varied by and within species and time. Anomalies in the diet derived from 1981-2007 diet data showed that during the 2013 and 2015 Unusual Mortality Events, that hake (Merluccius productus), anchovy, and sardine (Sardinops sagax) consumption dropped, and consumption of shortbelly rockfish (Sebastes jordani) and non-common squid and fish prey species increased. Very high diet diversity indices for summer 2009, spring 2013, winter 2015 and spring 2015 were found when Unusual Mortality Events occurred at southern California Channel Island rookeries. The study has shown how the diet of California sea lions reflects environmental change, and possibly, how their diet will be affected by climate change when ocean temperatures increase.

Citizen science in youth environmental education programs along the Santa Barbara Channel & Channel Islands

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton1* and Azucena Yzquierdo1,2, 1MERITO Foundation rocio.lozano@meritofoundation.org 2California State University Channel Islands

   The Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) Foundation has taken advantage of the fast development of new technology to strengthen our citizen science methods in our youth environmental education programs over past two years. Our two ocean and environmental science programs for youth are the MERITO Academy for 4th-7th grade students, and Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification (EECCOA) for 8th to 12th graders. Both programs aim to involve students in data collection, interpretation and contribution to on-going scientific research programs and/or to launch our own projects to tackle local environmental issues. Our students currently contribute observations and data to Cornell University’s eBird program, Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Sea’s Program, NOAA Long Term Monitoring and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS) Program, and to our own water quality-monitoring program of local rivers and canals. Data collected by MERITO Foundation’s students over the years have documented events such as the commencing of the ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) wasting syndrome and the drop of dissolved oxygen content in the water draining from J canal in Oxnard. We use National Geographic’s Field scope mapping tool to represent much of the data collected. Youths’ participation in scientific research along the Santa Barbara Channel Region, including the Channel Islands, assist teachers implementing the Next Generation of Science Standards in natural environments and provide students’ with a sense of accomplishment and ownership by contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge and finding solutions to environmental problems.

 

 

RESTORATION OF PLANT COMMUNITIES ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Luciana Luna-Mendoza1*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya1,2, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Benito Bermúdez Almada3, Jacinto Samuel García-Carreón4, and Donaxi Borjes-Flores5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 luciana.luna@islas.org.mx 2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Instituto Politécnico Nacional 195, Playa Palo de Santa Rita Sur, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México 23096 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. Constituyentes S/N, Fidepaz, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México 23094 4Comisión Nacional Forestal. Periférico Poniente 5360, San Juan de Ocotán, Zapopan, Jalisco, 45019 5Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. del Puerto 375-30, Playa Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22880

   As the first step towards the ecological restoration of its islands, Mexico has completed eradications of invasive mammals from 13 islands within the Baja California Peninsula region through a strong partnership between Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A. C. (GECI), the Mexican federal government, local fishing communities, academia, other civil society organizations, and national and international donors. The removal of invasive mammals has led to the recovery of the islands’ ecosystems. However, actions such as the active restoration of degraded vegetation are needed to achieve an island’s full recovery. On Guadalupe Island, after completing the goat eradication, GECI in collaboration with the Mexican National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) is implementing a project to promote the recovery of native vegetation. This project involves the establishment of a nursery on-site, reforestation, and soil restoration on distinct vegetation communities that range from forests, composed by endemic pine (Pinus radiata var. binata), cypress (Cupressus guadalupensis) palm (Brahea edulis) and island oak (Quercus tomentella), to maritime desert scrub. Chaparral elements such as Ceanothus spp. are also considered as well as other species as Cistanthe guadalupensis, Island Snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa), Island Hazardia (Hazardia cana), and Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea). To date, the nursery has been established, seed of several species has been collected, and plants for some species (mostly trees) are being grown. Currently some research and trials are being conducted focusing on the best strategies to ensure plant establishment. This is fostering collaboration with similar projects on the Channel Islands where research has been devoted to answering similar questions (i.e. fog collection). Experiences from the Guadalupe Island project could be applied to other Mexican Islands such as Socorro (where we recently eradicated feral sheep) and Clarion (once European rabbits are removed).

RESTORATION OF THE MEXICAN ISLANDS: COLLABORATION ACROSS BORDERS

Luciana Luna-Mendoza1*, Julio Hernández-Montoya1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Donaxi Borjes-Flores2, Morgan Ball3, Christie Boser4, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, C. Matt Guilliams7, Emily Howe3, Bill Hoyer8, Steve Junak7, Denise Knapp7, John Knapp4, Lyndal Laughrin9, Annie Little10, Kathryn McEachern11, David Mazurkiewicz5, Scott Morrison4, Bryan Munson8, Ken Niessen5, Tom Oberbauer, Ken Owen12, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall4, Sarah Ratay3, Dirk Rodriguez5, and Heather Schneider7, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 luciana.luna@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. del Puerto 375-30, Playa Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22880 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4The Nature Conservancy 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 8U.S. Navy 9UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve 10U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 11U.S. Geological Survey 12Channel Islands Restoration

   The islands off the western coast of the Baja California Peninsula host a vast array of unique flora and fauna. Many plants and seabirds present within the California and Baja California ecoregion, or "The/Las Californias", are endemic and live nowhere else on earth. Like the Channel Islands, the Baja California Pacific Islands have been impacted by invasive species, particularly herbivores, cats, and rats, in many cases, resulting in the extirpation and extinction of native species. On the many islands where invasive mammals have been removed, full or partial recovery of the islands’ ecosystems has been remarkably rapid. However, where impacts of the invasives were severe, further actions have been needed to achieve full recovery, such as social attraction techniques for seabirds to restore breeding colonies or active restoration of degraded vegetation. On both sides of the border, much effort is being devoted to island ecosystem recovery. Therefore, developing across-border collaboration among “island restorers” from Mexico and the United States, from different sectors —federal government, civil society organizations, research institutes, and botanic gardens— represents a significant opportunity. Such collaboration is starting to mature as the “Islands of the Californias/Islas de las Californias Collaborative,” an initiative that developed in close collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and many other agencies and non-profits during a workshop held on Guadalupe Island in 2016. Here, we focus on some examples that show the potential for this partnership. Recently, for example, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) came together on Guadalupe Island to design and develop a nursery for native trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on island endemic taxa. This and other examples represent the opportunities ahead for strengthening cross-border collaboration, allowing for the restoration of similar ecosystems within a region through the consolidation of synergies.

LIFE HISTORY OF THE INVASIVE SEAWEED SARGASSUM HORNERI

Lindsay M. Marks*, Daniel C. Reed, Sally J. Holbrook, and Carla M. D'Antonio, University of California Santa Barbara marks@lifesci.ucsb.edu

   Sargassum horneri is a brown alga native to shallow reefs of eastern Asia. It has spread aggressively throughout southern California and Baja California, Mexico, since it was first detected in the eastern Pacific in 2003. Because S. horneri can be locally very abundant and highly persistent, its continued expansion in the eastern Pacific poses a major threat to the sustainability of native ecosystems. Understanding the life history of S. horneri in its novel range and how this relates to native macroalgae is necessary to comprehend why the seaweed has become so invasive and to predict the effects its spread will have on kelp forest communities. To this end, we documented the seasonal patterns of growth, reproduction, recruitment and senescence of this seaweed and developed allometric relationships across life stages, which can be used to estimate biomass dynamics using maturity and size frequency data. We found that S. horneri had a strongly seasonal, annual life cycle whereby juveniles were abundant in summer and fall, growth was rapid in the winter, the vast majority of reproduction occurred in the spring, and senescence was completed by early summer. By contrast, many native understory and canopy-forming algae are perennial, juveniles are most abundant in spring and biomass peaks during the summer and fall. Furthermore, we found that S. horneri reproductive tissue produced during the winter makes up more than 50% of the total biomass of a fertile thallus and contributes to a large increase in biomass during this season. The high investment in reproduction and unique phenology of S. horneri compared to native macroalgae in the region may help explain why it has become so pervasive, and provide clues to its impacts on native kelp forest communities by altering the availability of important limiting resources (e.g., light and space) at different times of year.

DENSITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF SEABIRDS ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

David Martínez-Cervantes*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, María Félix-Lizárraga, Julio César Hernández-Montoya, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   The Mexican Pacific islands off the Baja California Peninsula are particularly important because they provide nesting sites for many seabirds. In order to better understand the population dynamics of a group of selected seabird species and to evaluate restoration interventions, we started a systematic monitoring in 2013. We have gathered information for several seabird species including the Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas; BVSH), the Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU), the Western Gull (Larus occidentalis; WEGU), the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL), the Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus; GAMU) and the Leach's Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa cheimomnestes and O. l. socorroensis; LESP). We have also conducted detailed studies to assess the spatio-temporal nesting distribution and density of these seabird species on the Baja California Pacific Islands. Nest distribution and density maps on the islands’ surface provide valuable information about the population dynamics, habitat and resilience of seabirds, becoming an important tool for conservation management and monitoring efforts. We have found that seabirds have a differentiated distribution on Baja California Pacific islands in relation to habitat availability. On Todos Santos, the WEGU is densely distributed on the two islands; on San Martín Island its nesting habitat is restricted to the west site of the island; while on Natividad Island it has a preference for the northernmost and southernmost portions of the island. We have also determined seabird burrow density, obtaining 0.05 burrows/m² for Black-vented Shearwater on Natividad Island and 0.24 burrows/m² for Cassin's Auklet on San Jerónimo Island. On islets off Guadalupe Island, burrow nesting species such as BVSH, CAAU, GAMU, and LESP breed almost exclusively in the west side of Zapato Islet whereas LAAL nests concentrate in the southeast site of the islet.

ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION ACROSS THE ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS THROUGH COLLABORATION

David Mazurkiewicz1*, Peter Dixon2, Karen Flagg3, Don Hartley3, Emma Havstad4, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya5, Emily Howe6, Bill Hoyer7, John Knapp8, Denise Knapp9, Annie Little10, Luciana Luna-Mendoza5, Kathryn McEachern11, Gerry McChesney10, Bryan Munson7, Ken Niessen12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish2, Paula Power1, and Jonathan Shore10, 1Channel Islands National Park, david_mazurkiewicz@nps.gov 2Catalina Island Conservancy 3Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute 4Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 5Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 6Wildlands Conservation Science 7US Navy 8The Nature Conservancy 9Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 10US Fish and Wildlife Service 11U.S. Geological Survey 12Mountains Restoration Trust 13Channel Islands Restoration

   The Islands of the Californias extending from the Farallons in the north to Isla Natividad in the south share similar history and anthropogenic impacts which disrupted ecological processes and, in many cases, caused extinctions in the unique island flora and fauna. With the advent of the conservation era and change in land use practices, coupled with removal or reduction in the number of non-native herbivores, there is a new focus on ecological and habitat restoration across islands. The majority of the 18 islands comprising the California archipelago have active restoration projects underway with the goal of recovery and conservation of native species and habitats. Recognizing the value of exchanging experiences and information on topics of shared interest and concern, researchers, island managers, government agencies, and partners recently formed the Islands of the Californias Collaborative (IOTCC) to help protect and conserve rare and unique island habitats and communities and enhance public involvement in island stewardship. This network provides opportunities for information sharing on emerging ecological issues, conservation strategies, island habitat restoration, and land management. The current range of topics addressed by the IOTCC focuses on restoring ecological processes, increasing biodiversity, improving habitat for island fauna, recovery of threatened or endangered plant species, and re-establishing lost or degraded vegetation communities. Restoration projects across the archipelago address a broad range of restoration challenges and the following examples represent the range of restoration approaches: restoration of seabirds and their nesting habitat through vegetation recovery, non-native plant control and other methods on Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, the Baja Pacific and Farallon Islands; habitat suitability modeling of endangered species such as Island rockress (Sibara filifolia) on San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and Santa Cruz Islands; and rediscovery of California dissanthelium (Dissanthelium californicum) on San Clemente and Santa Catalina among many others. These projects speak to the power within the collaborative to effect change at the bio-regional scale and facilitate implementation of international, multi-agency management strategies for critical taxa and habitats.

USE OF SOCIAL ATTRACTION TO RESTORE BREEDING COMMON MURRES AT DEVIL’S SLIDE ROCK, CALIFORNIA

Gerard J. McChesney1*, Michael W. Parker1, Harry R. Carter2, Stephen W. Kress3, and Richard T. Golightly2, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex gerry_mcchesney@fws.gov 2Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife 3National Audubon Society

   In 1996-2005, social attraction was used to re-establish a breeding colony of Common Murres (Uria aalge) at Devil’s Slide Rock in central California, with funding from an oil spill settlement. We deployed decoys (adults, chicks and eggs), sound systems broadcasting murre vocalizations, and mirrors which together simulated an active colony to attract murres to the rock and encourage breeding. Social attraction efforts at Devil’s Slide Rock began in January 1996, 10 years after this colony of about 3,000 murres in 1979-1982 was extirpated in 1986 from local mortality during the 1986 Apex Houston oil spill, after reduction from recent mortality in a local gill-net fishery. Murres began attending the rock one day after deployment and six pairs bred the first year. The original 10-year goal of 100 breeding pairs was reached after only five years. As the colony grew, social attraction was adaptively managed to encourage rapid development of dense core breeding groups. By 2005, the colony had grown to 190 breeding pairs and afterward decoys were no longer considered useful for encouraging colony growth. By 2013, colony size and distribution were similar to 1979-1982 levels. Breeding success has been relatively high in most years. Rapid initial recolonization was likely assisted by remnant, surviving birds from the extirpated colony, nesting Brandt’s Cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus), and few predators. Recruitment of birds from other nearby colonies and, in later years, chicks hatched at Devil’s Slide Rock likely have both contributed to colony growth.

Assessing Ancestral Marks at Torqua Cave, Catalina Island

Tom McClintock*, Pimu/Catalina Island Archaeology Project tmcclin1@gmail.com

   This study represents original documentation, condition assessment and technical analysis of Torqua Cave (SCAI-32), a significant rock image site on Santa Catalina Island. Documentation techniques include the use of Dstretch®, a method of image enhancement that assisted in the revelation of roughly 60 previously unrecognized images and markings, and the production of a three-dimensional model using Agisoft Photoscan, which has assisted in visualizing the shelter in ways previously impossible due to restrictions of the terrain. The local environment, including temperature and relative humidity of Torqua Cave was monitored for a total of five months and data were compared to a nearby weather station to assess potential correlations. Scientific analysis to investigate the state of conservation of the pictographs and rock support was performed using primarily non-invasive techniques such as portable X-ray fluorescence and fiber optic reflectance spectroscopy, which were complemented by X-ray diffraction analysis of a few microsamples. Gypsum and calcium oxalates could be identified as the primary contributors to the various weathering patterns. Based on the interests of stakeholders, recommendations are made for the preservation of the site including future monitoring and environmental survey.

COORDINATING RARE PLANT RECOVERY ACROSS EIGHTEEN CALIFORNIA ISLANDS IN THE US AND MEXICO

Kathryn McEachern1*, John Knapp2, Denise Knapp3, Matt Guilliams3, Heather Schneider3, Peter Dixon4, Bill Hoyer5, Bryan Munson5, Sarah Ratay6, Morgan Ball6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emma Havstad8, Emily Howe6, Steve Junak3, Lyndal Laughrin9, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz10, Ken Niessen11, John Randall2, Dirk Rodriguez10, and Sula Vanderplank12, 1U.S. Geological Survey kathryn_mceachern@usgs.gov 2The Nature Conservancy 3Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 4Catalina Island Conservancy 5US Navy 6Wildlands Conservation Science 7Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 8Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 9UC Santa Barbara Santa Cruz Island Reserve 10Channel Islands National Park 11Mountains Restoration Trust 12Botanical Research Institute of Texas

   The reduction and removal of introduced vertebrates was a major recovery action across the eighteen islands of the California archipelago. Today, nearly all island ecosystems are showing signs of increasing native plant cover, but recovery is uneven across landscapes and among populations of endemic island plants. It is clear from recent discussions among botanists that the islands share rare plant taxa or taxonomic groups. Yet, rare plant recovery trajectories differ among islands in response to complex gradients such as latitude, climate, genetic population structure, soil composition and site history. As a result, rare plants that might appear as small isolated populations with high extirpation risk on one island may be more robust on another island. Island-specific research and monitoring has generally been guided by individual management needs, resulting in a diverse but disjunct body of information. One of the goals emerging from our quarterly meetings and annual planning events was the development of an archipelago-wide rare plant list leading to several key actions: 1) rare plant prioritization – identifying the most at-risk taxa across their entire biogeographical range, 2) compilation and exchange of existing knowledge on topics such as genetics, propagation, demography and life history, threats, restoration techniques and monitoring strategies for each taxon, 3) identification of information gaps, and 4) strategies for decision-making and funding for long-term conservation programs. We are currently developing a prioritized species list leading to action plans that can be carried out collaboratively across the Islands of the Californias. We have begun coordinated research and monitoring for several rare island plants. This new rare plant program has important implications for the fates of these rare plants across their ranges, which are tied to our ability to leverage funding and share efforts among islands in a program that balances recovery needs across the archipelago.

HARVESTING FOG FOR CLOUD FOREST RESTORATION ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Kathryn McEachern1, Ken Niessen2*, Sarah Chaney3, and Cause Hanna4, 1U.S. Geological Survey 2Mountains Restoration Trust kgniessen@gmail.com 3Channel Islands National Park (emeritus) 4California State University Channel Islands

   Before European settlement, the high central ridge of Santa Rosa Island was covered with a “cloud forest”— a mosaic of tall oaks and pines growing within shorter chaparral. These plants capture water from the dense fog that condenses on leaves and twigs, and the water can fall to the ground like rain. All the vegetation components of the cloud forest are interdependent, and provide habitat for other organisms that depend on the mesic conditions. Beginning in the mid-1800s, grazing and erosion caused by grazing eliminated most of the Santa Rosa Island cloud forest. Currently, even with the grazers removed, the cloud forest is not recovering, but we have an opportunity to help with the recovery of this amazing environment. The US Geological Survey, Channel Islands National Park, student interns, and volunteers from Channel Islands Restoration, CSU Channel Islands, and other local clubs and businesses are working to do what the absent vegetation cannot: slow wind and water erosion, trap sediment, leaf litter, and seed, and capture fog water to promote the growth of young plants. We are using a variety of novel methods and materials, including hand-made wattles, rock bags, and mesh fencing to trap sediment, leaves and seeds; eucalyptus prunings to make erosion control dams in gullies, and nursery-grown native plants and fabric covered fences to capture fog and water the soil. We monitor progress by measuring such features as sediment accumulation, soil moisture, plant survival and growth, and insect diversity. Our goal is not only to accelerate Santa Rosa Island vegetation recovery, but to develop techniques that can be used to encourage recovery in other cloud forest sites across the California Islands archipelago.

DO CHANNEL ISLAND ACMISPON (FABACEAE) WITH MULTI-ISLAND DISTRIBUTIONS FORM COHESIVE EVOLUTIONARY GROUPS?

Mitchell McGlaughlin1*, Lynn Riley2, Lisa Wallace3, and Kaius Helenurm2, 1University of Northern Colorado mitchell.mcglaughlin@unco.edu 2University of South Dakota 3Mississippi State University

   The California Channel Islands are unique in their close proximity to the California mainland and the fact that individual islands, or groups of islands, are closer to the mainland than they are to other islands. This orientation raises questions about whether island taxa with widespread distributions form a cohesive unit, or if they may actually be composed of several distinct evolutionary entities derived from independent mainland-to-island colonization events. The question of taxonomic and evolutionary cohesion is particularly acute for sedentary plants, because biogeographic theory suggests that colonization should follow the shortest path from source to newly established populations. We used genetic tools to examine if determine whether Acmispon dendroideus var. dendroideus (endemic to Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Catalina islands) or A. argophyllus var. argenteus (endemic to San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina, and San Clemente islands) form cohesive evolutionary groups. Data from nuclear microsatellite markers indicate that A. dendroideus var. denroideus forms a cohesive evolutionary group that should also include the San Miguel endemic taxon A. dendroideus var. veatchii, that is genetically distinctive from other island and mainland taxa. In contrast, A. argophyllus var. argenteus was found to be composed of 2-3 separate genetic groups. Samples from Santa Catalina and San Clemente show some differentiation from each other, but both have an affinity for A. argophyllus var. argophyllus from the Peninsular Range, while samples from San Nicolas and Santa Barbara have a close relationship to A. argophyllus var. argophyllus from the Santa Monica Mountains. These results demonstrate that although island Acmispon varieties with widespread distributions have traditionally been treated as cohesive taxonomic entities, one of the two sampled taxa does not exhibit genetic cohesion. The lack of A. argophyllus var. argenteus genetic cohesion is likely due to its occurrence on the more isolated southern islands.

RESTORATION OF ASHY STORM-PETRELS AT ORIZABA ROCK, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 2008-2016

William R. McIver1, David M. Mazurkiewicz2, Catherine Carter3*, Jim A. Howard3, Nathan Lynch4, Matthew Passmore5, Michelle Hester6, and Annie Little1, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2National Park Service 3California Institute of Environmental Studies katy_carter@ciesresearch.org 4California College of the Arts 5More Lab 6Oikonos Ecosystems Knowledge

   In 2008-16, the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program funded work to restore the colony of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) at Orizaba Rock, off Santa Cruz Island, California. In 2008-10, 30 artificial nest sites composed of concrete roof tiles were deployed in caverns and vocalization broadcasting implemented. Eggs were laid in 4-7 artificial nest sites per year in 2008-12. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) dismantled 12 artificial nest sites in 2010. In 2011-12, most of the roof tile nest sites were replaced with ceramic nest sites, which reduced raven impacts in 2011 but were not sturdy enough to prevent being moved or opened by ravens in 2012. In 2012-13, artificial sites were removed to further evaluate raven impacts, and vocalization broadcasting was not resumed after 2012. Building on these experiences, ceramic design experts joined the effort to create an artificial nest site attractive to storm-petrels, but also inaccessible and unmovable by ravens. Heavier modules that included 3 nesting chambers per unit were designed and installed in 2014 (10 modules with 30 nest sites). Eggs were not laid in artificial sites in 2014 but presence of ASSP in some of the modules was noted. In 2015, 4 eggs were laid in 4 separate modules. Numbers of active natural nests increased from 7-15 (2005-07) to 20-27 (2008-12) and 31-36 (2013-15). Overall the numbers of active nest sites at this location have increased during the timeline of the restoration work (2008-15). This project demonstrated the effectiveness of these restoration actions under certain conditions and the need to make artificial sites predator-proof.

TRENDS IN CALIFORNIA SEA LION PUP GROWTH: THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENT, PREY AVAILABILITY AND DIET

Sharon R. Melin1*, Jeffrey L. Laake1, Isaac Schroeder2, and Robert L. DeLong1, 1NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Marine Mammal Laboratory sharon.melin@noaa.gov 2NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Environmental Research Division

   California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) breed in the California Channel Islands and feed throughout the California Current ecosystem (CCE). They are sensitive to changes in the CCE on different temporal and spatial scales and so provide a good indicator species for the status of the CCE at the upper trophic level. Two indices are particularly sensitive measures of prey availability to California sea lions, pup production and pup growth during the period of maternal nutritional dependence. We developed models to explain the effect of environmental conditions, prey availability and the diet of nursing females on the trends in pup growth for the San Miguel Island population of California sea lions. Over the 40-year time series, local sea surface temperature (SST) was the most important oceanographic variable affecting pup growth; a 1° C increase in SST resulted in a significant decline in pup growth which lead to a 50% reduction in pup survival. Inclusion of the diet of nursing females in the models improved the model fit; when the female diet was comprised of coastal pelagic fishes, pups had greater growth rates. Based on our results, poor condition and survival of pups is likely to continue until oceanographic conditions improve and the prey community in the CCE provides sufficient food for nursing females to support the pup growth from birth to weaning.

Peregrine Falcon Recovery on the California Channel Islands

Nathan Melling* and Peter Sharpe, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Arcata, CA melling@iws.org

   It is estimated that there were 15-30 pairs of breeding American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) on the California Channel Islands in the early- to mid-1900s, but they were extirpated by the early 1960s, likely as a result of DDE (a metabolite of DDT) contamination of the Southern California Bight. Small-scale reintroductions occurred on several islands between 1983 and 1998, but there were few comprehensive surveys conducted after the mid-1990s. We conducted annual surveys for peregrines on all 8 California Channel Islands in 2013-2016 to determine population size, nesting success and productivity. We located 45-50 occupied territories each year and the estimated population size now exceeds that of the pre-DDT era. Nesting success averaged 66%, with mean productivity of 1.5 chicks per occupied territory. Although the levels of productivity appear sufficient to maintain the population, factors such as juvenile/adult survival and emigration/immigration rates play an important role in population persistence. Continued population monitoring and banding of young could provide an improved understanding of these population parameters for the Channel Island peregrines and help determine whether contaminants or other issues are negatively impacting the population.

FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF MEXICO’S ISLAND BIOSECURITY PROGRAM

Federico Méndez-Sánchez1*, Mariam Latofski-Robles1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Cynthia Jáuregui-García1, Patricia Koleff-Osorio2, Georgia Born-Schmidt2, José Bernal-Stoopen3, Eduardo Rendón-Hernández3, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. federico.mendez@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

   After two decades of sustained island conservation and restoration work, Mexico has now a consistent and positive trajectory, including the effective management of invasive alien species (IAS). The “National Strategy on Invasive Species” was published in 2010. For its implementation, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) integrated a comprehensive project to enhance the country’s capacities for managing IAS. This national project initiated in 2015 and is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The work on the Mexican islands—a significant part of the project—is being executed by Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) along four lines of action: (1) Island biosecurity; (2) Environmental education and capacity building; (3) Control and eradication of IAS; and (4) Monitoring to assess recovery of native species. With additional support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2014 we implemented a National Workshop on Island Biosecurity, bringing together 31 managers, park rangers and local users of the Mexican islands from all over the country. Most of participants were staff from the Mexican Navy and CONANP, entities directly in charge of islands and thus the ones to institutionally implement island biosecurity in the long-term. Staff from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and CONABIO were also present, as well as members of important fishing cooperatives in northwest Mexico. This workshop set the basis to launch the project. To date, Island Biosecurity Protocols are being collectively drafted by actors from a particular island or archipelago; ad hoc outreach materials are being produced; capacity building is taking place both on the islands and on the mainland; and conservation-law enforcement partnerships are being developed, particularly with the Mexican Navy.

VENTURA COUNTY MARINE DEBRIS TRENDS: 30 YEARS OF CHANGE ON MAINLAND AND CHANNEL ISLANDS BEACHES

Michaela Miller*, Dorothy Horn, Clare Steele, and Cause Hanna, CSU Channel Islands michaelarosemiller@gmail.com

   The persistence of plastics in marine ecosystems, and the outright physical hazards marine debris poses to wildlife has become an issue of global concern. The Santa Barbara Channel is home to a number of important marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as a variety of factors fostering marine debris accumulation. To examine the spatial variation of marine debris across the Santa Barbara Channel we quantified marine debris on Santa Rosa Island and Santa Cruz Island beaches and mainland beaches in Ventura County. To examine the temporal variation of marine debris on Santa Rosa Island we compared our surveys to historical surveys performed from 1989-1994 (Cole 1998). Debris from surveyed beaches was cataloged, weighed, and measured to compare seasonal variation and overall differences in island and mainland marine debris abundance, density, and composition. Derelict fishing gear accounted for a higher proportion of marine debris on island beaches compared to mainland beaches, and marine debris items on island beaches were significantly heavier compared to the mainland beaches. There has been a significant increase in the amount of derelict fishing gear found over the past 27 years on Santa Rosa Island, which mirrors changes in the California lobster fishery. The majority of debris on mainland beaches was comprised of smaller plastic fragments and single use plastic items, and debris accumulation rates varied by season and location. Microplastics (<5mm) were also found in the sand of all surveyed island and mainland beaches. This study highlights the importance of consistent marine debris monitoring, as local changes in policy, fisheries, and consumer culture are reflected in the marine debris found on the mainland and especially the uninhabited Channel Islands. Monitoring marine debris can provide insight on anthropogenic impact, and is a useful mechanism in monitoring the health of coastal and marine ecosystems.

SANTA BARBARA ISLAND: AN OVERVIEW OF PAST AND PRESENT RESEARCH

Kelly R. Minas, Channel Islands National Park kelly_minas@nps.gov

   In 1938, small and isolated Santa Barbara Island was incorporated as the Channel Islands National Monument, the predecessor of Channel Islands National Park. Initially described as a “way station” to the other islands, archaeological expeditions have reinforced the interpretation that the island was only temporarily occupied during the Middle and Late Holocene. In 2012, an effort to re-record the 19 known sites was undertaken. Subsequent surveys totaling 225 acres have increased the number of sites to 55. The near quadrupling of known resources presents a unique opportunity to reevaluate our understanding of this island’s prehistory.

HOW AND WHY WE MONITOR: INTEGRATING KELP FOREST MONITORING DATA INTO STEM AND NGSS ALIGNED HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE LESSONS

Kelly Moore1*, Monique Navarro1*, Gail Turner-Graham2*, Joshua Sprague1, and David Kushner1, 1Channel Islands National Park monique_navarro@nps.gov 2Formal Education

Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFMP) is the longest established inventory and monitoring program in the National Park Service. For 35 years, KFMP has been collecting size and abundance data on over 70 species of fish, invertebrates, and algae that are indicators of ecosystem health (http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/medn/monitor/kelpforest.cfm). These lessons demonstrate the value of long-term inventory and monitoring data as a valuable tool not only to inform natural resource managers on the condition of our marine resources, but also to support teachers in meeting the objectives of STEM, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This dataset provides an extraordinary resource for educators who are looking to integrate NGSS and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Through a collaborative effort with local high school teachers, these science lessons, “How and Why Scientists Monitor the Kelp Forest,” have been developed. Students will learn about data collection protocols, review current density data, analyze and interpret graphs, and make predictions about select marine species within the park. Lesson resources include an introductory video, a Channel Islands Live Dive video archive, and online data analysis extensions that will emphasize the importance of long term monitoring as a tool for protecting marine resources. These lessons will be made available to the public on Channel Islands National Park’s website: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/education/classrooms/curriculummaterials.htm and the NPS Education Portal https://www.nps.gov/teachers/index.htm

THE NICOLENOS IN LOS ANGELES: DOCUMENTING THE FATE OF THE LONE WOMAN'S PEOPLE

Susan L. Morris1*, John R. Johnson2, Steven J. Schwartz3, Rene L. Vellanoweth4, Glenn J. Farris5, and Sara L Schwebel6, 1Susan L. Morris Consulting smorris121@msn.com 2Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 3Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (retired) 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 5Research Associate, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 6Department of English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina

   When the last San Nicolas Island resident, known as the ‘Lone Woman,’ was brought to Santa Barbara in 1853 after 18 years of solitude following the 1835 removal of her people to the mainland, efforts were made to locate speakers who could communicate with her. That search was reported to be unsuccessful, and the Lone Woman died seven weeks later, unable to recount her story. After the Lone Woman’s death, many accounts presumed that everyone from San Nicolas Island had died. Recent research in provincial Mexican papers, Los Angeles documents, American records, and church registers has uncovered original primary source information that details the experience of the Lone Woman’s people in Los Angeles. Five men, women, and children are confirmed or are likely to have come to the Los Angeles area from San Nicolas Island in 1835, and the parents of a newborn girl baptized the following year also may have come from that island.

T.D.A. COCKERELL (1866-1948) OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BIOLOGY AND PALEONTOLOGY OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Daniel R. Muhs, U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 dmuhs@usgs.gov

   Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell was a naturalist at the University of Colorado from 1904-1947 and studied botany, zoology, and paleontology in North and South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. In the latter part of his career, he studied the California islands and published 20 papers on their natural history, 18 of them in four years (1936-1940). He made important contributions to the natural history of the islands in five distinct ways: (1) entomology of the islands, including identification of a number of new species of bees; (2) discovery of abundant land snails, both living and in fossil form, and recognition that the fossils are in close stratigraphic association with mammoth fossils; (3) recognition of island endemics (both plants and animals) and development of hypotheses of their mode of arrival on the islands; (4) discovery of fossil marine invertebrate faunas and recognition that the zoogeography of the taxa reflects the position of the islands relative to converging cool and warm currents; and (5) a pivotal role in the establishment of Channel Islands National Monument. Initial visits to the Channel Islands by National Park Service personnel in the 1930’s elicited little interest. Cockerell’s publications on the Channel Islands were timely, however, and he contacted National Park Service officials about his findings directly. Based on recently uncovered letters to Cockerell in the archives of the University of Colorado, the National Park Service apparently underwent a dramatic change in thinking, likely due to Cockerell’s influence. Shortly thereafter (1938), President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Channel Islands National Monument, less than a year after Cockerell published his 1937 paper on the botany of the Channel Islands. Four decades later, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation establishing Channel Islands National Park. We may owe much to T.D.A. Cockerell for the creation of this marvelous park.

WHEN THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS FIRST BECAME ISLANDS: INITIAL APPROXIMATIONS BASED ON LATE QUATERNARY SEA LEVEL HISTORY AND TECTONIC UPLIFT RATES

Daniel R. Muhs* and Kathleen R. Simmons, U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 dmuhs@usgs.gov

   Knowledge of the ages of the host islands is critical to understanding the evolution of insular terrestrial organisms. On the California Channel Islands, it is now possible to make a first approximation of the times of island emergence. The elevation of the ~120,000-year-old, last interglacial marine terrace has been measured on all islands except for Santa Catalina Island, where it is absent. Assuming a +6 m paleo-sea level (relative to present) 120,000 years ago, terrace elevations yield average tectonic uplift rates ranging from 0.042 m/1000 yr (Santa Barbara Island) to 0.700 m/1000 yr (Palos Verdes Hills). Further assuming a constant uplift rate over time on each island yields the following first times of emergence for each “embryo island,” in millions of years (Ma): Santa Cruz, ~7.5-4.7 Ma (and possibly older); Anacapa, ~6.8 Ma; Santa Barbara, ~5.0 Ma; Santa Rosa, ~3.2 Ma; San Clemente, ~3.1 Ma; San Miguel, ~1.7 Ma; San Nicolas, ~1.0 Ma; Palos Verdes Hills, ~0.64 Ma. Reliability checks supporting these age estimates include: (1) evidence that each island has experienced uplift consistently over time, based on the presence of higher-elevation, pre-last-interglacial marine terraces; (2) evidence that uplift rates on each island have been quasi-constant over time, based on relative ages from amino acid geochronology; and (3) age estimates for time of island emergence that are consistent with the ages of older, pre-Quaternary marine rocks on each island. With variable uplift rates, islands would have grown geographically at different rates. Although Anacapa and Santa Barbara appeared relatively early, low uplift rates resulted in little island expansion over millions of years. San Nicolas and the Palos Verdes Hills emerged much later, but grew relatively quickly with higher uplift rates. Future geochronology of older terrace fossils with strontium isotopes will provide rigorous tests of these hypotheses.

FORAGING PATTERNS OF LAYSAN ALBATROSS FROM GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO AND THEIR RELATION TO OCEANOGRAPHIC VARIABLES FROM THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM

Daniela Y. Munguía-Cajigas*, Julio César Hernández-Montoya, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Federico Méndez-Sánchez, and Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   There are few studies that discuss marine foraging areas of seabirds nesting on Baja California Pacific Islands. Therefore, we identified and classified Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL) foraging areas on the Eastern Pacific—California Current region—using Kernel densities from GPS tracks, in combination with different oceanographic variables. GPS devices were attached to 20 LAAL individuals from the Guadalupe Island colony during the January to May 2014 season. Satellite composites of chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperature maps and the Pacific Environmental Fisheries Laboratory upwelling index were retrieved from January to May 2014. We evaluated and mapped Kernel density estimates from 15 LAAL tracks around the Northeast Pacific Ocean. We also overlaid these tracks with mean chlorophyll concentration and mean sea surface temperature maps. Kernel density maps indicate that 50% of the tracks are being recorded around Guadalupe Island. High chlorophyll concentration, low sea surface temperature, upwelling conditions and zig-zag flights were recorded during the first half of March 2014, off the coast of California, USA, from San Francisco Bay to Santa Barbara Basin, and off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, from San Quintín Basin to Punta Eugenia. Our results reveal a wide spatial distribution of LAAL from Guadalupe Island throughout the Northeast Pacific Ocean, as well as the oceanographic features that encourage their foraging within this region, associated to high productivity waters.

Native ants (Family: Formicidae) of the California Channel Islands

Ida Naughton1*, Philip S. Ward2, and David Holway1, 1Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 inaughto@ucsd.edu 2Department of Entomology and Center for Population Biology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

   The California Channel Islands support an impressive array of biological diversity, including numerous endemic species. Although the flora and vertebrate fauna of this archipelago are relatively well studied, information about terrestrial arthropods remains fragmentary, and most islands remain inadequately surveyed for arthropods. Here, we report the results of the first archipelago-wide survey of ants from the Channel Islands. Fifty-one native species and four introduced species occur in the archipelago. As would be expected, native ant richness increases with island area and decreases with distance from the mainland. Species-level endemism is in general low and mostly restricted to the southern islands, which share biogeographical affinities to the ants on Isla Guadalupe. Ongoing studies examine patterns of evolutionary diversification in the carpenter ants (Camponotus) of the California Channel Islands. Represented by as many as 11 different species on the islands, carpenter ants exhibit apparent differentiation within islands, among islands, and between the islands and the mainland. We used DNA barcoding and maximum likelihood-based phylogenies to test a series of hypotheses relating to dispersal and subsequent differentiation of island populations. These ongoing studies represent the first examination of historical diversification for ants on California Channel Islands.

DOES EMF EMITTED FROM IN SITU SUBSEA POWER CABLES AFFECT THE COMPOSITION OF DEEP BENTHIC FISH AND INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES?

Mary M. Nishimoto1*, Milton Love1, Linda Snook1, Ann Scarborough Bull2, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara nishimoto@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

   A network of power cables is an important component of any offshore renewable energy generation facilities (e.g., wind and wave). The cables laid on the seafloor carry current that produces both electric and magnetic fields; the magnetic field, here called an electromagnetic field (EMF), is what is emitted from shielded cables. The cables, themselves, add hard, low-relief structure to what is typically soft-bottom habitat (mud or sand). Given that laboratory experiments show EMF can affect the behavior of some marine vertebrates and invertebrates, concern is raised over the potential ecological impacts of in situ power cables. Here we report an unusual comparative study of the effect of EMF emitted from in situ power cables on the fish and invertebrate communities of the deep coastal shelf environment. In the Santa Barbara Channel of southern California, subsea power cables, similar to those used in the offshore renewable energy industry, transmit electricity from shore to offshore oil and gas production platforms. A non-energized cable in the vicinity of energized cables afforded us the unusual opportunity to control for the effect of cable as hard, low relief habitat. We conducted three annual submersible surveys in October, 2012- 2014, at depths from 75 m to 210 m. We present results comparing observations along the energized and non-energized cables and on the adjacent natural substrate.

RESTORATION AND MONITORING OF QUEMADA CREEK, SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Linda O'Hirok*, Amber Baglietto, Kyle Burns, Ben Comfort, Kevin Gaston, Nathan Hilpert, and Reily Pratt, Environmental Science and Resource Management, California State University Channel Islands linda.ohirok@csuci.edu

   Santa Rosa Island, California, was the site of intensive ranching throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. After removal of cattle by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1998, a riparian restoration program was implemented in the Quemada Creek Watershed located on the eastern end of the Island. Overgrazing had compacted the soil, decreased water infiltration, increased runoff and stream erosion, impeded floodplain development, diminished dominant riparian species, promoted greater diversity of nonnative plants, degraded water quality, reduced benthic macroinvertebrate abundance, and significantly impaired stream function. NPS conducted a survey in 1999 and 2002 to assess the effectiveness of restoration efforts and in 2014 California State University Channel Islands repeated their study to document the long-term change. CSUCI resurveyed ten stream channel cross-sections, recorded the potential for erosion, mapped the riparian vegetation buffer zones, and conducted photo surveys at each site. Water quality and macroinvertebrate abundance were also assessed. Our results prove that Quemada Creek Watershed is returning to pre-grazing conditions most significantly in the return of native scrubs coinciding with a decrease in ground cover of non-native herbaceous species and a significant increase in phreatophytic forb coverage. Cross-sectional surveys showed that the stream channels are filling with sediment and the floodplains are slowly forming as the channel is narrowing, indicating a positive adjustment in geomorphology. Subsequent reduction in erosion and sediment transport has improved water quality, while recovering riparian vegetation has buffered excess nutrients. Benthic macroinvertebrates, bioindicators of stream recovery, were used to categorize each stream section. Despite limited water availability due to the extensive drought, the Brinkman Index of Biotic Integrity scores indicate stream health has improved. The results of this study suggest that the accelerated growth of native vegetation contributes to the stability of the stream channel and overall improvement in the functionality of the watershed.

CASE STUDY SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND: BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS ON A MILITARY ISLAND

Katrina C. Olthof1*, Morgan L. Ball1, Michael Medina2, Melissa Booker2, and Bryan Munson2, 1ManTech SRS Technologies katrina.olthof@mantech.com 2United States Navy

   Non-native species threaten the biodiversity of unique island ecosystems, and in the case of military islands, can also result in physical encumbrances to military range operations. The development and usage of San Clemente Island presents an inherent biosecurity risk because of the necessity to introduce commodities to support mission operations. Preventative strategies are currently in review to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate biosecurity risks and support the military mission. The creation of a biosecurity manager is imperative for implementing biosecurity strategies, conducting inspections, and coordinating response to incursions that must be coordinated within the chain of command of military structure. Tasks must also be delegated to other key military personnel positions and can highlight the importance of inter-departmental collaboration. For San Clemente Island’s program, biosecurity efforts are coordinated as part of the archipelago-wide biosecurity initiative while being uniquely tailored to the bioinvasion vectors most threatening to San Clemente Island itself. These efforts can provide insight across the California Islands for wider implications to the management of the archipelago-wide program.

DIFFERENT PREDATOR COMMUNITIES DRIVE LARGE-SCALE PATTERNS IN RODENT STRESS ACROSS SIX OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

John Orrock1*, Brian Connolly1, and Michael Sheriff2, 1University of Wisconsin jorrock@wisc.edu 2Penn State University

   Predation risk affects prey behavior, growth, and demography. However, it remains unclear whether predation risk leads to large-scale variation in patterns of prey stress, and whether more diverse communities of predators lead to greater stress in prey. Although prey clearly use refuge habitats, it is unclear whether the presence of refuge habitat directly mitigates increases in stress caused by periods of high predation risk. We sampled deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) from 6 of the 8 Channel Islands to evaluate whether stress in rodent prey is a function of 1) the diversity of predator species on an island, and 2) whether variation in stress is a function of the interplay between refuge availability and predator activity within an island. Using Sherman live traps, we captured 151 mice in July and August 2014. Stress levels were determined by quantifying fecal glucocorticoid concentration via EIA. Predator community data were assembled from the primary literature, published reports, and field biologists. We find that rodent stress levels are positively related to the diversity of rodent predators across 6 islands. Other factors, such as precipitation, were not correlated with fecal GC levels. Our results provide evidence that large-scale variation in predator communities may drive large-scale variation in prey physiology, suggesting that changes in predator communities may have unappreciated consequences on prey. Our results also illustrate how refuge habitats may play an important role in mediated risk-generated stress: acute pulses of risk caused by predator activity were linked with significant changes in rodent stress, but only when rodents did not have access to safe refuge habitats. Taken together, our results suggest that understanding the effect of predation risk on prey requires an understanding both the composition of the predator community as well as the presence of habitat features that prey use to mitigate risk.

RECOVERY OF VEGETATION COVER AND NATIVE FAUNA AFTER THE REMOVAL OF INVASIVE MAMMALS ON SOCORRO ISLAND, REVILLAGIGEDO ARCHIPELAGO, MEXICO

Antonio Ortiz-Alcaraz1*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Fernando Solís-Carlos1, David Cosío-Muriel1, Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, Alfredo Ortega-Rubio3, Scott Hall4, and Hannah Nevins5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas antonio.ortiz@islas.org.mx 2Cornell Lab of Ornithology 3Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste 4National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 5American Bird Conservancy

   Socorro Island, part of the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve—recently declared as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO—is the Mexican island with the highest level of endemism. It provides habitat for 117 vascular plants (26% endemic). There are eight endemic terrestrial birds, and an endemic blue lizard (Urosaurus auriculatus). However, Socorro’s ecosystem has been heavily degraded by exotic mammals over the last 140 years. Feral sheep (Ovis aries) caused habitat destruction on 30% of the island’s surface. Another serious threat is the feral cat (Felis catus), which severely impacts the island’s avifauna and the Socorro blue lizard. Together, feral sheep and cats are responsible for the extinction in the wild of the Socorro Dove (Zenaida graysoni) and the Socorro Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi graysoni). Particularly, the feral cat is a serious threat to the Townsend’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis). Feral sheep eradication was successfully executed from 2009 to 2012. After a year of the completion of the sheep eradication, clear indications in the recovery of vegetation cover and improvement of soil quality parameters were observed and confirmed, specifically compaction, nitrogen, organic carbon, phosphorus, and calcium. Feral cat eradication has been a difficult challenge due to the island's large size and topographical complexity. In 2011, we started a feral cat control program, which scaled up into an eradication campaign. By July 2015, 413 cats were dispatched using soft leg-hold and lethal traps with a combined effort of 22,000 trap-nights. To date (mid-2016), cat abundance has decreased significantly. The abundance of terrestrial birds and the Socorro blue lizard increases thanks to the eradication's progress. We estimate that the feral cat eradication will be completed by 2017, thus moving towards the absence confirmation phase.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT NETWORK: A RECIPE FOR COLLABORATION, OPPORTUNITY, AND SUCCESS

Ken Owen1*, John Knapp2, Morgan Ball3, Clark Cowan4, Peter Dixon5 , Emma Havstad6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emily Howe3, Bill Hoyer8, Denise Knapp9, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz4, Gerry McChesney10, Bryan Munson8, Julia Parish4, Paula Power5, John Randall2, Jim Roberts4 , Jonathan Shore10, and Kevin Thompson1, 1Channel Islands Restoration ken@cirweb.org 2The Nature Conservancy 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4Channel Islands National Park 5Catalina Island Conservancy 6Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 7Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 8US Navy 9Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 10US Fish and Wildlife Service

   Invasive plant species, one of the most pressing global threats to biodiversity, compete with native plants, degrade wildlife habitat, and alter ecosystem processes. Their impacts have been most pronounced in island ecosystems. California Islands managers and partners have identified invasive plants as one of the greatest threats to island ecosystem function. With most of the introduced vertebrate species removed from most of the islands, some non-native plants are responding to the lack of herbivory and browsing with expanding populations. Invasive plant control is conducted at each island to varying degrees, but given the present level of support and the enormity of the challenge, current strategies are insufficient to tackle the problem. Vertebrates have been removed from the islands at a relatively slow pace, generally only one taxa at a time from one island at a time. In contrast, a collaborative approach involving four islands led to the rapid recovery and delisting (or in one case, downlisting) of the Island fox. In response to the successes of this inter-island collaborative model, island managers and partners have developed and initiated a program to address invasive plants in a more successful and cost-effective manner. The Islands of the Californias Collaborative or (Islas de las Californias Collaborativa): Invasive Plant Management Network will serve as the programmatic umbrella to share information and pursue joint funding for eradication of incipient invasive plant species throughout the islands. Stakeholders meet quarterly and for an annual workshop to share treatment prescriptions and expertise, prioritize species for management, and leverage fund raising capacity. Although each island is isolated with each island entity having to work within their bureaucratic framework, they are connected in the deep. No longer do island managers have to go it alone or compete for funding against one another. United, focused, and enthusiastic, the Collaborative is underway.

 

 

Native fish conservation in the aquatic archipelagos of Death Valley

Steve Parmenter, California Department of Fish and Wildlife steve.parmenter@wildlife.ca.gov

   Pleistocene and earlier connections among Death Valley, Owens, Amargosa, and Mojave River basins of California and Nevada favored the evolution of 17 fish taxa. Most contemporary forms diverged following hydrologic isolation in the past 20,000 years. Four fishes have become extinct during historic times, eight are federally listed as endangered, and the remainder are without exception state special-status species. Naturally rare spring endemics are most vulnerable to habitat changes such as diversion and groundwater over pumping. Other widespread river basin dwelling species have had their habitat fragmented by predaceous non-native game fish. Approximately 25 artificial or highly modified spring and pond refuge habitats are managed to prevent extinction of 5 native fish species. Artificial habitats are vulnerable to successional conversion from open water to emergent marsh, altering food webs and potentially eliminating fish. The once common Owens pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) illustrates the consequences of habitat fragmentation, extinction pressures, loss of genetic variability, practical management solutions, legal paralysis, and value choices made to balance ecosystem integrity against the potential for species loss. As a counterpoint, successful 96-fold range expansion of endemic Shoshone pupfish (C. nevadensis shoshone) relied upon genetic assessment, habitat construction, cattail eradication, and local partnerships.

COLLECTING AND ANALYZING AT-SEA AND COASTAL AVIAN DATA TO ASSESS POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF OFFSHORE RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

David Pereksta, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management david.pereksta@boem.gov

   The prospect of renewable energy development off the coasts of the United States has led to a scramble for data needs on potentially affected resources, particularly those related to avian species. The potential effects from renewable energy development to avian species are complex and varied including collision, displacement, barrier effects, and attraction. As the lead Federal agency for renewable energy development on the Federal outer continental shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has initiated, in coordination with other agencies and partners, the collection and synthesizing of existing data, identification of data gaps, development and funding of studies to fill those gaps, and creation of products for assessing risk to birds from structures at sea. Through the Environmental Studies Program, BOEM collects a wide range of environmental information to provide an improved understanding of offshore ecosystems, a baseline for assessing cumulative effects, and the scientific basis for development of regulatory measures to mitigate adverse impacts. With broad-scale assessments of suitable areas for wind, wave, and tidal energy production offshore, the challenge has been to collect and compile information quickly and at as large a scale as possible. Assessing what we know, what we can predict, and how can we assess risk has led BOEM to develop and collaborate on a variety of studies including baseline data assessments, at-sea surveys, predictive modeling of seabird distribution and abundance, vulnerability and risk assessments, and technology testing for efficient ways to inventory birds on the OCS. These are being applied in both the Atlantic and Pacific, including the Main Hawaiian Islands, to provide for assessments of potential effects and data needs early in the planning process at regional and local scales with the goal of designing and implementing projects that will minimize effects to avian species to the greatest extent practicable.

 

 

WHAT PREHISTORIC PEOPLE WERE DOING ON SANTA BARBARA ISLAND: A SYNTHESIS OF FAUNAL AND ARTIFACT DATA

Jennifer Perry1* and Terry Joslin2*, 1California State University, Channel Islands jennifer.perry@csuci.edu 2Central Coast Archaeological Research Consultants

   Recent archaeological survey on Santa Barbara Island has increased the tally of prehistoric sites from 19 to 55. Most of these are small shell and lithic scatters, although some are larger shell middens with greater faunal and artifact diversity. Many of the formal artifacts are made of stone materials that are not local to the island, indicating different island and mainland origins. Based on a synthesis of data derived from surface observations and museum collections, we discuss the different roles that Santa Barbara Island potentially played in broader settlement and subsistence systems on the Channel Islands. In particular, we evaluate evidence of the island serving as a 'way-station' in inter-island travel and as having been temporarily occupied to procure marine resources. In contrast to extensive research on island-mainland travel and exchange on the northern Channel Islands, the existing data from Santa Barbara Island reveal aspects of inter-island travel and material conveyance between the southern islands.

Modeling the role of corvid-mediated seed dispersal in oak habitat restoration scenarios for California’s largest islands

Mario B. Pesendorfer1*, Christopher Baker2, Michael Bode3, Eve Madden-McDonald4, Scott A. Morrison5, Katherine McEachern6, and T. Scott Sillett7, 1Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14850 mario.pesendorfer@yahoo.com  2School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia 3ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia 4School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia 5The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, CA 94105 6U.S. Geological Survey 7Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, D.C.

   Island scrub-oaks (Quercus pacifica) are a keystone species of oak chaparral - the dominant woody vegetation across California's Channel Islands. After 150 years of adverse impacts of agricultural use, island scrub-oaks are now the focus of extensive restoration efforts on Santa Catalina and Santa Rosa Islands. In contrast, the Santa Cruz Island population, which is dispersed by the endemic island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), has experienced tremendous passive recovery since the removal of non-native ungulates, with as much as 50% increase in cover. To accelerate oak recovery on neighboring Santa Rosa Island, managers have thus discussed the re-introduction of the island scrub-jay. Here, we use a spatially-explicit simulation model of tree demography and seed dispersal to investigate the potential effect of island scrub-jay scatter-hoarding on the distribution of island scrub-oaks on Santa Rosa Island. The model, parametrized with parameters from the scientific literature, includes variable seed production, seed predation, growth rates, context-dependent dispersal by scatter-hoarding corvids, as well as gravity- and rodent-driven dispersal. In a first step, we applied the model to the 1985 vegetation map of Santa Cruz Island and were able to broadly recreate the passive recovery of oak chaparral until 2007. Subsequently, we applied the model to the current extent of oak chaparral on Santa Rosa Island, and modeled two scenarios: i) current conditions of gravity and rodent dispersal of acorns, and ii) with seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding island scrub-jays. Model results illustrate that the pace and extent of scrub-oak expansion would rapidly increase in the latter scenario. After 100 years of simulation, for example, Santa Rosa Island would experience more than a threefold increase in oak cover, while the extent would stagnate under current conditions. We discuss the broader impacts of this potential management action and oak expansion on ecosystem dynamics and other species of conservation concern.

ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OUTER BANKS OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT

Daniel J. Pondella, II*, Matthew Robart, Jeremy T. Claisse, Jonathan P. Williams, Chelsea M. Williams, Amanda J. Zellmer, and Susan Piacenza, Vantuna Research Group, Moore Laboratory of Zoology, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041 pondella@oxy.edu

   We analyzed and inventoried the biological resources on and around Gareth Ridge, Cherry Bank, Tanner Bank and Cortes Bank contained within a 6,639 km2 area of the outer continental borderlands of the Southern California Bight. These offshore banks lie at the divergence of the California Current and the Southern California Counter Current, major sources of production in the bight. Based upon this unique geology and physical oceanography, it is not surprising that the outer banks of the Southern California Bight have long been acknowledged as distinctive and productive habitats. As an example, they maintain populations of endangered and protected species such as white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), Cowcod (Sebastes levis), and purple hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus), and a variety of marine mammals, birds and turtles. This production also supports extensive commercial and recreational fishing activities. We analyzed fishing block data for these fisheries from 1980-2009. Commercial fishers reported 22,841 metric tons representing 124 identified taxa during this period. Recreational Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels reported 222,915 fishes and invertebrates caught representing 61 taxonomic categories. All ecological information from this region supports the viewpoint that these offshore banks constitute a significant amount of production in the bight and important habitats. We hypothesize that due to their unique location and size this region is a significant contributor to the overall Southern California Bight ecosystem.

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND GERMINATION OF THE BISHOP PINES ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Brice Prichard1*, Zack Buckley1*, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands brice.pritchard645@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   To examine the current status and structure of the Santa Rosa Island (SRI) bishop pine (Pinus muricata) population we conducted an island-wide census. We collected the following data from each tree: height, health, diameter at breast height (DBH), and reproductive status. The census revealed that there are approximately 2,200 trees on the island with a majority of them being seedlings and saplings. We quantified the age structure of the SRI population by counting and measuring the rings of 25 cored trees. A significant relationship between DBH and age enabled us to examine the impact of past climatic events and management efforts (i.e. the removal of introduced ungulates) on the SRI bishop pine population structure. To compare the effect of fire and precipitation on the germination rates of island and mainland population we performed a common garden experiment. We used ash to simulate post fire conditions and created two precipitation regimes to simulate wet and dry years. We found that both the presence of ash and level of precipitation had a significant effect on germination and growth of bishop pines. Data collected from our study will help to inform the future management of the bishop pine populations and active restoration projects on SRI.

Reassessing the ethnohistory and archaeology of Pimu (Catalina Island)

Hugh Radde1*, Wendy Teeter2, and Desiree Martinez3, 1University of California Santa Barbara hradde@umail.ucsb.edu 2Fowler Museum 3Cogstone Resource Management

   Historic documents testify to expeditions that landed on Santa Catalina Island (Pimu) and encountered many Natives and many settlements. However, by the time John P. Harrington consulted elders during his research among the Tongva in the 20th century, only one ethnographically known village, Nájquqar, could be traced back to the diaries of early explorers. This study presents preliminary evidence of European glass beads found in existing collections that were recovered on Catalina, perhaps representing the additional habitation sites that were first documented by members of voyages in the 16th through 19th century.

Lessons Learned and Problems Not Yet Solved in the “Rescue” of the Rarest Plants of the Islands of the Californias

John Randall1*, Kathryn McEachern2, Denise Knapp3, Matt Guilliams3, Heather Schneider3, John Knapp1, Lyndal Laughrin4, Morgan Ball5, Peter Dixon6, Emma Havstad7, Emily Howe5, Bill Hoyer8, Steve Junak3, Luciana Luna9, David Mazurkiewicz10, Julio Montoya9, Bryan Munson8, Ken Niessen10, Sarah Ratay5, and Dirk Rodriguez10, 1The Nature Conservancy jrandall@tnc.org 2U.S. Geological Survey 3Santa Barbara Botanical Garden 4University of California Santa Cruz Island field station 5Wildlands Conservation Science 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7San Diego State University-SERG 8U.S. Navy 9Grupo Ecologico de Conservacion des Islas 10Channel Islands National Park

   Rare Plant Taxa are remarkably common among the Islands of the Californias. Most of these islands are home to taxa with fewer than fifty individuals or five populations known to remain in the wild. On the positive side, many taxa rare a decade or so ago have increased rapidly on the islands, particularly where introduced grazing and browsing animals were eradicated. More systematic surveys have also revealed the presence of new populations, and in a few cases located taxa on islands where they were previously believed to be extirpated. Some rare taxa have been propagated in botanic gardens and other greenhouses or nurseries, raising hopes that outplantings could help increase their abundance in the wild. Other rare plant taxa show little or no recovery, and several continue to decline. For example, Island Barberry (Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis) is believed to have been extirpated from Anacapa and Santa Rosa Islands, and has been reduced to just five individuals on Santa Cruz Island, down from at least eight less than a decade ago. A different example is California juniper (Juniperus californica) which was once abundant on Isla Guadalupe but may be down to just four individuals there today, although it is common and widely distributed on the mainland. We remain unable to propagate many of these taxa from wild collected seed, cuttings or tissue. And for some we have a poor or incomplete understanding of threats they face, their habitat preferences, pollination, reproduction and genetic relationships to other wild populations and to plants in botanical gardens and the horticultural trade. Some taxa may be poorly adapted to current conditions, persisting in isolated sites where temperatures are moderated and soil moistures relatively high, sites which may themselves become hotter and drier as climate change proceeds. These are among the most important problems now facing researchers and land managers who launched a bi-national Islands of the Californias Rare Plant Program in 2016 to help find solutions and direct attention and funding towards implementing them.

INFLUENCE OF WITHIN- AND BETWEEN-SITE HABITAT VARIATION ON 35 YEARS OF SUBTIDAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Zachary Randell1*, Mike Kenner2, Tim Tinker2, and Mark Novak1, 1Oregon State University randellz@oregonstate.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   In 1980, the US Fish and Wildlife Service installed six permanent monitoring stations in the nearshore subtidal surrounding San Nicolas Island. Ongoing biannual surveys, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1995, have produced a spatially explicit 35-year time series that encompasses the only experimental translocation of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) into southern California. The benthic substrate comprising these sites varies considerably (e.g., flat sandstone, high-relief pinnacles, sites that are a mixture of both). To characterize the relative influence of habitat variation on subtidal community structure and trajectory, I used a distance-wheel roller to quantify scale-dependent distances along all of the 30 10x2m transects. These measures of habitat complexity (i.e., surface rugosity, or relief) were included as environmental predictor variables in nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses. Used to analyze and visualize variation in community composition over time, a two-dimensional ordination of transects in species space accounted for 80% of species abundance and distribution variation (axis 1: r2 = 0.52, axis 2: r2 = 0.28). Axis 1 depicted an abundance gradient, as certain transects shifted between urchin and kelp dominated states over time. Relief was not correlated with axis 1 (r2 = 0.007), but was strongly associated with axis 2 (r2 = 0.467), accounting for 46.7% of within-ordination transect variation. In addition to providing insight into the recent history at San Nicolas Island, these results will help frame ongoing work into how habitat, physical perturbations, and community structure mediate the strength of interactions in southern California kelp forests.

USING DNA METABARCODING TO LINK HUMMINGBIRD DIETS WITH POLLINATION ECOLOGY ON CALIFORNIA’S CHANNEL ISLANDS

Erin E. Wilson Rankin*, David T. Rankin, and Christopher J. Clark, University of California, Riverside erin.rankin@ucr.edu

   Pollination is a key ecosystem service vital for the survival and stability of our natural and agricultural ecosystems. Nearly 87% of flowering plants require pollinators for their reproduction. Hummingbirds are important avian pollinators, relying on blooming flowers for food, and synchronize high-energy activities, such as breeding, to peak flower activity. Mainland hummingbirds face a food shortage from mid-summer until the winter rains, which they escape through migration. In contrast, one subspecies of Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin sedentarius) evolved a non-migratory strategy on the Channel Islands despite fierce competition for nectar during these times and often limited water. We investigated what underlying ecological factors promote residence of S. s. sedentarius on the Channel Islands year round and during times of resource dearth. DNA metabarcoding provides unprecedented access and identification of plant-pollinator and predator-prey interactions, which have been historically difficult to quantify due to the challenges of directly observing species interactions. By coupling molecular fecal analyses with vegetation surveys and foraging observations, we examine how native hummingbirds influence local patterns of pollen flow and determine how their diets shift seasonally on the Channel Islands. DNA metabarcoding analysis of fecal material from both migratory and non-migratory species provides insights into avian resource use across the landscape and allows comparison of diet profiles across islands and species.

SHORELINE CHANGE, ECOSYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, AND HUMAN SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLANDS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA

Leslie Reeder-Myers, Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution reeder-myersl@si.edu

   The islands of Baja California hold considerable interest to archaeologists because of their unique histories of human occupation and their potential to produce evidence for a coastal migration route into the Americas. Similarly, they are home to distinctive, fragile ecosystems and provide important examples of island endemism. The development of these natural and cultural systems, however, is closely linked to changing island geomorphology through time. High resolution reconstructions of shoreline development since the last glacial maximum, based on relative sea level curves adjusted for isostatic and tectonic processes, provide the most accurate available dates for the separation of islands from the Baja California mainland. Here, I present the results of post-glacial shoreline models for the Islas Coronado, the Islas de Todos Santos, and Isla Cedros. I consider the implications of changing island geomorphology and Holocene climate on terrestrial and intertidal organisms. The results provide insight into the relationship between the timing of island separation, ecosystem development, and human settlement of the islands. They also develop hypotheses for future geological and archaeological research.

Using GIS to Identify Prehistoric Pathways

Karimah Kennedy Richardson1*, Wendy Teeter2, and Desiree Martinez3, 1Autry Museum of the American West and UC Riverside Kokennedy.richardson@gmail.com 2UCLA Fowler Museum 3Cogstone Resource Management

   The current spatial data for Catalina Island consists of hundreds of cultural sites that have been collected over several decades. It is currently being synthesized into a comprehensive map of cultural resources by the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeological Project. Catalina Island is the only Southern Channel Island open to the public and has much tourist activity. The major land manager of the island is the Catalina Island Conservancy and it maintains many roads, and hiking trails, that could have one time been the major trails for the Tongva/Gabrielino people on the Island. For the purpose of conserving and identifying the numerous archaeological sites on the island, this study intends to investigate the travel to a large work production area of soapstone, which is located on the interior part of the island. Given the terrain of the island, many archaeologists assume that the easier pathways were along the coast and streams, however recent archaeological fieldwork suggests that the Gabrielino's were traveling along the ridge-lines as well. Using the spatial data already available the goal is to use the least cost path analysis tool and other tools in GIS to see based on the landscape what are the proposed pathways between each large site and the major productions area in the interior and between each other. The results of this study will inform conservation efforts to preserve cultural sites and artifacts during future land use and development projects.

LIMITED GENETIC VARIABILITY IN NATIVE BUCKWHEATS ON SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Lynn Riley1*, Mitchell E. McGlaughlin2, and Kaius Helenurm1, 1Department of Biology, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069 lynn.riley01@usd.edu 2School of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639

   The California Channel Island perennial buckwheats, Eriogonum giganteum and E. grande, are important components of the Channel Islands’ scrub communities. A long history of overgrazing by introduced herbivores on San Clemente Island has contributed to a loss of scrub vegetation and population declines in both taxa. Since herbivore removal, Eriogonum, which are early colonizers of disturbed habitats, have been increasing across the island. These increases are thought to facilitate further recovery of the native flora, as the shrubs act as nurse plants and improve the soil profile for other native species. We sampled each taxon at 10 locations across San Clemente Island using six (E. grande) or nine (E. giganteum) polymorphic microsatellite loci to determine the genetic impact of the demographic bottleneck and subsequent early recovery. Both taxa were characterized by low diversity across the island. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.021– 0.337 (mean = 0.188) and most populations were fixed for a single allele at several loci. Additionally, Bayesian estimates of inbreeding are high (0.107 – 0.477; mean = 0.295) in most populations. Overall, there was less evidence of genetic structure among E. grande, which maintains larger population sizes, than E. giganteum sampling locations. Within E. grande, ObStruct analysis recovered three genetic clusters (R2 = 0.60) with substantial admixture while EdenNetwork and PopTree did not identify any genetic breaks. Within E. giganteum, ObStruct recovered three genetic clusters (R2 = 0.93) with less admixture, and both PopTree and EdenNetwork identified similar genetic breaks. Both E. giganteum and E. grande on San Clemente Island have low neutral genetic diversity compared to other island endemics, suggesting that the genetic effect of the introduced herbivores has been severe and the long-term viability of the taxa may be compromised by low genetic diversity.

“Think of Me”: an Unexpected Message from Santa Catalina Island's Past

Austin Ringelstein, Department of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge austin.ringelstein@gmail.com

   California is well known for its mission history, but tales of American sailors in the Channel Islands during the first quarter of the 19th Century are rarely told. The year that Lewis and Clark were midway on their famous expedition westward (1805), Boston sea otter hunter and ship captain William Shaler was already on the west coast on a month long visit to Pimu Santa Catalina Island. Many other sailors followed in Shaler’s wake, using Two Harbors on the island’s isthmus as a safe haven for making repairs and restoring supplies. Two Harbors was also the location of the principal Native American village on the Island. This presentation provides new information about artifacts found on Santa Catalina, which represent this transformational period in California history.

CROSSING THE CHANNEL: AN INQUIRY BASED EXPEDITION

Chris Rini* and Cause Hanna, California State University Channel Islands chris1poem@gmail.com

   The ultimate goal of Crossing the Channel (CTC) is to cultivate a new community of environmental stewards and transform the learning experiences of local students by building a collaborative professional network (i.e., federal agencies, local school district, non-profits, and universities) that supports local environmental research opportunities for underserved students across academic levels. The five CTC units were designed to collectively provide an education program that is intended to be a transformative experience and is founded on the presentation of environmental topics and concepts through the lens of local research and hands-on experiences for students. In designing the CTC programmatic units, a progression of learning was intentionally designed to move student learning through the scientific process (i.e. exploration and discovery, gathering and interpreting data, identifying the benefits and outcomes, etc.). Students are provided with the opportunity to work with research tools, experience life as an environmental researcher, and to understand how science attempts to inform the changing human and natural landscapes. The CTC program support for each unit included the recruitment of CSU Channel Islands undergraduates, local environmental professionals, and educators to provide opportunities for students. These support mechanisms served as an organizational tool to develop the following programmatic evaluation themes: (1) participation within a hierarchical mentorship model, (2) connection with nature, (3) knowledge of the local environment, and (4) interest in science as a career or college focus. We analyzed the change in student responses relating to these four survey themes before and after the program. The CTC program resulted in significant and desired change in the student attitudes towards the four themes. As a result, the CTC program has cultivated a more inclusive and diverse community of local environmental stewards.

CAN NEARSHORE FORAGING SEABIRDS DETECT VARIABILITY IN JUVENILE FISH DISTRIBUTION INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS?

Dan P. Robinette1*, Julie Howar1, Jennifer E. Casselle2, and Jeremy T. Claisse3, 1Point Blue Conservation Science drobinette@pointblue.org 2Marine Science Institute 3Vantuna Research Group

   Juvenile recruitment is an important determinant of change within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Understanding spatio-temporal variability in recruitment rates will help managers set realistic expectations for rates of population and community level change within individual MPAs. Here we ask whether seabird foraging distributions can be used as a proxy for juvenile fish recruitment inside and outside of MPAs in southern California. We investigated the foraging rates of six piscivorous seabirds inside and outside of three island and four mainland MPAs in southern California and compared these data to estimates of juvenile fish abundance from kelp forest surveys conducted at the same sites during the same two years (2012 and 2013). Juvenile fish communities at island and mainland sites were dominated by three families: Embiotocidae, Labridae, and Pomacentridae in both years. Additionally, there was an influx of young-of-the-year rockfish (Family Sebastidae) at most sites in 2013. Seabird and fish distributions were similar at the regional (island versus mainland) and geographic area (approximately 15-30 km) scales, but less similar at the site-specific (reserve versus control) scale. Site-specific differences reflected differences in the diet and foraging habits of individual seabird species. While fish surveys were specific to the kelp forest habitat, seabirds were sampling multiple habitats within a given site. Our results suggest that integrating seabird data with data on juvenile fish abundance can produce a more holistic index to proxy spatio-temporal variability in juvenile fish recruitment. In other words, seabird studies can provide additional information not captured by fish surveys and help resource managers better understand local patterns of fish recruitment at the community level. This will help resource managers establish realistic expectations for how quickly fish populations should change within individual MPAs.

NEW VEGETATION CLASSIFICATIONS AND MAPS FOR SANTA ROSA, SAN MIGUEL, AND ANACAPA ISLANDS

Dirk Rodriguez, National Park Service dirk_rodriguez@nps.gov

   Accurate vegetation maps are essential for land management purposes, providing information on park terrestrial resources, have served and can serve as the basis for a number of research projects and questions. Since, and even prior, to the creation of Channel Islands National Park, vegetation maps for the islands have been created. However, the methods and protocols used were often not well preserved, and were seldom used across multiple islands. In addition, plant community naming conventions have changed and it was recognized that a multi-island vegetation classification and mapping effort was needed. In this talk, I will present the current status of a multi-year effort to update the vegetation maps and vegetation classifications for 3 of the 5 islands within Channel Islands National Park.

LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY MASS SPECTROMETRY DETERMINES THE PRESENCE OF TOBACCO ALKALOIDS IN BOTANICAL REMAINS FROM THE REDWOOD BOX CACHE, SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jessica Rodriguez1*, Hans Barnard2, Kym F. Faull3,4, Amira F. Ainis5, René L. Vellanoweth1, Jon M. Erlandson5,6, and Lisa Thomas7, 1Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles zeugirdor.jessica@gmail.com 2Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles 3David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 4Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles 5Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 6Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon 7NAVAIR Range Sustainability Office

   We present the results of a Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis on a botanical wad found within the Redwood Box Cache Feature (CA-SNI-14). The feature was discovered eroding out of a cliff face on the northwest coast of San Nicolas Island. It consisted of two expediently crafted redwood boxes containing over 200 artifacts of Nicoleño, Native Alaskan, and European design along with additional raw materials. The cache has been assigned a relative date range of AD 1814-1853 based on Aleutian styled and historic era artifacts crafted from metal and glass. The encrusted, charred botanical material was nestled in a carved red stone pipe containing a bird bone stem insert that was glued into place with asphaltum. Pipes of similar design and material type have been recovered on neighboring Channel Islands and the adjacent mainland. Cross-hatching is a common Nicoleño stylistic design, also found on a stone effigy from this feature. The LC-MS analysis determined the presence of nicotine and cotinine, tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) alkaloids, in the archaeological sample indicating that the botanical material is indeed tobacco. Ethnographic and ethnohistoric accounts demonstrate that tobacco plants and other smoke plants (i.e., Artesimia douglasiana, Salvia sonomensis, and Datura wrightii) were an integral part of Native American ceremonial and medicinal practices. Given the variation in types of artifacts and raw materials combined in this cache, the circumstances under which this tobacco wad was smoked remains uncertain. However, the likely connection of the Redwood Box Cache Feature with the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island suggests that this pipe may have been utilized by her.

The Mexican Hub of the Local Environmental Observer Network

Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   The Local Environmental Observer (LEO) is a network of local observers and experts who share knowledge about unusual animals, environments, and weather events. LEO was originally envisioned by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to improve the public health of rural communities. Considering its potential to act as a valuable tool for applied conservation, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), “a trinational organization through which the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States collaborate, with input from civil society, on the protection, conservation, and enhancement of North America’s environment”, is expanding LEO to the west coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Backed by CONABIO, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) has been selected by the CEC to host LEO’s hub in Mexico, using the Baja California Pacific Islands as the first sites in which to implement the project. The Mexican hub of LEO is composed of observers from local communities and the Mexican Navy, together with expert biologists and oceanographers with experience in local environmental and weather conditions. Environmental education, island biosecurity and climate change awareness are all improved by the incorporation of LEO into conservation initiatives. Environmental education efforts benefit from the use of LEO by engaging island and coastal populations to learn about their environments and to share their knowledge with local communities and scientists. LEO promotes island biosecurity by allowing local observers to report invasive species easily. Coupling LEO observations with systematic monitoring techniques facilitates conservation efforts and leads to informed management decisions to help mitigate the effects of climate change. As a valuable conservation tool, LEO promotes the protection of natural resources and facilitates conservation efforts.

BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION GENOMICS OF ISLAND NIGHT LIZARDS AND PACIFIC TREEFROGS ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Patricia Salerno1*, Rob Lovich2, Paul Hohenlohe3, T. Scott Sillett4, Cameron Ghalambor1, Scott Morrison5, Jeanne Robertson6, Gregory Pauly7, Charles Drost8, Helen Fitting9, Alison Davis Rabosky10, and W. Chris Funk1, 1Colorado State University patriciasalerno@gmail.com 2Naval Facilities Engineering Command 3University of Idaho 4Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center 5The Nature Conservancy 6California State University Northridge 7Natural History Museum of Los Angeles 8USGS Southwest Biological Science Center 9Channel Islands National Park 10University of Michigan

   The Channel Islands host a number of endemic species, but little is known about their population dynamics both within and among islands. Next-generation sequencing technologies can inform conservation by providing estimates of effective population sizes and connectivity (gene flow) among populations and also inform the biographic history of island inhabitants. Here, we use next-generation sequencing to estimate population parameters within and among islands for the endemic Island Night Lizard, Xantusia riversiana, and the widespread Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla, throughout their distribution on the islands, as well as for their mainland counterparts. Using Restriction-Associated Digests (RADseq) and Illumina sequencing, we obtained an average of 1,099,762 reads (sequences) per individual for 132 individuals of P. regilla and an average of 1,094,247 million reads for 142 individuals of X. riversiana. We cleaned and mapped reads with widely used population genomic pipelines (STACKS and pyRAD) in order to obtain Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) matrices as well as full sequence alignments. We find much higher among-island population divergence than expected and that the divergence broadly corresponds to island proximity. We also find that effective population sizes of both species are high on all islands and on the mainland, particularly when compared to previous studies done on island foxes. We also examine potential dispersal routes and the colonization histories of both species and make suggestions on conservation strategies.

REDUCED DEFENSES AND INCREASED HERBIVORE PREFERENCE OF ISLAND CHAPARRAL SHRUBS COMPARED TO MAINLAND RELATIVES

Ryan Salladay1* and Aaron Ramirez2, 1University of California, Berkeley rsalladay23@gmail.com 2National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UC Santa Barbara

   The absence of large native herbivores on islands is thought to select for plants that are less defended and more palatable than comparable mainland relatives. Loss of defenses becomes especially important when exotic herbivores are introduced to island systems—potentially exacerbating the negative effects on native plant communities. To test the hypothesis that island plants have reduced defensive traits, we measured structural differences and palatability of 10 island-mainland pairs from contrasting island-mainland environments. Our study was conducted on Santa Catalina Island—which has a long history without large native herbivores followed by more recent human-caused introductions—and the adjacent southern California mainland. We found that island plants have reduced structural defenses and are more preferred by herbivores compared to mainland congeners. These patterns are likely driven by selection on plant traits that are unique to the insular environment. Reduced defenses and increased palatability of island plant species should be taken into consideration by managers of Santa Catalina Island and other oceanic islands.

PRODUCTIVITY OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Donna M. Schroeder*, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management donna.schroeder@boem.gov

   The Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) is the most important commercial fishing region in the State of California. During the last decade, landings at SBC ports recorded the highest diversity of species (a minimum of 130 taxa) and captured about a quarter of mean annual weight (26%) and value (23%) of the entire state’s harvest. The SBC region benefits from both high-volume (coastal pelagic fishes, market squid and sea urchin) and high-priced (California spiny lobster, sablefish and spot prawn) fisheries, and landings monopolize several mid-range fisheries, including bigeye tuna, California sea cucumber, ridgeback shrimp, rock crab, warty sea cucumber, and white seabass. What makes the SBC port complex so productive? For benthic fisheries, nearby access to the four northern California Channel Islands greatly extends potential fishing grounds. Compared to the mainland coast, the islands possess a greater proportion of rocky/kelp forest habitat instead of soft bottom habitat. The high primary production of kelp forests in turn provides trophic support for many fished species in the nearshore food web. For example, take of red sea urchin, an herbivore, is 17 times greater at the islands than the mainland. Enhanced island catches of other reef-associated species include California spiny lobster, nearshore finfish, red rock crab, and warty sea cucumber where yields are 2, 6, 7, and 10 times greater, respectively, than the mainland. Fished populations of benthic species clearly respond to marine protected areas (MPAs), and therefore the benefits of the current MPA network should be incorporated directly into fishery management plans, including monitoring to detect effectiveness of harvest control rules and estimating regional stock abundance. The large portfolio of species and habitats available to SBC fishers suggests that the local commercial fishing industry may be more resilient to changing ocean conditions compared to ports that rely on relatively fewer species.

ORIGIN, AGE, AND HISTORY OF ALLUVIAL SEDIMENTS IN THE VALLEYS OF SANTA ROSA ISLAND: A TREASURE TROVE FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS, PALEONTOLOGISTS, AND GEOLOGISTS

R. Randall Schumann1*, Jeffrey S. Pigati1, and John P. McGeehin2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, MS 980, Denver Federal Center, Denver CO, 80225-0046 rschumann@usgs.gov 2MS 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192

   Most of the streams on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12-14 m above the present channel. These thick alluvial sequences host some of the most significant archaeological and paleontological resources discovered on the island, and, indeed, on the North American continent, including Arlington Man and fossil remains of Columbian and pygmy mammoths. Understanding the age and depositional history of these alluvial deposits can benefit future NPS management strategies and assist in directing paleontologists and archaeologists toward likely sites of undiscovered fossils and artifacts. Equally important to geologists, these deposits describe the natural response of the landscape to climate and sea-level changes. As sea level fell following the last interglacial (after ~80 ka), streams eroded the valleys, clearing them of sediment. Following the last glacial period (~25-20 ka), rising sea level caused the streams to progressively lose power and alluvium began to accumulate on the valley floors, progressing from the mouths of valleys upstream toward the headwaters. Influences of local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic processes are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation slowed as sea level approached its present level, followed by intensive arroyo cutting that abandoned the relict floodplains, forming alluvial terraces. Sedimentary evidence points to overgrazing and drought, followed by catastrophic flooding around 1850-1880, as factors that may have accelerated and enhanced arroyo formation. However, incision would have occurred eventually as a natural response of the river systems to the halting of sea-level rise, even in the absence of the untimely combination of intense livestock stress and unusual weather events in the latter half of the 19th century.

WHEN A PICTURE IS WORTH AS MUCH OR MORE THAN WORDS OR NUMBERS: USING A LONG TERM PHOTO MONITORING SERIES TO DOCUMENT, SUPPORT AND DIRECT CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Peter Schuyler, peterschuyler@aya.yale.edu

   Documenting and evaluating results of conservation activities on natural landscapes for long periods of times is problematic. Field staff come and go, organization priorities change, institutional memory is often lacking, and monitoring project budgets frequently shrink. Photographs can quickly convey qualitative landscape level information and when coupled with other monitoring approaches can validate and present quantitative changes, often at relatively minimal cost. Regular systematic replication through time increases the photographs’ value to managers who can document results of past restoration projects, support or modify current activities by showing success or setbacks at similar sites, or help direct future activities by highlighting areas of continued concern. A major limitation to this approach is that the type of obtainable information is often not apparent until several decades have passed. On Santa Cruz Island, the largest of California’s Channel Islands, a series of photopoints was established in 1981 prior to the removal of over 36,000 feral sheep (Ovis aries). Photos were taken 3-4 times/year at up to 24 locations until 1989 and subsequently one time/year in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2015 and 2016. Following the sheep removal, the removal of nearly 2,000 head of cattle (Bos taurus) and 5,036 feral pigs (Sus scrofa) continued the opportunity for major ecosystem recovery. Upon review of the photos series, the following was revealed: 1) changes in the extent and structure of vegetation communities, including type conversion, recovery of dominant native species, and invasion by non-native plant species (determined in conjunction with existing vegetation maps, data sets, google earth images), 2) changes in species composition (coupled with field verification) 3) decreases in potential erosion sites through quantifying percent change of bare ground, 4) longterm growth/dieback cycles (e.g. Pinus muricata forests), and 5) future research needs to determine factors causing varying rates of landscape recovery in different areas.

SEVEN SHORT WEEKS: THE LONE WOMAN'S TIME IN SANTA BARBARA

Steven Schwartz, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (retired) minardude@aol.com

   After 18 years of solitude, the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island was taken to Santa Barbara in September of 1853. There she lived for just seven short weeks. On-going historical research is starting to reveal particulars of her time in Santa Barbara. This preliminary look will detail what is known of her first sights, celebrity, where she lived, food preferences, her demeanor, activities, and the illness which lead to her untimely death. These glimpses of her life on the mainland help to paint the poignant final chapter of her heroic life.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF NARRATIVE: TELLING THE LONE WOMAN'S STORY

Sara L. Schwebel, schwebel@mailbox.sc.edu

   Thanks to Scott O’Dell’s 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, children across the United States know the story of the Lone Woman, the Island Gabrielino who lived alone for eighteen years on her natal San Nicolas Island. But when Scott O’Dell penned his tale, the story of the Lone Woman’s remarkable, tragic life had already been told for more than one hundred years. In fact, it is likely a resurgence of interest in the Lone Woman’s life as the hundredth anniversary of her death approached in 1953 that led O’Dell to his topic. Mid-twentieth century tellings of the Lone Woman’s story, including Island of the Blue Dolphins, borrow heavily from nineteenth century accounts both in their factual (and in some cases, inaccurate) details of her stranding and “rescue,” and in their interpretative assumptions about the meaning of these events. O’Dell’s depiction of Karana as a “girl Crusoe,” for example, can be traced back to 1847, when the first newspaper account of the Lone Woman—titled “A Female Crusoe”—appeared; similarly, O’Dell’s suggestion that Karana was the last of her tribe, a woman whose people couldn’t be found and who was too old to bear children herself, echoes nineteenth century accounts that in their telling mourn the passing of a “vanished race.” Island of the Blue Dolphins, then, shares with its sources a colonial worldview that feels out of step with our own cultural moment. This paper employs data visualization and an archive of more than 400 digitized accounts of the Lone Woman’s story to trace the more than 100-year circulation of the tale; in doing so, it also maps details from Island of the Blue Dolphins to their most likely source, in part by examining the subset of the archive that overlapped with O’Dell’s documented research.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND IDENTIFICATION OF USS CONESTOGA (AT 54) OFF SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND IN GREATER FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Robert V. Schwemmer, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries - West Coast Region Robert.Schwemmer@noaa.gov

   During a September 2014 maritime heritage survey mission in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary aboard the R/V Fulmar, a previously undocumented multibeam sonar target thought to be a shipwreck was investigated. The target was the wreck of an unknown vessel of late 19th or early 20th century vintage in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Utilizing a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), three survey dives were conducted to characterize the target, which proved to be a steel-hulled, steam-powered oceangoing fleet tug. Subsequent historical research found no documented tug losses for this time period, either through accident or deliberate scuttling, in the sanctuary. After assessing historical accounts of tugs that departed the Golden Gate and were never again seen, and a detailed analysis of the “mystery” tug's features, the wreck was identified as USS Conestoga (AT 54). This U.S. Navy fleet tug went missing with all hands after departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard on March 25, 1921 for Pearl Harbor Naval Station and thence Tutuila, American Samoa, its new assigned duty station. The search for the Conestoga covered over 400,000 square miles off the Hawaiian Islands and Baja California, the largest sea and air search in the 19th century up until the search for Amelia Earhart. A subsequent mission to the wreck with the U.S. Navy in October 2015 provided additional information on the site with selective ROV penetration of the hull and careful examination of diagnostic features that included a 3-inch/50 caliber gun. In 2016, a plaque was dedicated to the lost crew of the USS Conestoga at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. and the navy vessel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

DEMONSTRATING THE HISTORICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE OF SHIPWRECKS ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Victoria Scotti, CSU Channel Islands victoriascotti195@gmail.com

   With dozens of wrecks ranging from Gold Rush era lumber schooners, like the Winfield Scott, to World War II military aircrafts like the Grumman Avenger, Channel Islands National Park is rich with underwater resources holding the history of the West Coast in well preserved time capsules. The historical significance of these wrecks is remarkable, yet there is still much opportunity to be had in terms of research and public outreach. The ecotourism industry is rapidly growing, and the National Park system as a whole is working to enrich peoples’ lives and give them a deeper understanding of the natural world and our country’s history. By demonstrating the shipwrecks’ historical value and their current role as artificial reefs, this project highlights ways the National Park Service could initiate programs that benefit the public and these submerged assets.

Informing Kelp Forest Restoration With The Spiny Lobster (Panulirus interruptus)

Alexander Seymour, alexander.c.seymour@duke.edu

   Kelp forest communities in Southern California provide ecosystem services that support biodiversity, tourism, recreation, and fisheries, yet their extent has declined by up to 90% over the last century. Contributing to the decline is the extraction of predators controlling sea urchin populations, which are kelp herbivores. This can result in the formation of persistent “urchin barrens” that may become the subject of kelp forest restoration efforts. This project models and predicts preferable habitat for the California Spiny Lobster (an urchin predator) as a means of improving the efficiency of kelp forest restoration projects. To this end, a GIS tool was developed to analyze lobster abundances recorded as part of the Channel Islands National Park Service’s (CINPS) long-term Kelp Forest Monitoring dataset. Habitat predictions suggest that urchin barrens around the northern-most Palos Verdes peninsula may have the most preferential lobster habitat, thereby enhancing restoration longevity through normal lobster foraging behavior. This project demonstrates how long term survey data in the Channel Islands can be applied to solve conservation problems, and highlights the value of CNIPS’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program.

SUCCESSFUL BALD EAGLE RESTORATION ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Peter Sharpe* and David Garcelon, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Arcata, CA 95518 sharpe@iws.org

   Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were extirpated from the California Channel Islands by the early 1960s, most likely as a result of DDT contamination in the Southern California Bight. We began restoring Bald Eagles to Santa Catalina Island in 1980 and the northern Channel Islands (NCI) in 2002. Eggs on Santa Catalina Island failed to hatch in 1987 and 1988 and exhibited high levels of DDE contamination, a metabolite of DDT. For the next 19 years we maintained the population through artificial incubation and hacking of birds, whereas nests on the NCI were not manipulated. The first confirmed natural hatching of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands since 1950 occurred on Santa Cruz Island in 2006, followed by nests on Santa Catalina Island in 2007. All nest manipulations stopped after 2008 and the breeding population has now grown to 19 breeding pair on five islands. Average productivity from 2009-2016 was 0.95 fledgling/breeding attempt with 63% of breeding attempts resulting in the fledging of at least one chick. There were 113 breeding attempts (55 on the southern Channel Islands (SCI), 58 on the NCI) over the 8-year period, but productivity and success rates were generally higher on the SCI (1.13 chicks/attempt, 68% success) than on the NCI (0.75 chicks/attempt, 56% success). Although DDE contamination appears to have declined to a level that allows successful breeding by Bald Eagles on the California Channel Islands, we are continuing to monitor the population to determine whether DDE contamination could cause decreased productivity as the breeding population ages and potentially accumulates higher contaminant loads.

ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION, AND PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE ISLAND SCRUB-JAY, NORTH AMERICA’S MOST RANGE-RESTRICTED BIRD SPECIES

T. Scott Sillett1*, Mario B. Pesendorfer2, Cameron K. Ghalambor3, and Scott A. Morrison4, 1Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013 silletts@si.edu 2Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14850 3Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 4The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, CA 94105

   The Island Scrub-Jay (ISSJ; Aphelocoma insularis) currently exists only on Santa Cruz Island, CA. Surveys conducted in 2008-09 indicated a total population size < 3000, making the ISSJ one of the rarest bird species in North America. This rarity, along with emerging disease threats, underscored the need for an intensive research program. Here, we summarize our work on ISSJ, including updating our estimate of total population size with a model incorporating vegetation height, quantifying habitat-specific demography, vaccination against West Nile Virus, and studies of the jay’s role as a seed disperser and ecosystem engineer. We also describe the potential reestablishment of ISSJ to nearby Santa Rosa Island, and present a predictive model for current jay habitat on this island. We discuss the challenges of proactively managing this species in the face of rapid climate change.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KELP IN HISTORICAL CHANNEL ISLAND ECOSYSTEMS: EMPLOYING δ13C ANALYSIS OF ANCIENT TOP CONSUMERS TO QUANTIFY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Emma A. Elliott Smith1*, Todd J. Braje2, Torben C. Rick3, Paul Szpak4, and Seth D. Newsome1, 1Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 871312 USA eaelliot@unm.edu 2Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182 USA 3Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 20013 USA 4Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

   Kelp forests are among the most productive yet vulnerable marine ecosystems on earth. These regions serve as biodiversity hotspots and CO2 sinks, but are highly sensitive to human impacts. Understanding their dynamics is crucial for effective conservation. Here, we employ δ13C analysis of individual amino acids from two top marine consumers, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) and sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) to evaluate the importance of kelp forests in the late Holocene (~3500 ybp – present). Since only primary producers and microbes synthesize essential amino acids (AAESS), consumers typically directly route them into tissues and they are minimally altered through food chains. Moreover, different producers (e.g., phytoplankton and macroalgae) in nearshore marine ecosystems have highly distinct δ13C values and so the δ13C AAESS in top consumers can provide a ‘fingerprint’ of the dominant producers in the local foodweb. We analyzed bone collagen from late Holocene sea otters and sheephead from two islands (San Nicolas and San Miguel) off the coast of southern California. We also characterized the baseline amino acid δ13C profiles for modern producer groups: kelp (Laminaria and Nereocystis), green algae (Ulva) and red algae (Neorhodomela). We used isotope mixing models to quantify the contribution of each algal group to ancient sea otter and sheephead AAESS δ13C values. We found remarkable consistency between ancient sea otters and sheephead, both between individuals and among sites. Both top consumers were predominantly feeding in ecosystems driven by kelp production; in all instances, greater than 65% of consumer essential amino acids were derived from kelp. These findings suggest that at these sites kelp forests may have been more extensive in the late Holocene than they are today. Our study demonstrates the utility of amino acid δ13C analysis in investigating historical ecological problems that hold relevance for modern conservation biology.

EXAMINING THE DIETARY ECOLOGY OF ANCIENT CHANNEL ISLAND DOGS (CANIS LUPUS FAMILIARIS) AND ISLAND FOXES (UROCYON LITTORALIS) THROUGH COMPOUND SPECIFIC ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF 13C AND 15N FROM BONE COLLAGEN

Chelsea M. Smith* and Chris Yarnes, University of California, Davis cmksmith@ucdavis.edu

   Radiocarbon dating suggests that the occupation of dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and foxes (Urocyon littoralis) on the California Channel Islands extends back approximately 6,000 years ago. Like many islands, the Channel Islands are marked by relatively low terrestrial biodiversity and as a result have delicately balanced ecosystems that can be easily disrupted. Under such conditions, interspecific canid competition may be expected to preclude coexistence and have broad deleterious ecological effects. However, an extended history of canid coexistence on the Channel Islands runs counter to this expectation. To study the cohabitation of Channel Island canids, we sampled fourteen dogs and eight foxes excavated from San Nicolas Island and have radiocarbon dates that place them between 1520-300 cal BP. In order to study the dietary ecology of each species, Amino Acid Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (AA-CSIA) of 13C and 15N derived from bone collagen was applied to estimate trophic position (TP) and the contribution of marine dietary sources. An advantage of using AA-CSIA is its potential to overcome certain limitations associated with bulk tissue (e.g., bone collagen) isotopic analysis. Additionally, CSIA allows information about ecosystem interactions to be gathered from discrete samples without the need to collect secondary data on consumer diet. The results of this study 1) indicate that these species developed different feeding ecologies as evidenced by their isotopic values and 2) suggest which AA pairings provide the most accurate estimates of TP and contributions of dietary sources. Overall, the application of AA-CSIA can provide archaeologists with an effective method for eliciting information about paleodietary structures and ancient energy flow pathways.

DISSOLVING HISTORY - DISSOLVING ECOSYSTEMS: THE LOSS OF SHIPWRECKS IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Patrick Smith, Coastal Maritime Archeology Resources subarch77@gmail.com

   The term “less is more” comes from an 1855 Robert Browning poem and in some cases it is actually true. But with regard to the submerged cultural resources – specifically shipwrecks – within the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, sadly, this is not the case. There was awareness at the creation of the Park and Sanctuary in 1980 of a number of ships and aircraft on and around the islands. These submerged “natural” losses, that is vessels lost through storm, fog, mishap or bad luck, have accumulated on the intertidal and offshore edges of these islands for years. It’s believed that vessel losses range from the prehistoric period through present day, though the earliest site discovered and documented is a Gold Rush era steamer from the mid-19th Century. However, the majority of vessels representing the submerged cultural resources within the Park/Sanctuary, whether sail or motor powered are of the 20th-Century. Typically, these vessels are esteemed either as time capsules or at least the historic bookmarks of a given trade or period. It is only over the years that we have come to see and appreciate the environmental benefits of these ship and aircraft losses. This presentation will look at current images of three submerged cultural resource sites and show how their serendipitous placement and structure have enhanced the environment through greater biodiversity and increased biomass. Images showing current deterioration of these sites and the educational, economic and ecological cost at the loss of these sites will be presented. With the foreseeable decline of these resources, less is less and bodes a notable loss to Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary.

VEGETATION AND LAND COVER MAPPING OF SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA: A SEMI-AUTOMATED AND OBJECT-BASED APPROACH

Rachel A. Snavely1*, Kellie A. Uyeda1, John O’Leary1, Douglas A. Stow1, Julie Lambert2, Leslie Bolick3, Kimberly O’Connor4, Bryan Munson5, and Tom Zink2, 1Department of Geography, San Diego State University rasnavely@me.com 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 3SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific 4US Pacific Fleet Natural and Cultural Resources Program 5US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest.

   In an effort to support both conservation and management decisions on Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) San Clemente Island, a vegetation and land cover map is being developed by researchers at San Diego State University’s Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) and Soil Ecology and Restoration Group (SERG). A vegetation classification and mapping procedures incorporating previously defined alliances from maps, reports, and vegetation surveys has been developed. Vegetation types in this classification scheme attempt to follow protocols recommended by the Manual of California Vegetation (MCV) as closely as possible, but membership rules for some alliances have been adjusted to be specific for San Clemente Island. The San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR), through the imaging company NEOS, conducted aerial image acquisition and began digital image processing of San Clemente Island in fall of 2015. The SDSU-CESAR color infrared digital imaging system was used to capture digital CIR imagery with sufficient overlap to generate high precision digital surface models (DSMs). An object-based classification of georeferenced and orthorectified imagery and canopy height information from an associated DSM has been developed using Trimble’s eCognition Developer software. This image classification method provides users with a powerful alternative to traditional classification and mapping by generating objects (groups of contiguous pixels) of different shape and size that can be meaningfully categorized based on their texture, context, and geometry and spectral properties. In addition, we are conducting extensive field-based vegetation surveys as a complementary part of the overall mapping effort. Preliminary results indicate that the object-based classification is an efficient method for mapping vegetation types at the alliance level.

Physiological and behavioral correlates of dwarfism in Channel Island reptiles

Amanda Sparkman1* and Tonia Schwartz2, 1Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA sparkman@westmont.edu 2Auburn University, Auburn, AL

   Convergent evolution of dwarfism or gigantism in island habitats has occurred repeatedly worldwide, in response to the novel ecological challenges in island environments. The California Channel Islands host three species of reptile that exhibit evidence of dwarfism: the gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), the western yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor), and the alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata). We are currently testing for genetic, physiological, demographic, and behavioral differentiation in these species relative to their mainland counterparts. Here we report preliminary data on metabolic and immunological differentiation, as well as differentiation in exploratory behavior in these species that sheds light on both the potential mechanisms and consequences of dwarfism on islands.

ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MARINE PROTECTED AREAS USING LONG-TERM SUBTIDAL MONITORING DATA

Joshua Sprague* and David Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 joshua_sprague@nps.gov

   In 2003, 20% of the waters within Channel Islands National Park were designated no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Shortly after, the Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program, which was implemented in 1982 to collect long-term population data, increased the number of sites sampled annually to better assess the effectiveness of the new MPAs. In addition, a fish sizing protocol was added to the monitoring program. Results indicate that most commercially- and recreationally-targeted fish species have become larger and more abundant inside MPAs, though responses differ across the five park islands. Spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) also have become more abundant at sites inside MPAs; from 2012-2015 the density ratio was seven times greater inside MPAs relative to adjacent reference sites. Both red urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) and purple urchin (S. purpuratus) populations have shifted toward larger individuals inside MPAs. Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) stipe densities have increased at sites inside MPAs at Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands but have remained constant at sites within MPAs at Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands. Prior to 2003, the only no-take area within Channel Islands National Park was a small, 37-acre reserve established in 1978 on the north side of east Anacapa Island. Multi-dimensional analyses indicate that community structure at sites within the new MPAs continue to become more similar to sites within the old Anacapa MPA. This information may serve as a proxy for recovery times of kelp forest populations following the establishment of MPAs.

 

 

RESILIENCE: SEALS AND SEA LIONS OF THE WESTERN COAST OF NORTH AMERICA

Brent S. Stewart* and Pamela K. Yochem, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, California 92109 bstewart@hswri.org

   Populations of elephant seals, California sea lions, harbor seals, Guadalupe fur seals, and northern fur seals were extinguished, or reduced to near extinction, on the California Channel Islands and mainland California and Baja California during several thousand years of subsistence harvests by native Americans. The few animals that remained when Europeans arrived in the area in the 18th and 19th centuries were quickly eliminated and subsequent hunting in the early 20th Century reduced relict populations even further to a few dozen to perhaps a few thousand. Indeed, northern elephant seals and Guadalupe fur seals were claimed to be extinct by the end of the 19th Century. Nonetheless, those two species emerged from extinction in the early and mid-20th Century and have been increasing steadily since. California sea lions, uncommon in California waters as late as the 1960s, have increased at high rates for the past six decades with only occasional and temporary exception. These highly mobile, apex predators have demonstrated remarkable resilience and sustained population increase during the past century despite periodic, sometimes severe, disruptions to biotic and abiotic elements of local and regional marine ecosystems.

PALEO-ECOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS FROM MICROVERTEBRATE REMAINS AT CAVE OF THE CHIMNEYS (CA-SMI-603), SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jennie A. Stott1*, Emily L. Whistler2, René L. Vellanoweth3, and Amira F. Ainis4, 1John Minch and Associates jennie.a.allen@me.com 2Department of Anthropology, Washington State University 3Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 4Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon

   Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) is a multi-component rockshelter site located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island. The site contains at least seven distinct strata dated to between ~ 8600 and 1000 cal BP and the preservation of faunal remains is exceptional. Previous archaeological studies found abundant evidence of human subsistence remains, bone and shell tools, seagrass cordage, and shell beads. Radiocarbon chronologies support intermittent human use of the rockshelter for thousands of years. The presence of raptor bones and high densities of microvertebrate remains not normally associated with cultural deposits suggest that birds of prey and terrestrial microfauna occupied the shelter when people were absent. Although microvertebrate remains compose less than 1% of the faunal assemblage by weight, high MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals >1500) of rodents and reptiles were identified throughout the sequence. Species infrequently seen in the archaeological record of San Miguel Island including gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), ornate shrew (Sorex ornatus), and the extinct giant island deer mouse (Peromyscus nesodytes) were uncovered throughout the excavated sample. Detailed femoral measurements indicate possible prey targeting of juvenile rodents by raptors. Linear regression analysis using mandibular tooth row measurements address the possibility of shifts in mean rodent size through time for the two species of mice. This study contributes to our understanding of past terrestrial environments, shifting ecological baselines, and predator/prey species dynamics on San Miguel Island throughout most of the Holocene.

 

 

 

TOURING EAGLES NEST HUNTING LODGE THROUGH TIME

Wendy Teeter1 and Lynn Dodd2*, 1Fowler Museum at UCLA 2University of Southern California swartz@usc.edu

   Archaeological best practices and ethical principles foreground the need for practitioners to invest in education and public outreach. The results of our work usually involve multi-layered intersections in time, space, and histories that are often complex to bring to a public audience. New opportunities have arisen with technological innovations including immersive virtual reality and web-accessible content that allow not only the results to be presented, but different voices heard. Eagles Nest Hunting Lodge on Pimu/Santa Catalina Island provides a model to showcase how these opportunities broaden access to source information, deepen engagement with history, and highlight new avenues for public learning.

REVIEWING SETTLEMENT ANALYSIS FROM PIMU/CATALINA ISLAND

Wendy Teeter1*, Desiree Martinez2, and Karimah Kennedy Richardson3, 1Fowler Museum at UCLA wteeter@arts.ucla.edu 2Cogstone Inc. 3Southwest Museum of the American Indian

   Research for southern California settlement has focused on the northern Channel Islands with the southern Channel Islands being viewed as the periphery, for a variety of reasons. However, new data from multiple Catalina Island sites show that villages were not just located in the coves or on the coast, but throughout the island perhaps differently than other islands. This presentation will discuss new AMS dates from these sites and put forth a tentative analysis of the settlement of Catalina with comparison to the rest of the southern Channel Islands and beyond.

ADVANCES IN THE RESTORATION OF ESPÍRITU SANTO ISLAND, GULF OF CALIFORNIA, MEXICO

Flor Torres-García*, Antonio Ortiz-Alcaraz, Fernando Pérez-Castro, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Av. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 flor.torres@islas.org.mx

   Espíritu Santo Island, located 30 km off La Paz, Baja California Sur, at the mouth of the Gulf of California is an important island ecosystem, rich in endemic species protected by Mexican Norms. The island, part of a federal natural protected area, host numerous vertebrate species, including 24 reptiles, 68 birds and six terrestrial mammals. As many other islands, Espíritu Santo is also threatened by alien invasive species—feral cats (Felis catus) and goats (Capra hircus)—introduced a long time ago. We eradicated the feral cats between 2012 and 2014, and currently we are monitoring their absence. Likewise, goats have severely impacted the ecosystem, competing directly with the endemic Black Jackrabbit (Lepus insularis), feeding on the same plants, particularly cacti and legumes. In 2014, we began the goat eradication, backed by CONANP and with support from Alianza WWF México-Fundación Carlos Slim, the Packard Foundation and Marisla Foundation. With a social orientation, we implemented a participative strategy, partnering with the most diverse local stakeholders, authorities and academic institutions. Currently, we are in the first stage: live extraction of goats by ranchers and fishermen from Baja California Sur. We have installed pens and enclosures on the island, and use food attractants and dogs to lure in animals. Up to June 2016, we have extracted 155 goats, which have been delivered to the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), for research purposes, and to local goat breeders that actively participate in the project. At the same time, we conduct a specific environmental education and outreach program with the local population and the island’s users, making emphasis on biosecurity and in order to create awareness of the threat invasive species pose and the unique natural value of Espíritu Santo Island.

Monitoring and Research Plan for Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Areas

John Ugoretz1*, Lilian Carswell2, and Tim Tinker3, 1U.S. Navy, Bldg.53A, Code 52F00ME, 575 I Avenue, Suite 1, Point Mugu, CA 93042 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 3U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060

   The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (NDAA) includes provisions directing the Secretary of the Navy to establish Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Areas (Areas) at San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island. Military readiness activities conducted within these Areas are subject to specified exemptions from the incidental take prohibitions and consultation requirements of the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The NDAA also specifies monitoring requirements for these Areas, including that the Navy conduct monitoring and research to determine the effects of military readiness activities on the growth or decline of the southern sea otter population and on the nearshore ecosystem. The NDAA requires that monitoring and research parameters and methods be determined in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Navy, USFWS, and U.S. Geological Survey collaborated to develop a sea otter monitoring plan that builds on existing abundance surveys to add protocols for measuring diet, behavior and habitat use, with the potential for more intensive monitoring depending on the level and type of military readiness activities being conducted. This plan uses a tiered approach to ensure that military readiness activities continue to have no measurable effect on recovery of the sea otter population at San Nicolas Island. The plan, when approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and USFWS, will provide new opportunities to gather key information about the San Nicolas Island sea otter population and its effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

MIDDLE HOLOCENE ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORICAL ECOLOGY ON THE WEST END OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

René L. Vellanoweth1*, Jessica Morales1, Queeny G. Lapeña2, Emily L. Whistler3, Amira F. Ainis4, Emma A. Elliot Smith5, and Seth D. Newsome5, 1Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles rvellan@calstatela.edu 2Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles 3Department of Anthropology, Washington State University 4Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 5Department of Biology, University of New Mexico

   San Nicolas Island is surrounded by some of the richest and most diverse marine ecosystems with the highest amounts of kelp forest biomass in Southern California. We present archaeological data from five Middle Holocene sites (~5,400-2,800 cal BP.) located on the West End of the island. Detailed faunal analysis of molluscan, crustacean, echinoderm, and vertebrate remains infer extensive human harvesting in local kelp bed and nearshore ecosystems. Our study includes quantitative zooarchaeological analysis, morphometric measurements of key shellfish taxa (i.e., Haliotis rufescens, H. cracherodii, Mytilus californianus, and Lottia gigantea), and preliminary stable isotope analysis of marine mammal and bird remains. Over 88 shellfish taxa were identified, roughly 20 of which were of dietary value. The remaining shellfish included over 60 types of small seaweed and seagrass associates and other epifauna. Morphometric measurements (n > 4000) of dietary shellfish reveal declining mean sizes through time. California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) and seven taxa of crab were identified and measurements of kelp crab (Pugettia producta) dactyls indicate the presence of all age classes. As a primary predator of seaweeds and kelp, sea urchin densities speak to the health of local kelp beds and urchin “pavements” demonstrate extensive harvesting of this keystone species, possibly indicating ecosystem management in the past. Unusually high densities of marine bird remains including Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Short-tailed (Phoebastria albatrus), Laysan (P. immutabilis), and Blackfooted albatross (P. nigripes) suggest climatic anomalies, or shifts in migratory patterns, as these species are infrequently seen on the island today. Our results suggest that during this time period marine ecosystems on the West End of San Nicolas Island were highly productive and diverse and ecological baselines shifted at various scales. Dynamic human foraging patterns during the Middle Holocene seem to be consistent across the Channel Islands, suggesting a broad and diverse marine adaptation.

THE ROLE OF DISTURBANCE, LARVAL SUPPLY, AND NATIVE COMMUNITY ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NON-NATIVE SPECIES ON OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORMS IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Sloane Viola1*, Mark Page1, Robert Miller1, Susan Zaleski2, Brandon Doheny1, Jenifer Dugan1, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara sloaneviola@gmail.com 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior

   In marine ecosystems, offshore structures, such as oil and gas platforms, provide novel hard substrate habitat for epibenthic invertebrates in areas dominated by soft sea floor. A non-native crustose bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (=W. subatra?), has colonized a number of oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, and reached high (>50%) cover on portions of some platforms. The establishment of non-native invertebrate species on offshore platforms may be promoted by disturbances such as periodic platform cleaning and storm events that remove the attached epifaunal community. To evaluate the role of disturbance and water depth on the establishment of Watersipora, we quantified Watersipora cover and colony density and size in cleared and undisturbed (control) experimental plots on an offshore oil platform. We also explored the relationship between Watersipora establishment and variation in larval availability with depth and over time using settlement plates. Our results indicate that disturbance greatly enhanced the establishment of Watersipora on platforms, but that this effect varied with depth and associated larval availability. We also found that the established native community inhibited both the recruitment and growth of Watersipora, while colonies in disturbed plots reached higher densities and attained larger sizes than in control plots, suggesting an important role of biotic interactions in affecting Watersipora establishment. Larger colonies in disturbed plots pre-empted space otherwise available to native species, thus affecting epifaunal community structure of the oil platform. Our findings on the processes influencing colonization success of Watersipora will inform options to manage the establishment of non-native species on offshore platforms and thereby the potential spread of these species to natural habitat.

GENETIC AND PHENOTYPIC DIVERGENCE OF THE SPOTTED TOWHEE (PIPILO MACULATUS) ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Shannon E. Walsh1, Kevin J. Burns1*, and Carla Cicero2, 1Department of Biology, San Diego State University kburns@mail.sdsu.edu 2Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California Berkeley

   The Channel Islands represent a relatively simple platform that can be used to study evolution and adaptive divergence. About one-third of avian species on the Channel Islands have evolved endemic forms. One of these species, the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), currently occurs on three of these islands (Santa Catalina, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz) and recently went extinct on San Clemente. Most classifications recognized a unique island subspecies (P. m. clementae) for San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and Santa Rosa and consider the populations on Santa Cruz part of the mainland southern California subspecies (P. m. megalonyx). With single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from across the genome, we show that the current taxonomy for Spotted Towhees on the islands based on morphology does not accurately represent the evolutionary history of this group. The populations on the islands form a genetically unique group relative to the mainland. In addition, we found that each extant island population comprises a unique evolutionarily distinct unit worthy of taxonomic recognition. In addition to genetics, we examined phenotypic divergence of Spotted Towhees in morphology and coloration to assess the features that have historically been used to define the island endemic subspecies. The most prominent patterns found were that Spotted Towhees on the Channel Islands have longer bills and lighter plumage, features that have been linked to adaptation to island environments. We compared phenotypic divergence to genetic divergence to examine the potential effects of selection versus drift on trait evolution. We find evidence of selection for longer bills on the islands, wider bills for females on Santa Catalina, shorter wings for males on Santa Cruz, and lighter/grayer plumage on the northern islands. These phenotypic data, in combination with the genetic evidence, indicate that each extant island population comprises a distinct taxon should be considered in conservation and management decisions.

Ongoing Quaternary Paleontology on Santa Rosa Island - The Larramendy Mammoth Locality

Wm. Justin Wilkins1*, Donald P. Morris1, Monica M. Bugbee1, Jim I. Mead1, R. Randall Schumann2, and Jeffrey S. Pigati2, 1The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, SD, Inc. justinw@mammothsite.org 2United States Geological Survey

   The northern Channel Islands of southern California have a long history of fossil excavation, particularly with regards to species endemic to these islands since the Pleistocene. The records for Columbian and Pygmy mammoths (Mammuthus columbi and M. exilis) are especially extensive. However, with two notable exceptions, many of these records are isolated post-cranial bones and major questions remain regarding arrival and speciation of these taxa: 1) at what rate does mammoth dwarfism occur? 2) what mechanism is causing this phenomenon? 3) how frequently have these events occurred? In 2014, Channel Islands natural resource interns mapping water resources on Santa Rosa Island reported two exposed tusks. One of these specimens has led to a mammoth skull in remarkable condition which can help to answer these questions. Field work is ongoing in order to stabilize and remove this specimen. Field recovery methodology and results of preliminary morphometric and radiometric analyses are reported herein, as well as associated fauna with this specimen. These data suggest either that the specimen is a young Columbian mammoth or an as-of-yet undescribed taxon intermediate between mainland and Pygmy mammoths, that died near the arrival date for humans on the island.

DETERMINING NATURAL VS. CULTURAL DEPOSITION: EXAMINING ~7,600 YEARS OF HUMAN AND BARN OWL (TYTO ALBA) ACCUMULATED FAUNAL DEPOSITS FROM CAVE OF THE CHIMNEYS (CA-SMI-603), SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Emily L. Whistler1*, Amira F. Ainis2, Jennie A. Allen3, René L. Vellanoweth4, and Paul W. Collins5, 1Department of Anthropology, Washington State University emily.whistler@wsu.edu 2Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 3John Minch and Associates, Inc. 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 5Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

   We examine microfaunal and avian remains from Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603), a multi-component rockshelter site located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island that contains evidence of intermittent human occupation spanning most of the Holocene, from ~8,600 to 1,000 cal BP. Due to the exceptional preservation afforded by this rockshelter, well stratified cultural assemblages are interspersed with natural deposits that were accumulated by raptors who also occupied the site intermittently. Of the 4,517 Aves bones found at the site, 1,240 were identified to at least the genus level. Specimens from over 70 species were recovered belonging to 27 families, which represent numerous island microhabitats. Microfauna such as mice, shrews, lizards, snakes, and songbirds occur in high densities throughout all stratigraphic layers. Both humans and raptors prey upon many of the same smaller bird species, especially seabirds. This commonality in prey can obscure the distinction between cultural and natural/paleontological deposits. We identify correlations between groups of avian taxa and microfauna that are associated with raptors to qualify the nature of deposition. Through analysis of species behaviors, habitat requirements, predator-prey dynamics, bone characteristics and density, we decipher which avian remains were deposited as prey items of the human or raptor occupants of this site. Furthermore, we examine oscillating densities of the extinct giant island deer mouse (Peromyscus nesodytes) and the extant island deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) throughout this sequence, demonstrating the likelihood that the giant island deer mouse persisted past 1,000 cal BP and likely faced extinction as a consequence of the drastic habitat destruction brought about by the historic ranching era. This data set holds significant information regarding terrestrial habitats and environment on San Miguel Island throughout most of the Holocene.

WIDESPREAD DECLINES IN ABUNDANCES OF THE INTERTIDAL ROCKWEED SILVETIA COMPRESSA

Stephen G. Whitaker¹*, Geoff F. Dilly², Richard F. Ambrose³, Tiffany Yap4, and Dan V. Richards¹, 1Channel Islands National Park, National Park Service stephen_whitaker@nps.gov ²California State University, Channel Islands ³University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Environmental Health Sciences 4University of California, Los Angeles, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

   Rockweeds are ecosystem engineers that modify the physical environment and provide canopy-cover for a suite of rocky intertidal algal and motile invertebrate taxa during emersion. Monitoring of 17 sites on the northern Channel Islands between 1982 and 2016 by the National Park Service documented significant declines in abundances of these habitat modifiers. Historically, the rockweed Silvetia compressa has undergone large population decreases temporally followed by periods of slow recovery. However, larger than average declines in S. compressa occurred beginning around 2000 at many sites, as documented by repeated estimates in fixed plots and analysis of site-wide photographs. By 2014, below average rockweed cover was measured at all but one site, with the alga nearly absent from approximately half the sites. We examined multiple covariates to ascertain factors associated with rockweed decline. Preliminary results suggest prolonged emersion due to changes in the moon-tidal cycle may have contributed to the observed declines. Shifts in the declination of the moon which occur over a temporal scale of 18.6 years affect the duration and intensity of tidal cycles. At the Channel Islands, the lowest fixed plots targeting S. compressa experienced a much longer period of emersion in 2007 (1,614 hours) compared to 1997 (1,090 hours) and 2015 (947 hours). Thus, in 2007, S. compressa was exposed to air 48% and 70% longer than in 1997 and 2015, respectively. We hypothesize that rockweed cover was negatively affected by increased emersion, and speculate that it has been unable to recover at many sites following a reduction in exposure time since the population may have dropped below a critical threshold to remain sustainable. The relatively long-period temporal scale of the lunar declination underscores the need for ecological monitoring programs to span multiple decades to detect changes to intertidal communities resulting from climate change and other long-term cycle.

 

 

 

INITIATION OF A LONG-TERM MONITORING PROGRAM FOR SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS MURRELETS AT SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1, Harry R. Carter1, Michael W. Parker1*, Franklin Gress1, and Melissa Booker2, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 mparker1500@gmail.com 2Department of the Navy, Environmental Division, N-45, Naval Base Coronado PWO Bldg. #3, P.O. Box 357088, San Diego, CA, 92135

   San Clemente Island (SCI) supports one of the smallest Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi; SCMU) colonies in the world, and perhaps the only colony of Guadalupe Murrelets (S. hypoleucus; GUMU) in California, although sympatric breeding by this species has not been confirmed. Murrelet populations at SCI were not documented until 1977, mainly due to the murrelets’ secretive breeding habitats, minimal survey efforts, and a lack of effective survey techniques. Surveys of murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to nesting areas improved knowledge of their status and distribution in 1994-1996 (vocalization surveys) and 2008 (spotlight surveys). In 2012-2016, the U.S. Navy sponsored development of a long-term murrelet monitoring program using spotlight surveys, at-sea captures, and nest searches. Mean spotlight survey counts on standard transects were 29 ± 15 murrelets at Seal Cove, and 21 ± 10 at Southeast SCI (SESCI). We banded a total of 158 SCMU and 21 GUMU at Seal Cove, and 43 SCMU at SESCI. Recaptures comprised 10% to 29% of the annual SCMU samples captured at Seal Cove, but no GUMU were recaptured. Brood patches were present on 35% of SCMU and 14% of GUMU. Using round-island spotlight survey data, we estimated 50-75 SCMU pairs and 0-10 GUMU pairs breeding at SCI. We found 5 SCMU nests and 6 unidentified murrelet nests in isolated breeding refuges at Seal Cove and SESCI. Annual hatching success ranged from 0% to 22%. Low hatching success resulted from depredation by rats (Rattus spp.) at SESCI, and intra-specific competition for limited nest sites at Seal Cove. Continued monitoring will permit statistical assessments of SCMU population trends. Additional efforts are needed to: (1) resolve the breeding status of GUMU; (2) reduce rat depredation, which may increase hatching success; and (3) enhance existing breeding habitats to increase the number of suitable nest sites.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF SAN MIGUEL ISLAND

Ian Williams1*, Mike Hill2, Reed McCluskey2, Rob Danno1, Mike Maki1, Bill Ehorn2, and Ann Huston2, 1National Park Service 2National Park Service (retired)

   This paper traces the history of the National Park Service on San Miguel Island. A written agreement with the Navy in 1963 initiated NPS involvement in research and management on the island. That opened the way for a further agreement in 1976 which placed park rangers on the island and opened the island to the public. Park facilities, visitor services and resource management activities expanded over the following years. Visitor use came to an abrupt halt in 2014 when the Navy closed the island due to concerns over unexploded ordnance. In 2016 the island re-opened. This paper draws upon the ranger station logbooks and on oral history interviews with former rangers to illuminate the events of the past 40 years.

Native shrub re-establishment after grazer removal on Santa Cruz Island

Stephanie Yelenik, U. S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Hawaii National Park, HI, 96718 syelenik@usgs.gov

   Although non-native herbivores are well known to increase the prevalence of exotic species in plant communities, herbivore removal is only sometimes sufficient for native plant recovery. Incumbent exotic plants may stall the ability of native species to recruit and survive, even if there is ample native seed rain. Exotic grasses are a particular problem for native woody plants as they are often dominant, and increase in live and dead biomass after grazers are removed, making it difficult for native seed to find germination microsites. Santa Cruz Island was grazed by feral sheep for over a century, converting coastal sage scrub habitat into exotic grassland. After sheep removal in the mid-1980’s, it was noted that some species of native shrubs started to recover on south-facing slopes, although which species were able to come in, and at what rates, is less well understood. Such information would be informative for managers wishing to predict future plant community trajectories, and plan restoration needs. Percent cover transects were established on south-facing slopes in 2004. These started in 100% cover of native shrubs (mainly Eriogonum arborescens and Artemisia californica) and moved through an ecotonal region into areas that were 100% exotic grass cover. On average, Eriogonum and Artemisia made up 19.19% and 11.65% of the total transect cover, respectively, while exotic grasses accounted for 56.68%. Seedlings of Eriogonum and Artemisia were also counted, marked and measured each year between 2004 and 2008, and showed that Eriogonum seedling emergence increased exponentially in El Nino high rainfall years. No Artemisia seedlings were found in these ecotonal areas where exotic grasses were present. It was predicted that Eriogonum would reestablish on south-facing slopes more quickly than Artemisia, and observational data from reserve personnel suggests that this is the case.

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF THE NON-NATIVE BRYOZOAN WATERSIPORA ON OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORMS AND NATURAL REEFS

Susan S. Zaleski1*, Mark Page2, Robert Miller2, Brandon Doheny2, Jenifer E. Dugan2, Donna. M. Schroeder1, and Jeff Goddard2, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management susan.zaleski@boem.gov 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   The invasion and spread of exotic species is considered one of the greatest threats to biological diversity and the functioning of aquatic ecosystems today. The non-native foliose bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (=W. subatra?), commonly reported from harbors and embayments, also occurs on offshore oil platforms in the Southern California Bight. To better understand and manage the spread of Watersipora among platforms and other artificial and natural reef habitats, we are assessing the current distribution of this bryozoan. We surveyed 23 oil and gas platforms offshore of California from San Pedro Bay in the south to Pt. Conception in the north and 27 natural reefs bordering the mainland coast and northern Channel Islands using photographic methods and diver searches. Watersipora occurred on approximately half (13) of the platforms, with most of those (11) located in the south (San Pedro Bay) or southeastern portion of the Santa Barbara Channel. Where present, Watersipora cover varied widely among platforms. Watersipora occurred on 6 of the 12 mainland natural subtidal reefs surveyed within the Santa Barbara Channel, but only 1 of 15 reefs on the northern Channel Islands. However, Watersipora was found on two island piers. Where present on reefs, Watersipora cover was generally low and patchy. This study will inform the modeling of potential connectivity of Watersipora among platforms and natural reefs, and mitigation measures to manage the spread of Watersipora among offshore structures, including future renewable energy installations, and to natural reefs, as well as future Rigs-to-Reefs decisions in California.

 

 

 

POSTER ABSTRACTS

Examining the effects of the warm blob on harmful algal blooms in the Santa Barbara Channel

Sarah Amiri* and Carrie Culver*; University of California Santa Barbara Sarah.amiri@noaa.gov

   Harmful algal blooms (HAB's) have increased in both frequency and intensity in the last ten years within the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC). Overall chlorophyll in the SBC has a downward trend in lieu of the Warm Blob, but this isn't necessarily the case for toxigenic phytoplankton species. Shortly after the peak of the Warm Blob event in 2015, there was a coast wide Pseudo-nitzschia bloom spanning from the Gulf of Alaska to the SBC with the highest toxin levels concentrated near the Channel Islands. Therefore, this project aims to identify the interactive effects of the SST anomaly or Warm Blob event with other oceanographic parameters and that influence bloom events and toxin production of HAB's in the SBC. By utilizing CalCOFI, Plumes and Blooms, NOAA, satellite imagery and other data sets, we will be able to compare the HAB's sampling data across the SBC and the Santa Barbara coast with oceanographic parameters known to drive phytoplankton bloom dynamics.

PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF OUR COASTAL RESOURCES OVER 11 YEARS

Sean Anderson*, Karina Barron, Elliot Bender, Brandon Blair, Daniella Caccavalla, Molly Cook, Andrew Damron, Noreen Ednave, Joanna Fogarty, Angela Garelick, Corey Greenfield, Emily Hidalgo, Christopher Homokay, Brent Jensen, Summer Lee, Dulce Lopez, Casey Lysdale, Shannon Morris, Madeline Pascal, Karen Ramirez, Devyn Roadhouse, Amanda Shepherd, Andrew Spyrka, Gregory Vance, Lauren Wilson, and Lauren Zahn, Environmental Science and Resource Management Program, California State University Channel Islands, 1 University Drive, Camarillo, CA, 93012 sean.anderson@csuci.edu

  Understanding the public’s perceptions and valuation of various resources is key to shaping effective policy, conducting truly community-based conservation efforts, and effectively targeting scarce public dollars. The California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) Survey of Public Opinion of Coastal Resources has sampled such public perceptions annually for the past 11 years (700 – 1,500 polls conducted each September) to better understand where the public currently stands on various issues and to provide a long-term baseline with which to compare the efficacy of various future management efforts. As with most such efforts to take the pulse of the general population, this ongoing effort shows a multifaceted populace. We enjoy our coastal resources, engaging in both consumptive and non-consumptive uses of them, but rarely venture forth to the Channel Islands; people are equally likely to have been to an island within the past year, more than a year ago, or never. Island visits correlate with distance from mainland. Most attitudes have remained consistent across the years, however some have shown marked changes recently. These include a marked decrease in support for offshore oil drilling post-2015 Refugio Oil Spill and a general lessening of concern about Climate Change since 2008. The public is aware of many high profile or contentious management efforts, but generally not the main entities or agencies engaged in that management. A robust and holistic understanding of the state of those resources being managed is lacking. Our coastal resources are understood to have degraded over time and most are dissatisfied with the current trajectory of our stewardship.

 

 

HISTORIC PHOTO-POINT ANALYSIS OF VEGETATION COVER ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Matt Arbogast, Alex Ceja, Corey Greenefield, Shelby Palasik, Finnian Swann, Kiki Patsch*, and Cause Hanna, Environmental Science & Resource Management Program, California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu

   The Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) historical photo-point analysis project was created to monitor and evaluate the recovery of plant communities on Santa Rosa Island in the absence of human habitation and ranching operations, which decimated the native plant communities. Monitoring recovery is a critical part of determining the success of restoration efforts and the implementation of future management decisions. This study will compare historic imagery with new photos taken bi-annually by students in ESRM 328: Introduction to GIS to monitor the change in ground cover and vegetation over time. Using handheld GPS units, students record the coordinates of historic and new sites of interest for monitoring recovery. At each coordinate point, a reference photo is taken and date, time, coordinates, and declination of a nearby landmark are recorded. Subsequent photos taken at these sites will be compared to the reference photos to assess changes in vegetation and land cover. GPS points and images are added to a GIS database of Santa Rosa Island for future students, faculty, and Channel Islands National Parks research. Thanks to its simple set of methods, this project serves as an exceptional first-hand introduction to conservation, field methods, research, and the scientific method for students of any age or skill-level. It also serves as a strong bonding experience for classmates who work together in teams to gather data; setting the foundation for future island research projects on Santa Rosa. Students are given a rare chance to see how their contribution affects the project, and can take pride in being an integral part of something far larger than themselves.

Methods of Analyzing Biodiversity on Santa Rosa Island

Sarah Assar*, Angelea Gephart, and Geoff Dilly, California State University Channel Islands sarah.assar924@myci.csuci.edu

   The impact of human life and the health of marine ecosystems are intrinsically linked.
The human population has grown exponentially since the industrial revolution. This growth has
contributed to a 35% rise in CO2 and 30% decrease in ocean pH (dropped from 8.3 to 8.1; termed
ocean acidification). Marine species in rocky intertidal zones have spent millions of years
adapting to particular niches and these changes in environmental factors may push species
beyond their limits to adapt. Biodiversity on rocky intertidal sites, Skunk Point and Bechers Bay
of Santa Rosa Island, is an indicator of environmental health of these ecosystems and shows the
impact through the documentation of subsequent biotic change using methods including vertical
and photo transects. The vertical transects utilized multiple parallel lines on a site with a single
measurement taken every 25cm along the length to produced discrete data. The photo transects
implemented inexpensive camera equipment, a 1m2 PVC rig, and photo mosaic software to
provide visual historical data along the corresponding vertical transects which in turn expanded
the volume of data points acquired. Rasterization of images for pixel isolation and training Arc
GIS to classify them based on specific attributes granted photo data collection a broader
spectrum to more accurately record biodiversity.

 

 

ANALYZING SANTA ROSA ISLANDS SHORELINE CHANGE WITH USGS DIGITAL SHORELINE ANALYSIS SYSTEM

Stephen Bednar1*, Rockne Rudolph2, Sean Anderson1, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands stbednar@gmail.com 2Channel Islands National Park

   Current climate change models predict an accelerated rate of sea-level rise over the next century. The effects of sea-level rise on barrier beaches and estuary systems may have devastating effects on the biodiversity of these rare systems. It is important that informed management decisions are made to protect island biodiversity. Using a combination of historical aerial imagery (1929-Present), and current seasonal shorelines using high accuracy GPS it is possible to track trends in historical, and seasonal shoreline changes on Santa Rosa Island beaches. Data were analyzed using USGS Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). Weighted Linear Regressions showed a trend of -0.16 ± 0.53 (99.9% CI) meters of barrier beach erosion per year on beaches between Skunk Point and East Point on Santa Rosa Island since 1929. The exception to this trend occurred on a stretch of west facing beach on Skunk Pt. in which Weighted Linear Regressions showed a trend of 0.44 ± 1.16 (99.9% CI) meters of beach accretion per year.

IT TAKES COLLABORATION TO RESTORE A CLOUD FOREST

Susan Bloom1*, Jesse Groves1, Dominic Crowley1, Jessica Gallagher1, and Kathryn McEachern2, 1Brooks Institute of Photojournalism sbloom@brooks.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   Out on Santa Rosa Island a cast of hundreds is working to restore a cloud forest that harvests fog and slows erosion on the high Soledad Ridge. The project requires expertise from various scientists, surveyors and civil engineers, organizers and project managers, wattle-rollers and rappellers, park rangers, students and interns, teachers and professors. It also involves those willing to do a lot of general grunt work: installing wattles, putting up check dams, assembling irrigation, collecting seeds, growing and planting plants, hauling things up and down slopes. Most are volunteers, all united by a single vision of a revegetated landscape which will capture the daily fog rolling across the currently barren fields. This will only come to pass, however, long after they have departed this world. It Takes Collaboration is a look at the process of restoration, a vision of the future, and those who make it happen.

BRANDT’S CORMORANT (PHALACROCORAX PENICILLATUS) BREEDING POPULATION TRENDS AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 1991-2014

Phillip J. Capitolo1*, Harry R. Carter2, Gerard J. McChesney3, William R. McIver4, Allison R. Fuller5, W. Breck Tyler1, Martin Ruane6, Grace Smith6, and Thomas W. Keeney7, 1Institute of Marine Sciences, Univ. of California, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, California 95060 USA 2Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA (Current Address: Carter Biological Consulting, 1015 Hampshire Rd., Victoria, British Columbia V8S4S8 Canada) 3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 1 Marshlands Rd., Fremont, California 94555 USA (Formerly: Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA 4Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA (Current address: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Rd., Arcata, California 95521 USA) 5Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA 6USN, Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, CA USA 7USACE, Env. Res. Branch, Los Angeles, CA USA

   Nest counts of all Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) breeding colonies at San Nicolas Island (SNI), the outermost of the southern California Channel Islands, have been determined from aerial photographs annually since 1991. We examined trends in total numbers of nests at SNI during 1991-2014 and during two shorter periods when trends appeared to differ. During 1991-2003, population size declined by 6% per annum, with the highest count in 1993 (2,422 nests). Colony abandonments and colony shifting occurred during 1992-1993 due to human disturbance and predation of eggs by Island Foxes (Urocyon littoralis dickeyi), leading to greater efforts by US Navy to protect breeding colonies. Nest numbers were reduced due to strong El Niño conditions in 1992, and even more so in 1998, when very few birds attempted to breed. During 2003-2014, population size increased by 12% per annum to 7,358 nests in 2014, the largest population size ever recorded at SNI. Road closures by 1996 eventually led to a widely expanded nesting distribution at Vizcaino Point, where about 70% of nests now occur. Human access to the south side of SNI was no longer permitted, allowing a major colony to form at Dutch Harbor Area, beginning in 2000. Nest numbers were reduced during 2008-2009, similar to patterns in other regions of California, but rebounded in 2010. Recent dramatic population increase at SNI likely reflected: 1) reduced human disturbance; 2) high recruitment following the 1999-2000 La Niña; and 3) possible immigration of birds from other islands or regions. Some level of egg predation by Island Foxes still occurs, but feral cats (Felis catus) were eradicated during 2009-2010.

STATUS OF ASHY STORM-PETREL BREEDING COLONIES AT SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 1912-1998

Harry Carter1,2*, William McIver1,3, Gerard McChesney1,4, Darrell Whitworth1,5, John Gilardi1, and Leigh Ochikubo Chan1, 1Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Drive, Arcata CA 95521 USA 2Present Address: Carter Biological Consulting, Victoria, BC V8S4S8 Canada carterhr@shaw.ca 3Present Address: USFWS-AFWO, Arcata, CA 95521 USA 4Present Address: USFWS-SFBNWRC, Fremont, CA 94536 5CIES, Davis, CA 95616 USA

   Historical knowledge of 12 breeding colonies of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) at Santa Cruz Island (SCZ), California, was summarized to examine colony discoveries, detect possible changes in numbers of nests, and assist long-term monitoring, surveys and restoration. Breeding was first reported by naturalists and egg collectors at Painted Cave (1912), followed by Scorpion Rocks (1928), Cavern Point Cove Caves (1936), and Orizaba Rock (1937). Breeding at Diablo Rocks (1976) and Gull Island (1977) was noted during the first seabird colony survey of the Channel Islands by the University of California Irvine. In 1991-98, Humboldt State University conducted more extensive surveys of nearly all sea caves and offshore rocks, with breeding discovered at Cave of the Birds’ Eggs (1991), Del Mar Rock (1991), Willows Anchorage Rocks (1991), Bat Cave (1994), Dry Sandy Beach Cave (1994) and Shipwreck Cave (1997). Standardized monthly nest monitoring to measure reproductive success, population size and late-summer index counts at 5 colonies, creating a baseline for long-term monitoring. Mist-net captures at 4 colonies were conducted to estimate population sizes and investigate potential for trend monitoring. Compared to 1995-97, relatively large numbers of eggs collected at 2 colonies in the 1930s suggested larger population sizes prior to organochlorine pollution, although loss of some nesting habitat also may have occurred at 1 colony. Estimated population size for SCZ in 1991-98 was 335-340 pairs, greater than reported in 1976-77 (45-55 pairs), reflecting more colonies surveyed in 1991-98 (including 3 of the 4 largest colonies), different methods of estimation, and possibly reduced impacts from organochlorine pollution. However, nests were not found at Scorpion Rocks, Painted Cave, or Gull Island. More work is needed to ensure that all colonies have been discovered and can be monitored, especially by examining steep cliffs on the north side using mist-net captures or radar surveys.

 

 

Native revegetation following eucalyptus removal and pile burning on Santa Cruz Island, California – Channel Islands National Park

Sean Casey1* and Paula Power2, 1California State University Channel Islands seanecasey@gmail.com 2National Park Service - Channel Islands National Park

   The National Park Service is currently restoring 21-hectares of wetland and oak-woodland riparian habitat on Santa Cruz Island (34 00’ 00” N, 119 43’ 00” W) in Channel Islands National Park. In 2010, the National Park Service restored a functioning, self-sustaining coastal wetland ecosystem and is currently restoring over 16 hectares of oak-woodland habitat in the lower Cañada del Puerto Creek. This area was altered over the last century by the introduction of ungulates and non-native vegetation, and the construction of buildings, roads, and other infrastructure in the area. Our study looks at native vegetation recovery after the removal of non-native Red Gum Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) from the project area. This project examines the effect of burning eucalyptus debris piles on native seed germination and establishment in burned and unburned areas. By comparing restoration efforts, we found the greatest number of seedlings in unseeded/unburned plots. Giant coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantia), California brome (Bromus carinatus), and mugwort (Artemisia douglasii) were the most successful species to germinate in our study plots. Giant coreopsis and mugwort showed the greatest success in germination in unburned plots, suggesting they are an appropriate species to use in future restoration practices in the lower Cañada del Puerto Creek.

SHIFTS IN SUBTIDAL ALGAL ASSEMBLAGES AND THE IMPACTS OF THE INVASIVE ALGA, SARGASSUM HORNERI, AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Kenan M. Chan*, Christen A. Santschi, Parker H. House, Katherine Grady, and David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 kenan_chan@nps.gov

   Since 1982 the Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has collected long-term data on subtidal algal assemblages at permanent sites across the Park’s five islands. Shifts in the community structure of subtidal algal assemblages are influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. Variation in abiotic factors (i.e., water temperature, Pacific Decadal Oscillation) may have an important influence on the composition of algal assemblages. However, the effect of biotic factors on composition of algal assemblages may vary in intensity depending on the severity of the impact. For example, the recent introduction of the invasive algae, Sargassum horneri, may have significant impacts on these algal assemblages. We compared percent cover data with benthic temperature data to assess long-term changes in the community structure of algal assemblages. We expect to see shifts in the community structure of algal assemblages over time and space with changing oceanographic conditions (water temperature, PDO). Since 2015, the invasive S. horneri has seen significant increases in its abundance at several of the Park’s islands and this year, Undaria pinnatifida, another invasive algae, was documented for the first time on Anacapa. With the spread of invasive algae, continued monitoring is critical in understanding natural changes in the community’s make up in order to better our understanding of future differences between natural changes in algal assemblages and those caused by the presence of invasive algae.

INVENTORY AND MAPPING NON-NATIVE PLANT SPECIES ON SOUTH FARALLON ISLANDS

Quentin Clark1*, Barbara Holzman1, and Gerry McChesney2, 1San Francisco State University quentin.j.clark@gmail.com 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

   This project surveyed, mapped and analyzed the spatial distribution of targeted non-native plant species on the South Farallon Islands of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge. Non-native plants displace native flora and disrupt the nesting habitats of seabirds on the islands. In particular, New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is believed to have a negative impact on the breeding success of western gull, rhinoceros auklet, and Cassin’s auklet. This project was carried out in conjunction with the USFWS in order to assist in the continued implementation of the Refuge’s non-native plant management program. Data for this work were collected via two on-site surveys in March and July of 2016. Detailed maps of targeted species in six inventory areas were created. Preliminary analysis reveals an extensive distribution of the targeted non-native plant species throughout the study area, especially New Zealand spinach and annual grasses such as ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) and hare barley (Hordeum murinum). In total, 11.2 hectares (29%) of the South Farallon Islands are infested by non-native flora. New Zealand spinach and annual grasses comprise over 60% (6.9 hectares) of the total area invaded. The distribution of non-natives is concentrated across the western and southern extent of the study area and throughout locations where anthropogenic disturbance and/or activity is present. This research provides a baseline for future vegetation management and monitoring.

Santa Rosa Island Research Station: A Real-Time Sustainability Platform

Kyle Clarke*, Greg Wood, and Cause Hanna, California State University Channel Islands kyle.clarke453@myci.csuci.edu

   An objective of the Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) is to successfully promote and demonstrate the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency. The SRIRS is an ideal location to promote and demonstrate the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency because living on an island limits resource availability and makes resource consumption and the generation of waste more apparent. To encourage the development of sustainable behaviors and actions the SRIRS created methods for low cost remote monitoring of power, water, and propane. Instant feedback to visitors at the SRIRS is provided by a website hosted locally which has a real-time graph of water and power use, a summary of propane use every 6 hours, and the per person generation of waste (trash, recyclable, and compost). This participatory approach motivates SRIRS visitors to adopt new energy reduction behaviors and foster a sweeping new dialogue about personal and island sustainability. Specifically, the SRIRS sustainability platform enables the SRIRS to conduct sustainability competitions, showcase real-time user performance, and empower users to become active participants in energy reduction and resource management.

ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF SOIL SEED BANKS IN COASTAL SAGE SCRUB RESTORATION ON SANTA CATALINA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Peter J. Dixon, Catalina Island Conservancy pdixon@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Catalina Island Conservancy manages over 22,000 acres of coastal (California) sage scrub (CSS) habitat off the coast of Southern California, including much of the infrastructure, road and recreational uses associated with habitat disturbance. Restoration trials were initiated to establish best management practices for roadside and disturbed site revegetation under local site conditions. Site treatments compared urban fill, conventional native topsoil, and surface soil (0-20 cm) re-application practices with and without seed augmentation. Evaluation of native and non-native germinants indicate that salvaged surface soil alone may not be sufficient to restore native cover. Seeding improved native cover and reduced establishment of non-native species on all un-irrigated sites. Most compelling for land managers is the indication that even high quality CSS habitats may contain a significant non-native seed bank, such that even minor disturbance may facilitate habitat-type conversion without seed augmentation or weed control.

DISTRIBUTION AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET WITHIN STANDARD SURVEY AREAS AT SANTA CATALINA ISLAND FROM 2014 – 2016

Tyler M. Dvorak1* and Darrell L. Whitworth2, 1Catalina Island Conservancy, PO Box 2739, Avalon, CA 90704 USA tdvorak@catalinaconservancy.org 2California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Ave., Davis, CA 95616 USA

   In 2014-2016, we continued monitoring the Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) population at Santa Catalina Island to update previous surveys conducted in 2004, 2012, and 2013. We used nocturnal spotlight surveys and night-lighting captures to examine the number and breeding status of murrelets attending at-sea congregations adjacent to isolated nesting habitats in coastal cliff and shoreline areas. Counts for spotlight surveys conducted along a standard transect between Isthmus Cove and Twin Rocks ranged from 71-96 murrelets (mean = 82; n = 3) in mid-April 2014, 23-60 murrelets (mean = 47; n = 6) in mid-April and mid-May 2015, and 93 murrelets (n = 1) in early March 2016. A supplementary survey from Isthmus Cove to Catalina Harbor yielded 119 murrelets, compared to 86 over the same transect in 2012. Murrelet congregations were consistently found in waters off apparently suitable breeding habitats near North Empire Quarry, Lava Wall, Little Gibraltar, Kelp Point, Lobster Bay, and the cliffs southeast of Pin Rock. Six nest sites found between Isthmus Cove and Twin Rocks were monitored in 2014, 7 in 2015, and 8 in 2016. Hatching success (% of total eggs laid that hatched) in monitored sites was 57% (n = 7) in 2014, 50% (n = 4) in 2015 and 100% (n = 6) in 2016. We banded 22 murrelets (50% with brood patches [bp] indicative of breeding) in 2014, 45 murrelets (27% bp) in 2015, and 20 murrelets (15% bp) in 2016. Despite banding a total of 136 murrelets at Catalina since 2012, no recaptures have been recorded. Annual differences in spotlight counts and the percentage of brood patches in captured samples were likely due to differences in the timing of surveys each year. We recommend continued annual monitoring to provide data for statistical analyses of major murrelet population trends.

SANTA ROSA ISLAND TORREY PINE HISTORICAL POPULATION EXPANSION AND GERMINATION TRIAL

Evangeline Forster1*, Brandon Blair1, Brett Hartman1, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands evangeline.forster958@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is the rarest pine species in North America with two recognized allopathic sub-species. The P. torreyana ssp. torreyana exists in and around the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve located in San Diego, California. The P. torreyana ssp. insularis occurs on Santa Rosa Island within the Channel Islands National Park. The greater than 150 years of ranching on Santa Rosa Island led to a decrease in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine population. To examine the change in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine population through time we: 1) georeferenced historic aerial photos and created polygons around the Torrey pines to quantify the expansion of the population from 1929 to the present, and 2) established and collected two years of data from 45 demography plots. Within the demography plots we collected the following data from each individual: diameter at breast height (DBH), height, reproductive status, growth rate, and health. These data enabled us to quantify the survival rate of seedling and saplings during the current drought. Lastly, we performed a common garden experiment to examine the impact of precipitation and leaf-litter on the germination of the two sub-species of Torrey pines. We found that the mainland pines have a higher germination success and both the mainland and island pines germinated best in high leaf-litter and high water treatments. The results of this research quantify the long-term change in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pines population and will help inform future Torrey pines management strategies.

GATHERING NEW EVIDENCE FOR AN OLD PROBLEM: THE CASE OF THE ISLAND ENDEMIC, HETEROMELES ARBUTIFOLIA VAR. MACROCARPA

Christopher Garoutte and C. Matt Guilliams*, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden mguilliams@sbbg

   In 1932, Munz described Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindl.) M.Roem. var. macrocarpa (Munz) Munz (originally as Photinia arbutifolia Lindl. var. macrocarpa Munz) as a new variety of toyon endemic to Santa Catalina (SCa) and San Clemente (SCl) islands. Consistent with the common pattern of gigantism on islands, variety macrocarpa was reported to have larger fruits (8-10 mm long) relative to conspecifics from the mainland and the other California Channel Islands (ca. 6 mm long). Since its description, however, variety macrocarpa has not been widely accepted by taxonomists; most floristic treatments recognize no infraspecific taxa in Heteromeles arbutifolia. Using specimens from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Rancho Santa Ana herbaria, we conducted a preliminary investigation to determine if Heteromeles arbutifolia from SCa and SCl have significantly larger fruits than other island and mainland conspecifics. The length and width of fruits from specimens collected on SCa and SCl were significantly greater than those from specimens collected on the mainland, and were also greater than fruits from the mainland and all other islands treated as a single group. Fruit size was not significantly different, however, between plants from SCa and SCl and plants from the other Channel Islands. While these differences in fruit size are sufficient to demonstrate the need for further study of this taxonomic problem, these data must be interpreted with caution. Measurements obtained from herbarium specimens may be unreliable, as degree of fruit ripeness is sometimes difficult to assess and the fleshy pomes of Heteromeles undoubtedly shrink while drying. More importantly, despite significant differences, the measurements by group are broadly overlapping and without discontinuities. Therefore, future work will focus on obtaining field measurements of living plants and will span the geographic range of the species. Genetic data would also be helpful in assessing the degree to which the plants of Heteromeles differ among islands and between the islands and the mainland.

SITE STRUCTURE, ACTIVITY AREAS, AND CEREMONIAL FEASTING AT THE TULE CREEK SITE (CA-SNI-25), SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Richard B. Guttenberg1, Johanna V. Marty1*, and René L. Vellanoweth2, 1John Minch and Associates, Mission Viejo johannamarty@roadrunner.com 2Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles

   The Tule Creek site (CA-SNI-25), located on the northwest coast of San Nicolas Island, is the largest known village site. Radiocarbon dates suggest extensive occupation leading up to the time of European contact, implying that it may have been the home of Juana Maria, the famed Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. Archaeological investigations at East Locus uncovered over 60 features, approximately 40 of which were recorded as pits or circular depressions. Roughly half of the pit features contained faunal remains in addition to broken artifacts and lithic debitage. The contents of many of these pits were subjected to burning, and may be the remains of feasting events. This study investigates stratigraphically discrete pit features utilizing quantitative zooarchaeological methods, intrasite GIS, and spatial analysis to explore questions about site use, feasting, and ceremonial activity at the site. Faunal analysis focused on three of the largest pit features indicates that the feasting menu consisted primarily of fish and sea mammal, with smaller contributions from shellfish species. We identified 28 shellfish taxa, 18 types of fish, and five sea mammal species, including taxa that live in kelp beds and rocky intertidal habitats. Shellfish assemblages are similar, with ~70% overlap between features. Lithic materials include steatite, and Cico, island, and Monterey-banded cherts, which are not locally available on San Nicolas, suggesting regional trade between the occupants of CA-SNI-25, other islands, and the mainland. Our spatial analysis of these pits and other associated features suggests that the site was used for a variety of ritualized and daily activities, including feasting events, ceremonial offerings, and tool production. This study offers a glimpse into islander lifeways during the dynamic period preceding and during initial European contact.

SEA OTTERS BEGINNING TO THRIVE AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Brian Hatfield1*, M. Tim Tinker1, and Mike Kenner1,2, 1USGS WERC, Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, CA 2UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA

   Southern sea otters, Enhydra lutris nereis, were re-introduced to the waters around San Nicolas Island (SNI), California, in 1987-1990; however, the majority of the 140 translocated animals dispersed from the island within weeks of their release. Approximately a dozen sea otters persisted and became the “founders” of a small, isolated population. Allee effects (and possibly anthropogenic factors) appeared to depress growth in the mid 1990s, but by the late 1990s the population began to increase, and at present the geometric mean rate of increase is 13%/yr. This exponential growth rate greatly exceeds that of the mainland population, which is believed to be at/near carrying capacity throughout much of central California, and is restricted from range expansion by elevated white shark-caused mortality. A minimum of 233 pups have been born at SNI since the beginning of the sea otter re-introduction, and over 100 individuals were counted during the most recent survey. Although otters are commonly seen in or near kelp beds around half of the island, they are rarely seen in the other half. Presence/absence of a surface kelp (Macrocystis) canopy, persistent prey resources in occupied areas and the social nature of sea otters are all likely important in explaining habitat use patterns, but commercial fishing activity (including trap fishing) also appears to play a role in limiting sea otter distribution. When compared to other successful sea otter translocations, the SNI population experienced a more prolonged delay before exponential growth ensued, but it now appears to be a conservation success story for the Channel Islands.

CLASSIFICATION, VEGETATION-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIPS, AND DISTRIBUTION OF PLANT ASSEMBLAGES ON SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jamie Hawk1*, Barbara Holzman1, Ellen Hines1, and Jaime Jahnke2, 1San Francisco State University jamie.lee.hawk@gmail.com 2Point Blue Conservation Science

   Southeast Farallon Island is the largest seabird breeding colony south of Alaska and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is planning for intensive habitat restoration, therefore, a clear understanding of native and invaded plant assemblages and vegetation-environment relationships is required. We present research on the plant assemblages of Southeast Farallon Island and describe their relationships to environmental variables and disturbance factors. We sampled a total of 42 vegetation plots containing 26 taxa with a stratified design across the 29-hectare (72-acre) island. To classify the herbaceous assemblages, we applied agglomerative hierarchical clustering, while the influence of site parameters was obtained using Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) ordination. A total of five plant assemblages were classified, including two native plant assemblages (Spergularia macrotheca type and Lasthenia maritima type) and three invaded assemblages: (Tetragonia tetragonioides type, Plantago coronopus type, and Mixed vegetation type). The strongest gradients in vegetation composition can be explained by solar heat load, dominance of substrate type, and edaphic factors (soil pH, salinity, depth). Physical disturbance and proximity to anthropogenic land use also influence composition of plant associations. A map of the classified vegetation types and additional mapping units were created to better understand current patterns in vegetation and assist in long-term management of the island’s resources.

 

 

WILDERNESS COMES TO CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Sterling Holdorf, Laura Kirn*, Derek Lohuis, David Mazurkiewicz, Yvonne Menard, Paula Power, Rockne Rudolph*, Cynthia Stirner, and Ian Williams, Channel Islands National Park laura_kirn@nps.gov

   With completion of the park’s General Management Plan, Channel Islands National Park has officially become managed as a Wilderness park. This fulfills the intent of Channel Islands National Park enabling legislation, the 1964 Wilderness Act, and National Park Service Management Policies, all of which require that lands within the park be studied for Wilderness designation. Much of four of the five islands (exclusive of San Miguel and East Anacapa) are now designated as either proposed Wilderness or proposed potential Wilderness. While only Congress can officially designate Wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act, agency management policies require the National Park Service to now manage these lands to preserve their wilderness character. Wilderness character is generally understood as the combination of biophysical, experiential, and symbolic ideals that distinguishes wilderness from other lands. It is represented by a combination of five qualities: 1) naturalness; 2) possessing outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; 3) being largely undeveloped; 4) having an untrammeled nature (essentially free from the actions of modern human control or manipulation); and 5) containing ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. Wilderness designation brings a profound shift in how the National Park Service manages and provides for use on these lands. This poster will highlight some of these changes, including emphasizing the “minimum tool” approach to all activities in Wilderness, and addressing the statutory prohibitions of the Wilderness Act.

FOLIAR WATER UPTAKE IN FERNS ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND VERSUS THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

Helen I. Holmlund1*, Victoria M. Lekson1, Amanda M. Burns2, Gabriella Palmeri1, Shaquetta Reese1, and Stephen D. Davis1, 1Pepperdine University helen.holmlund@eagles.oc.edu 2Berea College

   Between 2012-2016, the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California experienced unprecedented drought. In multiple stands, hardy evergreen species of chaparral shrubs developed shoot dieback and whole plant mortality. In this context, we examined the effects of severe drought on the tissue-water relations of eight fern species. Five species grew in the chaparral understory (Adiantum jordanii, Dryopteris arguta, Pellaea andromedifolia, Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis, Polypodium californicum), and three species grew in a nearby riparian habitat (Adiantum capillus-veneris, Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens, Woodwardia fimbriata). We suspected that summer fog in the Santa Monica Mountains, known as “June gloom," played a significant role in maintaining the water balance of ferns during critical summer-dry periods and that this response would differ among species. We measured foliar water uptake gravimetrically and found a correlation between foliar water uptake, minimum seasonal water potential, and species type. Furthermore, five of our eight fern species in the Santa Monica Mountains grow on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz Island experiences comparable rainfall to the Santa Monica Mountains but approximately 3-fold greater incidence of fog. We hypothesized that island ferns may have adapted to take advantage of this extra fog water resource. A comparison of gravimetric foliar water uptake between island and mainland ferns showed 2-4 fold higher foliar water uptake in island ferns. These data support our hypothesis and beg further inquiry into the role of fog in the survival of island ferns.

 

 

NATURALIST TRAINING: PROMOTING ECO-LITERACY IN THE AVALON COMMUNITY

Hillary Holt and Kristin Howland*, The Catalina Island Conservancy khowland@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Naturalist Training Program is built upon the vision of Catalina as a premier ecotourism destination where the needs of the human community blend with the needs of the ecological community. The program is part of a major education initiative by the Catalina Island Conservancy to enrich the visitor and resident experience by ensuring that Catalina’s businesses have access to accurate and compelling nature-based information and to highlight the work of the Conservancy. The Naturalist Training Program is a unique project in that unlike most conservancies the mission of the Catalina Island Conservancy is three-fold, encapsulating the objective of conservation as well as education and recreation. The Naturalist Training Program provides conservation and natural history education to island residents who interact with visitors. This “train-the-trainer” approach provides information and updates through lectures, field trips, and regular publications. The program is highly flexible, and we customize trainings for audiences based on specific needs. Additionally, we strive to keep the programming updated with ongoing research, which promotes cross-departmental communication, and a sense of community island-wide. The demand for higher levels of training has resulted in topic specific modules which explore Geology, Ecology and Marine Environments surrounding Catalina Island. As a result of the Naturalist Training Program, many of the rumors and myths have been dispelled. The Catalina Island Conservancy has experienced increased support of its efforts by community members. The Naturalist Training program has reached over 2,000 individuals representing 56 unique businesses to date.

TROPHIC STRUCTURE BIOMASS OF KELP FOREST FISHES IN AND AJACENT TO FOUR MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Parker H. House*, Joshua Sprague, and David J. Kushner, National Park Service parker_house@nps.gov

   Trophic biomass pyramids give insight into the structure, energy flow, and health of an ecological community. Recent studies have shown that the majority of biomass in pristine marine fish communities is held in large-bodied predators, portraying an inverted or top-heavy pyramid. Our objective is to provide trophic level biomass estimates of kelp forest fish communities inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Channel Islands National Park as a proxy of community health. From 2007-2015, fish size and abundance data were collected annually at 25 sites across the Park islands, with 13 sites located inside and 12 outside of four targeted MPAs. Upper trophic level fishes (i.e., carnivores and piscivores) are expected to show a more top-heavy pyramid with higher biomass inside the reserves, as a number of these species are highly targeted in commercial and recreational fisheries. Continued long term monitoring can further our understanding of how kelp forests respond to protection and elucidate the resilience and health of the reefs off the Channel Islands.

Exploring the past on the East End and Isthmus of Santa Cruz Island, CA

Jeff Howarth, Department of Geography, Middlebury College, VT jhowarth@middlebury.edu

   This map serves as a guide to exploring the National Park Service lands on Santa Cruz Island and aims to help connect visible patterns of the natural landscape to ranching and agricultural activities between 1851-1987. The map consists of a detailed shaded relief map derived from lidar data that shows fine-scale erosion features. Color tints distinguish bare ground, annual grass, and woodlands based on NDVI classification of aerial photography. The line work shows all historical roads and fences for livestock, cultivated lands, water features, and check dams. The lettering includes pasture and field names along with names for canyons and harbors. To help visitors interpret relationships between land use activities and vegetation change, a series of inset maps depict changes to fences and woodland habitat over time. The map intends to serve as both a practical aid for navigating the island, while also helping public visitors, researchers and managers interpret relationships between people and their environments over time.

MONITORING OCEAN ACIDIFICATION IN THE ROCKY INTERTIDAL OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Jonathan Jones*, Keith Lombardo, and Alexandra Warneke, Cabrillo National Monument, National Park Service, San Diego, CA jonathan_jones@nps.gov

   A major effect of climate change in the marine environment is ocean acidification (OA), the reduction of seawater pH due to the burning of fossil fuels. OA negatively impacts many marine organisms, especially those that form body parts from calcium carbonate (e.g. mussels and barnacles). Cabrillo National Monument, Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) and the US Navy-operated San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands contain exceptionally diverse intertidal species that are susceptible to OA, including the federally-listed black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii). OA affects the entire Pacific Ocean and addressing the impacts of this issue requires cooperative seascape-scale characterization and mitigation with adaptation strategies that extend across management boundaries. Working in partnership, the National Park Service (NPS) and the US Navy are actively implementing a novel ocean acidification monitoring program within intertidal habitats across the southern California region. This summer the NPS will convene on Santa Cruz Island to deploy an OA sensor following an established NPS protocol. Intertidal pH values can differ substantially from those observed in near shore habitats and are dynamic over various temporal scales. Unlike previous OA monitoring efforts at CHIS, which focus on subtidal habitat, this sensor will be directly centered on the rocky intertidal zone. The resulting data will complement existing near shore sensors to create a more comprehensive mosaic of OA monitoring at CHIS. Particular emphasis will be placed on co-locating the OA sensor with fixed plots used to assess and detect changes in focal rocky intertidal species and assemblages, which have been monitored at CHIS since 1982. Results from this OA characterization program will be highly useful for managers looking to evaluate direct OA impacts upon the intertidal community and for interpreting long-term monitoring trends in organism abundance, diversity, and community composition at local and regional spatial scales.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS COLLABORATIVE: INFORMATION SHARING TO TAKE ISLAND CONSERVATION FARTHER, FASTER

Denise Knapp1*, Sarah Ratay2, Matt Guilliams1, John Knapp3, Kathryn McEachern4, Morgan Ball2, Christie Boser3, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emma Havstad8, Emily Howe2, Bill Hoyer9, Steve Junak1, Lyndal Laughrin10, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz5, Lynn McLaren-Dewey8, Bryan Munson11, Ken Niessen12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall3, Dirk Rodriguez5, and Heather Schneider1, 1Santa Barbara Botanic Garden dknapp@sbbg.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science 3The Nature Conservancy 4USGS Biological Resources Division 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Conservatión de Islas 8SDSU Soil Ecology and Restoration Group 9U.S. Navy, San Nicolas Island 10UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve 11U.S. Navy, San Clemente Island 12Mountains Restoration Trust 13Channel Islands Restoration

   The eighteen California Islands (including the 8 California Channel Islands, 8 Baja California Mexico islands within the California floristic province, the Farallon islands, and Año Nuevo Island) share plant and animal communities as well as a common land use history that resulted in conversion of native plant communities to eroded barrens and largely non-native vegetation. Management goals for these islands emphasize ecosystem recovery and conservation of native flora and fauna. Although each land owner/manager must address common threats, there has until recently been no consistent means of information exchange within the archipelago to share observations, scientific discoveries, conservation strategies and methodologies, successes, and failures. As a result, science and management have been less efficient and effective than they would have been with better connectivity among island and mainland collaborators. To address this issue, and develop common goals and priorities, representatives from the islands as well as mainland collaborators have attended quarterly meetings since ca. 2004 and an annual botanical workshop has been held on one of the islands since 2014. At the first annual workshop, threats and priorities were evaluated, and the lack of a system for information exchange emerged as the top concern. Since then, the group has initiated such collaborative projects as a Northern Channel Islands biosecurity plan, prioritized rare plant program, Invasive Plant Management Network, and an Integrated Biodiversity Information System. The information system stems from a geo-referenced all taxa database, and will enhance each of the other projects. This type of collaboration has fostered a positive sense of community and enabled us to leverage our collective knowledge, fundraising opportunities, equipment, and labor, in order to achieve more conservation gains with fewer resources.

CALIFORNIA BROWN PELICAN MONITORING ON ANACAPA AND SANTA BARBARA ISLANDS, CALIFORNIA, 2009-2015

Peter Larramendy1*, Amelia DuVall, Jim Howard1, A. Laurie Harvey2, David Mazurkiewicz3, Catherine Carter1, and Frank Gress1, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies peter_larramendy@ciesresearch.org 2Sutil Conservation Ecology 3National Park Service

   The only active breeding colonies of California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) in the United States are located on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands within Channel Islands National Park. Reproductive failures caused by eggshell thinning associated with DDT in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s caused a severe decline in the breeding population. This resulted in the population being protected under Federal and state endangered species regulations. Subsequent Federal and state protection as well as conservation efforts led to the recovery of the population to levels that reached federal delisting requirements. Long-term reproductive monitoring at Anacapa Island (since 1979), and more recently Santa Barbara Island (since 1980), has been undertaken to track the success or failure of these nesting areas. Through the years reproductive success has fluctuated. Since 2009, when the California Brown Pelican was federally delisted, numbers of nest attempts and reproductive success have declined at these locations. We present the population counts and reproductive success seen at these two islands from 2009 through 2015.

A CULTURAL OVERVIEW OF THE BLM'S, CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT (CCNM)

Christopher Lloyd1*, Erick Zaborsky2, Tammy Whitley3, Sharyl Kinnear-Ferris4, and George Kline5, 1BLM crlloyd@blm.gov 2BLM - Marina, CA 3BLM, Bakersfield, CA 4BLM - Arcata, CA 5BLM - Palm Springs, CA

   The California Coastal National Monument is more than just a bunch of rocks sitting off the California Coast. These features have played important roles in providing sustenance to Native cultures from the Tolowa to the Chumash. Additionally, the rocks have been the scene of some of the worst nautical disasters in California History, and have played an important part in shaping California’s economy. 
Together, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties have the largest concentration of off-shore rocks and islands in California. These prominent features played (and continue to play) important roles in the stories and lifeways of Native cultures. Coastal tribes used the rocky headlands and offshore islets to collect rock-clinging shellfish including mussels (Mytilus californianus), barnacles (Balanus nubilus), limpets (Lottia gigantea), abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Pinnipeds provided food and fat resources, and seabirds with their eggs were also available. The intertidal zone in-between the rocks had food in the form of small invertebrates and bivalves. These offshore rocks also played a large part in shaping historic maritime history. The list of associated shipwrecks is huge but includes wrecks such as the S.S. Northerner, the Brother Jonathan, and the Frolic, to name a few. This poster weaves together several unknown uses, histories, and the importance of these enigmatic off-shore rocks and islands.

HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELLING FOR SIBARA FILIFOLIA – A RARE CHANNEL ISLANDS PLANT

Travis Longcore1, Nina Noujdina1*, Peter Dixon2, Emma Havstad3, and Bryan Munson4, 1University of Southern California, School of Architecture and Spatial Sciences Institute nnoujdina@gmail.com 2Catalina Island Conservancy 3San Diego State University, Soil Ecology and Restoration Group 4US Navy

   Sibara filifolia (Santa Cruz Island winged rockcress) is a federally endangered annual herb endemic to the Channel Islands. The species was believed extinct from the 1930s until it was found in 1986 on San Clemente Island and then in 2001 on Santa Catalina Island. Surveys for additional populations within its range face the question of where to concentrate survey effort across difficult terrain. Models that probabilistically identify potential habitat can be used as guidelines to support species surveying efforts. We used maximum entropy modelling to predict potential range for Sibara filifolia across its historic range on Santa Cruz Island, San Clemente Island, and Santa Catalina Island. Maxent is an ecological modelling algorithm that computes species habitat suitability by evaluating a set of environmental layers coupled with the locations of the species occurrences. The advantage of this tool over others is that it relies on presence-only locations of the target species, which is suited to the data available for Sibara filifolia. We obtained point locations for confirmed observations of the species and acquired a high resolution digital elevation model for all three islands (NOAA Data Access Viewer). We decided to use a small number of environmental layers (altitude, slope, aspect, northeastness and terrain wetness index) because they could all be derived for all three islands at the same resolution. The resulting three-island model had a high Area Under Curve (AUC = 0.908) with the greatest contributions to the model from altitude, aspect, and topographic wetness. The approach developed for Sibara filifolia can be further exploited to estimate habitat suitability for other rare plants of the Channel Islands, such as Cercocarpus traskiae and Lithophragma maximum. Habitat suitability indices may ultimately be used to guide population augmentation or reintroduction efforts where species are presumed extirpated from their native range.

CHANGING LANDSCAPES OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Kathryn McEachern1 and Trey Demmond2*, 1U.S. Geological Survey 2TreyD Music & Media ecdemmond3@gmail.com

   In 2012, we began a project to locate and re-photograph historic images from the Channel Islands National Park islands, to tell the story of landscape change over the decades. We began with Santa Rosa Island, and expanded the project this year to include eastern Santa Cruz Island. The historic photographs presented here come from Channel Islands National Park archives, including collections from families living on the east end as well as visiting photographers and scientists. Additionally, some of the photographs were taken as part of broader NPS studies, such as the long-term Vegetation Inventory and Monitoring Program photos from the 1980s to the present and the Historic Architecture and Building Survey of the early 2000s. These photographs show that vegetation change is rapid in some sites, especially in canyons and on north-facing slopes. The more exposed and drier grassy hilltops, however, appear to change more slowly; an observation reflected in the long-term vegetation monitoring and mapping done by the Park. Photograph locations have been assigned unique photo-point numbers in a database, with accompanying information such as photographer and locality names, geographic coordinates, photograph dates and copyright information. These repeated photos provide a basis for us, and for future generations, to see just how dynamic island landscapes can be. We welcome contributions of historic images to the project.

RECOVERING SUSTAINABLE POPULATIONS OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND BUSH-MALLOW (Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nesioticus)

Kathryn McEachern1*, Karen Flagg2, Don Hartley2, Lyndal Laughrin3, Dieter Wilken4, Denise Knapp4, Dave Mazurkiewcz5, 1U.S. Geological Survey kathryn_mceachern@usgs.gov 2Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute 3UC Santa Barbara Santa Cruz Island Reserve 4Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 5Channel Islands National Park

   Santa Cruz Island bush mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nesioticus) is a single-island endemic shrub, found only on Santa Cruz Island, California. It was federally listed as endangered in 1997 because of habitat alteration, low numbers of individuals and population isolation. At the time of listing it was known from two sites. Now, we know of five small and widely dispersed occurrences on the island, with only a few individual clones each. Recovery goals call for establishment of at least five new sustainable populations. Seed set is low and sporadic in the wild, but studies in the nursery indicate that seed set is increased dramatically when flowers from different genetic individuals are out-crossed by hand. Santa Cruz Island bush mallow is strongly clonal, establishing readily from stem cuttings in the nursery. We began an out-planting experiment in 1995, testing techniques for establishment of new field populations, using a mix of plants grown from cuttings of the populations known at that time. Survival was good, and since that time we have planted 14 new populations in the wild. Our goals have been to plant a genetically diverse mix that can survive after hand-watering through the establishment phase in the first year. We track survival and recruitment in the plantings, and we have begun pollinator observations to see if the populations are functioning to attract insect visitors and set seed. The recovery populations are between 1 and 20 years old. So far, the plantings persist as robust collections of individuals spreading clonally, but we see few plants recruiting from seed; conditions also seen in the native populations. Are these sustainable populations? Perhaps; but are they meeting their potential in ecosystem networks: supplying pollinators and increasing biodiversity? When can USFWS say recovery goals are met?

MAMMALIAN AND AVIAN PREDATION OF ASHY STORM-PETRELS AT SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

William R. McIver1,6, Harry R. Carter2,6*, A. Laurie Harvey3,7, David M. Mazurkiewicz3, Jim A. Howard4, Paige L. Martin3,8, and John W. Mason5, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA 2Carter Biological Consulting, 1015 Hampshire Road, Victoria, British Columbia V8S 4S8 Canada carterhr@shaw.ca 3National Park Service, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California 93001 USA 4California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, California 95616 USA 5Environment International, Ltd., 233 NE 60th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97213 USA 6Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, California 95521 USA 7Current address: Sutil Conservation, 1622 P Street, Eureka, California 94930 USA 8Current address: 14511 Knoll Ridge Drive, Tampa, Florida 33625 USA

   Mammalian and avian predation of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) was documented at Santa Cruz Island during regular nest monitoring in 1995-97 and 2005-15, and during intermittent monitoring in 1999-2004. Two sea cave colonies experienced major adult mortalities due to unusual predation events by island spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis amphiala) at Santa Cruz Island, California, in 2005 and 2008, where skunks previously had not been detected. At Bat Cave in 2005, 2 skunks were trapped after killing at least 76 adults. This colony contained 64-97 nests per year in 1995-97, with low breeding success (49-59%). Nests increased from 19 in 2006 to 100 in 2015, and breeding success was variable (49-90%). At Cavern Point Cove Caves in 2008, 2 skunks were trapped after killing at least 32 adults. This colony contained 11-17 nests per year in 1995-97, with lower breeding success (20-47%) than Bat Cave. Nests increased from 2 in 2009 to 10 in 2015, and breeding success was variable (50-80%). Recovery at both colonies required about a decade, with earlier growth at Bat Cave apparently reflecting both escape from predation of a greater proportion of adults and higher recruitment due to greater colony size. Skunk predation events may have been related to temporary higher skunk population levels. Throughout the study period, predation by Barn Owls (Tyto alba) was documented at the sea cave colonies, and at Orizaba Rock, an offshore rock colony, and likely contributed to reduced breeding success at Bat Cave in 1995-97. Since 2012, predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) likely caused reduced breeding success at Orizaba Rock (35-48%, years 2012-15) and Bat Cave (49-52%, years 2013 and 2015), and appears to be a developing long-term problem that may require management actions, including but not limited to deployment of artificial nest sites at Bat Cave.

A FAULT RUNS THROUGH IT: INFLUENCE OF FAULT ARCHITECTURE AND SLIP ON FLUVIAL AND LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Scott A. Minor1*, Kevin M. Schmidt2, and David R. Bedford3, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO sminor@usgs.gov 2U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 3Deceased

   A series of aligned linear, WNW-trending valleys spanning Santa Cruz Island referred to as the “Central Valley” are related to the Santa Cruz Island fault system (SCIF). As part of our Quaternary geologic mapping on Santa Cruz, we made detailed observations and sampled materials along the SCIF to elucidate linkages between tectonic and geomorphic processes. The SCIF mainstrand consistently dips steeply (66-86 deg) north and exhibits predominantly sinistral strike slip with minor reverse slip components and local overprinted reverse dip slip. The strike slip is consistent with sinistral defections of many tributary drainages crossing the fault. The main fault strand cuts or truncates cemented beds of early-middle Pleistocene? alluvium and it both cuts and is draped by middle-late Pleistocene? eolian deposits. Several fault splays displace older alluvium, including one projecting obliquely across the valley floor, forming a sag pond. A relatively short, elevated “Portezuela” valley segment is separated from a longer, lower valley segment to the east by a shutter ridge displaced to its present position by the SCIF at its south edge. Emplacement of the shutter ridge, underlain by resistant volcanic and intrusive rocks, temporarily dammed the axial stream. The drainage diverted to the north around the shutter ridge to re-establish a connection with the mainstem channel. A knickpoint along this diversion separating a higher-gradient bedrock stream channel below from a low-gradient alluvial channel above has not yet migrated upstream to the Portezuela valley. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal from the base and top of a fine-grained, thin (0.7 m) fluvial or lacustrine section directly underlying the incipiently dissected Portezuela valley floor yielded ages of 1110 +/- 30 and 290 +/-25 C14 yrs, respectively. These dates indicate that shutter-ridge damming occurred in the late Holocene and subsequent headward fluvial incision in the Portezuela valley began less than ~300 years ago.

VEGETATION DISTRIBUTION COMPARISON OF WATER CANYON AND QUEMADA WATERSHEDS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Aimee Newell* and Linda O’Hirok, California State University Channel Islands aimee.newell963@myci.csuci.edu

   The native vegetation and stream geomorphology on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, is degraded due to heavy grazing pressure by non-native ungulates for over 150 years. The removal of non-native grazers on Santa Rosa Island over the past few decades has enabled vegetation in and outside of stream channels to recover. This study examined and compared the vegetation composition and distribution within Quemada and Water Canyon watersheds on Santa Rosa Island. The Water Canyon watershed was subdivided into four regions and the middle section was directly compared to the Quemada watershed, due to its similar proximity, topography, and geomorphology. To evaluate vegetation recovery within watersheds and compare recovery between watersheds we quantified the species diversity, evenness, and heterogeneity of transects spanning multiple stream cross sections and extending to the adjacent terraces. No significant difference was found in the overall diversity between the Water Canyon and Quemada watersheds, but the specific categorical vegetation distributions varied among these two watersheds. The percent of bare ground was not significantly different between the watersheds; but the low percentage of bare ground within the watersheds, 2% in Quemada and 5% in Water Canyon, coupled with increases in overall vegetation cover and species richness demonstrate the recovery of Santa Rosa Island’s riparian vegetation. This has led to increased stability of the stream channel and overall improvement in the functionality of the watershed.

FEDERALLY ENDANGERED BOECHERA HOFFMANNII (BRASSICACEAE) ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Ken Niessen1*, Sean Clark2, and Kathryn McEachern3, 1Mountains Restoration Trust kgniessen@gmail.com 2California State University Channel Islands 3USGS

   Boechera hoffmannii (Brassicaceae) is a federally endangered herbaceous biennial plant restricted to Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, Channel Islands National Park. It is known from four locations on Santa Rosa Island, but only two of those locations- the Sierra Pablo chaparral and the South Point chaparral- are currently known to have living plants. These two areas have recently been carefully surveyed for occurrences of Boechera. We describe the results of those surveys. High resolution aerial photographs and topographical maps were uploaded to GPS units to guide the search for Boechera. When Boechera were encountered, details of plant condition, habitat, and microhabitat were recorded, and the plants were mapped and photographed. When appropriate, seed was collected for seed banking and future propagation. In 2014, 64 live Boechera (34 vegetative and 30 reproductive) were found at Sierra Pablo, while in 2015, 450 (385 vegetative and 65 reproductive) were found at South Point. Plants were clustered, particularly at South Point. In general, the slopes on which plants were found about 30 degrees and NNW facing. Boechera were generally within the canopy of short (<1 m tall) Quercus pacifica, on soil in leaf litter <2 cm deep. Generally, plants were rooted on level or evenly sloping ground. At Sierra Pablo total number of fruits was not recorded, but several were collected. At South Point there were 445 fruits on the reproductive plants, and 35 were collected. Seed from the fruits will be planted in the greenhouse to generate more seed for future outplanting, and the outplanting will be guided by the microhabitat data collected in this study.

 

 

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS, CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS, AND PACIFIC HARBOR SEALS AT CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Stacey Ostermann-Kelm1* and Mark Lowry2, 1National Park Service, Inventory & Monitoring Division 2National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

   The Channel Islands host the most diverse pinniped population in the world. Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) provides breeding habitat for Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), the northernmost populations of Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendii) and the southernmost populations of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Pinnipeds are top level carnivores and are sensitive to changes in prey populations, severe weather, pollution, and disturbance. Most species were severely depleted by hunting, but their populations have generally increased during the past two decades. Pinnipeds at CHIS are experiencing increased intra- and inter-specific competition for space, concurrent with increased human visitation of the park. The effects of climate change, which may include reduced habitat for pupping due to sea level rise coupled with storm surge and changes to food resources due to ocean warming, are other potential stressors to these populations. We used aerial censuses of northern elephant seals (NES), California sea lions (CSL) and Pacific harbor seals (PHS) between 1987-2012 to document their expanding distribution at CHIS. We found NES expanded eastward along the southern shore of Santa Rosa Island during winter breeding season; CSL pupping areas at San Miguel Island expanded away from Pt. Bennett during the summer breeding season and the PHS distribution at San Miguel Island shifted due to NES and CSL population expansion. Park managers are in need of information on the distribution of pinnipeds to ensure that pupping and breeding habitats are sufficiently protected.

ESTABLISHING SEA CLIFF EROSION RATES AND IDENTIFYING EROSIONAL HOTSPOTS FOR BECHERS BAY, SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Kiki Patsch, ESRM Program, California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu

   Bechers Bay littoral cell extends 12 km on the northeastern side of Santa Rosa Island from Carrington Point to Skunk Point. Approximately 83% of this cell, or 10 km, is backed by actively eroding bluffs and steep, rocky cliffs punctuated by sand and cobble beaches. Using georectified and georeferenced historic imagery from 1929, 1940, 1964, 1977, and 1998 as well as satellite imagery from 2012 and 2015, long-term sea cliff erosion rates were established and erosional hotspots identified. In addition, structure-from-motion photogrammetric techniques and surveyed ground control points were utilized to develop topographic point-clouds of the sea cliffs in the study area to establish a baseline from which to observe storm-scale erosion that is difficult to identify and quantify from nadir aerial photographs as the erosion often takes place at the base or underneath overhanging portions of the sea cliff.

DETECTING CHANGE IN SEEPS, SPRINGS, PONDS, AND STREAMS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CA

Paula Power* and Rocky Rudolph*, Channel Islands National Park paula_power@nps.gov

   In September 2014, during the driest period of the year, park staff and volunteers mapped surface water on Santa Rosa Island by physically walking all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order streams. Mappers hiked more than 325 kilometers in 19 major basins and 7 lesser basins and mapped 1,117 water features. Watersheds with the greatest stream length to watershed ratio were re-surveyed in August 2016 and compared to 2014 data. Changes in location and length of surface water provide insight into the hydrology of the island and the impacts of prolonged drought. These data have broad application across many disciplines and will provide a baseline for long-term trends in surface water (Turner and Richter, 2011), a better understanding of geologic/hydrologic/biologic interactions (Schmidt et al 2015, Minor et al 2013), and characterize areas for ecological research (Turner and List, 2007).

VEGETATION TRENDS IN A RESTORED COASTAL WETLAND AT PRISONERS HARBOR, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Paula Power1*, Joel Wagner2, Mike Martin2, and Marie Denn3, 1Channel Islands National Park paula_power@nps.gov 2NPS Water Resources Division 3Point Reyes National Seashore

   Prisoners Harbor of Santa Cruz Island, California was historically the site of a 4.86 ha coastal wetland and riparian system, the largest on the California Channel Islands. The site was occupied by native people for 3,000 years until the 1830s. During the late 1800s ranchers filled about half of the wetland area to build livestock corrals and other facilities. They also rerouted the main stream channel, Cañada del Puerto, and built a stone wall and earthen berm along its west bank. This disconnected the stream from its floodplain and inadvertently caused erosion of a Native American archeological site. The National Park Service developed a wetland and riparian restoration design for Prisoners Harbor based on topographic and hydrologic analyses and on vegetation community–depth to water table relationships developed from neighboring reference wetlands. In 2011, Channel Islands National Park and The Nature Conservancy restored 1.25 ha of coastal wetlands and reconnected the stream to its floodplain by removing the earthen berm. Post-project vegetation monitoring during 2012 - 2016 showed increasing abundance of three of the eight planted wetland species and trends in target invasive species. Vegetation abundance was likely influenced by severe drought conditions that began soon after project implementation. However, hydrologic monitoring after restoration showed that the restored marshes met federal wetland hydrology criteria during the first year only, just before the historic drought began. Exceptionally large swell and high tide during winter 2015-2016 resulted in seawater flooding the wetland. Regular salinity monitoring of ground water test wells and open water ponds showed that salinity levels were slow to return to pre-storm levels. Expansion of wetland species during the historic drought and seawater flooding provides promising evidence that our approach to restoration will convert the filled corral area at Prisoners Harbor to functional coastal wetland habitat as more typical (wetter) precipitation levels return.

CULTIVATING ENVIRONMETAL STEWARDS THROUGH A STANDARDS-BASED EXPERIENCIAL SCIENCE PROGRAM

Willie Richerson* and Elizabeth Bailey, Catalina Island Conservancy wricherson@catalinaconservancy.org

   Our poster introduces elementary and middle school curriculum strands in our NatureWorks units, highlighting a “standards based” approach to Environmental Education being utilized by the Catalina Island Conservancy grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards and STEM. Stewardship of the island’s natural resources by residents is a key element of the Catalina Island Conservancy’s mission. Connecting Avalon students, Kindergarten through High School, with the ecology of their island home is a critical part of understanding the value of Conservation and Stewardship. The Conservancy, through a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, has initiated a broad reaching curriculum overhaul combining environmental and conservation sciences through experiential learning in the islands interior. Lessons begin in the classroom followed by field trips to the island’s interior to develop scientific thinking in the field. These in-class and field-based units, called NatureWorks, link STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning with the Next Generation Science Standards to impart fundamental ecological principals throughout students’ academic careers. High School units bring real scientific research to life in the classroom, linking researchers with student driven inquiry. NatureWorks culminates in job-shadow opportunities with local business leaders in Conservation, Engineering, Eco-tourism, and Hospitality, along with the opportunity to participate in the Rose Ellen Gardener Summer Internship Program. To evaluate success, the Conservancy is using pre and post unit testing, state standardized test scores, and college/university entrance and major choices.

PREDICTING TIME LAGS BETWEEN RECRUITMENT OF CRYPTIC SUBTIDAL MARINE INVERTEBRATES AND THEIR EMERGENCE INTO EXISTING POPULATIONS AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Christen A. Santschi*, Joshua Sprague, Parker H. House, and David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park christen_santschi@nps.gov

   The majority of marine populations depend on recruitment events to replenish the extant population. Several studies have investigated recruitment in subtidal marine invertebrate populations; however, there have been no long-term monitoring studies determining time lags between recruitment of cryptic juveniles and their emergence into the existing population. Although benthic subtidal surveys can be effective for determining population dynamics of emergent invertebrates, small juveniles are often not detected by these surveys due to their cryptic nature and behavior. To determine time lags between cryptic juveniles and their emergence into existing populations, we compared density and size data of selected invertebrates within Artificial Recruitment Modules (ARMs) to data collected from the population outside of the ARMs. We also compared between sites inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Data were collected annually at 11 permanent sites from 1998-2015 by the Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program. We expect to predict time lags for emergent invertebrates that occur on the scale of one year or greater based on our sampling methodology. The ability to determine time lags may be useful for generating models to predict population size, or recovery after a disturbance or disease event. These results could inform management strategies and develop more efficient monitoring protocol and at the Channel Islands National Park.

QUATERNARY SURFICIAL GEOLOGIC MAPS OF SANTA ROSA AND SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Kevin M. Schmidt1*, Scott A. Minor2, and David R. Bedford3, 1U. S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd, MS 973, Menlo Park, CA 94025 kschmidt@usgs.gov 2U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, DFC, MS 980, Denver, CO 80225 3Deceased

   We mapped the Quaternary surficial geology of Santa Rosa (SRI) and Santa Cruz Islands (SCI) comprising Channel Islands National Park through an agreement between the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. These detailed (1:12,000 scale) maps are intended to aid natural resource assessments, including post-grazing disturbance recovery and identification of erosion and landslide hazards. The map units express a combined depositional mode-age classification scheme including alluvial, fluvial, eolian, mixed eolian and alluvial, beach, marine terrace, hillslope, landslide, and anthropogenic transport processes. We obtained numerous detailed geologic field observations throughout the islands, fossils for faunal identification as age control, and materials for numeric dating. This GPS-located field information provides ground truth for GIS-based map unit delineations using a variety of high-resolution (sub-meter) aerial imagery and LiDAR-based DEMs and derivative raster products. Quaternary faults were mapped to constrain deformation kinematics and rates. Significant findings include: (1) Flights of older Pleistocene (>120 ka) and possibly Pliocene marine terraces were identified beneath younger alluvial and eolian deposits at elevations as much as 275m above modern sea level. Such elevated terraces suggest that SRI was a smaller, more submerged island in the late Neogene and (or) early Pleistocene prior to tectonic uplift. (2) Structural and geomorphic observations made along the potentially seismogenic SRI fault indicate a protracted slip history during the late Neogene and Quaternary involving early normal slip, later strike slip, and recent reverse slip. These changes in slip mode explain a marked contrast in island physiography across the fault. (3) Many of the steeper slopes are dramatically stripped of their regolith, with exposed bedrock, presumably due to the effects of past grazing practices. (4) Some large, deep-seated landslides deposited upon marine terrace deposits and caused nearby upstream valley aggradation. Associated topical studies examined connections between geology, surface water, and vegetation.

Modeling the Control of Invasive Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) on San Clemente Island

Sarah Sheldon1 and Emma Havstad2*, 1California State University San Marcos 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group ehavstad@mail.sdsu.edu

   The control of invasive fennel populations is a vital component of native vegetation restoration on San Clemente Island, CA and includes annual removal and herbicide application within the population boundaries. By creating a stage-structured population growth model, the life history traits of fennel and the treatment strategies can both be taken into account to determine the efficacy of control. Such a model, based on data gathered during previous control efforts, was then applied to seventeen of the fennel populations on-island and forecasted for five years to determine their fates under current management practices. Within this management time period, ten populations should decline, six should grow, and one should remain the same size, but by modifying the parameters to typify alternative control efforts, the probability of eradication in the populations changes, indicating a need for dynamic management efforts as part of the habitat restoration program.

Bee nesting habitat on San Clemente Island

C. Sheena Sidhu1,2* and Erin E. Wilson-Rankin2, 1present address: University of California Cooperative Extension, San Mateo & San Francisco Counties, Half Moon Bay, CA cssidhu@alumni.ucsd.edu 2University of California- Riverside, Riverside, CA

   Wild bees need both abundant floral and nesting habitat in order to persist. There has been extensive research on the floral requirements and plant-pollinator interactions, but far fewer studies have focused on examining nesting habitat of wild bees, even though understanding nesting habitat is critical to developing conservation strategies to support bees and the pollination services they provide to native plants. In 2015, we discovered 50 nesting sites throughout San Clemente Island. Bees were collected directly from nest sites when possible, and most were Diadasia spp (cactus bees), which included three unique species. There was a significant effect of soil type on the number of nests located. Thirty-eight percent of bee nests were found in thirst stony fine loam with SHOBA loam and Eelpoint clay each hosting 14% of nests located. Most of the remaining nests were found in Eelcove fine sandy loam (12%), west shore silt loam (10%), cobbly silt loam (8%). Many of these sites were found on disturbed areas, such as trails, and bare ground in the SHOBA area of the island, which suggests the bees may be able to persist in areas of human activity. These findings may contribute to habitat conservation strategies on the Channel Islands and elsewhere.

 

 

THE EFFECT OF REMOVING NON-NATIVE GRAZERS FROM SANTA ROSA ISLAND: 25 YEARS OF VEGETATION CHANGE

Ryan Summers* and Brett Hartman, California State University Channel Islands r.summers421@yahoo.com

   Human use of Santa Rosa Island (SRI) dates back 13,000 years, starting with the island Chumash before ranching was introduced in 1843. Intensive grazing by non-native ungulates impacted native woodland, chaparral, and scrub vegetation, introduced European annual grassland species, and triggered large-scale erosion. Following creation of Channel Islands National Park in 1986, non-native grazers were removed to restore native vegetation. Sheep had been removed from SRI by the early 1900s, and feral pigs were removed by 1992, cattle by 1998, and introduced deer and elk by 2010. We evaluated the long-term vegetation change following grazing cessation through analysis of a time series (1991 - 2015) of Landsat TM5 and Landsat 7 satellite images. The images were processed with a maximum likelihood classification using regions of interest (ROIs) delineated from current and historical photographs, Channel Island National Park inventory and monitoring records, and ground truthing. We also conducted a terrain analysis using a 1-m resolution Digital Elevation Model from the National Park Service, using slope steepness, curvature, and aspect to evaluate the influence of grazer accessibility. Scrub, island chaparral, and woodland cover has significantly increased, and valley and foothill grassland and bare ground cover has significantly decreased. There was a significantly higher percent change on gentle slopes (<10%) and moderate slopes (10-30%) compared to steep slopes (>30%). Results indicate that passive restoration has occurred on extensive areas of SRI, with the highest percent change in areas previously accessible to non-native grazers. However, there may be limits to natural restoration, with 7.9 km2 of bare and eroded areas on highland ridges that are not undergoing succession. Future studies will analyze the environmental conditions that make bare and eroded areas resistant to vegetation change, including potential synergistic effects of slope steepness, curvature (convex vs. concave slopes), solar isolation, and wind exposure.

GEORECTIFICATION OF HISTORIC AERIAL IMAGERY OF CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Ryan Summers1, Dorothy Horn1, Christine Apperson-Chavez1, Rocky Rudolph2, Cause Hanna1, and Kiki Patsch1*, 1California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park

   California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) and Channel Islands National Park (CINP) partnered to georectify over 300 historic images purchased from the University of California Santa Barbara Map & Imagery Laboratory (MIL). Historic georeferenced and georecitfied aerial photographs of the Channel Islands are critical geospatial data for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for student and faculty research as well as for projects supporting course learning outcomes and high impact practices. In addition, CINP uses the digital, historic aerial photographs to aid in scientific research and management decisions regarding the parklands. The ability to compare modern imagery to historic imagery provides insight into land use, vegetation, and shoreline changes to name a few, and provides insight into how the terrain has been used, modified, and managed over time. In this project, we georectified scanned, historic aerial photographs from San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara islands for the years 1929, 1940, 1964, 1977, and 1998 by creating tie points on each image to link them to georeferenced 2012 satellite images of each island. Using these corrected, digital aerial images in GIS, research is currently underway to understand the dynamic shorelines of all the Channel Islands. On Santa Rosa Island, for example, you can see distinct change on Skunk Point, while on San Miguel, the growth and erosion of a sand spit on Cardwell Point is evident.

EVALUATING SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PATTERNS OF BISHOP PINE (PINUS MURICATA) MORTALITY ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Annalise Taylor, Middlebury College annalise.r.taylor@gmail.com

   Throughout western North America, bark beetle outbreaks have decimated tens of millions of hectares of pine forest in the past 20 years. The large spatial extent and severity of these outbreaks is rooted in a severe drought and fluctuations in previously limiting climatic factors. As outbreaks continue, new research has led to the development of various strategies for the detection and mapping of bark beetle outbreaks with remotely sensed data. With varying degrees of accuracy, satellite and aerial imagery can efficiently quantify both the spatial and temporal extent of these die-offs. On Santa Cruz Island in the California Channel Islands, the widespread die-off of the threatened Bishop pine (Pinus muricata) sparked ecological concerns. As a result of prolonged drought and bark beetle infestation, Bishop pine mortality reached up to 80% in some regions of the island. Using high resolution aerial imagery, I classified the spatial distribution of pine death across the pine’s full distribution on Santa Cruz Island. Data collected in the field served to validate this classification and to capture detailed information about the Bishop pine population, including stand-scale variation in estimated age, which ranged from 1 to 70 years old, mean seedling density – which ranged from 0.47 to 4.67 seedlings/900m2 – and mean proportion of pines colonized by bark beetles – which ranged from 0.38 to 0.78. I investigated the relationship of elevation, precipitation, summertime fog, topography, and soil texture with pine death. These findings suggest that, during periods of prolonged drought, the distribution of Bishop pines likely contracts into protected ravines as they die on exposed ridges that are generally subject to greater drought stress. As droughts and pest infestations in this region become more severe and frequent under the projected future changes in climate, these spatial patterns of mortality may change the future distribution of this species.

MEASURING ISLAND RESTORATION PROGRESS THROUGH ARTHROPOD AND BEE DIVERSITY ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Reilly Walker1*, Ruben Alarcon1, Kathryn McEachern2, Denise Knapp3, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands reilly.walker299@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey 3Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

   Santa Rosa Island, the second largest California Channel Island, came under the ownership of the National Park Service in 1986, ending an era of ranching and private hunting that spanned more than 150 years. As of 2012, all hoofed mammals were removed from the island, giving its natural ecosystems the chance to recover from the damage caused by introduced ungulates. The goal of this study was to examine changes in arthropod communities across a swath of sites representing both intact systems and those which have been completely denuded by overgrazing. Pan traps were employed during the spring and summer of 2015 to sample bee and arthropod diversity and to establish baseline data for sites undergoing both passive and active restoration. Arthropod abundance and diversity did not differ between the sampling dates, however bee abundance was significantly higher in the summer. Bee abundance was also positively correlated between sampling dates across sites, suggesting spatial variation in bee populations or habitat preferences. Further examination of the microhabitats and floral interaction is necessary to better understand these patterns.

 

 

POPULATION SIZE AND STATUS OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET AT SAN MIGUEL ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1 and Harry R. Carter1,2*, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 carterhr@shaw.ca 2Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA

   San Miguel Island (SMI) and the adjacent islets Prince Island (PI) and Castle Rock (CR), support a small population of Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) at the northwest extreme of their breeding range. After breeding was first reported at PI in 1968, only limited surveys were conducted until 1994, when we began to examine murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to nesting areas to determine their breeding distribution and estimate population size. Vocal surveys in 1994–1996 detected calls at 4 stations around PI (43–167 detections), 2 stations off CR (6 and 80 detections), and 4 stations off northeast SMI (5–123 detections), but none at 8 stations off south and northwest SMI. At-sea spotlight surveys in 2004, 2007 and 2015 confirmed murrelet congregations off PI and northeast SMI. Mean spotlight counts were 9 ± 0 in 2004 (n = 2), 19 ± 4 in 2007 (n = 3), and 91 ± 15 in 2015 (n = 2). In 2007, the first murrelet nests on SMI were found at Harris Point, Bay Point, and Hoffman Point. Using spotlight survey data, we estimated 80–120 breeding murrelets at the SMI group (90% at PI) in 2015, which was similar to rough estimates for PI in 1968 (45 ± 5 murrelets) and 1975–1977 (150 murrelets). Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis) and Black Rats (Rattus rattus) appear to confine breeding murrelets mainly to PI and CR, as well as coastal cliffs and caves on northeast SMI. Introduction or invasion of rats from SMI is the most serious threat to the murrelet population on PI. Given the remoteness of SMI, limited monitoring should be conducted every 3–4 years to confirm murrelet presence and detect major changes in population size.

TWELVE YEARS OF POPULATION INCREASE FOR SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS (SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS SCRIPPSI) AFTER ERADICATION OF BLACK RATS (RATTUS RATTUS) FROM ANACAPA ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1 and Harry R. Carter1,2*, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, Davis, California, 95616 USA carterhr@shaw.ca 2Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA

   A breeding colony of Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) at Anacapa Island, California suffered severe impacts from Black Rats (Rattus rattus), probably introduced by shipwreck in 1853. Rats were eradicated in 2001-2002 with funding from the American Trader oil spill settlement. Pre-eradication (2001-2002) nest monitoring in plots and spotlight surveys of murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to breeding areas served as baseline data for measuring post-eradication (2003-2010 and 2014) responses of the murrelet population. Marked increases in murrelet hatching success (30% pre-eradication vs. 85% post-eradication) and the number of occupied nests (+14% per annum [pa]) occurred in monitored plots. Estimates of breeding population size from round-island spotlight counts more than doubled from 225-300 pairs pre-eradication to 550-725 pairs in 2014, making Anacapa Island one of the largest Scripps’s Murrelet colonies in the world. However, round-island spotlight counts indicated slower colony growth (+8% pa) compared to the number of occupied nests (+14% pa). Continued monitoring is needed to determine long-term rates of population growth, measure time to complete recovery, and assess the overall benefits of eradication for murrelets in terms of population size. Baseline and long-term post-eradication monitoring should be essential components of future eradication programs.

 

EXPANSION OF BLACK MOUNTAIN QUERCUS TOMENTELLA POPULATIONS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Jay Woosley1*, Brett Hartman1, Sean Anderson1, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands jay.woolsey313@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   In this study, we explored tree regeneration and the potential for expansion of island oak (Quercus tomentella) groves on Santa Rosa Island (SRI). The island oak is a keystone species that provides soil stabilization and shelter, forage, and water for island flora and fauna. The National Park Service (NPS) began restoring SRI after its inclusion in Channel Islands National Park in 1986. We quantified current and historic island oak groves on Black Mountain by comparing aerial photographs from1989, 1994 and 2016. We examined island oak stand structure by recording oak height, health, diameter at breast height (DBH) and other characteristics of areas surrounding the stand. We also created a baseline of Black Mountain’s island oak population, including polygons delineating the 14 groves on Black Mountain and the location of all outlier trees and regenerating seedlings. The island oak groves on Black Mountain have expanded by 22 percent between 1989 and 2016. One of the biggest increases was grove number six which grew by 65 percent. Previous research indicates that such grove expansion can occur through three types of dispersion: gravity, cloning, and animal (i.e. birds and mammals). Nurse plants significantly affected island oak height and health (p<0.001), potentially due to fog drip from species such as coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) and toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia). This indicates that nurse species can be a catalyst for island oak restoration. Data on island oak stand dynamics can inform management decisions as the National Park Service transitions to more active restoration on highland ridges. Island oaks, as a keystone species, are important to reestablishing healthy ecosystems on SRI.

 

 

 

 ORAL ABSTRACTS

RESTORING THE NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY ON SCORPION ROCK TO ENHANCE NESTING HABITAT FOR BURROW AND SHRUB-NESTING SEABIRDS IN THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Josh Adams1*, David Mazurkiewicz2, Andrew A. Yamagiwa3, James A. Howard3, Catherine Carter3, A. Laurie Harvey4, and Annie Little5, 1U.S. Geological Survey-Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz Field Station josh_adams@usgs.gov 2Channel Islands National Park-Montrose Settlements Restoration Program 3California Institute of Environmental Studies 4Sutil Conservation Ecology 5U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

   Invasive, non-native plant species introduced to California’s Channel Islands can affect seabird nesting habitat quality and threaten population growth and recovery. Scorpion Rock, located off the northeast end of Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park, is an important seabird nesting and roosting location. A legacy of human use and visitation allowed the spread of invasive, non-native plant species on Santa Cruz Island and adjacent Scorpion Rock. The altered vegetative cover contributed to decreased abundance and quality of nesting habitat for the burrow-nesting Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus australis) and crevice- and shrub-nesting Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi). The removal and control of non-native vegetation and outplanting of >9,000 native plants from 2008 – 2016 has dramatically changed the landscape of Scorpion Rock. In 2008, vegetative cover was initially 94% invasive weeds (6 exotic species, mostly crystalline iceplant [Mesembryanthimum crystallinum]). Since 2011, percent native plant cover has remained consistent at ~60% cover, with a maximum in 2013 of 66%. Native plant richness included 6 species in 2008, and reached maximum richness in 2012 (21 species). Removal of non-native, invasive vegetation and the restoration of a native perennial Coastal Sage Scrub community on Scorpion Rock is providing better soil structure, nesting conditions, and cover for burrow- and shrub-nesting nesting seabirds, as well as new habitat for invertebrates and passerines. Evaluation of weed control methods and the development of remote-site-restoration-techniques from this project has also benefited other habitat restoration projects on the Channel Islands.

BREEDING POPULATIONS OF CASSIN’S AUKLET ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS AND IMPACT OF RESTORATION ACTIONS

Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Evaristo Mayoral-Rojas1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, and Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alejandro.aguilar@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

   The two recognized subspecies of Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) breed on Pacific islands off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico: P. a. aleuticus and P. a. australe. Relevant restoration efforts have been conducted during the last 18 years on these islands, including the removal of invasive mammals and the implementation of social attraction techniques to restore breeding seabird colonies. To assess CAAU's recovery, we have monitored the number of breeding pairs and the productivity of P. a. australis on San Roque and Asunción islands since 2008. We began monitoring P. a. aleuticus on Coronado, Todos Santos, San Martín, and San Jerónimo islands, and P. a. australe on Natividad Island in 2013 as part of a long-term seabird restoration project. We have recorded a remarkable increase of breeding pairs for P. a. australe, from 200 in 2008 to almost 2,000 in 2015 on San Roque and Asunción. This subspecies productivity has varied (0.3 to 0.7 fledgling/pair) over the years, probably due to anomalous and changing climate and oceanographic conditions. San Jerónimo supports the main breeding population of P. a. aleuticus with 70,000 to 100,000 breeding pairs. We confirmed CAAU breeds on Coronado, Todos Santos, San Martín, and Natividad islands, but in low numbers (5 to 29 breeding pairs). For the 2016 breeding season we carried out a more detailed monitoring effort that included banding, adult morphometry, chick growth, and diet composition.

THE TRAJECTORY OF RECOVERY: POST-RESTORATION EELGRASS MEADOWS AROUND ANACAPA ISLAND AND THEIR SIMILARITY TO DONOR BEDS

Jessica Altstatt, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, University of California Santa Barbara, Ocean Science Education Building 514, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6155 jessie.altstatt@noaa.gov

   Eelgrass (Zostera pacifica) meadows were present along the northern shores of Anacapa Island prior to the late 1980s, when sea urchin over-grazing led to local extirpation. In 2002, we initiated an experimental transplantation of ~500 eelgrass shoots from two large meadows at Santa Cruz Island (Smugglers, Prisoners) to Frenchy's Cove, Anacapa Island. Over the past 14 years, we have documented the short-term survivorship and growth of eelgrass at the transplantation site and continuing expansion of eelgrass from the restoration site to the east along northern Anacapa Island. In 2012, we reported upon the results of regular surveys of meadow dimensions, shoot density and reproductive status, along with density and species abundance of associated benthic invertebrates and fishes. In this paper we will report on current acreage, associated fish and invertebrate communities and make comparisons with current conditions within the donor beds at neighboring Santa Cruz Island. At Anacapa, eelgrass meadows have persisted longer post-transplantation than was spent without natural recovery prior to our efforts.

TRANS-HOLOCENE STABILITY AND RESILIENCE IN MARINE FISHERIES AT BAY POINT, SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Amira F. Ainis1*, Torben C. Rick1, Jon M. Erlandson1,3, and René L. Vellanoweth4, 1Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon aainis@uoregon.edu 2Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon; 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles

   We present the results of our analysis of marine fish remains from trans-Holocene deposits at two multi-component rockshelter sites located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island. A suite of over 80 radiocarbon dates demonstrate that archaeological deposits at Daisy Cave (CA-SMI-261) and Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) span most of the Holocene from ~11,700 to 1,000 cal BP. Previous analysis of Early Holocene fish remains from Daisy Cave demonstrated that people had relatively intensive fishing strategies by about 10,000-8,600 years ago—some of the earliest evidence for fishing in the Americas—which included exploitation of a variety of nearshore taxa using hook and line, nets, and other technologies. We place these Early Holocene data in the context of the Middle and Late Holocene fish assemblages from the site, and the ~7,600 year sequence from Cave of the Chimneys, providing an exceptional record of human fishing on San Miguel Island that spans most of the Holocene. Fish remains represented in these deposits indicate that people were catching a consistent though fairly wide array of nearshore and kelp bed fishes throughout this extensive sequence. Although fish densities oscillate between components, the consistency of represented taxa and relatively high densities of fish bone indicate relatively stable and resilient fisheries throughout this time period. Long-term historical ecological analyses of site-specific patterns, representing localized nearshore and kelp bed conditions in the context of human exploitation, demonstrate small-scale variation between island sequences. These data contribute to our understanding of how islanders utilized and shaped marine ecosystems in the past and inform on the relative resiliency of marine fisheries.

FROM DATA TO DECISION-MAKING: A PATH FORWARD FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROCKY INTERTIDAL COMMUNITIES

Richard F. Ambrose1*, Peter T. Raimondi2, and Lisa Gilbane3, 1University of California, Los Angeles rambrose@ucla.edu 2University of California, Santa Cruz 3Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

   Government agencies are charged with making policy and management decisions that affect natural resources, yet analyzing biological data to determine a course of action remains a challenge. Biological communities in rocky intertidal systems are considered an important resource and consequently are monitored continuously across 100 sites by more than 40 funding agencies and universities under the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe, see marine.gov). Assessing the condition of the rocky intertidal is difficult because of the extreme natural variability of these systems. Recent efforts to evaluate the condition or state of rocky intertidal systems have tried to overcome this challenge by relying on the professional judgment of subject matter experts, but it is still difficult to distinguish the impacts of humans from natural variability. We propose a different approach, focusing on the vulnerability of different rocky intertidal communities to human impacts. Using >20 years of data across multiple sites and bioregions, we develop quantitative metrics to allow us to compare vulnerability among sites. A vulnerability assessment such as this could provide the basis for evaluating the state of the coast.

BURROW NESTING SEABIRDS ON SAN BENITO ISLANDS, MEXICO: TWO MILLION INDIVIDUALS OF EIGHT PROTECTED SPECIES SHARING THE SAME SPACE AT DIFFERENT TIME

Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, and Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alicia.aztorga@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

   Eight burrow-nesting seabird species breed on the San Benito archipelago, a group of three small islands off the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico: Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus), Scripps’s Murrelet (S. scrippsi), Craveri’s Murrelet (S. craveri), Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas), Black Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma melania), Leach’s Storm-Petrel (O. leucorhoa), and Least Storm-Petrel (O. microsoma). All species are protected by Mexican law, and together form a community of around two million pairs. Auklets, murrelets, and shearwaters nest during late winter-spring, and storm-petrels in summer-autumn. We present a detailed account of their spatial and temporal nesting habitat use, timing of breeding, and productivity during breeding season 2015-2016. Murrelets and Least Storm-Petrel nest exclusively in rock crevices, while auklets, shearwaters, and Black and Leach’s Storm-Petrels occupied both sand burrows and rocky areas. Auklets and Black Storm-Petrels shared nesting areas. In rocky habitat we recorded a total of 163 auklet nests, 69 murrelet nests, 106 shearwater nests, and around 500 storm-petrel nests. The hatching period started in early March for auklets, in late March for murrelets, in early June for shearwaters, and in late July-early August for storm-petrels. The fledging period began in early May for auklets and early-mid October for storm-petrels. Breeding success was relatively low for auklets and murrelets (around 30%), and high for storm-petrels (>70%). Changing oceanographic conditions during the breeding period and different foraging strategies might be the cause for the high variability on reproductive performance amongst these species.

PROJECT MULTI-TASKING: A HELICOPTER BASED APPROACH FOR VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE SURVEYS

John Knapp1*, Morgan Ball2, Katrina Olthof2, and Kenneth Niessen2, 1The Nature Conservancy jknapp@tnc.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science

   The California Islands possess a wide array of habitat, climate and topography. These factors make it difficult to gather largescale archipelago-wide datasets that fall within a comparable, temporal period or allow for the detection of seasonally ephemeral species across a vast area. When executing a data-collection field effort, transportation and access prove to be the primary limiting factors for timely ground-based survey approaches. As a result, landscape managers are faced with decisions to either staff a very large group of highly trained surveyors for a shorter timeframe, or staff a smaller group across extended seasons which may sacrifice the optimal survey window and result in less consistent datasets. However, utilizing a helicopter for the collection of large datasets increases the ease and speed of transport for comparable costs while only requiring a small and specialized staff. If the transport mechanism is sped up and the timeframe reduced, then more surveys can be conducted, more data collected with less impact on resources, and occurs in the optimal time period for detection of species. In 2015, a multi-level survey was performed for invasive and rare plants, and cultural sites on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, in addition to an island-wide vegetation classification and bird survey on Santa Cruz Island. The use of the helicopter, innovative GIS mapping techniques, and GPS-encoded photo reconnaissance allowed us to conduct surveys across two islands in an abbreviated timeframe of 81 days taking advantage of the preferred survey period for the target species’ phenologies. These data can be used to prioritize invasive plant species management, restoration efforts, and rare plant conservation strategies at an archipelago-wide scale as well as function as a standardized baseline for other islands’ future efforts. Taking lessons learned from this multi-tasking approach, components of this methodology will be repeated on San Nicolas Island in Spring 2017.

SEABIRD RESTORATION PROGRAM ON MEXICAN ISLANDS: A DECADE OF SYSTEMATIC ACTIVITIES, OUTCOMES AND LESSONS LEARNED

Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1*, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Annie Little2, Jennifer Boyce3, Eduardo Iñigo-Elías4, and Stephen Kress5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 yuliana.bedolla@islas.org.mx 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 3Montrose Settlements Restoration Program Manager/NOAA Restoration Center, 501 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 4470, Long Beach, CA 90802 4Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 5Seabird Restoration Program, National Audubon Society, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

   Mexican islands are globally important seabird breeding sites. On some of these islands, seabird populations were extirpated by invasive mammals, and were also affected by DDT and oil spills. Over the past decade, we have been conducting a seabird restoration program on the Baja California Pacific Islands that includes social attraction techniques, habitat restoration, monitoring, applied research on genetics, population dynamics and ecology, and environmental education and outreach. We focus on 18 seabirds breeding on seven island groups. The results both for surface- and burrow-nesting species are encouraging. Artificial colonies with songs broadcasting are successfully attracting all species. Despite anomalous climate conditions in some of the past years, the general balance to date is very positive. Social attraction systems have been effective since the first year for Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni; HEEG), Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans; ELTE), and Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus; DCCO). We recorded 23 HEEG nests in 2008, and between 10 to 26 nests in subsequent years. While ELTE adults had been attracted only copulation has been recorded. For DCCO, we had one nest in 2014 and eight nests in 2015 within an artificial colony. Outcomes for burrow-nesting species took longer. After four years, Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) had occupancy of artificial burrows on all islands, except San Martín. The development of specialized capacities in this seabird priority region, the team-work of a skillful and experienced staff, the everyday on-site presence of conservation as a social actor, and the persistent collaboration with government agencies, both from Mexico and USA, academic institutions, and fishing cooperatives have been key for the project's success. The work with local communities on island biosecurity issues has been important to maintain the conservation gains. The results highlight the relevance of long-term and continuing conservation programs to effectively restore seabirds, sustained funding included.

Stable vs. evolving hillslopes: Setting the geomorphic stage for interpreting Santa Cruz Island soils

Nina Bingham1*, Bodo Bookhagen2, and Oliver Chadwick1, 1University of California, Santa Barbara nbingham@umail.ucsb.edu 2University of Potsdam

   On Santa Cruz Island (SCI), CA, short term (~102 years) overgrazing is coupled with long term (~104 years) sea level and climate fluctuations to drive increases in erosional pressure. The resulting landscape boasts vastly different hillslope morphologies within a small spatial scale: slopes range from gentle and soil-mantled to steep and rocky. The island’s soils are unique to each slope morphology; however current soil development theory is not readily transferable to the interpretation of hillslope soils. Presently, hillslope soils are often assumed a function of balanced erosion and rejuvenation processes, which minimizes spatial complexity even as observation suggests otherwise. When erosional processes are balanced by rejuvenation of the soil, hillslope morphology is unchanging. However, when perturbations such as base-level fall or land use change disturb this balance, hillslopes and their soils evolve accordingly (e.g., erosion dominated systems will see roughening in cm-to-m morphology and loss of soil). Our work seeks to advance soil development theory by providing the necessary spatial and temporal geomorphic context for interpreting hillslope soils when driving processes are out of balance. This study uses lidar point clouds and high resolution (0.25 and 1 m) digital elevation model analysis to segment SCI hillslopes by the degree of stability. Erosion rates from cosmogenic radionuclides and dated markers within fill terraces set constraints on the erosional forcing affecting the region. Actively evolving hillslopes are identified by increases in hillslope topographic roughness. We ascertain roughness by comparing changes in hillslope attributes, such as significant breaks in slope, curvature, and hilltop curvature and increases in relief and flowpath length. In statistical distributions of these properties, regions of active evolution display wider ranges in values compared to stable hillslopes. Our landscape analysis provides a robust spatial indicator of relative hillslope stability against which differences in soil morphology and chemistry can be assessed.

  

 

 

 

PROTECTING BLUE WHALES AND BLUE SKIES: VESSEL SPEED REDUCTION INCENTIVE TRIAL IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

K. Birney1, M. Byrd2, M. Carver4, R. Freedman3, S. Hastings3, S. Herron3, J. Morten3*, and B. Shafritz2, 1Environmental Defense Center 2Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District 3NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary jessica.morten@noaa.gov 4NOAA Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

   Shipping is vital to the global economy, but it comes with impacts on public health and the marine environment. In 2014, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, and the Environmental Defense Center launched a trial incentive program to slow ships down in the Santa Barbara Channel to reduce air pollution and protect endangered whales. The trial was based on existing successful ship speed reduction programs at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Seven global shipping companies participated in the effort and slowed 27 transits to 12 knots or less from July through November in the reduced speed zone, a time period coinciding with the busiest whale season and the prime period for high levels of ozone air pollution. The program resulted in emissions reductions of more than 16 tons of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides and approximately 500 metric tons of regional greenhouse gases--a more than 50 percent reduction from baseline emissions. The trial demonstrated the feasibility of such a VSR program and the willingness of shipping companies to participate in a voluntary, non-regulatory, non-port partnership, providing a solid foundation for rolling out a larger-scale program in 2016.

POTENTIAL FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) FOR ISLAND SURVEYS: A CASE STUDY FROM SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Leslie Bolick1*, Kimberly O’Connor2, Dawn Lawson3, and Nick Stroumtsos3, 1SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific leslie.bolick@navy.mil 2US Pacific Fleet Natural and Cultural Resources Program 3Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, Environmental Sciences and Applied Systems Branch, 53560 Hull Street San Diego, CA 92152-6310

   Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) provide remote sensing platforms that offer a number of benefits for conducting surveys on islands including rapid deployment, safe access to rugged and remote terrain and ultra-high spatial resolution imagery. UAS have seen expanded use in natural resources management in the last several years and rapid advances in technology continue to improve capabilities and reduce costs; however, there remain some challenges to broadly employing UAS. We present a case study from San Clemente Island, a US Navy training range with ten federally-listed endangered or threatened species regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Commander Pacific Fleet has initiated a UAS program in cooperation with SPAWAR SSC Pacific to support natural resources management on the island, where ground surveys are constrained by training activities, challenging terrain and unexploded ordnance. The first UAS missions were flown with the Aeryon Sky Ranger, a mini quadcopter equipped with an optical camera, tasked with collecting imagery across known locations of San Clemente Island Bush Mallow (Malacothamnus clementinus), a federally-listed endangered plant whose population status in the Shore Bombardment Area was unknown. We collected imagery at a range of altitudes to assess tradeoffs in data cost and utility, developed methods for efficient orthomosaic construction, and used ground control points to precisely co-register serial orthomosaics for fine-scale mapping and monitoring. We found that plant-level map accuracy is dependent on image spatial resolution, image quality and plant species, which should be considered when developing UAS missions to meet specific natural resources management objectives. We also present other examples of UAS-based surveys and some recent advances in technology that show promise for the expanded use of UAS for natural resources management in the near future.

GUADALUPE ISLAND BIOSPHERE RESERVE CONSERVATION

Donaxi Borjes Flores, Reserva de la Biosfera Isla Guadalupe. Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. México donaxi.borjes@conanp.gob.mx

   Guadalupe Island is the last frontier of Mexico at its western end, its volcanic origins and its distance from the mainland give it a unique biodiversity. Rooted 4,500 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean, this volcanic peak emerges 5,800 meters, in a privileged position, both for the establishment and development of numerous animal and plant species. The will of the Mexican government to recover and conserve the biodiversity of the island has been an arduous and commendable effort. On 25 April 2005, for the protection and conservation of Guadalupe Island, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources published a Decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation that declared the island, its islets and the surrounding marine area as a Natural Protected Area with the category of Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve are outstanding biogeographic areas at a National level, representative of one or more ecosystems that have not been significantly altered by the action of human beings or that need to be preserved or restored because they provide habitat for emblematic species of the national biodiversity, including those considered endemic, threatened or in danger of extinction. Since then, the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas, has carried out conservation and management measures that have helped the resilience of this protected area. Programs have been implemented to restore the only insular Guadalupe cypress forest (Cupressus guadalupensis), as well as monitoring programs for species such as the Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), species of pinnipeds and seabirds, which in turn have been accompanied by protective actions like enabling a feral cats fence excluder to protect the nesting colony of Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis). All this with active and inclusive participation of society, especially those whose livelihood and way of life are linked to the use of these resources.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE BEEN DE-LISTED! WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR CONSERVATION-RELIANT SPECIES? A CASE STUDY FROM THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Christina L. Boser, The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org

   The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is designed to provide protection for imperiled species and guidance for their recovery. Recovery Plans identify threats which should be ameliorated or removed before the Fish and Wildlife Service recommends de-listing from the federal endangered species list. Additionally, these plans can provide specific management recommendations to reduce threats. Increasingly, these recovery plans are incorporating metrics of population abundance, survivorship rates and population viability analyses to guide a quantitative assessment of the species’ path to recovery. In current era of climate change, proliferation of invasive species, and expanding habitat degradation, a greater number species are considered to be conservation-reliant; that is, they face continuing threats and require ongoing management to remain biologically viable. In practice, conservation-reliance alone is not an obstacle to de-listing. Moreover, island species may be inherently prone to conservation-reliance; they tend to have lower disease resistance, are inherently limited in their distribution, and tellingly, have higher historical extinction rates. We discuss a case study on the California Channel Islands where three sub-species of island fox may soon be de-listed. Conservation Management Agreements are in place, which dictate an additional 5 years of population management and monitoring. The recommendations are drawn from the Recovery Plan, which stipulated actions to reduce the impact of primary threats; disease introduction and predation. Island managers are facing the likelihood of vaccinating and radio-collaring foxes for the coming decades to protect the populations from mainland diseases and unexpected increases in mortality rates. This sustained management will draw significant resources without potential for federal funding that once existed when the foxes were listed. We suggest alternative paths for funding this management effort, and highlight the role of the California Endangered Species Act in the continued management of this conservation-reliant species.

CALIFORNIA ISLANDS BIOSECURITY WORKING GROUP: PRIORITIZING AND INSTITUTIONALIZING BIOSECURITY

Christina L. Boser1*, Tracy Hart2, Paula Power2, Bill Hoyer3, Melissa Booker3, Julie King4, Morgan Ball5, John Knapp1, and Kathryn R. Faulkner2, 1The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org 2The National Park Service 3The US Navy 4The Catalina Island Conservancy 5Wildlands Conservation Science.

   In 2012, island managers and conservation practitioners began a collaborative project to coordinate biosecurity efforts among the California Channel Islands and the Farallones. A jointly-written Biosecurity Program affirmed the group’s commitment to the institution and practice of biosecurity and prioritized actionable objectives, including proactive permitting, the development of educational materials, and biosecurity checks of boats departing to the islands. Participants recognized that the accidental establishment of some species to one island may facilitate their unwanted transport to neighboring islands and thus the fate of biosecurity on the Channel Islands is entwined. The managers affirmed that collaboration in the development and implementation of biosecurity protocols would reduce the likelihood of invasive species introduction and establishment while also economizing limited resources. The creation of a biosecurity manager was described as the most critical element to the success of the inter-island collaboration. Thus, the Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service and the US Navy collaborated to fund that position for the northern Channel Islands and San Nicolas Island. To date we have made significant progress in developing a first-of-its-kind proactive NEPA compliance document which will facilitate a quick response to a rat introduction, should it occur on one of the presently rat-free islands. The pre-approval by all stakeholders regarding a detailed decision tree which prescribes action steps in case of a rat introduction is paramount to the success of the document. We’ve also increased the use of remote cameras to detect incipient populations of invasive animals such that motion-sensing cameras are now placed on each of the Channel Islands. Future efforts will prioritize the development of educational materials and public outreach so as to create a culture of biosecurity on the California Islands.

Argentine Ant Eradication efforts on Santa Cruz and San Clemente Islands

Christina L Boser1*, Korie Merrill2*, David Holway3, Ida Naughton3, Cause Hanna4, Kate Faulkner5, John Randall1, and Scott Morrison1, 1The Nature Conservancy cboser@tnc.org 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego 3University of California San Diego 4California State University Channel Islands 5The National Park Service

   Established invasive invertebrates, such as Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), can have long-term and cascading adverse ecological impacts for native communities. In mediterranean ecosystems, they out-compete most native ant species and harm plants such that they interfere with pollination, reducing seed set. In 2013-2016 we developed and carried out a unique treatment protocol on four Argentine ant infestations on Santa Cruz Island, totaling 410 ha, and on eight infestations on San Clemente Island, totaling 225 ha. We used polyacrylamide beads, hydrated with 6 ppm thiamethoxam and 25% sucrose water distributed at a rate of 148 liters per hector via helicopter and hopper. Post-treatment efficacy and detection efforts thus far have included a combination of visual searching and attractive lures, both of which can be difficult to implement at such large scales. Additionally, Argentine ants are not reliably detected using these methods, even if they are present in the vicinity. Thus, we created an experimental design to determine the type of lure and micro-habitat placements that produces the greater probability of detection. We tested the impact of environmental co-variables (i.e. soil moisture, vegetation type, and seasonality) which may contribute to the effectiveness of Argentine ant lures. Post-treatment detection efforts will continue 2016-2020 throughout all treatment areas, aided by a fine-scale model of probability of detection and probability of persistence by vegetation type, and detection dogs. Ultimately this technique shows promise as an eradication tool. Further refinement of a post-treatment detection strategy and probabilistic modeling is needed to increase confidence in detection results while ensuring economic feasibility.

Culturing of biocrusts from San Nicolas Island: a feasibility study to determine ecological restoration potential

Matthew Bowker* and Kyle Doherty, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University matthew.bowker@nau.edu

   San Nicolas Island suffered catastrophic erosion due to historic livestock grazing. Some portions of the island remain in an actively eroding state. Nevertheless, the island is a habitat for multiple well-developed biological soil crust (biocrust) communities, often very distinct from those found on the mainland. Biocrusts are a consortium of cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens and other organisms. In drylands, biocrusts enhance soil quality by (1) aggregating soil particles, thereby reducing wind and water erosion; (2) modifying the water run-off infiltration balance, increasing infiltration in many cases; and (3) increasing soil fertility by N and C fixation. Our goal was to determine the feasibility of artificially growing biocrust organisms in a greenhouse setting. It is conceivable that just as native plants are cultivated for seed for restoration activities, biocrusts could be cultivated and used to address soil erosion, hydrological, or soil fertility problems in degraded ecosystems. We initially collected biocrust organisms from the field and cultured them on beds of sand in an automatically irrigated culture system. We experimentally crossed soil substrate, 4 watering regimes, and 3 fertilization regimes. Total biocrust cover in the best performing treatment attained 84.3%, from an initial cover of 15%. This was achieved by applying continuous (7 days per week) hydration, on soil sourced from San Nicolas Island, with at least monthly fertilization, and at least 3 months of growing time. It is also notable that in only 2 months, under the same growing conditions a lesser but still impressive amount of cover may be attained (66.1%). These results are promising enough to suggest that greenhouse culture should be further optimized, and greenhouse-grown inoculum should be tested in the field to control soil erosion and enhance ecosystem function.

INFLUENZA A VIRUS INFECTION IN CALIFORNIA PINNIPEDS

Walter M. Boyce1, Ignacio Mena2, Pamela K. Yochem3*, Frances M.D. Gulland4, Adolfo Garcı´a-Sastre2, Noelia Moreno2, Daniel R. Perez5, Ana S. Gonzalez-Reiche5, and Brent S Stewart6, 1Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA 2Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY 10029, USA 3Physiology and Ocean Health Program, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, CA 92109, USA 4The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA 5Department of VeterinaryMedicine, University of Maryland, College Park,MD20742, USA 6Ecology Program, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, CA 92109, USA

   Exposure to influenza A viruses in marine mammals was first recognized in the 1980s and has been detected in several marine mammal families in the U.S., including at least five seal species, two whale species, California sea lions, walrus, and sea otters. We have shown that three California pinniped species were exposed and produced antibodies to the highly contagious virus (Inflluenza A[H1N1]) associated with a human influenza outbreak in 2009. Although antibodies to the virus were detected in California sea lions and harbor seals, only northern elephant seals showed evidence of widespread transmission, maternal antibody transfer and rapid geographic spread.

SEABIRDS OF THE FARALLON ISLANDS: UPPER TROPHIC LEVEL RESPONSES TO VARIABILITY IN OCEAN CONDITIONS OFF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Russell Bradley1*, Pete Warzybok1, Gerry McChesney2, Jan Roletto3, Danielle Lipski4, and Jaime Jahncke1, 1Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive, #11, Petaluma, CA, USA rbardley@pointblue.org 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA, USA 3Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA 4Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA, USA

   Point Blue Conservation Science has been continuously monitoring the abundance, phenology, productivity and diet of marine birds breeding on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles west of San Francisco, since 1971 in collaboration with the USFWS. The Farallon Islands host the largest seabird breeding colony in the contiguous United States, with nearly 400,000 breeding birds of 13 species. Our work seeks to protect and conserve the rich wildlife on the islands in the face of accelerating impacts from changes in climate and other human stressors, utilizing both near-term and long‐term data to detect changes, project future ecological responses and guide adaptive, climate-smart management strategies. Warm PDO regimes and El Niño events have typically resulted in decreased populations, delayed breeding, low productivity, and major changes in diet of studied species. Major population recoveries for some species have been observed in the last 2 decades (e.g. Common Murre and Rhinoceros Auklet) while other species have shown marked declines, likely driven by foraging conditions (e.g. Brandt’s Cormorants). Changing ocean conditions and seabird diets drive changes in productivity and breeding phenology. Variable conditions in the past decade have shown unique seabird responses to ecosystem changes. Putting our colony based work into the broader regional marine context, Point Blue has collaborated with the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries since 2004 to conduct at-sea surveys to assess oceanographic processes, and the abundance of mid- and high-trophic levels off central California. Warm ocean periods in 2005-06 and 2014-15 were associated with lower zooplankton abundance, lower abundance of lipid-rich copepods and krill, and increased abundance of gelatinous zooplankton.

Connecting to Marine Science Across the Santa Barbara Channel

Todd J. Braje1*, Jillian Maloney1, David Ball2, Loren Davis3, Neal Driscoll4, Jenifer Dugan5, Jon M. Erlandson6, Amy Gusick7, Mark Page5, Robert Miller5, Leslie L. Reeder-Myers8, Alex Nyers9, and Donna Schroeder2, 1San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology tbraje@mail.sdsu.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 3Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology 4University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 5University of California, Santa Barbara, Marine Science Institute 6University of Oregon, The Museum of Natural & Cultural History 7California State University, San Bernardino, Department of Anthropology 8Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 9Northwest Archaeometrics, LLC

   Recent archaeological discoveries from Alaska to Oregon, southern California, and Chile suggest that Pacific coastlines were centers of travel, subsistence, and settlement for at least 14,000 years. Some of the earliest sites in the New World are located near the coast, contain evidence of coastal exploitation, and were likely first settled by maritime groups who traveled along the margins of the North Pacific Rim. Unfortunately, there currently is no scientific standardized “best practices” methodology for identifying submerged relict landscapes off the west coast. As part of an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional effort to document the submerged landscapes of the Pacific Coast and identify indicators of submerged archaeological and biological resources, we recently began the second year of a four-year project to map paleoshorelines, characterize the geology of submerged landscapes, identify intact paleosols, assess important biological features, build a predictive GIS model for the identification of potential submerged archaeological and biological sites, and ground-truth our results. Here, we report on our recent GIS modeling outputs, terrestrial archaeological surveys, geophysical mapping, and geo-technical sampling for the Northern Channel Islands.

INFLUENCE OF PREDATION AND CHICK PROVISIONING ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1 and Eduardo Iñigo-Elías2, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. esmeralda.bravo@islas.org.mx 2Conservation Science Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

   The Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia; CATE) population on the Pacific Coast is currently expanding its distribution, and breeds on San Martín and San Jerónimo islands, off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. As part of an ongoing long-term seabird restoration project on seven island groups within this California Current region, we have monitored the reproductive success of CATE colonies on both San Martín and San Jerónimo islands during the last three years. We assessed the influence of predation from the nesting Western Gull (Larus occidentalis), chick provisioning, and diet on the reproductive performance of CATE on San Martín. At this island, CATE has been more productive and numerous (around 120 nests) than the colony at San Jerónimo (less than 30 nests) over the period. Although CATE colony on San Martín is completely surrounded by gulls, we found that the probability of losing eggs and chicks due to gulls’ predation is low. Some ethological strategies, such as defensive behavior, makes it difficult to prey upon terns. On San Martín, adults had a high frequency of food provisioning with fish from the groups Clupeidae, Engraulidae, and Synodontidae, allowing CATE to produce two fledglings per breeding pair. These results suggest that the colony at San Martín is well established and growing, with its high reproductive success associated to the suitable habitat and high food availability in the surrounding productive waters

SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND MARINE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

Jessica Bredvik1* and Suzanne Graham2, 1Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest jessica.bredvik@navy.mil 2SPAWAR Systems Center Command Pacific

   Throughout the United States, the highest density of federally protected species is found within Department of Defense lands. Resource managers are tasked with protecting those numerous sensitive species and habitats while maintaining the military mission. One of the primary management tools for military installations is the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan. Until recently, most coastal installations with Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans did not include the adjacent nearshore waters in the management boundary. San Clemente Island, the most southern of the Channel Islands, has been owned and managed by the Navy since 1934. The island boasts productive and diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with several endemic and federally listed species. Recently, the management boundaries of San Clemente Island were extended out 3 nautical miles seaward with the implementation of eight safety zones around the island. Within the structure of the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan, the San Clemente Island marine resource program focuses on monitoring sensitive and listed marine species and the intertidal and subtidal ecosystems they inhabit. One of many goals of the marine program is to build collaborations and participate in regional efforts to most effectively manage the resources on San Clemente Island. As a result, researchers have provided valuable information regarding the population status and habitat requirements of the endangered black and white abalone. Additional regional collaborations with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network allow for comparisons of temporal trends of the rocky intertidal habitat, including the investigation of the onset of the 2013 sea star wasting disease. With participation in the California regional eelgrass monitoring program, San Clemente Island was the first of the Channel Islands to conduct comprehensive eelgrass surveys. This collaborative focus has allowed natural resource staff to build a program that covers the recent vast expansion of the San Clemente Island management boundary.

COMPLEXITIES OF CONDUCTING FIRE RELATED RESEARCH CONCERNING ENDANGERED SPECIES ON SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Teresa Brennan1*, Jon Keeley1, and Dawn Lawson2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Field Station, Three Rivers, CA 93271 tjbrennan@usgs.gov 2Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, Environmental Sciences and Applied Systems Branch, 53560 Hull Street San Diego, CA 92152-6310

   San Clemente Island, which shares many of the same attributes as the other California Channel Islands, is unique in that it is subjected to an unnaturally high frequency of wildfire due to its use as a military training ground. This high frequency of fires coupled with a century of overgrazing by non-native herbivores has profoundly affected the balance between native and non-native vegetation and is of particular concern in the management of a number of endangered species. The aim of our research was to provide information necessary to understand the potential impact of fires on the recovery of boxthorn scrub vegetation, which is critical habitat for a number of endangered animal species, as well as on the impacts of fire on three federally listed plant species (Sibaria filifolia, Malacothamnus clementinus, and Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense) found within various ecosystems on the island. Our initial study designs relied heavily on the use of prescribed fire to study these impacts; however, the constraints of working with endangered species forced us to significantly alter these designs. While we were unable to burn intact boxthorn scrub to assess the impact of fire on the entire community, we were able to assess the recovery of Lycium californicum, the dominant shrub, from burns conducted in highly degraded scrub. Our results showed that this species recovers from fire by vigorous resprouting but not post-fire seeding. We were also unable to study the direct impacts of fire on the three federally listed plant species due to their status, so we turned to seed germination experiments to evaluate how they would respond to heat shock and smoke. Results from these experiments were consistent with patterns expected based on life-history studies of other species in fire-prone ecosystems and thus provided information of how these species might be impacted by fire.

PEST ANIMALS INVADING ISLANDS IN NEW ZEALAND WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?

Keith Broome, Euan Kennedy Department of Conservation New Zealand kbroome@doc.govt.nz

   We Kiwis excel at eliminating pests from islands. Our pests seem to excel at getting back there. Recurrent incursions have a number of explanations. We are now eradicating pests from islands with high rates of visitation or within easier reach of mainland sources of infestation. These vulnerabilities are compounded by inadequate quarantine for visitors. Pests are also swimming further than we have anticipated, and some novel pathways have materialized in recent times. To sustain eradication pay-offs, we must be alert to all likely invasion pathways for new and familiar organisms. We need to improve our conventional tactics of prevention, detection and rapid response. New tools are tantalizingly close but won’t be realized without concerted institutional support. Current initiatives in biosecurity awareness and collective knowledge are striving for better public outreach. In these ways, defense of our vulnerable islands is teaching us how to normalize biosecurity consciousness at home on the mainland and sustain pest-free sites there too.

BATS OF THE CALIFORNIA ISLANDS: NEW RECORDS SINCE 1978

Patricia Brown1* and William Rainey2, 1UCLA, Integrative Biology & Physiology (retired) patbobbat@aol.com 2U C Berkeley, Dept of Integrative Biology

   The current paper reviews new bat records over the past 40 years from the California Islands. A presentation on “Land mammals of the California Islands” including bats was given by von Bloeker at the First California Islands Symposium in 1967. Additional bat surveys by P. Brown in the 1970s resulted in “The distribution of bats of the California Channel Islands” at the Second Symposium in 1978. Methods of detecting and identifying bats have changed over the past 6 decades. Collections for museums using shotguns have been replaced by mist-netting and recordings of echolocation calls. Not only has the recording equipment become smaller and easier to use in the field, but also identification of bats via acoustic signals has become recognized as valid “vouchers” for bat identification if the species in question emits calls that are not confused with others. For example, echolocation signals have identified western mastiff bat (Eumops perotis) from Santa Cruz Island; and red bat (Lasiurius blossevillei), hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) and Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) from San Nicolas Island. 

THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF ISLAND RANCHING: ENGAGING STUDENTS THROUGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICE LEARNING ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Courtney Buchanan1*, Colleen Delaney2, and Jennifer Perry2, 1California State University Fullerton courtneyhbuchanan@gmail.com 2California State University Channel Islands

   On Santa Rosa Island, archaeological evidence of human occupation stretches from more than 12,000 years ago to the last ranchers to occupy the island in the late 20th century. The cultural resources of Bechers Bay are particularly significant due to the time depth and intensity of habitation and use, including it being the location of the main operations of the Vail and Vickers Ranch. The needs and opportunities for archaeological projects have intensified as a result of increased visitation to the island by tourists, researchers, students, and others who spend much of their time at Bechers Bay and in the immediate plateau surroundings. Since 2014, the Anthropology Program at California State University, Channel Islands (CI) has been conducting weekend field trips to document and record the historic and archaeological resources of the Vail and Vickers Ranch. These trips have given students hands-on authentic learning experiences with heritage preservation and management issues, as well as provided the basis for several Anthropology senior capstone projects. The 2016 Archaeological Field School, spanning two weeks of fieldwork on Santa Rosa Island, represents the culmination of service learning and collaboration opportunities between CI’s Anthropology Program and Channel Islands National Park. Field-based instructional activities train students in ‘best practices’ in archaeological methods, and students provide information that assists the National Park Service in managing cultural resources on the island. In this presentation, we report on activities undertaken from May 2014 to July 2016, with a summary of recent and current student research stemming from our fieldwork, and present the opportunities for future student involvement in the documentation, assessment, and interpretation of cultural resources around Bechers Bay. In doing so, we highlight the unique nature of island ranching life and its relevance to the Euro-American history of the American West.

CORAL ABRADERS FROM ESPÍRITU SANTO ISLAND: EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND RESIDUE ANALYSIS

Karim Bulhusen Muñoz1* and Ariel Cruz Villacorta2, 1Centro Regional INAH, B.C.S. karimbulhusen@gmail.com 2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste

   Excavations at the J17 Covacha Babisuri site on Espíritu Santo Island, where the occupation started in the Late Pleistocene and continued to the Late Holocene, yielded a distinctive type of artifact made of coral. This kind of artifact, identified as an abrader, occurs in three general forms derived mainly from the original shape of the coral but also from its use. Although corals have not been directly dated, the evidence of its use at this site spans between 10,000-300 years B.P. This type of coral abrader has been found at two other coastal sites in the La Paz area so far: the A119 Cañada de la Enfermería Sureste 3 and A176 Cueva Tecolote 2. The 14C dating is not yet available for the first site and the coral abrader from the second site was found in a disturbed context. In these three sites these abraders seemed to be associated with Pinctada mazatlanica shell fish hooks. Experimentation was done in order to determine the manufacture process of shell fish hooks, using different shapes of coral abraders. In addition, residue analysis of archaeological coral samples was carried out using a scanning electron microscope equipped for X-ray analysis.

BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM

Ann Scarborough Bull, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ann.bull@boem.gov

   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a small agency within the much larger U.S. Department of the Interior that has specified jurisdiction over the Outer Continental Shelf. The term "Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)” by law refers to all submerged land, its subsoil and seabed that belong to the United States and are lying seaward and outside the states' jurisdiction. The Pacific Region of the OCS stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border and includes the area around the State of Hawaii. BOEM Pacific Region’s responsibility encompasses ongoing oil and gas operations, renewable energy development from both wave and wind energy, and mineral leasing, especially for sand. The Environmental Studies Program (ESP) was initiated in 1973 to support the U.S. offshore leasing program, and develops, conducts and oversees scientific research to inform decisions regarding OCS energy and mineral resources. Laws that authorize BOEM science include the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which added studies specifically for renewable energy. The BOEM ESP provides information needed to help predict, assess, and manage impacts from offshore energy and marine mineral exploration, development, and production activities on the human, marine, and coastal environments. Studies are designed to provide an improved understanding of the ecosystem, a baseline for assessing cumulative effects, and the scientific basis for development of regulatory measures to mitigate adverse impacts. Each year, BOEM’s ESP funds roughly $35M of research in a broad spectrum of scientific investigation. Research covers physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, protected species, social sciences and economics, submerged cultural resources, and environmental fates and effects. BOEM is a leading contributor to the growing body of scientific knowledge about the nation’s marine and coastal environment.

WILL CRABS CROSS THE LINE? EFFECT OF EMF ON CRAB CHOICE IN RESPONSE TO BAITED COMMERCIAL HARVEST

Ann Scarborough Bull1* and Mary M. Nishimoto2, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ann.bull@boem.gov 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   Offshore renewable energy installations convert wave or wind energy to electricity and transfer the power to shore through transmission cables laid on or buried beneath the seafloor. West coast commercial fishermen, who harvest the highly prized Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) and rock crab (Cancer spp.), are concerned that the interface of crabs and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from these cables will present an electrified fence on the seafloor that their targeted resource will not cross. Combined with the assistance of professional fishermen, submarine transmission cables that electrify island communities and offshore oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel provide an opportunity to test the harvest of crab species across power transmission cables. In situ field techniques give commercial crab species a choice to decide if they will cross energized, EMF emitting, power transmission cables, in response to baited traps. Each independent trial is either one of two possible responses: the crab crosses the cable to enter a trap (1) or the crab does not cross the cable to enter a trap (0). Conditions vary among sample units by the following categorical, fixed factors (i.e., covariates) of cable structure (buried or unburied); direction of cable from cable position (west or east, north or south); time and season. A generalized linear model is fit to the data to determine whether any of these factors affect the probability of crabs crossing an energized cable to enter baited traps. Additionally, the experimental design, aside from the number of runs (set of sample trials) and the dates of the runs, is the same in the Santa Barbara Channel for rock crab and Puget Sound for Dungeness crab, and allows us to compare the capture rates of the two species in the two areas. We present results from field testing in 2015.

MAPPING THE UNKNOWN: ESTABLISHING SEAFLOOR MAPPING PRIORITIES THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Chris Caldow1*, Laura Kracker2, Tim Battista2, and Ryan Freedman1, 1NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary chris.caldow@noaa.gov 2NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

   Place-based fisheries and coastal zone managers depend on fine scale bathymetry and habitat maps for an array of critical decisions including: navigational safety, disaster response, endangered species and fisheries management, conservation, research, energy development, and marine planning. Yet, in southern California nearly 90% of U.S. waters remain unmapped at an appropriate resolution. Within NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) that number is over 50% with the majority being characterized by single beam and lead line data from the 1930s. With management requirements necessitating seafloor data for this ecologically and economically critical area, an inclusive and strategic path forward was demanded. Toward this end, the southern California seafloor mapping initiative was kicked off in August of 2015. Organized by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and CINMS, a workshop was held in Santa Barbara, CA that included participation from seventeen federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs. Regional priorities and requirements were captured spatially using an innovative participatory GIS approach. In addition to the sanctuary itself, other areas including the Santa Monica Basin, unmapped Essential Fish Habitat, deep canyons and the nearshore white zone were identified as important data gaps. This synthesis of agency needs is now being utilized to prioritize future data acquisition efforts.

PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SUBSPECIES OF THE LEACH’S STORM-PETREL (OCEANODROMA LEUCORHOA) BREEDING ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Ana Gabriel Cárdenas-Tapia1,2*, Faustino Camarena-Rosales2, Luis Manuel-Enríquez Paredes2, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 ana.cardenas@islas.org.mx 2Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico 22800

   The Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa; LESP) is the most widespread breeding species of the order Procellariiformes in the Northern Hemisphere. On Guadalupe Island, in the Mexican Pacific, the American Ornithologist’s Union recognizes two subspecies of LESP based on differences in reproductive chronology, patterns of coloration, vocalizations, and morphological characters. This subspecies level assignment has been controversial and even some authors regard them as two species. In order to provide elements to solve this issue, we have incorporated molecular tools that allow establishing whether there are genetic differences between these groups. We collected blood samples from both subspecies during 2014 to 2016 breeding seasons, as well as from the other storm-petrel species breeding on the Baja California Pacific islands, Mexico. Phylogenetic relationships were established based on sequence variation of mitochondrial DNA control region (361 bp) using Neighbor-Joining clustering method. Preliminary results indicate a genetic distance of 12-13% between recognized species. LESP individuals from Guadalupe Island form a monophyletic clade with a support of 100% (1000 replicates per boostrap). A very small genetic distance between subspecies (0.3-0.6%) indicate they could be conspecific. Our results do not elevate the two subspecies at species level and further analysis will confirm whether the subspecies should be considered as a single species.

BIOGEOGRAPHY OF VASCULAR AND NON-VASCULAR PLANTS ACROSS THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Benjamin Carter1* and C. Matt Guilliams2, 1San Jose State University benjamin.carter@sjsu.edu 2Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

   Vascular and non-vascular plants have strikingly divergent life histories, physiological constraints and dispersal strategies that can lead to different biogeographic patterns. We use recent improvements to our understanding of the vascular and non-vascular floras of the Channel Islands to demonstrate where these two components of island floras share commonalities and in which cases they differ. We used a variety of analyses including regressions, clustering analyses and ordinations to understand the effects of geographic factors (e.g. island size, distance from mainland, distance from other islands) on both richness and composition of the vascular and non-vascular floras across the archipelago. We found broad similarities between the floras, especially with respect to the influence of island size. There were also key differences, especially with regard to distance among islands that relates to the different dispersal strategies of the two groups. We place our findings on the similarities and differences in the floras within the context of the continuing recovery of island vegetation and the escalating influence of climatic change.

TECTONIC GEOMORPHOLOGY AND MEGAFLOODS ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Bruce Carter, bacarter1@mac.com

   Santa Cruz Island, the largest of California’s Channel Islands, is undergoing rapid uplift that makes its steep slopes highly susceptible to mass wasting. Two major prehistoric occurrences, perhaps seismically-triggered, in the Central Valley (a bedrock slump west of the field station and a rock avalanche on the east end of the valley) have directed the drainage down Canada del Puerto to Prisoners’ Harbor following the base of an ancient beach cliff. This drainage of slightly more than 30 square kilometers and elevations to 740 m has cut downward 200-300 meters through resistant volcanic rocks since this course was established. At Cascada the slump diverted the drainage northward out of the east-west Santa Cruz Island fault zone (left-lateral, north-side up) that bisects the island, but rubble that must have once blocked the valley below the slump is now absent. An older, partially buried channel, lying about 100 m to the north and up to 15 m above the modern channel, can be traced for about 1300 m along the northern part of the valley below the slump. The older channel marks the northern edge of the slump rubble that once filled the valley. Initiated by debris flows off the high ridge north of the fault, a more recent megaflood removed in excess of 10 million cubic meters of debris from the valley floor. The flood carried this material down Canada del Puerto, leaving many large boulders (some exceeding 100 tons) along about 700 m of the upper stream course. The flood produced a significant stream capture and strongly suggests that bedrock plucking is responsible for the downcutting of the canyon. This flood/debris flow event is likely to have left a large deposit in the Santa Barbara Channel north of the island.

TOP-DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP EFFECTS ON RESISTANCE TO AN INVASIVE ALGAE IN A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Jennifer E. Caselle1, Katie Davis1*, Lindsay M. Marks2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of CA Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA USA. kdavis@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of CA Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA USA

   Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often purported to provide ecosystem resilience but what this means for temperate rocky reefs and kelp forests is unclear and direct evidence for resilience is lacking. In 2003, a non-native macroalga, Sargassum horneri was introduced into southern California and has since spread throughout the region. Southern California is also the location of a large network of MPAs. Using a long-term kelp forest monitoring dataset, we investigated the effects of predators (lobster and fish), grazers (urchins) and native algae (macro- and turfs) on the abundance of the invasive S. horneri across an MPA with adjacent zones of varying age and types of protection. Two zones are 39 and 14 years old and are no-take reserves. A third zone is also 14 years old but allows both commercial and recreational take of spiny lobster. We also studied a fished reference area. In the oldest no-take zone, we found that community structure was consistent with a classical ‘top-down’ food web. Predators were abundant and large, urchins were rare, native macroalgae were abundant and the invasive S. horneri was at very low density. In the newer no-take and partial-take zones, results were complex but on average, predator and native macroalgae density was lower, urchin density was higher and invasive S. horneri density was high. The fished reference area was an urchin barrens; devoid of predators, native macroalgae and invasive algae. Our results show that an established, no-take reserve with a healthy kelp forest community appears to be resistant to the invasion of a non-native algae.

EVIDENCE OF PREHISTORIC EXOTIC TRADE BETWEEN THE NORTHERN COLORADO DESERT AND COASTAL CALIFORNIA

Jim Cassidy, California State Parks, Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area jim.cassidy@parks.ca.gov

   Research into the late prehistoric infillings of Lake Cahuilla in the northern Colorado Desert has been ongoing for over half a century. A great deal of attention has been paid to the related movement of people from the Gulf of California into the Salton Trough. However, less attention has been given to ongoing relations that existed with populations to the west and extending to the California coast and Channel Islands. Recent surveys conducted at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area have yielded new evidence of interaction with these maritime regions. These new data suggest that spheres of interaction and mechanisms of social complexity, and related social hierarchy, may have been more developed that previously assumed.

PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE SCRUB PLANT COMMUNITY ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Martha Lizeth Ceceña-Sánchez1*, José Delgadillo-Rodríguez2, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz3, and Luciana Luna-Mendoza3, 1Maestría en Ecosistemas de Zonas Áridas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 22830, Ensenada, Baja California, México martha_ardilla@hotmail.com 2Herbario BCMEX, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 22830, Ensenada, Baja California, México 3Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 alicia.aztorga@islas.org.mx

   This is the first phytosociological study of the scrub plant community present on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. A total of 133 inventories were done using the phytosociological method from Braun-Blanquet. Five associations—four of them endemic to the island—and their successional stages were identified: (1) Sphaeralcea sulphureaPerityle incana; (2) Sphaeralcea sulphureaLupinus niveus; (3) Atriplex barclayanaLycium californicum; (4) Sphaeralcea palmeriSphaeralcea sulphurea; and (5) Ambrosia camphorataAtriplex barclayana; plus a vegetal sub-association, Deinandra greeneana ssp. greeneana-Sphaeralcea palmeri. We provide a description of the structural, ecological and floristic aspects of each association, as well as their successional stage. To classify the vegetation, a cluster analysis was done using the Jaccard index, which identified the similarity between communities. The results indicated the formation of two main groups, one in the north and one in the south. A total of 75 taxa in 30 families and 55 genera were identified in the scrub plant community: 30 perennial subshrubs, 43 herbaceous, and two geophytes. The families Asteraceae (14 taxa) and Fabaceae (8 taxa) had the greatest richness of native species on the sampled sites. Our analysis indicates that there is a positive homeostatic or resilient response of the island’s original plant communities following the eradication of feral goats.

BURROWING OWL DIET AT A MIGRATORY STOPOVER SITE AND WINTERING GROUND ON SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Sara L. Chandler*, James R. Tietz2, Russell W. Bradley2, and Lynne A. Trulio, 1San Jose State University saraleechandler@gmail.com 2Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive, #11, Petaluma, CA

   On the Farallon Islands, Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are a native migrant and predator of the non-native house mouse (Mus musculus) and the native Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa). Previous research has shown that Burrowing Owl predation on Ashy Storm-Petrels is likely unnaturally exacerbated by the abundance of house mouse prey in the fall, which may encourage more owls to overwinter. When the cyclic mouse population crashes in winter, the owls switch to preying upon the storm-petrels, a species of conservation concern. From September 2010 to May 2011, we conducted daily owl surveys and a diet study of Burrowing Owls on Southeast Farallon Island. One goal was to document seasonal changes in Burrowing Owl diet composition through assessment of pellets. During our study period, 12 banded owls overwintered an average of 118 days and contributed 64% of the 679 analyzed owl pellets. Insects were the most numerous prey item detected in pellets, but mice and storm-petrels comprised 98.5% of the total prey biomass in the diet. Mouse consumption correlated positively with mouse abundance, and owls exhibited seasonal prey switching behavior from mice to storm-petrels, when mouse abundance declined during the winter. These findings suggest that a mouse eradication on the Farallon Islands would result in fewer owls overwintering and subsequently reduce impacts to the storm-petrel population.

NEW ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS WEBSITE—A RESOURCE FOR STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND RESEARCHERS

Elizabeth Chapin1, Susan Chapin2, Yvonne Menard3, Susan L. Morris4, Carol Peterson5*, and Sara L. Schwebel6, 1National Park Service 2Ventura Unified School District (retired) 3National Park Service 4Susan L. Morris Consulting 5National Park Service (retired) cpeterson93023@gmail.com 6University of South Carolina

   A new website on NPS.gov takes students, teachers, and researchers beyond Island of the Blue Dolphins to connect them to the real places, historical events, primary and secondary source materials, and exciting new archeological discoveries relating to the true events that inspired Scott O’Dell to write the book. Island of the Blue Dolphins has been translated into over 30 languages. It is the sixth bestselling children’s paperback of all time and is arguably the most widely taught piece of historical fiction in the United States. This website contains a digital archive and other features of interest to researchers. Archeologists and historians who’ve contributed to the project’s development anticipate it will be the go-to site for research on the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. Dr. Sara Schwebel of the University of South Carolina developed the archive in conjunction with the publication of her new book, Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader’s Edition. It collects, transcribes, annotates, and maps more than 450 nineteenth- and twentieth-century documents relevant to the Lone Woman’s story. The archive presents both a digital surrogate of each document and an annotated transcription. Each document is marked up using the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) to encode all named persons, geographical places, and groups, as well as cultural tropes such as the Lone Woman figuring as a “girl Robinson Crusoe” and as “the last of her tribe.” The multimedia gallery collects historical images, photos, and videos, including short clips developed from footage shot for the documentary “West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Islands.” Activities and lessons included on the website are aligned to the Common Core State Standards; College, Career, and Civic (C3) Life Framework for Social Studies; and the Next Generation Science Standards.

CHARACTERIZATION OF SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND SEEDBANKS

Richard Chasey1, Barbara Holzman1*, Ellen Hines1, Brian Petersen2, and V. Thomas Parker2, 1SF State University Department of Geography & Environment bholzman@sfsu.edu, 2SF State University, Department of Biology

   Characterization of soil seed banks (‘seed banks’ hereafter) are important to increased understanding of the vegetation communities and can shed light on their true diversity as well as their response to and recovery from disturbance. These factors help guide effective environmental management, especially in disturbed ecosystems. We performed the first characterization of the seed banks on Southeast Farallon Island, assessing species richness, density, distribution, and temporal variation, and through these the status of native and non-native seed banks on the island. These were compared with the above-ground vegetation in order to reveal patterns within and between the above- and below ground assemblages. Results show that the seed banks and above-ground vegetation were heavily impacted by non-native species in richness, density, and cover, although native species remain present and widespread in both systems. Seasonal variation characteristic of Mediterranean annual vegetation communities was exhibited in both the seed banks and above-ground vegetation, although no yearly variation was detected. Results suggest the existence of a largely homogenous seed bank across the island, of which the annual expression in the above-ground vegetation is dependent upon numerous factors including disturbance, environmental factors, germination cues, and seed input from previous seasons. By revealing a widespread and robust presence of native seeds in the seed banks, this study can help guide effective restoration of native vegetation on SEFI and provide a baseline dataset that future studies can use to assess impacts of ongoing and proposed management actions on Southeast Farallon Island and other temperate island ecosystems.

 

 

LATE PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE AVIFAUNA ON SAN MIGUEL AND SANTA ROSA ISLANDS: REEXAMINATION OF SMALL AVIAN REMAINS FROM FOSSIL SITES AND PREHISTORIC CAVE DEPOSITS

Paul W. Collins1*, Dan A. Guthrie2, Emily L. Whistler3, Rene L. Vellanoweth4, and Jon M. Erlandson5, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History pcollins@sbnature2.org 2The Claremont Colleges 3Washington State University 4California State University Los Angeles 5University of Oregon

   Previous studies of the fossil avifauna on the northern Channel Islands have focused principally on identification of larger-sized and more intact avian bone with little effort expended to identify smaller and/or more fragmented Passerine and non-Passerine landbird bone. We report on the revaluation and identification of most small avian remains recovered from 29 fossil sites on San Miguel and Santa Rosa islands and from trans-Holocene archaeological and paleontological deposits excavated from Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) and Daisy Cave (CA-SMI-261). Identification of these small avian remains added 60 species to the fossil avifauna of the islands bringing the total to 138 species. Most of the new species records for this fossil avifauna were from the orders Passeriformes (34 species) and Charadriiformes (13 species). The fossil passerine fauna is comprised of 41 species with most species recorded today as common spring and fall migrants or winter visitors. Ten passerine species identified in the fossil record are known to breed today on the islands while three species have disappeared as breeders from one or both of the islands. Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis) bone was identified from three cave deposits on San Miguel and from one fossil site on Santa Rosa which documents for the first time the Holocene occurrence of this species on both islands. Juvenile Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) bone and multiple bones of Bewick’s Wrens (Thryomanes bewickii) were recovered from several sites on San Miguel suggesting that both species were probably resident prehistorically on San Miguel. The disappearance of resident populations of these three species from San Miguel Island is probably a result of the prehistoric disappearance of pine and oak woodlands for Island Scrub-Jay and the historical decline of dense scrub habitats as a result of overgrazing by introduced livestock.

BREEDING AVIFAUNAL CHANGE ON CALIFORNIA'S CHANNEL ISLANDS FOLLOWING ARCHIPELAGO-WIDE CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Paul Collins1*, H. Lee Jones2, Tyler M. Dvorak3, and Justyn T. Stahl4, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History pcollins@sbnature2.org 2Punta Gorda, Beliz 3Catalina Island Conservancy 4Institute for Wildlife Studies

   Intensive conservation efforts on the Channel Islands during the past half century to control or remove feral herbivores and nonnative predators, such as rats and cats, have facilitated the recovery of habitats adversely affected by overgrazing and predation. As a result, habitat conditions for the islands’ breeding avifauna have improved. Additionally, some species that either declined or disappeared as breeders from the islands as a result of DDT contamination have returned or been reintroduced following the decline of this contaminant in waters of the southern California Bight. In response to these conservation efforts, ecosystems on the islands are changing, resulting in corresponding changes to the breeding avifauna of the islands. We review and update information on the breeding avifauna of the islands and discuss the factors that have led to changes in this fauna. In all, we can account for 107 species that have nested or are suspected to have nested on the Channel Islands (32 aquatic/marine species and 75 terrestrial species). Conservation programs have resulted in the removal of Golden Eagles, Wild Turkeys, and Common Peafowl from the islands and the reestablishment of Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles. Twenty-six species have been confirmed nesting or are suspected to have nested for the first time on one or more of the Channel Islands, including 3 species of waterfowl, 1 grebe, 1 heron, 1 eagle, 2 hawks, 1 rail, 1 shorebird, 3 seabirds, 1 dove, 1 owl, and 11 passerines. This update of the breeding avifauna of the islands includes a total of 150 island-specific changes in the breeding distribution and status of birds recorded nesting on the Channel Islands. New confirmed breeding records for individual islands ranged from a low of 5 on San Miguel to a high of 14 and 15 on San Clemente and Santa Catalina, respectively.

ISLAND FOXES AND DROUGHT: A TALE OF TWO ISLANDS

Timothy J. Coonan1* and Angela Guglielmino2, 1Friends of the Island Fox timcoonan81@gmail.com 2University of California, Los Angeles

   Management of rare species through the impending impacts of global climate change will require information on how individual species are affected by climatic factors, yet few data exist for such species. Four of six subspecies of island fox (Urocyon littoralis) were Federally listed as endangered in 2004, and several have been the subject of intense demographic study since the 1990s. We used demographic data from island fox studies on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Island to investigate island fox response to the recent and ongoing intense drought in southern California. When the drought began in 2011, island foxes existed at high densities, perhaps close to carrying capacity, on the smaller San Miguel Island (38 km2) than they did on the larger Santa Rosa Island (215 km2). On San Miguel, island fox annual survival declined over the period of the drought, as did average adult weight, and the adult population declined by the end of the 4-year period. Reproductive effort (pups/adult female) on San Miguel declined to the lowest levels ever recorded, and was largely responsible for the population decline. Most island fox carcasses recovered during annual radiotelemetry monitoring were emaciated, and many had high infestation by an acanthocephalan parasite not previously seen in island foxes. In contrast, on Santa Rosa Island fox survival, average adult weight and reproductive effort did not decline, and the population increased during the drought. Although island foxes have endured intense drought before, their naturally small population sizes and vulnerability to pathogens require land managers to continue annual monitoring of this rare carnivore, and to retain the ability to implement conservation measures should populations again fall to unacceptably low numbers.

IMPROVING MANAGEMENT OF AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES USING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH: THE CASE OF ASIAN KELP CONTROL

Carolynn Culver1,2*, Marissa Bills2, and Jeffrey Goddard2, 1California Sea Grant Extension, University of California San Diego c_culver@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   Integrated pest management is an approach widely used for successful eradication and control of agricultural pests, yet it has been little applied to aquatic invasive species. It calls for targeting multiple life stages of a pest using one or more tactics in an adaptive manner. Tactics include chemical, biological, physical/mechanical and cultural methods, with the less benign methods applied sparingly. Asian kelp, Undaria pinnatifida, is an invasive seaweed threatening the structure and ecology of native marine ecosystems. Primarily contained within harbors in California since 2000, it recently was found at Anacapa Island. Removal of this species by hand has been a control method used with limited success. To increase the success of Asian kelp control efforts, we explored potential components of an integrated pest management strategy. We surveyed Santa Barbara harbor for its presence and compared the distribution with previous surveys to determine whether abundance varied within the harbor over time. Filter-feeding mussels (Mytilus spp.) also were surveyed, grazing limpets (Lottia fenestrata) were manipulated, and consumption of Asian kelp by the native kelp crab (Pugettia producta) was assessed in the laboratory and field to evaluate their potential use as biocontrol agents. Our results revealed that 1) certain areas within the harbor consistently support a larger abundance of Asian kelp than other areas, thereby identifying ‘hot spots’ to apply control measures, 2) mussels and limpets are not effective biological control agents for Asian kelp, and 3) kelp crabs may be a viable site-specific control agent for this invader. Additional studies are needed to refine this work, explore other potential tactics (e.g., benthic mats), modify removal methods, identify effective outreach, and combine tactics in a strategy feasible for managing this invasive kelp in various habitats. Applying additional tactics would likely enhance the success of removal programs and overall control of U. pinnatifida.

THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS: A BLOOMING HOT SPOT?

Carolynn Culver1,2*, Gregg Langlois3, and Sarah Amiri2, 1California Sea Grant c_culver@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara 3California Department of Public Health

   Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are natural events that impact commercially- and recreationally- caught marine species. In particular, domoic acid (DA), a toxin produced by species of the diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, accumulates in bivalves and filter-feeding fishes and is subsequently transmitted through food chains to predatory invertebrates, fishes, birds and mammals. This toxin causes amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans (and marine mammals and seabirds), with serious illness and even death occurring following consumption of marine organisms containing DA. Concerns about HABs along the West Coast have been heightened following an intense DA-producing bloom that extended along the entire coast in 2015. Record high DA levels were documented in California waters and some species during this bloom. California Dungeness and rock crab fisheries were closed in affected areas for several months, with the duration of the closures varying among species and areas. While the 2015 HAB was unprecedented for its widespread distribution, its persistence and intensity were similar to previous HAB events in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), including around the Northern Channel Islands. Limited data indicate that frequent, persistent and intense blooms have been common in the SBC since 2007. Extremely high levels of DA (200-600 ppm) were recorded in fished crustaceans in association with these previous blooms - levels that far surpassed the FDA action levels of 20 ppm for shellfish meat and 30 ppm for crustacean viscera. Often DA levels remained elevated in crab long after the bloom dissipated and for longer periods of time at island versus mainland coastal sites. Reasons for the prolonged high DA levels at the islands are unknown, but may be due to benthic sources of DA including prey containing high levels of DA. The severity of DA-producing blooms in the SBC has increased the need for more robust monitoring, particularly at the islands.

ENRICHING ISLAND HISTORY THROUGH THE LENS OF GRAFFITI

Jazmine Cureno, California State University Channel Islands jazmine.cureno533@myci.csuci.edu

   Research concerning the historical period of the Channel Islands, more specifically on Santa Rosa Island, have been developed; yet their contributions have not succeeded to the same levels of prestige as the island’s prehistoric studies. This study recorded and analyzed graffiti markings found at three locations where major historical human habitation took place on the island: Sam’s Cave, standing ranching structures near Bechers Bay, and a lighthouse located at South Point. The new inquiry of graffiti markings strengthens the marking’s material significance by studying more closely its spatial context, which provides information about past uses of time and space, and interprets underrepresented human activity that occurred within it. Similar to prehistoric rock art, historical graffiti markings can provide valuable information about our ancestors and should be considered as significant cultural resources.

 

 

ISLAND FOX FORAGING PATTERNS ON SAN NICOLAS ISLAND RELATIVE TO FERAL CAT REMOVAL

Brian Cypher1*, Erica Kelly1, Francesca Ferrara2, Tory Westall1, and Brian Hudgens3, 1California State University-Stanislaus, Endangered Species Recovery Program bcypher@esrp.csustan.edu 2Naval Base Ventura County 3Institute for Wildlife Studies

   Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) are a species of conservation concern that occur on six of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. The fox populations are small and vulnerable, and understanding the factors that drive population dynamics is important. We analyzed use of food items by island foxes on San Nicolas Island during 2006-2012 to assess the influence of feral cat removal on fox foraging ecology. Our objective was to determine whether fox foraging patterns shifted in response to the cat removal, thus indicating that cats were competing with foxes for food items. We also examined the influence of annual precipitation patterns and fox abundance on fox foraging patterns. Based on an analysis of 1,975 fox scats, use of vertebrate prey (deer mice [Peromyscus maniculatus], birds, and lizards) increased significantly during and after the complete removal of cats (n=66) from the island. This shift in item use was indicative of a reduction in exploitative competition. However, annual precipitation also increased markedly during and after cat removal. Deer mouse abundance on monitoring plots was significantly related to annual precipitation and to use of mice by foxes. Furthermore, fox abundance declined markedly coincident with the removal of cats and deer mouse abundance was inversely related to fox numbers. Consequently, multiple interacting factors likely influence food item abundance, which in turn affects fox foraging patterns. The role of cats may have been minor and local. We recommend restoration and management actions that enhance food item abundance and diversity to increase food security for foxes.

COLLECTORS OF BALD EAGLES AND THEIR EGGS ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS (1871-1957)

Marla Daily, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, 5045 Wullbrandt Way, Carpinteria, CA 93013 marla@scifoundation.org

   The decline of the historic population of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) on the California Channel Islands can be traced, in part, through specimens in the collections of museums and institutions. Forty-one men—oologists, ornithologists, naturalists, a surveyor, a sheep rancher and a grocer—are known to have collected Bald Eagles on seven of the eight California Channel Islands between 1871 and 1957. Bald Eagles nested on all eight islands; San Nicolas Island is the only island lacking historic specimens. During the course of this study, 17 birds, skins or skeletons and 74 egg sets containing 141 individual eggs were located in seventeen institutions and museums in the United States and Great Britain, representing a total of 158 individual specimens of Bald Eagles. Additional collections remain unaccounted for; others were destroyed by the 1962 fire at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Instances of live-capture of 12 Bald Eagles have been found in historic records; two chicks were reportedly eaten raw by shipwrecked sailors on San Clemente Island in 1895. Hunting for sport and shooting and poisoning for extermination also occurred. The oldest known specimens are two Bald Eagles shot by U. S. Coast Survey employee, George Davidson, on San Miguel Island in 1871; the most recent a Bald Eagle found dead on Santa Barbara Island by William Bullard in 1957, an apparent casualty of the rabbit eradication program initiated by Channel Islands National Monument. The most traveled specimen is a Bald Eagle egg collected by Henry W. Henshaw on San Miguel Island in 1875 that made its way, unbroken, across the Atlantic to the Natural History Museum, Tring, England. In May 1950 ornithologist Alden H. Miller removed two live eagle chicks from their nest on Santa Rosa Island—the last known chicks historically hatched on a California Channel Island.

PROVENANCE OF JUANA MARIA'S FOUR KNOWN POSSESSIONS, INCLUDING THE UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY OF HER DONUT STONE IN 2008

Marla Daily, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, 5045 Wullbrandt Way, Carpinteria, CA 93013 marla@scifoundation.org

   Juana Maria (?-1853), the legendary “Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island,” thought to be the last surviving Nicoleño, was removed from San Nicolas Island in 1853 by Captain George Nidever (1802-1883). For more than 160 years, her story has been told and retold, researched and examined. At the time of her removal, various personal possessions were brought off the island with her, including her feathered dress, reportedly sent to the Vatican, and a limpet shell necklace later acquired by Santa Barbara banker, James Wesley Calkins (1831-1911). Despite searches for both, these remain unaccounted for today. Nidever gave a number of Juana Maria’s possessions, including beads, a mortar, and her water bottle, made of woven grass, to his friend, Captain Charles J. W. Russell (d. 1857). Russell, in turn, deposited them with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. These specimens were lost in the devastating fires that followed the San Francisco earthquake of April 16, 1906. Four possessions that accompanied her removal from San Nicolas Island in 1853 survive today. Each has a traceable provenance: an abalone shell fishhook; a stone bird point; a whale baleen hairpin; and a donut stone — an unexpected discovery coming to light in 2008.

ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD DISTRIBUTION AND RANGE EXPANSION IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS AND ADJACENT MAINLAND

Katie Daniels*, Allison Alvarado, and Brett Hartman, California State University Channel Islands katie.daniels708@myci.csuci.edu

   In the 1920’s, examination of Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) specimens led to the realization that the species consisted of two subspecies with very different life histories. S. s. sedentarius evolved on the Channel Islands, and research suggests that it can be distinguished from its mainland counterpart based on differences in morphology and migratory behavior. The island subspecies re-colonized the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the 1960’s and may now be expanding its geographic range into that of the nominate migratory subspecies. For this study, we utilized citizen science data and a geographic information system (GIS) to investigate the chronology and extent of S. s. sedentarius’ mainland range expansion. We obtained species occurrence data from eBird Basic Datasets (EBDs) in California from 2013 to 2015, and we restricted our analysis to winter bird sightings (October to December) to control for only non-migratory S. s. sedentarius sightings. We used ArcGIS and the latest published S. sasin distribution map from Birds of North America (BNA) Online database to create a map that illustrates range expansion of S. s. sedentarius. S. s. sedentarius sighting localities during winter extended beyond the BNA’s 2012 range map. In addition, recent S. s. sedentarius observations revealed a potential contact zone within S. s. sasin’s southern breeding range. Preliminary GIS analysis of winter eBird checklists in southern California provides insight regarding the ongoing expansion of S. s. sedentarius’ mainland range. Our distribution map reflects the most current data available and can be used to test hypotheses about the rate, direction, and possible drivers of this recent range expansion.

 

 

 

MYTHS OF AVALON: RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT CA-SCAI-29, CATALINA ISLAND

Sara Dietler1*, John Dietler2*, Alyssa Newcomb2, and Bill Kendig2, 1Environmental Science Associates saradietler@gmail.com 2SWCA Environmental Consultants

   An island paradise in the western sea is how the mythical city of Avalon is described in Arthurian legend. This is a fitting namesake for the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, a beautiful tourist destination whose ancient history has long been lost, only to be replaced by myths of its own. Development activities to create a picturesque island resort and a long tradition of looting have unearthed artifacts and human remains in Avalon since the 1880s. As these were remnants of a prehistoric Native American settlement that has not been subjected to modern investigative methods and data collection, this prime locale has long been a blank spot on the archaeological map of the Channel Islands. A series of excavations completed in the last three years within the city have yielded surprising results, including intact materials from site CA-SCAI-29, long thought to have been all but destroyed. Archaeological data recovery, artifact analyses, historic research, and specialized testing have provided the first systematically collected data from site. This paper provides an overview of the artifacts, faunal collection, dating results, and intact stratigraphy encountered within the site boundaries. These data reveal a fresh portrait of a thriving Native American village that was occupied for thousands of years, most intensively during the Intermediate or Middle period, by a seafaring people with strong ties to other island and mainland groups. By taking a fresh look at the village’s pattern of habitation, ritual, mobility, trade, and resource exploitation, this paper presents the beginnings of a story even more fascinating than the myths it replaces.

ESTABLISHING TWO NEW ROCKY INTERTIDAL MONITORING SITES ON SANTA ROSA WITH NOVEL METHODOLOGY

Geoff Dilly*, Angelea Gephart, Sarah Assar, Jenna Miani, and Evelyn Garcia, California State University, Channel Islands geoff.dilly@csuci.edu

   The rocky intertidal zone is a dynamic, biologically rich environment facing unprecedented challenges due to global ocean change. Incremental shifts are difficult to detect over short durations; thus long-term ecological monitoring methods are critical for identifying subtle trends. National Park Service (NPS) currently monitors five sites on Santa Rosa; however these locations are limited to the south and west of the island. Here, we describe the establishment of two new sites, expanding geographic coverage to the northern side of Santa Rosa: east-facing Bechers Bay (34.0054 °N, -120.0470 °W) and north-facing Skunk Point (33.9820 °N, -119.9933 °W). These sites were first surveyed in Spring 2015 and have been monitored continuously since. We use a suite of methods and protocols that both interface with current NPS methodology and establish new techniques for studying the rocky intertidal. We installed 20 fixed plots per site, with 5 semi-random locations in each of 4 tidal zones: low, medium, high, and splash. These fixed plots are surveyed using photos and point-intercept counts. Starting in Spring 2016, we also deployed 3 temperature loggers per zone, collocated with photoplots to establish zonal temperature fluctuations from diurnal and tidal cycles. A 30m baseline was established and 11 vertical transects were extended perpendicularly at 3m intervals. These vertical transects extend 25m towards the water and are sampled at 100 discrete points, allowing for site-wide characterization. These vertical transects were photoprofiled using a novel method combining a1m2 PVC camera rig taking 65% overlapping images with image composite software to create a single 1x25m phototransect. The photos are then rasterized using ArcGIS, trained to identify species based on color mapping, allowing for quantification of broad-swath transects. Establishing Bechers Bay and Skunk Point sites adds both new ecological data and additional methodological resources for the long-term monitoring of the rocky intertidal.

MODELING CHANGE IN THE ROCKY INTERTIDAL: CORRELATING SHIFTS IN SPECIES ABUNDANCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL VARIATION

Geoff Dilly1, Jenna Miani1*, Stephen Whitaker2, Jesica Mendoza1, and Melissa Hamm3, 1California State University, Channel Islands jenna.miani420@myci.csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park, National Park Service 3Ventura Community College

   The National Park Service has continuously monitored rocky intertidal sites on five of the Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Rosa) in an on-going data series that presently includes 21 locations. These sites contain fixed plots placed on target dominant zonal species (e.g. Endocladia muricata, Silvetia compressa, Mytilus californianus, Chthalamus spp.), and are monitored for species abundance during Fall and Spring seasons annually. We collocated these data with measurements of environmental variables including sea surface temperature, total chlorophyll, wave height, wind speed, and duration of emersion, curated from publicly available buoy and satellite databases. We describe here significant changes in abundance of dominant species over the 30+ year data series and examine potential correlations with shifting environmental variables. Preliminary findings show a significant increase of bare rock/sand substrate over time across a majority of sites, corresponding with broad-based losses in Silvetia compressa coverage as well as localized declines in Mytilus californianus. We conclude that early decreases in target species coverage may be due to decreased dominance within a non-randomly designated fixed plot over time as species migrate through a site. However, more recent shifts may be due to other factors including negative correlations to sea surface temperatures and emersion times. In contrast to this general trend, populations of barnacles, including those within Chthalamus spp. plots, remained stable at a majority of sites. We suggest that these animals are better suited to continual emersion and elevated temperatures due to their natural adaptations to living in high tidal zones. Overall, this dataset demonstrates numerous complex relationships between environmental variation and species abundance. These findings underscore the need for long-term and continual monitoring of rocky intertidal sites to reveal the effects of incremental environmental shifts on ecological assemblages, such as those due to climate change.

Multi-Media Approach to Public Outreach about Wildlife Restoration on the Channel Islands

Gabrielle Dorr, NOAA gabrielle.dorr@noaa.gov

  The Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) has been working with partners to actively restore Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and several species of seabirds onto the Channel Islands for over a decade now. Public outreach has complimented all of our restoration projects and is considered a critical component of their success. One of our main goals for public outreach is to promote stewardship of species and their habitats. Given the somewhat remote location of the Channel Islands and the difficulty with engaging people directly with island wildlife, we brought species to life through 3-D interactive exhibits, films, social media, and online webcams. We engaged in several effective social media campaigns and some of our films have been shown to national audiences. We will present outreach tools that we used to engage the public in our Channel Island restoration efforts, methods we used to distribute tools to the public, and how we measured their success. We will also briefly discuss technical challenges that we faced working remotely and how we dealt with the unpredictability of wildlife with public and media audiences.

 

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF THE ISLAND NIGHT LIZARD ON SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Charles A. Drost1*, Gary M. Fellers2, Patrick Kleeman3, and Brian J. Halstead3, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center charles_drost@usgs.gov 29 Goldfinch Court, Novato, CA 3USGS Western Ecological Research Center

   The island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana) was removed from the Federal list of "Threatened" species in May 2014. This strongly-differentiated species is endemic to three of the southern California Channel Islands—San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Barbara. Suitable habitat for island night lizards is extensive on San Clemente Island, and the species is quite abundant there. However, habitat is much more limited and fragmented on San Nicolas Island and small Santa Barbara Island. Drawing on extensive field surveys and mark-recapture sampling, we synthesize available data for island night lizards on San Nicolas Island, and calculate mark–recapture population estimates for the species in major habitats on the island. Cactus (Opuntia spp., Cylindropuntia prolifera) and California boxthorn (Lycium californicum) are the primary island night lizard habitats on San Nicolas Island, and we combine the population estimates with much-improved measurements of the extent of cactus and boxthorn on the island to arrive at a more accurate estimate of island night lizard numbers. We also present preliminary information on trends in cactus and boxthorn habitat, and their relationship to lizard populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires a post-delisting program for "monitoring the overall health of the island night lizard..." to assure the continued long-term viability of the species in its restricted distribution. The information on population size and habitat presented here will help inform and guide conservation and management efforts by the U.S. Navy on San Nicolas Island over the coming years.

THE LAND SNAILS AND SLUGS OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS: A CURRENT INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT

Charles A. Drost1*, Jeffrey C. Nekola2, Timothy A. Pearce3, and Barry Roth4, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center charles_drost@usgs.gov 2Department of Biology, University of New Mexico 3Carnegie Museum of Natural History 4745 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA

   The land snails and slugs have the highest rate of endemism among all major animal groups on the California Channel Islands, with approximately 75% of the species confined to one or more of the eight islands. In spite of this, and in spite of the rarity of some species, they are also one of the most poorly-known groups. We present the first comprehensive overview of the land mollusk fauna of the Channel Islands, along with the results of recent intensive inventory studies. Surveys on San Clemente Island have increased the number of land mollusk species known from that island by 60%, and similar numbers of new additions to the fauna are likely for the poorly-surveyed northern Channel Islands. This improved understanding provides new insights into trends in species diversity and biogeographic patterns, with marked differences in species composition being evident between the northern and southern islands. We also discuss preliminary observations on the distribution and abundance of native snails and slugs on the islands. Our surveys to date suggest a strong link between the recovery of native vegetation on the islands, and the population status of land snails and slugs, with substantially larger populations of native mollusks on those islands that have been free of non-native mammals the longest. Survey work is continuing, but it is clear that there are some very rare endemic snails and slugs on the islands that merit specific management attention.

 

Long-term Monitoring of Deer Mice on the California Islands: Comparison of Population Estimators for Trend Detection

Charles Drost1, Catherin Schwemm2, Timothy Coonan3*, John Orrock4, and Thomas Stanley5, 1USGS Southwest Biological Science Center 2Institute for Wildlife Studies 3Friends of the Island Fox timcoonan81@gmail.com 4University of Wisconsin 5USGS, Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO 80526

   The National Park Service deer mouse monitoring program on two of the California Islands, Santa Barbara and San Miguel, has resulted in 20 years of data that illustrate the extreme temporal variability in abundance of these populations. Mice are a critical component of simple island systems, so changes in mouse abundance and density have important implications for island communities. Statistical models used to analyze mark-recapture data as are collected in the deer mouse monitoring program work well when populations and recaptures rates are high but are fairly unreliable when those conditions are not met. Population indices such as the number of unique individuals captured per event can be easily generated under all conditions but do not incorporate differences in individual animal behavior and other environmental inputs that influence trapping success. In an effort to determine which data analysis methods fulfilled the need for both obtaining realistic estimates under all conditions while also illuminating population trends we compared population estimations generated by models and simple index methods. We included in this analysis data from 122 trapping sessions (3 nights each) across 18 years on the two islands. Density estimates from multiple models were strongly correlated and were also strongly correlated with a simple count-based density index. All methods detected similar patterns in population variation and trend over time. For long-term population monitoring aimed at ecosystem assessment and management our findings suggest that the use of a simple index may provide adequate understanding of population trends for island mice, information that can further be assessed to better understand the role of mice in island ecosystems. We recommend continued monitoring of deer mouse populations with data analysis methods that are consistent and detect population trends while also being resilient to observer interpretation.

CO-PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF CHANNEL ISLAND DEER MICE AND THEIR ECTOPARASITES

Paul Durst1* and V. Louise Roth2, 1UNC Chapel Hill pdurst@unc.edu 2Duke University

   The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is the only terrestrial mammal native to all eight California Channel Islands, with each island housing a morphologically distinct subspecies. A great deal of work has characterized the morphology, behavior, and development of Channel Islands deer mice, but comparatively little is known about the genetic relatedness of the subspecies. Allozyme and RFLP data suggest a shared origin for northern islands mice, but limited inferences can be made in the absence of base-pair resolution data. We assessed the relatedness of mice across the Channel Islands and two mainland sites using sequence data from the mitochondrial control region along with genotype data for 5 microsatellite loci. We found that while each island harbors at least one private haplotype, mice from six of the eight islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, and San Nicolas) share a haplotype. Microsatellite data confirm the shared population structure of the northern islands with the exception of Anacapa, which could be due to a population bottleneck imposed during the recent extirpation of Anacapa’s black rats. Santa Catalina and San Clemente mice were more related to mainland mice than to other island mice, suggesting independent colonizations of these islands. With these data, we were unable to firmly establish the divergence pattern among northern islands mice. However, parasites, with their faster mutation rates, have been shown to provide insight into the evolutionary history of their hosts. Accordingly, we also assessed the relatedness of the most common ectoparasite found on Channel Islands deer mice, a flea (family Ceratophyllidae). Using sequence data from cytochrome oxidase I (mtDNA), we found a correlation between the genetic relatedness of fleas and mice across islands. Together, these findings are consistent with a divergence pattern mirroring the breakup of Santarosae at the end of the last glacial maximum.

THE PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL, AND TOXICOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PACIFIC REGION SHELL MOUNDS

Mark Eckenrode, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management mark.eckenrode@boem.gov

   Environmental monitoring data is used by BOEM to evaluate mitigation measures and project conditions to improve the effectiveness of protecting the marine and coastal environment. In order for BOEM to make better and more informed decisions, the BOEM Pacific Region has conducted an Environmental Mitigation Monitoring Study program to evaluate environmental mitigation techniques and methodologies to determine the most efficient environmental mitigation methods for preserving and protecting the quality of the human, marine, and coastal environments. Over the life of outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas platforms, drilling muds and cuttings discharges interlayered with shells and marine organisms have resulted in topographic features referred to as shell mounds. Current regulations in place require the complete removal of platform structures and associated debris and site clearance following decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities. The physical, chemical and toxicological characterization and internal composition of these shell mounds was generally unknown and further analysis and documentation was necessary to help determine the future disposition of these shell mounds. Multiple studies have been conducted in the Pacific Region to determine the physical variables and characteristics of OCS shell mounds associated with 16 of the 23 Pacific OCS Region oil & gas platforms. Multi-beam hydrographic surveys of the presence and physical characteristics conducive to shell mound formation around and under Pacific OCS Platforms, and sampling and chemical profiling of OCS shell-mounds were conducted. Chemical characterizations were utilized to determine potential contaminants, petrogenic hydrocarbons and trace metals to assess whether concentrations contained within the shell mounds are migrating into the marine environment and posing risks to marine organisms. Results on the multiple shell mound studies will be presented to discuss the effects on the marine environment of the potential abandonment or removal of shell mounds following decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities.

CRESCENT BAY: RECONSTRUCTING THE GEOGRAPHY AND HUMAN USE OF A PALEO-LANDSCAPE ON THE SOUTH SHORE OF SANTAROSAE ISLAND

Jon M. Erlandson1*, Dave Ball2, Todd J. Braje3, Loren Davis4, Kristina M. Gill5, Amy Gusick6, Jillian Maloney3, Alex Nyers7, Leslie Reeder-Myers8, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon jerland@uoregon.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 3San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology 4Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology 5Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara 6California State University, San Bernardino, Department of Anthropology 7Northwest Archaeometrics, LLC 8Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

   Between ~23,000 to 9,000 years ago, lower sea levels united the Northern Channel Islands (NCI) into a larger island known as Santarosae. Up to 125 km long and three times larger than the NCI today, Santarosae was colonized by seafaring Paleoindians at least 13,000 years ago. Modeling Santarosae’s dynamic geography, we have identified a large south-facing embayment beneath the waters of the Santa Cruz Channel, called Crescent Bay. A submarine canyon flowed southward through this area, channeling the flow of several major drainages. Rapidly rising seas flooded the mouths of these canyons, creating one or more estuaries and marshes by at least 11,200 years ago. Late Pleistocene dune ridges crossed Carrington Point on northeast Santa Rosa, blowing onto the coastal lowlands to the southeast. Around the margins of Crescent Bay, we have identified >15 Paleocoastal sites dating between ~12,000 and 8,000 years ago. The bay provided a relatively protected, productive, and well-watered landscape that attracted Paleocoastal peoples for millennia. Many of the Paleocoastal sites have produced chipped stone crescents and stemmed projectile points. Faunal remains from archaeological components indicate the presence of a paleoestuary and wintering waterfowl at least 11,200 years ago, some of the earliest evidence for estuarine foraging by humans along the California Coast. The submerged shorelines and landscapes of Crescent Bay almost certainly contain the remnants of additional sites that now lie on or below the seafloor of the Santa Cruz Channel.

TOWARDS A REGULATION IN BIOSAFETY: ARCHIPELAGO JUAN FERNANDEZ, A CASE STUDY

Aurora Espinoza, Servicio Agricola y Ganadero aurora.espinoza@sag.gob.cl

   The AJF is composed of 3 islands out of the 3739 islands that Chile has throughout its territory. The AJF is located more than 670 km from the South American mainland. This archipelago is characterized by its high rate of endemic flora (over 64%), making it a living laboratory. The State of Chile declared part of this territory as a National Park (1935), leaving an area for the village of Robinson Crusoe. Currently it has a population of approximately 600 inhabitants, who primarily dedicate themselves to fishing. They are connected with the continent through regular maritime and aerial transport, with 2 trips by sea per month and flights from 4 to 10 times per month. The transport of all types of products without oversight to prevent the entry of EEI is the main problem for the conservation and protection of natural resources, since there are no regulations for the regular transport of products throughout the interior of the country. To mitigate this situation, a collaborative agreement has been signed between CONAF, INDAP, SAG and municipality of JF whose objective is to protect the biodiversity and natural resources of the archipelago, with emphasis on education and the provision of voluntary processes to facilitate good passenger conduct.The Convention consists of workplans for diffusion, mitigation and monitoring, including for example: a list of high-risk products, import registration cards, among others. To date there have been 14 diffusion activities in the boarding area with 105 passengers instructed, 2 trainings for biosecurity inspectors, mitigation activities and monitoring activities.This initiative will be the trial phase of legislation on Biosafety

GENETIC DIVERSITY AND POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF THE MEXICAN ENDEMIC BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (Puffinus ophistomelas)

Alejandra Fabila-Blanco1*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, María Félix-Lizárraga1, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández1, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos1, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda1, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas1, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas1, Luis Enriquez-Paredes2, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. alejandra.fabila@islas.org.mx 2Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

   The Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus ophistomelas) distribution is restricted to the Pacific coast of North America, and breeds exclusively on islands off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. This Mexican endemic species is listed as endangered by Mexican law and Near Threatened by IUCN Red List. We evaluated the genetic diversity and the population genetic structure of breeding colonies from Natividad and San Benito islands using sequence analysis of mitochondrial DNA control region. Indices of genetic diversity were higher on Natividad, which is consistent with the population size as this island supports the main breeding colony (>95% of the world’s population). While we found significant genetic differentiation according to Wright’s fixation index considering haplotype frequencies (FST = 0.037), considering nucleotide diversity (Φst 0.016) we found no genetic structure. The latter suggests different proportions of haplotypes on each breeding colony with a small difference amongst them. This low genetic differentiation might be due to the short geographic distance between subpopulations, which allows gen flow. Nonetheless, it is possible to advance further hypotheses about other mechanisms that could play an important role and should thus be investigated. Our results indicate that the implementation of conservation actions is necessary on both colonies to ensure genetic variability and connectivity, thus reducing the risk of extinction of the Black-vented Shearwater.

BRINGING SANTA ROSA ISLAND INTO CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK; THE WRITTEN DOCUMENTS 1979 – 1987

Kathryn Roney Faulkner, Channel Islands National Park (retired), U.S. National Park Service, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 kerfaulkner@gmail.com

   There are conflicting accounts regarding the circumstances and terms under which the National Park Service (NPS) purchased 54,000 acre Santa Rosa Island in 1986. Santa Rosa Island was owned by Vail & Vickers (V&V) in 1980 when Congress included the island within the boundaries of Channel Islands National Park. V&V had initially opposed the inclusion. However, failing to have the island excluded, they requested that, rather than continue as private land within the park, the land be purchased by the federal government as soon as possible. The government and V&V evaluated various land sale options. A primary interest of V&V was for continued cattle ranching and guided hunting of non-native deer and elk. However, to maximize the sales price of the island, V&V did not retain rights for those uses when they sold the island to the federal government. Instead, they reserved a right to “use and occupancy” of only a 7.6 acre portion of the ranch complex for non-commercial purposes. The written purchase offer from the government, accepted by V&V, authorized 3 months of continued use of the remainder of the island for their ranching and hunting operations. Continuation beyond 3 months, or termination of operations, was dependent on negotiations between the parties. Negotiations did not conclude during that period and the following year saw the beginning of the differing accounts that later spawned lawsuits, political involvement, legislation, and controversy regarding island management, rights of the former landowners, authority of the NPS, and access by the public. The written documents from 1979 to 1987, from establishment of the Park through the sale of the island to the NPS, provide a record against which later descriptions of the terms of the land sale can be compared.

UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF NESTING SEABIRDS ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS MEXICO, FOLLOWING RESTORATION ACTIONS

Maria Félix-Lizárraga*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Esmeralda Bravo- Hernández, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Julio Hernández-Montoya, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, B.C. México. 22800 maria.felix@islas.org.mx

   The advances to date on island restoration on Mexican islands are positive and relevant, both nationally and globally. Restoration actions include: 58 eradications of invasive mammals’ populations from 37 islands all over the country; the implementation of social attraction techniques on 10 of these islands to restore seabird breeding colonies; and habitat restoration through the removal of weeds or reforestation of native species. These actions are complemented with applied research, environmental education and outreach with local communities. The Baja California Pacific Islands are important nesting and resting sites for seabirds, while the rich surrounding California Current waters are key for food provisioning. In 2008, we initiated on Asunción and San Roque islands the first seabird restoration project through social attraction techniques in Latin America. In 2013 we expanded this project, as a program, to the other region's islands. This has allowed us to closely monitor all seabird species on nine island groups, from the Coronado Archipelago in the north to San Roque in the south. Encouraging results have been recorded, such as new breeding sites for the Ashy Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) on Todos Santos Island; Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) on San Martín Island; Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) and Caspian Tern (H.caspia) and Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) on San Jerónimo Island. Also, other species have returned to nest—in some cases after a century of absence—like Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) on Coronado Island, Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) on Todos Santos, San Martín, Natividad, San Roque and Asunción islands, and Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) on Todos Santos, San Martín, San Roque and Asunción islands. A total of 127 bird species were recorded, with 21 species of seabirds breeding on these islands.

Past sea surface temperature and human intertidal gathering during the Holocene on Santa Cruz Island: Evidence from oxygen isotope (δO18) and archaeomalacological data

Carola Flores1*, Amy E. Gusick2, and Heather Thakar3, 1Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2), Chile carolaflowers@gmail.com 2California State University, San Bernardino, USA 3Texas A&M University, USA

   Oceanographic conditions, especially sea surface temperature, exhibit strong influences on intertidal habitat and species performance. The Northern Channel Islands of California are located within a complex oceanographic pattern with persistent cooler and warmer waters on north-west and south-east coasts of the islands, respectively. These patterns result in diverse natural conditions for intertidal species gathered by humans since the Late Pleistocene. Pertinent to research on past human subsistence strategies is the influence that oceanographic conditions may have had on foraging decisions. The current study combines archaeomalacological and paleoceanographic data to explore spatial and temporal variations in coastal resource availability and human harvesting strategies around Santa Cruz Island during the Holocene. Shellfish species diversity and relative abundance from archaeological deposits dating between 10,000 and 500 years cal BP and SST data from oxygen isotope analysis (δO18) on archaeological mollusk shells are used to explore past oceanographic conditions around Santa Cruz Island and their effect on intertidal gathering strategies of human groups through time. We consider 10 archaeological midden sites on the Island. The coastal sites are located on the western, southern, and northeastern shores while the pericoastal and interior sites are located within Christy Canyon on the western side of the island. Archaeological sites located on coasts with warmer (south-east) and cooler waters (north-west) present patterns of past SST and archaeomalacological assemblages that provide insight into temporal and spatial variations of not only environmental factors, but also social, economic, and technological factors that may contribute to foraging decisions among ancient islander populations. These data add to elucidating the paleoecology of Santa Cruz Island and the Channel Islands as a whole.

HOW A TEAM AIMS TO SAVE A DESERT ISLAND-ENDEMIC RODENT: THE AMARGOSA VOLE

Janet Foley, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine jefoley@ucdavis.edu

   The critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) became a highly specialized Mojave Desert endemic as the increasingly dry post-Pleistocene climate isolated marsh habitats on which the vole depends into tiny patches. Within these desert marsh islands, the vole is dependent on a single, marginal quality food-source, Olney’s three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus olneyi) and requires bulrush litter in which to tunnel, nest, and evade predators. This species is found in the wild only in marshes within a single town, Tecopa, California, and until the last two decades had been the subject of almost no research. Urgent challenges to understand its biology focused on detecting basic demographic parameters, population size estimates, metapopulation structure (genetic and occupancy), and basic details of its behavior, nutritional requirements, physiology- well, everything! Even as research intensified, ongoing regional water withdrawal and then the western North American drought further depleted habitat, requiring managers to collaborate with researchers to create an emergency captive breeding colony (even in the absence of most basic biological data), develop techniques for radiotelemetry, perform emergency translocation, and initiate habitat stabilization and creation in the type locality from which the vole has been extirpated. Here we review adaptive prioritization that has characterized the last five years of initiative vole research and then immediately implementing aggressive vole management. We also describe key features of Amargosa biology that may serve the vole well if it can be successfully saved as well as difficulties that will inhibit successful recovery.

Conservation of the rare plants of the Amargosa River Basin in the northern Mojave Desert of California

Naomi Fraga, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden nfraga@rsabg.org

   The Amargosa River Basin is essentially an ‘island’ of wet habitats fed by a large and extensive supply of underground water, surrounded by the expansive and arid Mojave Desert that receives only about 2 to 3 inches of annual precipitation a year. The region is home to a suite of endemic plants and animals that are associated with wetland habitats such as alkaline meadows, marshes, seeps, channel outflows, and springs. Much of the isolated wetland habitat is protected within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. However, threats to these rare species still remain because the high water table is in danger of dropping due to groundwater pumping for nearby agriculture and residential development. The Amargosa niterwort (Nitrophila mohavensis) and the Ash Meadows gumplant (Grindelia fraxinipratensis) are two federally listed plant species that occur in these wetlands in California and rely on the ancient flow of water underground. Recent efforts to aid in conservation of these two rare plant species include long-term seed banking, surveys of potential habitat, and population monitoring. A summary of past and ongoing work will be presented, including an overview of the full suite of rare and endemic plant taxa of the region.

EXPLORING DEEP-SEA CORAL COMMUNITIES IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: A HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Laura Francis1*, Rietta Hohman2, and Jennifer Stock3, 1Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary laura.francis@noaa.gov 2Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 3Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

   Deep-sea coral communities, like the ones found in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park are home to many diverse species. This high school curriculum takes students on a journey into the deep sea without ever leaving the classroom. Students will learn to identify the soft corals, hard corals, invertebrates and fish found in these communities and to investigate the unique biology of deep-sea corals. They will also learn about threats, such as ocean acidification, that can impact these precious ocean ecosystems. Using research footage from Remotely Operated Vehicles, students utilize real scientific methods to explore this rarely visited ocean environment. They will learn about the importance of long-term scientific monitoring and protection and will hone and practice monitoring skills such as assessing the number, size and types of organisms found along an underwater transect. Video footage of Footprint and Piggy Bank reefs near the Channel Islands are included in the web-based curriculum, as well as footage from the other four West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries (Monterey Bay, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones and Olympic Coast). The curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and all materials are available for free to teachers. The Deep Sea Coral Communities Curriculum can be downloaded at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/teachers/deep-coral-communities/.

Understanding Island Connectivity: Preliminary Evidence Using Fish Movements

Ryan Freedman1*, Andy Nosal2, Noah Ben-Adert2, Taylor Chapple3, Mike Castleton3, Barbara Block3, Sal Jorgensen4, Paul Kanvie3, Scot Anderson3, Connor White5, Chris Lowe5, and Chris Caldow1, 1NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary ryan.m.freedman@noaa.gov 2Scripps Institute of Oceanography 3Hopkins Marine Station Stanford University 4Monterrey Bay Aquarium 5California State University Long Beach

   The Northern Channel Islands are protected by a number of Federal and State designations, including a national park, a national marine sanctuary, areas of special biological significance, and a network of no-take marine reserves. These spatially explicit protections have proven effective at preserving a number of ecological communities. However, they may not be as practical for highly mobile species without understanding species’ habitat utilization patterns. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) maintains a passive telemetry array around the islands in partnership with California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and the Southern California Acoustic Telemetry Tracking Network (SCATTN). The array has detected tagged individuals from a number of different projects along California. Preliminary data indicated that a variety of predator fishes, including White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi), Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) and Soupfin Sharks (Galeorhinus galeus), used sanctuary waters after tagging in mainland locations. Individuals sometimes traveled long distances to reach the sanctuary, with some tagged fishes having traveled up to 545 km from their original tagging location. Californian islands likely represent relatively undisturbed habitats compared to mainland ecosystems, and this lack of ecological disturbance may draw in mobile predators. Understanding available movement data is the first step for resource managers to enact useful conservation actions for highly mobile species by considering how island ecosystems demonstrate connectivity with the mainland sites.

RECENT WARM WATER CONDITIONS FACILITATE INCREASES IN ABUNDANCE AT THE NORTHERN RANGE LIMIT AND A RANGE EXPANSION OF THE CROWNED SEA URCHIN (CENTROSTEPHANUS CORONATUS) IN CALIFORNIA

Jan Freiwald*, Colleen Wisniewski, and Dan Abbott, Reef Check California jfreiwald@reefcheck.org

   Crowned sea urchins (Centrostephanus coronatus) are present in much lower densities than other common sea urchin species throughout its southern California range. Nevertheless, C. coronatus has increased in abundance at many sites over the last three years in southern Californian. Reef Check California, a program that uses citizen scientists to survey California’s rocky reefs using standardized 60 m2 belt transects, has surveyed the densities of this species since 2006. These surveys document the spatial and temporal variation of crowned sea urchin recruitment and increases in population densities, especially in 2015, at the species’ previously reported northern range limit, the northern Channel Islands. One specimen was even found in Monterey Bay, 330 km north of the reported species range. The increased population densities at the northern end of the range of this subtropical species and the northward range expansion are likely due to the recent marine coastal warming that has persisted along the California coast since 2013, referred to as the ‘warm blob’, and the El Niño that followed. Similar recruitment of this species was observed in association with a warm water event during the 1997/98 El Niño around the northern Channel Islands and in the southern part of the species’ rage during El Niño conditions in 2009/10. Standardized citizen science surveys of the nearshore ecosystem along the California coast and its islands help detect species range shifts such as this and support marine resource managers in preparing for and cope with changing ecological communities in a warming ocean.

TRADITIONS OF EARLY HUMAN GROUPS IN BAJA CALIFORNIA AND POSSIBLE ROUTES FOR THE PEOPLING OF THE PENINSULA

Harumi Fujita, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia harumifuj@gmail.com

   Although the Clovis First hypothesis dominated debates concerning the peopling of the New World for decades, suggesting that the first people to enter the peninsula of Baja California were Paleoindians with Clovis type fluted points, recent archaeological evidence indicates additional early entries by other human groups. Radiocarbon dates, geomorphological settings, subsistence strategies, and material types and technologies indicate that other routes and traditions such as the Western Pluvial Lake Tradition and Paleocoastal migrants might have reached the Cape Region by the Terminal Pleistocene. Select artifacts from Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene contexts in the Cape Region are similar to those identified for the Western Pluvial Lake Tradition and Paleocoastal sites in California and the Great Basin. Similar lithic artifact types include leaf shaped projectile points, eccentric crescents, and end and side scrapers. However, there are some differences. In the Cape Region sites, the use of shell and coral for tools, containers, and ornaments was very prominent. At the Covacha Babisuri site on Espiritu Santo Island some unique items were uncovered in the lower cultural strata (12,000-8,000 B.P.). Fossil shells, both modified and unmodified, dated between 35,500 and > 47,500 years ago, were used for hyde-working and containers, and to make scrapers. Partial and totally fluted pearl oyster (Pinctada mazatlanica) and clam (Megapitaria sp.) pearls were used to manufacture ornaments; pearl oysters were used to make fishhooks and purple olive (Olivella spp.) shells to make spire lopped beads; fragments of coral were used as abraders and worm snails (Vermetidae) as straws or pipes. Most of these tools and ornaments continued to be manufactured and utilized during the Middle Holocene, except the fossil shells. Shellfish gathering, fishing, and sea turtle hunting were the principal subsistence activities, complemented by plant gathering. These characteristics are also considered part of the Paleocoastal tradition.

CHANGES IN SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES BETWEEN 6,000 AND 2,500 YEARS AGO AT SCRI-333, A LARGE SHELL MOUND SITE ON THE WEST END OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Lynn Gamble, Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara gamble@anth.ucsb.edu

   Intensive archaeological investigations at the largest extant shell mound in the Santa Barbara Channel area and one of the best-preserved Early Period archaeological sites on the northern Channel Islands have produced an array of radiocarbon dates within solid stratigraphic contexts. The large mound (El Montón−SCRI-333) near Forney’s Cove measures 270 by 210 meters and is approximately 5 hectares in area. A total of 85 radiocarbon dates, most of which are in clear stratigraphic context, makes El Montón one of the most carefully dated sites in the Santa Barbara Channel region. Analysis of floral and faunal remains from contexts dating to 6,000-2,500 cal B.P. provides information on shifts in subsistence strategies. Excellent preservation of ethnobotanical remains recovered from numerous flotation samples offers evidence that some plants were rare or not present at all during the earlier part of the site’s occupation (i.e. acorns and Calandrinia spp.), while others were much more important during later periods. Analysis of shellfish remains also documents shifts in invertebrate species, although some of these changes appear to be more related to the context of the shellfish versus the time period from which they were recovered. Fish and sea mammals, not surprisingly, dominate the vertebrate assemblage from the site; changes in taxa also change over time. For example, the remains of Delphinus sp. are only observed in samples that predate 5,000 years, while the remains of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) only occur after 5000 years ago. Changes in subsistence remains are investigated along with documentation of prehistoric climate change. The samples are analyzed not only within a chronological perspective, but also within a contextual framework that takes into consideration the spatial and cultural context of the finds. The contextual analysis provides a cautionary example for researchers who interpret changes in subsistence remains primarily within a chronological framework.

HOT ISLANDS, BIG BILLS: THE EFFECT OF GENE FLOW AND SELECTION ON MORPHOLOGY

Maybellene P. Gamboa1,2, T. Scott Sillett2, W. Chris Funk1, and Cameron K. Ghalambor1, 1Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO mgamboa@rams.colostate.edu 2Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, D.C.

   Natural selection across heterogeneous environments may favor locally adapted ecotypes, but identifying the mechanisms that underlie adaptive variation in natural populations remains a challenge. Disentangling the environmental and genetic underpinnings of phenotypic variation requires systematic sampling of populations across different environments and under varying degrees of isolation. Climate variation is increasingly appreciated as a strong selective pressure on morphological characters including the bird bill. The bill may be used as a tool for thermoregulation by dissipating excess heat and, consequently, is under selection from climate. On the Northern California Channel Islands, song sparrows (Melospiza melodia graminea) occupy a distinct east-to-west climate gradient ranging from hot and arid on Santa Cruz Island to cold, wet, and windy on San Miguel Island. Previous work on museum specimens found a correlation between bill size and maximum temperature, but whether this pattern is genetically-based versus environmentally-induced is uncertain. To infer the genetic and environmental basis of phenotypic variation, we genetically sampled and measured morphological characteristics of song sparrows occupying similar habitat types across Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Island from 2014-2015. As predicted, bird bills were significantly larger on hotter islands (Santa Cruz) than those found on colder islands (Santa Rosa, San Miguel). STRUCTURE analysis, DAPC, and PCA of thousands of SNP markers reveal low FST values and distinct clustering by island suggesting population structure despite gene flow. Thus, strong selection across a relatively small spatial scale may counter the effects of gene flow and should be considered in further studies of the evolution of insular populations.

ISLAND FOX RECOVERY ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: A LESSON IS COOPERATION, DEDICATION AND PERSEVERANCE

David K. Garcelon1* and Timothy J. Coonan2, 1Institute for Wildlife Studies garcelon@iws.org 2Friends of the Island Fox

    Four subspecies of the island fox (Urocyon littoralis) became highly endangered in the late 1990s, with two island populations declining to 15 or fewer individuals by 1999/2000. The decline of these populations spurred the formation of the Island Fox Conservation Working Group (IFCWG), a consortium of biologists, managers, veterinarians, pathologists, and zoo personnel from federal and state agencies, NGOs and academia convened to determine the cause of the decline and formulate conservation strategies. The identified causes of decline were predation by golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) on the three northern islands and canine distemper virus on Santa Catalina Island. Recovery strategies were developed and/or recommended by the IFCWG and then implemented by the managing agencies/organizations. These efforts included captive breeding, translocation, golden eagle removal, monitoring of remaining wild fox populations, release of captive bred foxes, feral animal removal, and other recovery actions. The four island subspecies were finally listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004 and an official recovery team was appointed. The recovery team worked alongside the IFWG to continue fox conservation efforts and create a recovery plan. Three of the fox subspecies are proposed to be delisted in 2016, the fastest delisting of a mammal ever. The IFCWG has met annually since 1999, and the quick recovery of island foxes was in part due to its consensus approach to problem solving. The group represents a cooperative approach to rare species management independent of official listing activities. This approach may become increasingly necessary given the impacts to rare species from impending global climate change. Existing as small populations on small islands, persistence of the island fox populations may continue to be reliant on monitoring and diligence regarding disease introduction and other threats, and the IFCWG will continue to aid in guiding those responsibilities.

CHLOROPHYLL DYNAMICS AROUND THE SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Craig Gelpi*, Catalina Marine Society craig@catalinamarinesociety.org

   We determine spatial and temporal dynamics of chlorophyll for the Southern California Bight through analysis of 10 years of 4-km resolution chlorophyll product obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Earth observing system satellite Aqua (MODIS-AQUA). Concentrating on the Southern Channel Islands, we find an island mass effect associated with San Nicolas, that is, some chlorophyll originates near the island. This signal is most evident during the fall after the typical spring phytoplankton bloom subsides. In contrast, there is a relative dearth of chlorophyll around Santa Catalina Island and its seasonal modulation corresponds to the spring bloom, implying the dynamics are much simpler for this island. Previous studies of temperature in the inner Bight about Santa Catalina indicate that a simple one-dimensional model of temperature diffusion explains well the seasonal and depth temperature modulations found there. We couple the temperature-derived vertical diffusion coefficient with nitrate measurements from California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) cruises, to make a simple one-dimensional model relating chlorophyll, insolation and nitrate for Santa Catalina.

MULTI-AGENCY ROCKY INTERTIDAL NETWORK: TRENDS AND ASSESSMENT OF LONG-TERM SURVEYS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Lisa Gilbane1*, Stacey Ostermann2, C. Melissa Miner3, Rani Gaddam3, Richard F. Ambrose4, Steven Lee4, Dan Richards2, Stephen Whitaker2, Peter T. Raimondi3, Jayson R. Smith5, and Jennifer Burnaford6, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management lisa.gilbane@boem.gov 2Channel Islands National Park Service 3University of California, Santa Cruz 4University of California, Los Angeles 5California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 6California State University, Fullerton

   The Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) is a collaborative effort of over 40 agencies and universities to monitor rocky intertidal populations using two sets of standardized approaches at over 100 sites from Alaska to Mexico. Together, these data sets provide the ability to examine spatial and temporal trends of rocky intertidal species. Recent analyses of long-term data from MARINe sites on the Channels Islands and the mainland of the Santa Barbara Channel show strong declines over time in the number of black abalone and ochre sea stars, while mussel, rockweed, and surf grass percent cover changes are more varied and site specific. When the monitoring program began, long-term surveys of fixed plots were designed primarily to compare rocky intertidal communities during pre-oil spill and post-oil spill periods. A Before After Control Impact Paired analysis was used to show that for most species, long-term surveys have statistical power of >80% to detect punctuated changes in abundance of >20% using >10 sampling occasions (i.e., once/year for the most recent 10 years). Data from the long-term surveys are also useful to detect slow, gradual changes in species abundances such as those anticipated as a result of climate change. An analysis of power to detect trends in data from Channel Island National Park sites found 80% power to detect gradual changes (2 to 4% change per year) after 20 years for most species. Data from MARINe monitoring have been used in Natural Resource Damage Assessments and for assessing impacts from urban runoff, evaluating effectiveness of California Marine Protected Areas, listing the black abalone as Federally Endangered, and tracking the spread of disease. This partnership is a successful model for providing data that inform resource management along the Santa Barbara Channel and the Pacific coast.

Maximizing the effectiveness of community biosecurity plans: public outreach and education on the Pribilof Islands, Alaska

Chris Gill1*, Pam Goodard2, Ann Harding3, Peter Holdum4, Tonia Kushin5, Gregg Howald6, Ram Papish7, Laura Divine8, Pamela Lestenkof8, Karin Holsez9, Priscilla Wohl10, Kendra Bush-St. Louis11, Heather Renner11, Scott Hall12, Sally Esposito6, and Moretta Shuert1, 1Coastal Conservation chris@coastalconservation.ca 2Thalassa Education 3Auk Ecological Consulting 4Oikinos 5Pribilof School District 6Island Conservation 7St. Paul Island Seabird Camp Leader and wildlife artist 8Ecosystem Conservation Office, Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul 9St. George Institute 10Northern Research Technical Assistance Center 11The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge 12National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

   The remote Pribilof Islands in Alaska are an important breeding area for seabirds and gulls, including 80% of the world’s population of red-legged kittiwakes. These islands are currently free of invasive rats, which threaten native ground nesting birds on other islands. To prevent the introduction of rats to the Pribilofs, the city governments of St. Paul and St. George have passed ordinances banning rodent-infested ships from entering the harbour and instituted biosecurity programs for onshore fish processing companies. However, a successful community biosecurity plan also relies on the public's understanding and acceptance of the actions required to effectively implement the plan. This often involves modifying behaviours and changing the way decisions are made, which can be a challenging task for adults who, over time, have developed personal beliefs and preconceived notions. Children are often more open to the introduction of novel concepts; thus promoting children’s understanding of and commitment to protecting native wildlife from invasive species is an important goal of biodiversity conservation. This long-term project aims to change behaviour and increase understanding within the communities on the Pribilof Islands, with an emphasis on children, so that the introduction of rats or other invasive species is viewed by the community as a negative and severe consequence with significant ecological impacts. To accomplish this, the project focused on educating children in the Pribilof School District through: 1) developing a curriculum that explores the impact of introduced invasive species on biodiversity and what can be done to prevent invasive species such as rats from becoming established; and 2) providing valuable ‘hands-on’ opportunities for the children to learn about the global importance of the Pribilof Islands for breeding seabirds, and their vulnerability to invasive species. Engaging the local community in an early detection and prevention program is a critical step in the effort to keep the Pribilof islands rat-free.

SHELL MIDDENS, ARCHAEOBOTANY, AND ANTHROPOGENIC LANDSCAPES: HOW ANCIENT ISLAND CHUMASH LAND USE SHAPED VEGETATION COMMUNITIES ON THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Kristina M. Gill1*, John Knapp2, John Randall2, and Jon M. Erlandson3, 1Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara kristinamariegill@gmail.com 2The Nature Conservancy, California Chapter 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon

   Prior to the Historic era, the Island Chumash and their ancestors harvested, managed, and co-evolved with Northern Channel Island flora for 13,000 years or more. Recent archaeobotanical research documents 10,000 years of Chumash plant use on the islands, suggesting that food plants from grassland/forb field communities were very important, especially carbohydrate-rich geophytes like blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), and small seeds like grasses and chenopods. Some archaeological sites also show that food plants like manzanita berry pits (Arctostaphylos spp.) from chaparral communities also were used, as well as a variety of other taxa from different community types. Over time, through processes of various harvesting methods (e.g., collecting, digging/tilling, pruning), Native peoples selected for and encouraged certain plants at the expense of others. More intentional management practices such as annual burning probably were practiced on the islands, as has been well documented elsewhere in California. These Native management strategies were likely differentially applied in various island areas, depending on local conditions and Islander needs. In this paper, we present archaeobotanical data from several sites on Santa Cruz Island’s West End dating to the last 2,500 years prior to the Historic ranching era. We use these data to explore past vegetation communities and the potential anthropogenic forces that shaped them, as well as the long-term effects anthropogenic features such as dense shell middens have on modern plant communities. Our results raise questions about the assumption that island vegetation was dominated by coastal scrub/chaparral communities prior to the ranching era. Finally, we show that the study of paleobotanical remains from archaeological sites can help to inform modern land managers about past plant community distributions and composition.

CHANGES IN CONDITION AND COMPOSITION OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS’ MACROBENTHIC COMMUNITIES

David Gillett* and Ken Schiff, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project davidg@sccwrp.org

   Since 1998, the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program has conducted surveys at five year intervals to monitor and assess the health of the soft-sediment macrobenthic fauna across the Southern California Bight, including the continental shelf of the Channel Islands. The Bight monitoring program uses a probabilistic sampling design providing unbiased estimates of condition for the Channel Islands, and the condition of other habitats within the region. Based upon the results of the 2013 survey, the continental shelf portions of the Channel Islands are relatively healthy (>70% in reference condition), but are in comparatively worse condition than similar habitat from the mainland continental shelf. Furthermore, trends in the data suggest that there may be a small, but steady decline in the condition of Channel Islands shelf habitat over the last 15 years. Concurrently with this change in habitat condition, there has also been a clear, steady change in macrobenthic community composition since 1998. The pattern at the Channel Islands mirrors similar changes in macrobenthic community composition that have been observed in almost every other macrobenthic habitat across the region. These changes may be reflective of changes in regional-scale stressor exposure (i.e., eutrophication or physical disturbance), well as basin-scale changes across the entire Northern Pacific Ocean (i.e., global warming and ocean acidification). Continued monitoring efforts designed to identify the stressors potentially affecting the region will be needed to determine if the changes in macrobenthic community condition and composition are an ongoing trend or short-term anomalies.

Environmental Factors Affecting Shellfish Utilization at Two Prehistoric Habitation Sites in Santa Cruz Island’s Interior

Michael Glassow, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara glassow@anth.ucsb.edu

   In 2014, I carried out test excavations at two prehistoric habitation sites on Santa Cruz Island, CA-SCRI-758 and CA-SCRI-796, in order to learn more about the use of the island’s interior by populations occupying the island between 5,000 and 3,300 cal B.C. Shellfish remains at the two sites are dominated by California mussel (Mytilus zonarius), but strata within this time interval also contain significant quantities of red abalone shells (Haliotis rufescens). CA-SCRI-758 contains deposits dating between 4,700 and 1,600 cal B.C., which allowed investigation of change through time in shellfish utilization. Variation in species proportions between sites appears to reflect shellfish collecting along differing segments of the coast, although inhabitants at both sites probably collected red abalone along coastlines in the island’s western sector. Transport of red abalone to CA-SCRI-758, at an elevation of approximately 450 m, would have been over distances of ~8 km to either the south coast near Punta Arena or the west coast at either end of Christy Beach. Proxies for mussel shell length show no clear temporal pattern at CA-SCRI-758, but mussels are significantly longer at CA-SCRI-796 than at CA-SCRI-758 within strata containing abundant red abalone shells. Differences in population mobility patterns between sites and over time probably account for much of the variability in the shellfish assemblages.

CHANGES IN ABUNDANCE AND SIZE OVER TIME OF TARGET AND NON-TARGET FISHERY SPECIES BETWEEN ISLANDS AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Katie Grady*, David Kushner, and Joshua Sprague, National Park Service, Department of Interior katharineogrady@gmail.com

   To assess spatial and temporal variation in abundance and individual growth of target and non-target fisheries species at The Channel Islands National Park (CINP), we analyzed population density and size frequency data for 12 fish and invertebrate species from 2006-2016. Data were collected by the National Park Service Kelp Forest Monitoring Program using fixed-width transect surveys, roving diver fish counts and in situ size estimates at 33 subtidal kelp forest sites across Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. We expect to see differences in density and changes in average size over a 10-year time period between sites, indicating variability in abundance and individual growth, in part due to a high degree of variation in abiotic factors (e.g. sea surface temperature) between the southern, eastern, and western islands. Comparison of these differences between fished areas and marine reserves across the islands may elucidate how the demography of these species are influenced by fishery and biogeographic factors, independently and interactively. The potential for these interactions are often heightened by large temperature perturbations, such as the most recent El Niño event in Southern California. Analysis such as these could be important for conserving marine fauna and guiding ecological management strategies throughout the CINP.

CHANGES IN CAULACANTHUS USTUALTUS AND ENDOCLADIA MURICATA AT SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND DURING A WARM WATER EVENT

Suzanne Graham1*, Jessica Bredvik1, Brendan Saunders2, and Brian Hong3 1U.S. Navy sgraham@spawar.navy.mil 2Cardno 3National Park Service

   There are limited published data regarding ecological effects of Caulacanthus ustulatus, a non-native red turf algae that was introduced to the southern California intertidal in the 1990s. Most studies have been conducted at mainland sites and little is known regarding Caulacanthus within the Channel Islands. At San Clemente Island, Caulacanthus has been commonly found in mid-high intertidal zones, which is habitat suitable for native red turf algal species such as Endocladia muricata. Recent mainland intertidal studies have shown that Caulacanthus has negatively affected macroinvertebrate populations while also increasing seaweed and meiofauna biodiversity in high intertidal areas. This study investigates differences between percent cover and species richness within adjacent Caulacanthus and Endocladia long-term fixed monitoring plots at San Clemente Island. Five Caulacanthus and five Endocladia fixed plots were established in Spring 2013 and Fall 2010, respectively. Data collected from these plots were used to quantify percent cover and establish species presence by using a 100-point scoring grid during annual Spring/Fall surveys (2013-2016, n=7). Both species’ percent cover decreased during this period. Percent cover of Caulacanthus was highest in spring and fall 2014 at 7% and decreased to 0% in 2016. Similarly, Endocladia plots contained highest percent cover in spring 2014 (22%) and began a declining trend in fall 2014 with 0% cover in 2016. The reduction in percent cover for both species could be an effect of the warming conditions that began in Fall 2014, which ultimately resulted in the 2015-16 El Niño event. To better understand biodiversity and abundance effects that Caulacanthus may have on the intertidal at San Clemente Island, a longer data set will be pursued. Additionally, manipulative experiments between native and non-native competitors will be crucial in better understanding the consequences Caulacanthus has with respect to biodiversity and abundance changes within intertidal assemblages at San Clemente Island.

USING SPATIAL PHYLOGENETICS TO INFORM CONSERVATION AT THE ARCHIPELAGO-SCALE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS PHYLODIVERSITY PROJECT

C. Matt Guilliams1*, Andrew H. Thornhill2, William A. Freyman2, Steven A. Junak1, Adriana I. Hernandez1, Chelsea Wright1, Christina E. Mitine1, Ashleyann Bacay1, Bruce G. Baldwin2, and Brent Mishler2, 1Department of Conservation and Research, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden mguilliams@sbbg.org 2University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley

   Conservation and land management actions are often prioritized in part using ahistorical measures of biodiversity such as the sum of minimum-rank taxa (MRT; i.e., species, subspecies, and varieties) in a region of interest. Although familiar, this approach has serious shortcomings, including 1) treatment of all MRT as biologically equivalent, when it has long been recognized that taxa at a given rank may differ greatly in depth and extent of evolutionary divergence and are therefore non-comparable, and 2) inability to detect spatial phylogenetic patterns in the area of interest, such as regions with concentrations of short-branch MRT or long-branch MRT (areas of putatively high neo- and paleo-endemism, respectively). An alternative approach is to explicitly incorporate phylogenetic history in the estimate of biodiversity. Phylogenetic diversity assessments overcome some of the shortcomings of ahistorical biodiversity metrics, but until recently have been difficult to implement due to the cost of generating sequence data for large numbers of taxa and a dearth of available analytical methods. An ever-increasing volume of DNA sequence data and fine-scale geo-referenced specimen data coupled with new phylogenetic methods and phylodiversity metrics now permit the estimation of phylodiversity at relatively fine phylogenetic and spatial scales. Here we introduce the Channel Islands Phylodiversity Project (CIPP), a collaborative effort to understand the fine-scale distribution of plant phylodiversity on the California Channel Islands (ChI). Building on momentum generated by the California Plant Phylodiversity Project, which focuses at the major clade level across California, our project seeks to estimate the phylodiversity on the ChI, including all 1,000+ plant MRTs. Here we outline the general goals of the CIPP, with an emphasis on spatial phylogenetic methods and metrics. We highlight our progress toward a phylogeny of the ChI flora, a tree that now includes over 750 of the ~1,050 ChI MRT, and conclude with a discussion of the novel perspective that spatial phylogenetics can provide toward the conservation of the remarkable ChI flora.

Old Collections and New Fieldwork: Understanding Development of Socio-Political Complexity at the Agua Santa Site, Santa Cruz Island

Amy E. Gusick, California State University, San Bernardino amy.gusick@csusb.edu

   Since the late 1970s, the Agua Santa Site (SCRI-195) on Santa Cruz Island has been the subject of various archaeological investigations. This comes as no surprise as the site spans a period within the cultural history of the island that population aggregation, shifts in subsistence economy, technological innovations, and an increase in violence have all been documented and cited as evidence for increasing complexity. Aqua Santa, a large village site that includes sixteen structural depressions on the surface, has dense cultural deposits that offer an unparalleled opportunity to collect substantial data pertaining to the Middle Period and the Middle-Late Transitional Period on Santa Cruz Island. These are important time periods in which island populations were involved in significant economic and social changes and the Aqua Santa site appears to represent the larger pattern of apparent population aggregation into coastal village sites and of the increasing socio-political complexity that coincided with this settlement shift. Data from a previous large scale excavation at the Aqua Santa site were never fully processed, but hint at the richness of the site. The current research utilized the old field notes and excavation data to gain a better understanding of the context of the excavated material in order to continue processing the data. These data were then used to target areas for additional sample collection to fill information gaps noted in the collection. Both the previously excavated material and the newly collected samples helped to understand and process the “orphaned” collection which ultimately lead to a better understanding of the development of socio-political complexity within the region.

BLACK ABALONE (HALIOTIS CRACHERODII) POPULATION STRUCTURE SHIFTS THROUGH DEEP TIME: HISTORICAL ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS ALONG THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS, CALIFORNIA

Hannah Haas1*, Todd Braje1, and Matthew Edwards2, 1San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology hannahghaas@gmail.com 2San Diego State University, Department of Biology

   For more than 10,000 years, black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) were an important subsistence resource in southern California, first for the maritime communities of coastal Native Americans, and then beginning in the nineteenth century, as the first commercial shellfishery in the state. By 1993, after years of overfishing, rising sea surface temperatures (SST), and the spread of withering syndrome, black abalone populations had become decimated, resulting in the wholesale collapse of commercial abalone fishing in California. Then, after nearly 25 years of careful management and recovery efforts, black abalone are now showing signs of ecological recovery along some Channel Island shorelines. However, black abalone recovery tends to be measured by their sizes and population densities, largely through information provided by the Channel Islands National Park (CINP) monitoring efforts that began in 1985. As part of a growing need to apply deeper historical perspectives to better inform modern fisheries management and restoration practices, we analyzed black abalone size data from San Miguel Island at prehistoric and historical archaeological sites spanning the last 10,000 years and compared these populations to those described by CINP between 1985 and 2013. We found a statistically significant relationship between SST and of black abalone distributions during the ancient record along with dramatic shifts in population size structure between the nineteenth century and modern periods. Taken together, our study provides a deep historical perspective of abalone population size distributions, patterns within these distributions through time, and parallels to modern abalone populations. Our results can help resource managers determine whether the modern (and perhaps future) size and age structure of intertidal black abalone populations on the northern Channel Islands are “natural” and “healthy”, compared to those that occurred during the previous10,000 years when they were continually and intensively harvested.

PARENTAL ADJUSTMENTS IN THE FACE OF DANGER: IS IT FOR THE BIRDS?

Michael Hague1*, Anna Chalfoun2, and Scott Sillett3, 1University of Wyoming mhague@uwyo.edu 2University of Wyoming 3Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

   Nest predation can strongly limit fitness in birds. Selection should therefore favor individuals that are better able to assess nest predation risk and adjust their nesting behavior accordingly. Additionally, passerines exhibit fixed oviposition, and should rely on plasticity of parental care behavior to minimize nest predation risk. To test this hypothesis, we studied how variation in predator assemblages is related to parental care behavior in Island Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma insularis) by 1) quantifying mean on and off bout lengths and male visitation rates during incubation, 2) estimating an activity index for primary nest predators (Common Raven (Corvus corax) and Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)) on focal territories within two habitat types: oak chaparral and pine woodland, and 3) estimating daily nest survival probabilities. We located and monitored 269 nests in 2015 and 2016, and deployed 24-hour cameras at a subset of those nests to quantify mean bout lengths during incubation. We used distance sampling of fox scat along transects and conducted raven surveys within individual territory boundaries (n = 64) to index nest predator activity. We found that nest success rates were higher in pine woodland where raven activity was higher and fox activity was lower. Additionally, preliminary results show that mean on and off bout lengths were longer in the pine woodland, suggesting that Island Scrub-Jays can adjust parental behavior in response to ambient nest predation risk and that these adjustments are conditional on nest predator species. This study advances our understanding of how animals mitigate predation risk through behavioral adaptations.

SANTA ROSA ISLAND TORREY PINE POPULATION STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT

Travis Hall1*, Andrew Brinkman1, Paula Power2, Kathryn McEachern3, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands halltravis2010@gmail.com 2Channel Islands National Park 3U.S. Geological Survey

   The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is the rarest pine species in North America, with populations of distinct subspecies limited to Del Mar, CA and Santa Rosa Island (SRI). Over the past 150 years, disturbance from non-native ungulates and feral pigs resulted in widespread erosion and conversion of native vegetation from shrublands to grasslands and barrens. We censused the SRI Torrey pine population to determine its size and growth patterns, spatial patterns in stand structure, environmental factors related to seedling recruitment, and the conservation gains associated with ungulate removal. Cores were taken from 19 trees of different sizes to determine the relationship between diameter at breast height and age. We tested distance bands (m) of seedlings and saplings associated with mature trees in high and low densities using a local Moran’s I test within ArcMap. Results were then used in a hot spot analysis to find significant recruitment areas within 3 groves (P<0.01). We established long-term demography plots to monitor the survival and growth rate of the plants. In total, 24,194 individuals make up the SRI Torrey pine population, 3,062 of which are sexually mature; 79% are seedlings and saplings. Recruitment patterns and size structure indicate that protection from disturbance has been critical in preserving the pines. The population has a pronounced reverse j-shaped size distribution, and it is expanding into recovering native vegetation at the stand boundaries. Continued protection is critical to the future conservation of both the Torrey pine populations.

THE SANTA ROSA ISLAND RESEARCH STATION: A UNIQUE FIELD STATION PARTNERSHIP

Cause Hanna1*, Dan Wakelee1, and Russell Galipeau2, 1California State University Channel Islands cause.hanna@csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park

   The Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) provides students, faculty, researchers, and our local community with the resources and opportunities to engage in natural and cultural resource based research and education via a partnership between the US National Park Service and CSU Channel Islands. The majority of field stations in the United States are operated by universities; however only eight university-run field stations are located inside US National Park System units. Partnerships between the US National Park Service and universities can broaden and strengthen the strategic objectives of a field station. We examine and summarize the accomplishments and challenges of the SRIRS since its establishment in 2014. The SRIRS has cultivated a diverse and more inclusive community of scholars and initiated innovative resource management solutions by supporting research, inquiry-based education, and public outreach programs across disciplines. The ability of the SRIRS community to address management challenges from multiple perspectives has and will continue to enable energetic, adept and successful responses to our changing natural and human landscapes. The increased activity at and demand for the SRIRS over the past three years has resulted in an increased number of research projects and partnerships; however it has also emphasized the need to prioritize our programmatic and collaborative opportunities so the SRIRS can successfully achieve its strategic objectives using limited resources. The exploration of this unique partnership between Channel Islands National Park and CSU Channel Islands can inform other collaborative interactions between federal agencies, universities, and their allied stakeholders.

Seabird restoration on Guadalupe Island, México

Julio César Hernández-Montoya*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, Luciana Luna-Mendoza, Federico Méndez-Sánchez, María de los Ángeles Milanés-Salinas, Ariana. Duarte-Canizales, Zayra Peña Moreno, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, and María Félix-Lizárraga, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México, 228 julio.montoya@islas.org.mx

   Guadalupe Island and its surrounding islets are a key breeding site for seabirds. However, feral cats, introduced to the main island more than 100 years ago, are a serious threat, particularly to the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL) and the Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus; GUMU). To protect these species, since 2003 we have a long-lasting cat control program around seabird colonies in the northeast and the southern tip of the island. The positive impacts to seabirds are being closely monitored. LAAL’s colony has grown during the last 30 years, increasing from 4 in 1984 to 199 breeding pairs in 2016, just on the main island. From December to July each year since 2007, every nest has been monitored from egg-laying to chick-fledging. Three locations were monitored: the main Guadalupe Island (Punta Sur), Zapato Islet and Morro Prieto Islet. During 2016, we recorded a total of 867 active nests. We have assessed the reproductive success of LAAL during the past nine years, which in 2015 was 87.59% for chicks and 79.89% for juveniles (n=747 individuals). To protect the LAAL colony from feral cat predation, an exclusion fence was built on Punta Sur in 2014. The 730-meter fence created a 62-hectare cat-free peninsula. The fence, along with cat control in other areas of the island might also encourage GUMU and other seabird species to sustained nesting on the main island: in April 2016, 3 GUMU chicks were recorded within the fenced area. There is now a commitment from a group of donors to fund the feral cat eradication on Guadalupe Island, a highest-priority conservation action. It will be a 4-5 year project that should start in early 2017.

CASSIN’S AUKLET (PTYCHORAMPHUS ALEUTICUS) RESTORATION ON BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Alfonso Hernández-Ríos*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, María Félix-Lizárraga, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México, 22800 alfonso.hernandez@islas.org.mx

   Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU) is listed as Near Threatened by IUCN Red List and as endangered by Mexican law. On islands in the Pacific Ocean off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, some populations were either extirpated by introduced mammals or decimated by DDT and oil spills. Successful eradication of cats and rats on all these islands allowed the natural recolonization of the species on San Roque and Asunción islands. However, this has not been the case for the rest of the islands. Therefore, in 2013 we started a comprehensive long-term seabird restoration program on seven island groups to enhance the recovery of the California Current region’s seabird populations, including auklets. Activities include the use of artificial burrows, sound systems playing vocalizations from regional colonies, and habitat enhancement. To evaluate the effectiveness of social stimuli we have systematically monitored seabird activity in artificial burrows, and have used camera traps. From our experience over the years, we suggest an adaptive management approach and site specific for this particular species. We have observed that habitat preference differs amongst islands, which has then led us to use different designs of artificial burrows, increase their numbers, and modify their configuration and orientation. We also have faced predation by Barn Owl, Common Raven, and Western Gull on some of the islands. During 2014 and 2015, we recorded the species on Todos Santos, Coronado, Natividad and San Martín islands after not being recorded for decades and currently, in 2016, we have recorded artificial burrow occupancy on all islands except San Martín. Our positive results highlight the importance of a long-term conservation program to restore CAAU and other seabird colonies in Mexico.

Collagen Fingerprinting Reveals Earliest Marine Mammal Hunting in the Americas

Courtney A. Hofman1*, Torben C. Rick2, Jon M. Erlandson3, and Mike Buckley4, 1Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma courtney.hofman@ou.edu 2Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 3Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 4Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester

   Marine mammals were among the largest and most attractive resources available to coastal hunter-gatherers, but marine mammal bones are relatively rare and often highly fragmented in terminal Pleistocene/earliest Holocene Paleocoastal archaeological sites in the Americas. This often precludes our understanding of the species that early coastal peoples were hunting or scavenging. Here we present the results of collagen fingerprinting of marine mammal bones from two Paleocoastal sites on California’s Channel Islands dated to ~11,200 and ~9,500 cal BP. These sites produced aquatic birds, shellfish, finfish, and marine mammals, but little is known about the marine mammal species present. Collagen fingerprinting documented at least four species, including Elephant seal, California sea lion, sea otter, and fur seal. Elephant seals are extremely rare in trans-Holocene sites on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, with our data raising the possibility that they were more important to Paleocoastal peoples than people later in the Holocene. Seals, sea lions, and sea otters were an important component of diverse Paleocoastal subsistence strategies and may have helped fuel the coastal peopling of the Americas.

Distribution and spread of the introduced Argentine ant on the California Channel Islands

David Holway1*, Christina Boser2, Korie Merrill3, and Ida Naughton1, 1Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego dholway@ucsd.edu 2The Nature Conservancy, Ventura 3Soil Ecology Research Group, San Diego State University

   The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is a widespread and abundant introduced ant species that disrupts ecosystems throughout its introduced range. The Argentine ant was inadvertently introduced to Santa Catalina Island, San Clemente Island, Santa Cruz Island and San Nicolas Island at various points during the past century. The Argentine ant invades areas dominated by native perennial vegetation on all four islands. Although aridity limits the extent to which the Argentine ant penetrates seasonally dry environments on the southern California mainland, these constraints appear to less strictly apply on the Channel Islands, where the relatively cool and foggy maritime climate seems conducive to the spread of this invader. Longitudinal records of invasion from San Clemente Island and Santa Cruz Island, for example, reveal radial patterns of spread into a variety of natural habitat types. Multiple infestations within the same island are largely the result of repeated, accidental introductions by people. On Santa Cruz Island, detailed studies of the effects of Argentine ant invasions provide clear evidence of native ant displacement and disruption of plant-pollinator mutualisms. Continued expansion of the Argentine ant on the Channel Islands thus represents a grave environmental concern. Eradication programs underway on San Clemente and Santa Cruz Islands will hopefully result in island-wide elimination of this damaging invader.

PORTABLE RITUAL OBJECTS ON THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

Kristin Hoppa1*, Sherri Andrews2, and Jennifer Perry3, 1UC Santa Barbara kristinhoppa@gmail.com 2ASM Affiliates 3California State University Channel Islands

   This paper explores the material conveyance of ritual objects from the northern and southern Channel Islands. We specifically focus on portable material, including charmstones, pendants, effigies, and other specially curated objects. We describe artifacts encountered by the authors during survey and excavation on Santa Cruz Island and San Clemente Island, and discuss the significance of these findings in relation to ethnographic and archaeological evidence from other sites on the Channel Islands and within coastal southern California.

PERVASIVE PLASTICS: A NEW CHALLENGE FOR CRABS AND OUR SANDY BEACH ECOSYSTEM

Dorothy A. Horn*, Micaela Miller, Sean Anderson, and Clare Wormald Steele, California State University Channel Islands dorothy.horn078@myci.csuci.edu

   Marine debris is an emerging global issue and millions of tons of debris are added to marine and coastal systems annually. Plastics are a significant component of marine debris, and of particular concern is the propensity of plastics to attract pollutants, and to degrade into microplastics (particles or fibers <5mm) that are easily ingested. Sandy beach ecosystems accumulate debris from marine and land-based sources, and sandy beach invertebrate infauna, and their predators, are at risk of ingesting microplastic pollution. We sampled sand from 51 beaches across California (northern San Francisco, to San Diego, including the California Channel Islands) and found microplastics present at every beach. We also sampled and dissected Pacific sand crabs (Emerita analoga) from the same geographical area. Sand crabs are found intertidally upon almost every Californian sandy beach, and so are an excellent potential sentinel of ecosystem change across shorelines. We found microplastics present within the bodies of adult sand crabs: an average of 35% of sampled crabs had ingested microplastics. We have demonstrated the ubiquity of microplastics in coastal environments and identified a mechanism of entry into coastal food webs. We are determining any interference caused by plastic ingestion in predator avoidance and reproduction. Given the current rise of plastic pollution across our seas and coasts there is an increasing likelihood of plastics entering marine food webs and impacting coastal ecosystems.

REPRODUCTIVE MONITORING OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET COLONIES ON SANTA BARBARA ISLAND IN 2007-2016

Jim Howard1*, Peter Larramendy1, David Mazurkiewicz2, Laurie Harvey3, Kevin Barnes2, Sasha Auer2, Reneé Robison1, and Darrell Whitworth1, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies jim_howard@ciesresearch.org 2National Park Service 3Sutil Conservation Ecology

   Santa Barbara Island hosts one of the largest nesting population of Scripps’s Murrelets in the world, however various anthropogenic impacts over the Island’s history have restricted habitat availability to sparse vegetation and small caves on the island’s perimeter. Habitat restoration activities on Santa Barbara Island were started in 2007 to promote nesting success and colony expansion of seabirds, especially Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliborhamphus scrippsi). To evaluate habitat restoration efforts, reproductive monitoring has been conducted from 2007 to 2016. Clutch success of Scripps’s Murrelets was highly variable from 45% of nests in 2009 to 74% in 2015. Egg failure due to depredation by native deer mice was identified as the greatest threat to nest success. Previously undetected or new nesting sites were found throughout all monitoring sites annually. In 2015, murrelets were documented nesting for the first time in the restoration sites. Four nests were located in the Landing Cove site and one nest was documented at the Arch Point-North Cliffs site. This milestone marks an expansion of the murrelet colony into the interior of the island. We estimate that approximately 10 acres of available nesting seabird habitat has been created by our restoration efforts.

GEOGRAPHY OF ARROYO DEVELOPMENT AND IMPACTS TO HUMAN LAND USE ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CA

Jeff Howarth, Department of Geography, Middlebury College, VT jhowarth@middlebury.edu

   This article presents evidence from historical maps, historical archaeological features and lidar data to document changes to stream channels in Quaternary deposits caused by erosion following the initiation of sheep ranching on Santa Cruz Island, California. Topographic sheets by the US Coast Survey in 1874-75 indicate spatial variability in the presence of arroyos, or vertically-walled stream channels in valley bottoms at watershed-scales. When compared to a shaded relief map derived from lidar data collected in 2010, arroyos migrated up the valleys of all canyons and can also be observed in locations where they were not depicted on the 1875 map. Two lines of evidence indicate that these changes likely occurred before the end of the 19th century. First, hand-drawn plans by the Santa Cruz Island Company indicate substantial erosion in valley bottoms occurred in the mid-1880s, including gullying in smaller tributaries. Second, the locations of dry masonry check dams, built by ranch workers in the 1880s and 1890s, also document the presence of arroyos and gullies in smaller tributaries. The spatial location of check dams relative to other land use features indicate that eroding stream channels impacted ranching and agricultural activities, particularly cultivation and transportation. Annotations on the plans also document both an explicit and implicit normative perspective towards stream channels that stood in contrast to descriptions of the environmental conditions as they existed then. This article contributes to previous investigations of human-induced environmental change in California’s Channel Islands by documenting both a window of time and spatial variability for the development of arroyos on Santa Cruz Island. In addition, this research also highlights a two-way relationship between historical human activity and environmental change, where human activities not only contribute to environmental change, but environmental changes in turn influence human activities and attitudes towards the environment.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS COLABORATIVE: A BLUEPRINT FOR THE RECOVERY AND CONSERVATION OF BOTANICAL RESOURCES

William Hoyer III1*, John Knapp2, Morgan Ball3, Donaxi Borjes4, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, C. Matt Guilliams7, Julio Hernández8, Emily Howe3, Denise Knapp7, Lyndall Laughrin9, Luciana Luna8, David Mazurkiewicz5, Kathryn McEachern10, Bryan Munson11, Ken Niessen10, Tom Oberbauer12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall2, Sarah Ratay3, Dirk Rodriguez5, Heather Schneider7, and Sula Vanderplank14, 1US Navy- San Nicolas Island william.hoyer@navy.mil 2The Nature Conservancy 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4Comisión Nacional de Áreas, Naturales Protedgidas 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 8Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas 9University of California Natural Reserve System 10US Geologic Survey- Biological Resources Division 11US Navy- San Clemente Island 12Tom Oberbauer 13Channel Islands Restoration 14Botanical Research Institute of Texas

   Following the reduction or removal of introduced vertebrates across most of the islands in the United States and Mexico within the California Floristic Province over the last four decades, many plant taxa and vegetation communities appear to be on a clear trajectory towards recovery; however, others have not fared so well. Island botanical resources have received little attention directly compared to the conservation of endemic fauna. The most urgent work to conserve island fauna has been completed. More resources are now available for focused conservation and recovery of botanical resources. Many island endemic plant taxa have been extirpated from one or more islands, others are on the brink of extinction. Recovery of native vegetation has stalled in many areas, invasive plants still remain and novel species will continue to invade unless prevented, and the threat of climate change looms over all the islands. In the last three years, island managers and mainland collaborators have developed a comprehensive bi-lateral conservation program: the Islands of the Californias/Islas del las Californias. We share knowledge, expertise, strategies, prioritization schemes, equipment, and fundraising power to collectively address the most urgent challenges. The Collaboration’s five key initiatives are: 1) Plant Extinction Prevention Program, 2) Invasive Plant Management Network, 3) All Taxa Database, 4) Restoration Network, and 5) Workshare Program. Island managers and mainland collaborators realize that in order for this program to be effective and sustainable, strong personal and organizational relationships and ongoing interactions will be vital.

Conservation preservation in Gwaii Haanas - keeping islands biosecure within the constraints of a remote field environment, multiple users and less time than you’d like

Robyn L. Irvine, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site robyn.irvine@pc.gc.ca

   Island restoration projects within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site created four rat-free islands to enable seabird conservation gains. The challenge of keeping them free of invasive rats was made painfully real when one of the islands was reinvaded with rats. The development of a biosecurity program has been ongoing, but the complexities of implementing it and ensuring that our own staff boats and processes are not enabling reinvasion will be discussed. The ideal biosecurity program would firstly be completely secure with respect to transport. It would also have continuity, oversight at various locations and scales, and staff and community ownership. I will discuss how we are working to improve our current program and some of the current challenges.

MOUNTAIN MEN IN THE CALIFORNIA ISLANDS: OTTER HUNTING, BULL BOATS, AND ENCOUNTERS WITH NATIVE AMERICANS INCLUDING THE LONE WOMAN OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Steven R. James, Division of Anthropology, California State University at Fullerton, P.O. Box 6846, Fullerton, CA 92834-6846 sjames@fullerton.edu

   During the late 1820s and 1830s, a number of American fur-trapping expeditions traveled to California in search of beaver and other fur-bearing mammals. Many of the so-called “Mountain Men” traversed the region and headed back to the Rockies or further east to the United States. However, some stayed in southern coastal California and turned to otter hunting in the Channel Islands and elsewhere along the Pacific Coast. A few individuals also married into Mexican land-owning families and became prominent citizens and cattle barons. The mountain men highlighted here include Francis Branch, Lewis Burton, Job Dye, George Nidever, Isaac Sparks, Isaac Williams, and George Yount. Historical accounts of these men provide descriptions of their otter hunting exploits, construction of watercraft including use of elephant seal skins to make “bull boats”, and encounters with Native populations on the Channel Islands, which are discussed in this presentation. One account describes the Nicoleño of San Nicolas Island a few years before they were removed from the island in 1835, including perhaps a brief mention of a young female who later became known as the Lone Woman—the last surviving Nicoleño. In all the descriptions about the legendary Lone Woman, as well as recent archaeological publications, we tend to forget that George Nidever, the otter-hunting sea captain who searched for and removed the Lone Woman in 1853 from San Nicolas Island, was a former mountain man, grizzly bear hunter, and used other Native California Indians as servants during the Gold Rush. Other mountain men who stayed in California even fathered children with California Indians in southern California. Finally, the possibility that elephant seal skin watercraft constructed by the mountain men as “bull boats” might have been used in prehistory on the Channel Islands, perhaps even by Paleoindians, is examined.

Coastal Archaeological Site Erosion on Santa Rosa Island, California

Christopher Jazwa, University of Nevada, Reno cjazwa@unr.edu

   Erosion threatens archaeological sites along the California coast, including the Channel Islands. Many of the largest settlement sites on the islands, including historically documented village sites, are located along the coast and at risk of damage or loss. Historic grazing and natural coastal processes have destabilized the soil and led to increased erosion during the past century. I show the effects of annual erosion at 11 archaeological sites around the coast of Santa Rosa Island from 2013 to 2016. I have monitored erosion through GIS mapping, measurement of permanent points, and photography. These observations are compared with local weather data, including daily precipitation, average wind speed, and wind gusts. I discuss interannual and geographic variation in archaeological site erosion on Santa Rosa Island, including the effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño. Future coastal site erosion monitoring on the northern Channel Islands could help preserve the unique cultural resources present there.

Lithologic, Climatic, and Anthropogenic Controls on Gully Incision into Bedrock: Santa Cruz Island, CA

Kerri N. Johnson1,2*, Scott McCoy2, Oliver Chadwick1, and Kevin Schmidt3, 1University of California, Santa Barbara KNJohnson@ucsb.edu 2University of Nevada, Reno 3U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park

   Gullies (or Arroyos) exist at the threshold between stable soil mantled hillslopes and bare bedrock landscapes. Gully incision produces large amounts of fine sediment which can choke aquatic, riparian and off-shore habitat. In many contexts around the world, gully incision corresponds in time with land use and vegetation change, but the process and controls on gully incision diversity remain a mystery. Santa Cruz Island offers an excellent laboratory to study the controls on gully incision and hillslope recovery because of its diverse bedrock lithology, and its well documented grazing and vegetation recovery history. Gully density varies across the island with lithology as the first order control. Our goal is to better understand the way the process of gully incision differs by lithology. From this understanding we explore the way precipitation patterns, fog, slope aspect, soil depth, and vegetation influence gully incision and healing. We focus on one of the most extensively gullied lithologies: the Cañada Formation mudstone which is found primarily in Sauces and Pozo Canyons. We show that in contrast to the classic conceptual understanding of gullies eroding into soil and slowing when they get into harder bedrock, in landscapes underlain by mudstone like the Cañada formation with high shrink-swell clay content, bedrock is more erodible than soil and soil forms a protective cap on the landscape. When gully incision outpaces soil formation, bare bedrock is exposed to rapid drying, fracture, and loss of resistance to continued gully incision. We estimate erosion from one episode of drying (2016) and explore how precipitation patterns, fog, slope aspect and vegetation influence the processes of soil formation and gully channel incision in this unique yet common lithology.

Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates from Arlington Springs, Santa Rosa Island

John R. Johnson1*, Thomas W. Stafford, Jr.2, G. James West3, Thomas K. Rockwell4, Don P. Morris5, Katherine Bradford6, and Fred Schaeffer1, 1Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History jjohnson@sbnature2.org 2Stafford Research 3University of California, Davis 4San Diego State University 5Channel Islands National Park (ret.) 6University of California, Santa Barbara

   Six seasons of fieldwork have taken place at the Arlington Springs Site, CA-SRI-173, on Santa Rosa Island between 1994-2008, documenting the stratigraphy through exposing the side wall of Arlington Canyon, obtaining sediment cores, and LIDAR scanning the excavations and site vicinity. More than 70 radiocarbon dates document the Late Pleistocene and Early-to-Middle Holocene sedimentary record at this location. The chronostratigraphic evidence thus acquired supports the previously published calibrated age of around 13,000 cal BP obtained from collagenous protein from Arlington Springs Man's femora. These bones were embedded in a stratum underlying a prominently visible black layer marking the Younger Dryas Cooling Period that began about 12,800 cal BP. The sedimentation rate as revealed in the Arlington Springs cores mirrors the reconstructed sea level curve during the Late Pleistocene.

THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF ANACAPA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Steven Junak* and Ralph Philbrick, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sjunak@sbbg.org

   The three islets of Anacapa Island, with a combined area of 2.9 square km, lie 20 km off the coast of southern California. Historically, each of Anacapa's islets have been subjected to periodic grazing by sheep, and the eastern islet has also had a sizeable population of introduced rabbits. In spite of these past perturbations, the recovery of the island's vegetation has been remarkable since sheep removal in 1937. Despite its small size, Anacapa Island supports a surprising diversity of vascular plants, with over 235 taxa from 50 plant families. Twenty of these taxa are restricted to the California Islands; one annual species of Malacothrix occurs as a narrow endemic found only on Middle Anacapa Island, while another annual subspecies of Malacothrix is known only from West and East Anacapa. The floral diversity of this island has apparently been influenced by its close proximity to the mainland and other larger islands, and by its diverse topography. Anacapa Island supports a slightly larger native flora than San Miguel Island, which is about 13 times larger and is located about 80 km to the west. The Anacapa native flora is more than twice the size of that found on Santa Barbara Island, which has about the same area as Anacapa Island but is located approximately 100 km to the southeast. Even though botanical exploration began on Anacapa in 1889, the current work represents the first complete enumeration of the island's flora.

Use of Fire in Controlling the Balance of Native and Non-native grasses

Jon E. Keeley1*, Teresa J. Brennan1, and Dawn M. Lawson2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Field Station, Three Rivers, CA 93271 jon_keeley@usgs.gov 2Environmental Scineces and Applied Systems Branch, San Diego, CA 92152

   California has many native grassland fragments dominated by the bunchgrass Stipa pulchra. However, most all share dominance with exotic annual grasses and forbs. Theoretically there is reason to believe that one can alter the balance between natives and non-natives through carefully planned prescribed burns that negatively impact the latter more than the natives. This was tested in native grasslands on San Clemente Island. In the first growing season after the Rx burns, native grasses declined only slightly due to resprouting from surviving bunchgrasses. However, exotic annual grasses were substantially reduced. This reduction has persisted for three years postfire.

COLLISION AND DISPLACEMENT VULNERABILITY AMONG MARINE BIRDS OF THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM ASSOCIATED WITH OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

Emma C. Kelsey1*, Jonathan J. Felis1, David M. Pereksta2, and Josh Adams1, 1U.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz, CA ekelsey@usgs.gov 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Pacific OCS Region, Camarillo, CA

   Capitalizing on open areas with persistent winds, offshore wind-energy infrastructure (OWEI) has the potential to produce a significant proportion of the power necessary to reach the United States’ renewable energy needs. Marine birds are vulnerable to collision with and displacement by OWEI. We created a comprehensive database of marine bird vulnerability to OWEI in the California Current System (CCS). Using available information on population size, demography, life history, flight heights, and avoidance behavior for 62 seabird and 19 marine water bird species that occur in the CCS; we generated three vulnerability values: Population Vulnerability, Collision Vulnerability, and Displacement Vulnerability. Population Vulnerability was applied to Collision and Displacement Vulnerability as a scaling factor to generate two comprehensive indices: Population Collision Vulnerability (PCV) and Population Displacement Vulnerability (PDV). Pelicans, terns, gulls, cormorants, and Ashy Storm-Petrel had the greatest PCV scores. Alcids, terns, loons, and Ashy Storm-Petrel had the greatest PDV scores. Using the most recent aerial at-sea survey data (U.S. Geological Survey and Humboldt State University 1999 – 2002), we mapped bird densities within the southern CCS (Morro Bay to the California-Mexico border) as a function of their cumulative PCV and PDV scores to create a PCV distribution and PDV distribution for the suite of species in the southern CCS. The PCV distribution and PDV distribution for these species provides estimates of marine bird vulnerability levels in locations where OWEI construction is being considered, including the recent Trident Winds LCC lease request off Morro Bay, California. PCV and PDV distribution estimates can be used by BOEM and other resource managers to help inform siting decisions that can impact seabird conservation.

STABILITY AND CHANGE IN KELP FOREST HABITATS AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Michael Kenner1* and M. Tim Tinker2, 1University of California Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab, 100 Shaffer Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 mkenner@ucsc.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060

   Kelp forest communities are highly variable over space and time, but despite this complex variation it has been suggested that kelp forest communities can be classified into one of two states: kelp dominated or sea urchin dominated. It has been further hypothesized that these represent “alternate stable states”, since a site can remain in one or the other state for decades before some perturbation causes a rapid shift to the other state, in which it may in turn remain. Our research group has maintained a 37-year subtidal community monitoring program at San Nicolas Island, consisting of twice-annual, scuba-based surveys at 6 sites distributed within 4 regions around the Island. Three types of perturbations could potentially have impacted the subtidal community at San Nicolas: 1) physical disturbance, in the form of major storm events and ENSO events; 2) invertebrate diseases, which periodically decimate urchin populations; and 3) the re-introduction and subsequent increase of sea otters. These three perturbations differ in spatial and temporal specificity: physical disturbance and disease outbreaks occur periodically and could affect all 4 regions, while sea otter predation has been concentrated primarily at West-end sites over the last 15 years. Spatiotemporal discrepancies in perturbations and the duration of the time series make San Nicolas an ideal data set with which to test the “alternate stable state” hypothesis. We use Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to examine spatial and temporal patterns of community similarity at the three regions. In particular, we evaluate support for the existence of stable states, which are represented on NMDS plots as distinct spatial clusters. Community state can be described as a biased random walk in NMDS space, with evidence for separate basins of attraction; moreover, we show that transitions from one stable state to another may be influenced by interactions between multiple perturbations.

FROM ABUNDANT TO NEAR EXTINCTION AND BACK: THE ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IMPLEMENTED IN SAVING THE CATALINA ISLAND FOX

Julie King, Santa Catalina Island Conservancy jking@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Catalina Island fox subspecies declined by approximately 95% in 1999 as a result of canine distemper virus most likely introduced by a stowaway raccoon. The Catalina subspecies, along with three others were petitioned for listing under the ESA in 2001 and ultimately listed as endangered in March 2004. Swift implementation of science-based recovery actions under an adaptive management framework was essential and included translocations, captive breeding, prophylactic vaccination, radio collar monitoring for mortality, annual health screenings, veterinary care, educational outreach, and threat abatement. Additional conservation actions such as feral pig and goat removal, invasive plant management, and native plant restoration were happening concurrently and have greatly improved fox habitat from pre-decline conditions. The Catalina Island Conservancy’s non-profit status allowed for financial flexibility, enabling the rapid redirection of general operating funds towards fox recovery and has allowed for non-governmental funding strategies such as black-tie galas, family foundation support, recreational events, and earned income to be earmarked towards recovery activities. The Island Fox Conservation Working group convened following the decline of all four subspecies and provided a platform for a diverse group of collaborators to investigate additional questions that would influence future management decisions. Their contributions to what we know about the genetic diversity, diet, pathogen prevalence, home range, and population dynamics of island foxes has been invaluable to the ongoing successes of all six subspecies. Catalina’s fox population has made a remarkable comeback since 1999 and has achieved population viability with an estimated 1,812 foxes in 2015, however factors leading to its original listing have not been thoroughly mitigated to achieve legal delisting. The Catalina Island fox continues to face challenges similar to those found on the mainland including human-caused mortalities, project funding limitations, potential disease introduction, and multiple stakeholders with differing missions and goals.

IMPACTS OF MESEMBRYANTHEMUM CRYSTALLINUM ON THE PLANT AND ARTHROPOD DIVERSITY OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Denise Knapp* and Chris Garoutte, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden dknapp@sbbg.org

   Crystalline iceplant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) is an invasive weed from South Africa that was recorded as abundant on San Nicolas Island as early as 1898. It is known to accumulate salts on the soil surface and forms high ground cover throughout the island, but the resulting impacts to plant and arthropod communities have not been quantified. In April 2016, we gathered baseline plant and arthropod biodiversity data prior to initiating experimental restoration treatments. We performed pitfall trapping and visual plant cover surveys in a series of 42 2x2 meter plots in each of three locations on the island. We found that results differed among the three sites, with significant negative effects of Mesembryanthemum on both plant and arthropod richness at two sites (plants 65% and 23% lower, p=0.005 and 0.042 respectively; arthropods 38% and 35% lower, p=0.002 and 0.010 respectively), and the third site displaying no difference in plant richness but somewhat greater arthropod richness in Mesembryanthemum plots (19% greater, p = 0.06). Furthermore, we found a strong negative correlation between Mesembryanthemum cover and both plant and arthropod richness at the first two sites (Pearson’s r = -0.61 and -0.49 for plants, -0.76 and 0.70 for arthropods). The site with fewer differences is dune sand, which supports sparser vegetation and may leach salts more readily. In future work, we will investigate soil texture and salinity as well as differences in arthropod composition, particularly those taxa known as preferred food sources for island foxes. Then in fall 2016, we will apply two Mesembryanthemum reduction treatments (grow-kill, which should leach any salts, and herbicide, which is more cost-effective) and hydroseed native plants in a portion of those plots.

FACT, FICTION, AND HEARSAY: THE STATUS OF FOENICULUM VULGARE ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

John Knapp*1, Morgan Ball2, and Katrina Olthof2, 1The Nature Conservancy 532 E. Main St., Suite 200, Ventura, CA 93001 jknapp@tnc.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science

   Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) was first discovered on the Isthmus of Santa Cruz Island in the late 1800’s, and soon after was regarded as a pest. It expanded throughout the island, but occurred at very low densities for nearly a century. Following the removal of feral herbivores in late 1980’s, and a strong El Niño event in the early 1990’s, F. vulgare infestations expanded dramatically resulting in extensive mono-typic stands. The Nature Conservancy developed effective control methodologies in the 1990’s; however, other conservation priorities postponed any F. vulgare management until 2008, but were limited to a roadside weed management program to stop the anthropogenic dispersal of the species to high value sites. Research in the 1990’s investigated the long-term trajectory of F. vulgare stands and concluded that over time native vegetation would recolonize dense infestations. Since that time there has been a wide array of great speculation by island managers and mainland researchers regarding the status of F. vulgare, which has resulted in island managers taking relatively little action to reduce F. vulgare abundance. To address these questions, the results of an island-wide aerial weed survey performed in 2007 were compared to a repeat effort conducted in 2015. Analysis of the two surveys indicates that historically large stands of F. vulgare have reduced in density while native plant cover has increased. However, F. vulgare continues to dominate those sites. Conversely, areas with small, remote infestations are currently expanding in their extent and density, indicating that F. vulgare has not yet reached naturalized equilibrium. Although native vegetation may recolonize F. vulgare stands after two decades of passive restoration, an extensive seedbank exists that may be triggered by a wildfire event, thus favoring F. vulgare over native species. Based on F. vulgare distribution and abundance, multiple watersheds could be controlled to zero density, while large infestations will require a long-term strategy.

FIRST REPORT AND ASSESSMENT OF THE INVASIVE ALGA UNDARIA PINNATIFIDA AT THE NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS

David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 david_kushner@nps.gov

   The Asian kelp Undaria pinnatifida was first discovered in Southern California in 2000. Since, it has spread as far north as Bodega Bay, California. As early as 2001 it was observed at Catalina Island, but was not observed at any of the other offshore Islands until 2016. On June 24th, 2016 Channel Islands National Park Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFMP) discovered U. pinnatifida at one of the 33 KFMP sites it monitors annually. This is the first documented report of U. pinnatifida at the five Northern Channel Islands. Surveys were conducted to document the extent of the invasion. This is an update of information collected, as well as a discussion for a possible control and eradication attempt of this invasive species.

ISLAND BIOSECURITY AT WORK: EARLY DETECTION AND RAPID RESPONSE ON MEXICAN ISLANDS

Mariam Latofski-Robles1*, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Cynthia Jáuregui-García1, Araceli Samaniego-Herrera1, Patricia Koleff-Osorio2, Georgia Born-Schmidt2, José Bernal-Stoopen3, Eduardo Rendón-Hernández3, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. mariam.latofski@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

   Island Biosecurity Protocols include prevention measures, early detection methods and incursion response plans. Although the most cost-effective strategy is to prioritize efforts in preventing any incursion, early detection methods are of critical importance to discover an elusive individual and thus evaluate our prevention measures. Incursion response plans consider a communication and involvement strategy, the allocation of responsibilities, and methods to confirm/deny the incursion, as well as to assess the dispersal and establishment of an invasive species. During the last years, we have had six incursion response cases on four Mexican islands, all of them involving rodents as the prime suspects. Three of the cases were false alarms; on two more, the incursion was detected on time and stopped by means of a fast reaction; while on the last case, we found that the species was already well established and thus eradicated years later. As Mexico’s Island Biosecurity Program starts to unfold on a group of selected islands all over the country, and the committee of each island or islands group elaborates its own Island Biosecurity Protocol, our experiences with these incursion response cases provide lessons to be adopted nationwide. Local capacity building, for instance, is of vital importance for a swift and decisive incursion response. Also, strong partnerships and straightforward communication between local communities, island managers and other stakeholders (e.g., tourist operators) are essential to effectively implement a rapid response. Furthermore, the ad hoc design and wide distribution of outreach materials for each island is important to raise awareness and inform both local actors and visitors. Finally, these incursion response cases have had economic costs not specifically allocated for that matter, so the creation of a national biosecurity fund for emergency incursion responses will be an important step forward.

AN OVERVIEW OF ORNITHOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE STUDY

Lyndal Laughrin1*, Linnea Hall2, Linda Dye3, and Peter Larramendy4, 1University of California Natural Reserve System lyndal.laughrin@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology 3Channel Islands National Park 4California Institute of Environmental Studies

   There have been many projects conducted on birds associated with the California Channel Islands, and some of these have been described in the eight publications since 1965 from this California Islands Symposia series, as well as many other papers in the scientific literature. A recent check-list of 422 historic and current bird species of the northern Channel Islands also has been published (Collins and Jones 2015), which compiles numerous historical and current observations of birds since the mid-1800s. A summary of all research projects on the islands was presented in the 5th California Islands Symposium (Klinger and Van Buren 1999), but a summary of all bird projects, in particular, has not been compiled for this symposium series. This presentation will review avian projects conducted on the Channel Islands, and will highlight recent population studies on eagles, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Scripp’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa), Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi), and other terrestrial and marine species. We also will summarize current trends in the status of terrestrial species from a long-term National Park Service monitoring project on the northern islands, and discuss the species for which more specialized research seems warranted based on those trends.

LANDSCAPE MODELING TO PREDICT THE POTENTIAL NATURAL VEGETATION OF SANTA CATALINA ISLAND (CALIFORNIA)

Travis Longcore1*, Nina Noujdina1, and Peter Dixon2, 1University of Southern California, School of Architecture and Spatial Sciences Institute longcore@usc.edu 2Catalina Island Conservancy

   The vegetation of Santa Catalina Island has been significantly transformed through a history of introduction of exotic plant species and disturbance by large introduced herbivores. Many of these disturbances have been reduced in recent decades through the careful control of the number of bison and removal of feral pigs and goats. The success of subsequent vegetation restoration actions requires the choice of the right plant community for a location, which may not be obvious for an island with extensive habitat alteration attributable to the effects of exotic species. Environmental niche modelling is an approach to re-create the spatial distribution of habitat types for such a purpose. Such models, however, often require both presence and absence data for a species of interest, which does not exist in this scenario. Maximum entropy modeling is a technique to model species distributions with presence-only data that has been shown to produce accurate results. We used this modeling tool to model the environmental niche for distinct vegetation types on Catalina Island as a means to predict those locations where restoration actions would be most successful and to predict potential natural vegetation prior to anthropogenic disturbance. We extracted random points from within the polygons defining each native vegetation type in a 2005 vegetation map. We then modelled the habitat suitability for each vegetation type using high-resolution environmental data that included elevation, aspect, hillshade, northeastness, slope, soil type, solar insolation, and topographic wetness index. The resulting models were combined to produce a map of potential natural vegetation. We compared four dominant communities (woodland, chaparral, scrub and grassland) to the 1977 map of potential vegetation by Küchler. Our new map of potential natural vegetation has high spatial complexity, high resolution, and shows naturalistic responses to topography that are consistent with the broad patterns predicted by Küchler while providing fine-scale resolution to inform restoration efforts.

IMPACTS OF RECENT ENVIRONMENTAL ANOMALIES ON SEABIRDS OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

Yutzil Lora-Cabrera*, David Martínez-Cervantes, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, María Félix-Lizárraga, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. yutzil.lora@islas.org.mx

   As part of a long-term seabird restoration project on seven island groups in the Pacific Ocean, off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, we have been monitoring colonies of Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis; BRPE) and Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus; BRAC). During the past couple of years, these two species have experienced an unusual nesting and reproductive behavior. We assessed the relationship between the number of BRPE and BRAC nests and environmental anomalies within the region. A general decrease was observed in the amount of nests for both BRPE and BRAC during 2014 and 2015 in comparison with historical numbers. We recorded a maximum of 510 BRPE nests and 3,500 BRAC nests in these two years. In 2015, 38% of BRPE nests and 50% of BRAC nests were abandoned and a low reproductive performance was recorded for both species (<0.5 fledglings/breeding pair). Sea surface temperatures (SST) around all seven island groups were warmer in 2014 and 2015 than the typical year (calculated for the period 2003-2016) while chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration was lower than the 14-year average. The highest anomalies of both SST and Chl-a were recorded during 2015. Therefore, changes in seabird nesting patterns, reproductive performance and survival are most likely due to less food availability during warm El Niño type climatic anomalies. Extensive and long term research on seabirds is being conducted on the Baja California Pacific Islands, including: nest censuses, productivity analyses, feeding behavior studies and at-sea movement pattern monitoring. Additionally, the relationships between ocean and atmospheric conditions, breeding success and migration patterns will continue to be evaluated.

CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS: HISTORICAL DIET PATTERNS IN RELATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES

Mark S. Lowry, Alan R. Jackson, and Robert Holland, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries Mark.Lowry@noaa.gov

   Historical diet patterns of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in relation to environmental changes were examined from analysis of 16,449 seasonally collected scat samples collected during 1981-2015 at San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island. Environmental variables, such as the Multivariate El Niño Index and Sea Level Height at Los Angeles harbor, were examined in relation to the diet of sea lions and to pup production. Of 133 prey species identified, seven common prey were found in scat samples. Northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) dominated the diet during the 1980s and market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) dominated the diet during the 1990s and 2000s; and when consumption of these species declined, sea lions switched to other common prey and consumed more non-common prey. Consumption of the non-common prey taxa group increased during warm-water El Niños when pup production decreased and consumption decreased during cold-water La Niñas when pup production increased. Size of prey consumed averaged 12.6 cm, but varied by and within species and time. Anomalies in the diet derived from 1981-2007 diet data showed that during the 2013 and 2015 Unusual Mortality Events, that hake (Merluccius productus), anchovy, and sardine (Sardinops sagax) consumption dropped, and consumption of shortbelly rockfish (Sebastes jordani) and non-common squid and fish prey species increased. Very high diet diversity indices for summer 2009, spring 2013, winter 2015 and spring 2015 were found when Unusual Mortality Events occurred at southern California Channel Island rookeries. The study has shown how the diet of California sea lions reflects environmental change, and possibly, how their diet will be affected by climate change when ocean temperatures increase.

Citizen science in youth environmental education programs along the Santa Barbara Channel & Channel Islands

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton1* and Azucena Yzquierdo1,2, 1MERITO Foundation rocio.lozano@meritofoundation.org 2California State University Channel Islands

   The Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) Foundation has taken advantage of the fast development of new technology to strengthen our citizen science methods in our youth environmental education programs over past two years. Our two ocean and environmental science programs for youth are the MERITO Academy for 4th-7th grade students, and Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification (EECCOA) for 8th to 12th graders. Both programs aim to involve students in data collection, interpretation and contribution to on-going scientific research programs and/or to launch our own projects to tackle local environmental issues. Our students currently contribute observations and data to Cornell University’s eBird program, Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Sea’s Program, NOAA Long Term Monitoring and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS) Program, and to our own water quality-monitoring program of local rivers and canals. Data collected by MERITO Foundation’s students over the years have documented events such as the commencing of the ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) wasting syndrome and the drop of dissolved oxygen content in the water draining from J canal in Oxnard. We use National Geographic’s Field scope mapping tool to represent much of the data collected. Youths’ participation in scientific research along the Santa Barbara Channel Region, including the Channel Islands, assist teachers implementing the Next Generation of Science Standards in natural environments and provide students’ with a sense of accomplishment and ownership by contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge and finding solutions to environmental problems.

 

 

RESTORATION OF PLANT COMMUNITIES ON GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO

Luciana Luna-Mendoza1*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya1,2, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Benito Bermúdez Almada3, Jacinto Samuel García-Carreón4, and Donaxi Borjes-Flores5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 luciana.luna@islas.org.mx 2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Instituto Politécnico Nacional 195, Playa Palo de Santa Rita Sur, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México 23096 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. Constituyentes S/N, Fidepaz, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México 23094 4Comisión Nacional Forestal. Periférico Poniente 5360, San Juan de Ocotán, Zapopan, Jalisco, 45019 5Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. del Puerto 375-30, Playa Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22880

   As the first step towards the ecological restoration of its islands, Mexico has completed eradications of invasive mammals from 13 islands within the Baja California Peninsula region through a strong partnership between Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A. C. (GECI), the Mexican federal government, local fishing communities, academia, other civil society organizations, and national and international donors. The removal of invasive mammals has led to the recovery of the islands’ ecosystems. However, actions such as the active restoration of degraded vegetation are needed to achieve an island’s full recovery. On Guadalupe Island, after completing the goat eradication, GECI in collaboration with the Mexican National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) is implementing a project to promote the recovery of native vegetation. This project involves the establishment of a nursery on-site, reforestation, and soil restoration on distinct vegetation communities that range from forests, composed by endemic pine (Pinus radiata var. binata), cypress (Cupressus guadalupensis) palm (Brahea edulis) and island oak (Quercus tomentella), to maritime desert scrub. Chaparral elements such as Ceanothus spp. are also considered as well as other species as Cistanthe guadalupensis, Island Snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa), Island Hazardia (Hazardia cana), and Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea). To date, the nursery has been established, seed of several species has been collected, and plants for some species (mostly trees) are being grown. Currently some research and trials are being conducted focusing on the best strategies to ensure plant establishment. This is fostering collaboration with similar projects on the Channel Islands where research has been devoted to answering similar questions (i.e. fog collection). Experiences from the Guadalupe Island project could be applied to other Mexican Islands such as Socorro (where we recently eradicated feral sheep) and Clarion (once European rabbits are removed).

RESTORATION OF THE MEXICAN ISLANDS: COLLABORATION ACROSS BORDERS

Luciana Luna-Mendoza1*, Julio Hernández-Montoya1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Donaxi Borjes-Flores2, Morgan Ball3, Christie Boser4, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, C. Matt Guilliams7, Emily Howe3, Bill Hoyer8, Steve Junak7, Denise Knapp7, John Knapp4, Lyndal Laughrin9, Annie Little10, Kathryn McEachern11, David Mazurkiewicz5, Scott Morrison4, Bryan Munson8, Ken Niessen5, Tom Oberbauer, Ken Owen12, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall4, Sarah Ratay3, Dirk Rodriguez5, and Heather Schneider7, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 luciana.luna@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Av. del Puerto 375-30, Playa Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22880 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4The Nature Conservancy 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 8U.S. Navy 9UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve 10U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 11U.S. Geological Survey 12Channel Islands Restoration

   The islands off the western coast of the Baja California Peninsula host a vast array of unique flora and fauna. Many plants and seabirds present within the California and Baja California ecoregion, or "The/Las Californias", are endemic and live nowhere else on earth. Like the Channel Islands, the Baja California Pacific Islands have been impacted by invasive species, particularly herbivores, cats, and rats, in many cases, resulting in the extirpation and extinction of native species. On the many islands where invasive mammals have been removed, full or partial recovery of the islands’ ecosystems has been remarkably rapid. However, where impacts of the invasives were severe, further actions have been needed to achieve full recovery, such as social attraction techniques for seabirds to restore breeding colonies or active restoration of degraded vegetation. On both sides of the border, much effort is being devoted to island ecosystem recovery. Therefore, developing across-border collaboration among “island restorers” from Mexico and the United States, from different sectors —federal government, civil society organizations, research institutes, and botanic gardens— represents a significant opportunity. Such collaboration is starting to mature as the “Islands of the Californias/Islas de las Californias Collaborative,” an initiative that developed in close collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and many other agencies and non-profits during a workshop held on Guadalupe Island in 2016. Here, we focus on some examples that show the potential for this partnership. Recently, for example, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) came together on Guadalupe Island to design and develop a nursery for native trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on island endemic taxa. This and other examples represent the opportunities ahead for strengthening cross-border collaboration, allowing for the restoration of similar ecosystems within a region through the consolidation of synergies.

LIFE HISTORY OF THE INVASIVE SEAWEED SARGASSUM HORNERI

Lindsay M. Marks*, Daniel C. Reed, Sally J. Holbrook, and Carla M. D'Antonio, University of California Santa Barbara marks@lifesci.ucsb.edu

   Sargassum horneri is a brown alga native to shallow reefs of eastern Asia. It has spread aggressively throughout southern California and Baja California, Mexico, since it was first detected in the eastern Pacific in 2003. Because S. horneri can be locally very abundant and highly persistent, its continued expansion in the eastern Pacific poses a major threat to the sustainability of native ecosystems. Understanding the life history of S. horneri in its novel range and how this relates to native macroalgae is necessary to comprehend why the seaweed has become so invasive and to predict the effects its spread will have on kelp forest communities. To this end, we documented the seasonal patterns of growth, reproduction, recruitment and senescence of this seaweed and developed allometric relationships across life stages, which can be used to estimate biomass dynamics using maturity and size frequency data. We found that S. horneri had a strongly seasonal, annual life cycle whereby juveniles were abundant in summer and fall, growth was rapid in the winter, the vast majority of reproduction occurred in the spring, and senescence was completed by early summer. By contrast, many native understory and canopy-forming algae are perennial, juveniles are most abundant in spring and biomass peaks during the summer and fall. Furthermore, we found that S. horneri reproductive tissue produced during the winter makes up more than 50% of the total biomass of a fertile thallus and contributes to a large increase in biomass during this season. The high investment in reproduction and unique phenology of S. horneri compared to native macroalgae in the region may help explain why it has become so pervasive, and provide clues to its impacts on native kelp forest communities by altering the availability of important limiting resources (e.g., light and space) at different times of year.

DENSITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF SEABIRDS ON THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PACIFIC ISLANDS, MEXICO

David Martínez-Cervantes*, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, María Félix-Lizárraga, Julio César Hernández-Montoya, Alejandra Fabila-Blanco, Esmeralda Bravo-Hernández, Alfonso Hernández-Ríos, Miguel Corrales-Sauceda, Alejandro Aguilar-Vargas, Alicia Aztorga-Ornelas, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   The Mexican Pacific islands off the Baja California Peninsula are particularly important because they provide nesting sites for many seabirds. In order to better understand the population dynamics of a group of selected seabird species and to evaluate restoration interventions, we started a systematic monitoring in 2013. We have gathered information for several seabird species including the Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas; BVSH), the Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; CAAU), the Western Gull (Larus occidentalis; WEGU), the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL), the Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus; GAMU) and the Leach's Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa cheimomnestes and O. l. socorroensis; LESP). We have also conducted detailed studies to assess the spatio-temporal nesting distribution and density of these seabird species on the Baja California Pacific Islands. Nest distribution and density maps on the islands’ surface provide valuable information about the population dynamics, habitat and resilience of seabirds, becoming an important tool for conservation management and monitoring efforts. We have found that seabirds have a differentiated distribution on Baja California Pacific islands in relation to habitat availability. On Todos Santos, the WEGU is densely distributed on the two islands; on San Martín Island its nesting habitat is restricted to the west site of the island; while on Natividad Island it has a preference for the northernmost and southernmost portions of the island. We have also determined seabird burrow density, obtaining 0.05 burrows/m² for Black-vented Shearwater on Natividad Island and 0.24 burrows/m² for Cassin's Auklet on San Jerónimo Island. On islets off Guadalupe Island, burrow nesting species such as BVSH, CAAU, GAMU, and LESP breed almost exclusively in the west side of Zapato Islet whereas LAAL nests concentrate in the southeast site of the islet.

ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION ACROSS THE ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS THROUGH COLLABORATION

David Mazurkiewicz1*, Peter Dixon2, Karen Flagg3, Don Hartley3, Emma Havstad4, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya5, Emily Howe6, Bill Hoyer7, John Knapp8, Denise Knapp9, Annie Little10, Luciana Luna-Mendoza5, Kathryn McEachern11, Gerry McChesney10, Bryan Munson7, Ken Niessen12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish2, Paula Power1, and Jonathan Shore10, 1Channel Islands National Park, david_mazurkiewicz@nps.gov 2Catalina Island Conservancy 3Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute 4Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 5Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 6Wildlands Conservation Science 7US Navy 8The Nature Conservancy 9Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 10US Fish and Wildlife Service 11U.S. Geological Survey 12Mountains Restoration Trust 13Channel Islands Restoration

   The Islands of the Californias extending from the Farallons in the north to Isla Natividad in the south share similar history and anthropogenic impacts which disrupted ecological processes and, in many cases, caused extinctions in the unique island flora and fauna. With the advent of the conservation era and change in land use practices, coupled with removal or reduction in the number of non-native herbivores, there is a new focus on ecological and habitat restoration across islands. The majority of the 18 islands comprising the California archipelago have active restoration projects underway with the goal of recovery and conservation of native species and habitats. Recognizing the value of exchanging experiences and information on topics of shared interest and concern, researchers, island managers, government agencies, and partners recently formed the Islands of the Californias Collaborative (IOTCC) to help protect and conserve rare and unique island habitats and communities and enhance public involvement in island stewardship. This network provides opportunities for information sharing on emerging ecological issues, conservation strategies, island habitat restoration, and land management. The current range of topics addressed by the IOTCC focuses on restoring ecological processes, increasing biodiversity, improving habitat for island fauna, recovery of threatened or endangered plant species, and re-establishing lost or degraded vegetation communities. Restoration projects across the archipelago address a broad range of restoration challenges and the following examples represent the range of restoration approaches: restoration of seabirds and their nesting habitat through vegetation recovery, non-native plant control and other methods on Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, the Baja Pacific and Farallon Islands; habitat suitability modeling of endangered species such as Island rockress (Sibara filifolia) on San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and Santa Cruz Islands; and rediscovery of California dissanthelium (Dissanthelium californicum) on San Clemente and Santa Catalina among many others. These projects speak to the power within the collaborative to effect change at the bio-regional scale and facilitate implementation of international, multi-agency management strategies for critical taxa and habitats.

USE OF SOCIAL ATTRACTION TO RESTORE BREEDING COMMON MURRES AT DEVIL’S SLIDE ROCK, CALIFORNIA

Gerard J. McChesney1*, Michael W. Parker1, Harry R. Carter2, Stephen W. Kress3, and Richard T. Golightly2, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex gerry_mcchesney@fws.gov 2Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife 3National Audubon Society

   In 1996-2005, social attraction was used to re-establish a breeding colony of Common Murres (Uria aalge) at Devil’s Slide Rock in central California, with funding from an oil spill settlement. We deployed decoys (adults, chicks and eggs), sound systems broadcasting murre vocalizations, and mirrors which together simulated an active colony to attract murres to the rock and encourage breeding. Social attraction efforts at Devil’s Slide Rock began in January 1996, 10 years after this colony of about 3,000 murres in 1979-1982 was extirpated in 1986 from local mortality during the 1986 Apex Houston oil spill, after reduction from recent mortality in a local gill-net fishery. Murres began attending the rock one day after deployment and six pairs bred the first year. The original 10-year goal of 100 breeding pairs was reached after only five years. As the colony grew, social attraction was adaptively managed to encourage rapid development of dense core breeding groups. By 2005, the colony had grown to 190 breeding pairs and afterward decoys were no longer considered useful for encouraging colony growth. By 2013, colony size and distribution were similar to 1979-1982 levels. Breeding success has been relatively high in most years. Rapid initial recolonization was likely assisted by remnant, surviving birds from the extirpated colony, nesting Brandt’s Cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus), and few predators. Recruitment of birds from other nearby colonies and, in later years, chicks hatched at Devil’s Slide Rock likely have both contributed to colony growth.

Assessing Ancestral Marks at Torqua Cave, Catalina Island

Tom McClintock*, Pimu/Catalina Island Archaeology Project tmcclin1@gmail.com

   This study represents original documentation, condition assessment and technical analysis of Torqua Cave (SCAI-32), a significant rock image site on Santa Catalina Island. Documentation techniques include the use of Dstretch®, a method of image enhancement that assisted in the revelation of roughly 60 previously unrecognized images and markings, and the production of a three-dimensional model using Agisoft Photoscan, which has assisted in visualizing the shelter in ways previously impossible due to restrictions of the terrain. The local environment, including temperature and relative humidity of Torqua Cave was monitored for a total of five months and data were compared to a nearby weather station to assess potential correlations. Scientific analysis to investigate the state of conservation of the pictographs and rock support was performed using primarily non-invasive techniques such as portable X-ray fluorescence and fiber optic reflectance spectroscopy, which were complemented by X-ray diffraction analysis of a few microsamples. Gypsum and calcium oxalates could be identified as the primary contributors to the various weathering patterns. Based on the interests of stakeholders, recommendations are made for the preservation of the site including future monitoring and environmental survey.

COORDINATING RARE PLANT RECOVERY ACROSS EIGHTEEN CALIFORNIA ISLANDS IN THE US AND MEXICO

Kathryn McEachern1*, John Knapp2, Denise Knapp3, Matt Guilliams3, Heather Schneider3, Peter Dixon4, Bill Hoyer5, Bryan Munson5, Sarah Ratay6, Morgan Ball6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emma Havstad8, Emily Howe6, Steve Junak3, Lyndal Laughrin9, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz10, Ken Niessen11, John Randall2, Dirk Rodriguez10, and Sula Vanderplank12, 1U.S. Geological Survey kathryn_mceachern@usgs.gov 2The Nature Conservancy 3Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 4Catalina Island Conservancy 5US Navy 6Wildlands Conservation Science 7Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 8Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 9UC Santa Barbara Santa Cruz Island Reserve 10Channel Islands National Park 11Mountains Restoration Trust 12Botanical Research Institute of Texas

   The reduction and removal of introduced vertebrates was a major recovery action across the eighteen islands of the California archipelago. Today, nearly all island ecosystems are showing signs of increasing native plant cover, but recovery is uneven across landscapes and among populations of endemic island plants. It is clear from recent discussions among botanists that the islands share rare plant taxa or taxonomic groups. Yet, rare plant recovery trajectories differ among islands in response to complex gradients such as latitude, climate, genetic population structure, soil composition and site history. As a result, rare plants that might appear as small isolated populations with high extirpation risk on one island may be more robust on another island. Island-specific research and monitoring has generally been guided by individual management needs, resulting in a diverse but disjunct body of information. One of the goals emerging from our quarterly meetings and annual planning events was the development of an archipelago-wide rare plant list leading to several key actions: 1) rare plant prioritization – identifying the most at-risk taxa across their entire biogeographical range, 2) compilation and exchange of existing knowledge on topics such as genetics, propagation, demography and life history, threats, restoration techniques and monitoring strategies for each taxon, 3) identification of information gaps, and 4) strategies for decision-making and funding for long-term conservation programs. We are currently developing a prioritized species list leading to action plans that can be carried out collaboratively across the Islands of the Californias. We have begun coordinated research and monitoring for several rare island plants. This new rare plant program has important implications for the fates of these rare plants across their ranges, which are tied to our ability to leverage funding and share efforts among islands in a program that balances recovery needs across the archipelago.

HARVESTING FOG FOR CLOUD FOREST RESTORATION ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Kathryn McEachern1, Ken Niessen2*, Sarah Chaney3, and Cause Hanna4, 1U.S. Geological Survey 2Mountains Restoration Trust kgniessen@gmail.com 3Channel Islands National Park (emeritus) 4California State University Channel Islands

   Before European settlement, the high central ridge of Santa Rosa Island was covered with a “cloud forest”— a mosaic of tall oaks and pines growing within shorter chaparral. These plants capture water from the dense fog that condenses on leaves and twigs, and the water can fall to the ground like rain. All the vegetation components of the cloud forest are interdependent, and provide habitat for other organisms that depend on the mesic conditions. Beginning in the mid-1800s, grazing and erosion caused by grazing eliminated most of the Santa Rosa Island cloud forest. Currently, even with the grazers removed, the cloud forest is not recovering, but we have an opportunity to help with the recovery of this amazing environment. The US Geological Survey, Channel Islands National Park, student interns, and volunteers from Channel Islands Restoration, CSU Channel Islands, and other local clubs and businesses are working to do what the absent vegetation cannot: slow wind and water erosion, trap sediment, leaf litter, and seed, and capture fog water to promote the growth of young plants. We are using a variety of novel methods and materials, including hand-made wattles, rock bags, and mesh fencing to trap sediment, leaves and seeds; eucalyptus prunings to make erosion control dams in gullies, and nursery-grown native plants and fabric covered fences to capture fog and water the soil. We monitor progress by measuring such features as sediment accumulation, soil moisture, plant survival and growth, and insect diversity. Our goal is not only to accelerate Santa Rosa Island vegetation recovery, but to develop techniques that can be used to encourage recovery in other cloud forest sites across the California Islands archipelago.

DO CHANNEL ISLAND ACMISPON (FABACEAE) WITH MULTI-ISLAND DISTRIBUTIONS FORM COHESIVE EVOLUTIONARY GROUPS?

Mitchell McGlaughlin1*, Lynn Riley2, Lisa Wallace3, and Kaius Helenurm2, 1University of Northern Colorado mitchell.mcglaughlin@unco.edu 2University of South Dakota 3Mississippi State University

   The California Channel Islands are unique in their close proximity to the California mainland and the fact that individual islands, or groups of islands, are closer to the mainland than they are to other islands. This orientation raises questions about whether island taxa with widespread distributions form a cohesive unit, or if they may actually be composed of several distinct evolutionary entities derived from independent mainland-to-island colonization events. The question of taxonomic and evolutionary cohesion is particularly acute for sedentary plants, because biogeographic theory suggests that colonization should follow the shortest path from source to newly established populations. We used genetic tools to examine if determine whether Acmispon dendroideus var. dendroideus (endemic to Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Catalina islands) or A. argophyllus var. argenteus (endemic to San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina, and San Clemente islands) form cohesive evolutionary groups. Data from nuclear microsatellite markers indicate that A. dendroideus var. denroideus forms a cohesive evolutionary group that should also include the San Miguel endemic taxon A. dendroideus var. veatchii, that is genetically distinctive from other island and mainland taxa. In contrast, A. argophyllus var. argenteus was found to be composed of 2-3 separate genetic groups. Samples from Santa Catalina and San Clemente show some differentiation from each other, but both have an affinity for A. argophyllus var. argophyllus from the Peninsular Range, while samples from San Nicolas and Santa Barbara have a close relationship to A. argophyllus var. argophyllus from the Santa Monica Mountains. These results demonstrate that although island Acmispon varieties with widespread distributions have traditionally been treated as cohesive taxonomic entities, one of the two sampled taxa does not exhibit genetic cohesion. The lack of A. argophyllus var. argenteus genetic cohesion is likely due to its occurrence on the more isolated southern islands.

RESTORATION OF ASHY STORM-PETRELS AT ORIZABA ROCK, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 2008-2016

William R. McIver1, David M. Mazurkiewicz2, Catherine Carter3*, Jim A. Howard3, Nathan Lynch4, Matthew Passmore5, Michelle Hester6, and Annie Little1, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2National Park Service 3California Institute of Environmental Studies katy_carter@ciesresearch.org 4California College of the Arts 5More Lab 6Oikonos Ecosystems Knowledge

   In 2008-16, the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program funded work to restore the colony of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) at Orizaba Rock, off Santa Cruz Island, California. In 2008-10, 30 artificial nest sites composed of concrete roof tiles were deployed in caverns and vocalization broadcasting implemented. Eggs were laid in 4-7 artificial nest sites per year in 2008-12. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) dismantled 12 artificial nest sites in 2010. In 2011-12, most of the roof tile nest sites were replaced with ceramic nest sites, which reduced raven impacts in 2011 but were not sturdy enough to prevent being moved or opened by ravens in 2012. In 2012-13, artificial sites were removed to further evaluate raven impacts, and vocalization broadcasting was not resumed after 2012. Building on these experiences, ceramic design experts joined the effort to create an artificial nest site attractive to storm-petrels, but also inaccessible and unmovable by ravens. Heavier modules that included 3 nesting chambers per unit were designed and installed in 2014 (10 modules with 30 nest sites). Eggs were not laid in artificial sites in 2014 but presence of ASSP in some of the modules was noted. In 2015, 4 eggs were laid in 4 separate modules. Numbers of active natural nests increased from 7-15 (2005-07) to 20-27 (2008-12) and 31-36 (2013-15). Overall the numbers of active nest sites at this location have increased during the timeline of the restoration work (2008-15). This project demonstrated the effectiveness of these restoration actions under certain conditions and the need to make artificial sites predator-proof.

TRENDS IN CALIFORNIA SEA LION PUP GROWTH: THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENT, PREY AVAILABILITY AND DIET

Sharon R. Melin1*, Jeffrey L. Laake1, Isaac Schroeder2, and Robert L. DeLong1, 1NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Marine Mammal Laboratory sharon.melin@noaa.gov 2NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Environmental Research Division

   California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) breed in the California Channel Islands and feed throughout the California Current ecosystem (CCE). They are sensitive to changes in the CCE on different temporal and spatial scales and so provide a good indicator species for the status of the CCE at the upper trophic level. Two indices are particularly sensitive measures of prey availability to California sea lions, pup production and pup growth during the period of maternal nutritional dependence. We developed models to explain the effect of environmental conditions, prey availability and the diet of nursing females on the trends in pup growth for the San Miguel Island population of California sea lions. Over the 40-year time series, local sea surface temperature (SST) was the most important oceanographic variable affecting pup growth; a 1° C increase in SST resulted in a significant decline in pup growth which lead to a 50% reduction in pup survival. Inclusion of the diet of nursing females in the models improved the model fit; when the female diet was comprised of coastal pelagic fishes, pups had greater growth rates. Based on our results, poor condition and survival of pups is likely to continue until oceanographic conditions improve and the prey community in the CCE provides sufficient food for nursing females to support the pup growth from birth to weaning.

Peregrine Falcon Recovery on the California Channel Islands

Nathan Melling* and Peter Sharpe, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Arcata, CA melling@iws.org

   It is estimated that there were 15-30 pairs of breeding American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) on the California Channel Islands in the early- to mid-1900s, but they were extirpated by the early 1960s, likely as a result of DDE (a metabolite of DDT) contamination of the Southern California Bight. Small-scale reintroductions occurred on several islands between 1983 and 1998, but there were few comprehensive surveys conducted after the mid-1990s. We conducted annual surveys for peregrines on all 8 California Channel Islands in 2013-2016 to determine population size, nesting success and productivity. We located 45-50 occupied territories each year and the estimated population size now exceeds that of the pre-DDT era. Nesting success averaged 66%, with mean productivity of 1.5 chicks per occupied territory. Although the levels of productivity appear sufficient to maintain the population, factors such as juvenile/adult survival and emigration/immigration rates play an important role in population persistence. Continued population monitoring and banding of young could provide an improved understanding of these population parameters for the Channel Island peregrines and help determine whether contaminants or other issues are negatively impacting the population.

FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF MEXICO’S ISLAND BIOSECURITY PROGRAM

Federico Méndez-Sánchez1*, Mariam Latofski-Robles1, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Cynthia Jáuregui-García1, Patricia Koleff-Osorio2, Georgia Born-Schmidt2, José Bernal-Stoopen3, Eduardo Rendón-Hernández3, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. federico.mendez@islas.org.mx 2Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad 3Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

   After two decades of sustained island conservation and restoration work, Mexico has now a consistent and positive trajectory, including the effective management of invasive alien species (IAS). The “National Strategy on Invasive Species” was published in 2010. For its implementation, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) integrated a comprehensive project to enhance the country’s capacities for managing IAS. This national project initiated in 2015 and is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The work on the Mexican islands—a significant part of the project—is being executed by Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) along four lines of action: (1) Island biosecurity; (2) Environmental education and capacity building; (3) Control and eradication of IAS; and (4) Monitoring to assess recovery of native species. With additional support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2014 we implemented a National Workshop on Island Biosecurity, bringing together 31 managers, park rangers and local users of the Mexican islands from all over the country. Most of participants were staff from the Mexican Navy and CONANP, entities directly in charge of islands and thus the ones to institutionally implement island biosecurity in the long-term. Staff from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and CONABIO were also present, as well as members of important fishing cooperatives in northwest Mexico. This workshop set the basis to launch the project. To date, Island Biosecurity Protocols are being collectively drafted by actors from a particular island or archipelago; ad hoc outreach materials are being produced; capacity building is taking place both on the islands and on the mainland; and conservation-law enforcement partnerships are being developed, particularly with the Mexican Navy.

VENTURA COUNTY MARINE DEBRIS TRENDS: 30 YEARS OF CHANGE ON MAINLAND AND CHANNEL ISLANDS BEACHES

Michaela Miller*, Dorothy Horn, Clare Steele, and Cause Hanna, CSU Channel Islands michaelarosemiller@gmail.com

   The persistence of plastics in marine ecosystems, and the outright physical hazards marine debris poses to wildlife has become an issue of global concern. The Santa Barbara Channel is home to a number of important marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as a variety of factors fostering marine debris accumulation. To examine the spatial variation of marine debris across the Santa Barbara Channel we quantified marine debris on Santa Rosa Island and Santa Cruz Island beaches and mainland beaches in Ventura County. To examine the temporal variation of marine debris on Santa Rosa Island we compared our surveys to historical surveys performed from 1989-1994 (Cole 1998). Debris from surveyed beaches was cataloged, weighed, and measured to compare seasonal variation and overall differences in island and mainland marine debris abundance, density, and composition. Derelict fishing gear accounted for a higher proportion of marine debris on island beaches compared to mainland beaches, and marine debris items on island beaches were significantly heavier compared to the mainland beaches. There has been a significant increase in the amount of derelict fishing gear found over the past 27 years on Santa Rosa Island, which mirrors changes in the California lobster fishery. The majority of debris on mainland beaches was comprised of smaller plastic fragments and single use plastic items, and debris accumulation rates varied by season and location. Microplastics (<5mm) were also found in the sand of all surveyed island and mainland beaches. This study highlights the importance of consistent marine debris monitoring, as local changes in policy, fisheries, and consumer culture are reflected in the marine debris found on the mainland and especially the uninhabited Channel Islands. Monitoring marine debris can provide insight on anthropogenic impact, and is a useful mechanism in monitoring the health of coastal and marine ecosystems.

SANTA BARBARA ISLAND: AN OVERVIEW OF PAST AND PRESENT RESEARCH

Kelly R. Minas, Channel Islands National Park kelly_minas@nps.gov

   In 1938, small and isolated Santa Barbara Island was incorporated as the Channel Islands National Monument, the predecessor of Channel Islands National Park. Initially described as a “way station” to the other islands, archaeological expeditions have reinforced the interpretation that the island was only temporarily occupied during the Middle and Late Holocene. In 2012, an effort to re-record the 19 known sites was undertaken. Subsequent surveys totaling 225 acres have increased the number of sites to 55. The near quadrupling of known resources presents a unique opportunity to reevaluate our understanding of this island’s prehistory.

HOW AND WHY WE MONITOR: INTEGRATING KELP FOREST MONITORING DATA INTO STEM AND NGSS ALIGNED HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE LESSONS

Kelly Moore1*, Monique Navarro1*, Gail Turner-Graham2*, Joshua Sprague1, and David Kushner1, 1Channel Islands National Park monique_navarro@nps.gov 2Formal Education

Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFMP) is the longest established inventory and monitoring program in the National Park Service. For 35 years, KFMP has been collecting size and abundance data on over 70 species of fish, invertebrates, and algae that are indicators of ecosystem health (http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/medn/monitor/kelpforest.cfm). These lessons demonstrate the value of long-term inventory and monitoring data as a valuable tool not only to inform natural resource managers on the condition of our marine resources, but also to support teachers in meeting the objectives of STEM, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This dataset provides an extraordinary resource for educators who are looking to integrate NGSS and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Through a collaborative effort with local high school teachers, these science lessons, “How and Why Scientists Monitor the Kelp Forest,” have been developed. Students will learn about data collection protocols, review current density data, analyze and interpret graphs, and make predictions about select marine species within the park. Lesson resources include an introductory video, a Channel Islands Live Dive video archive, and online data analysis extensions that will emphasize the importance of long term monitoring as a tool for protecting marine resources. These lessons will be made available to the public on Channel Islands National Park’s website: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/education/classrooms/curriculummaterials.htm and the NPS Education Portal https://www.nps.gov/teachers/index.htm

THE NICOLENOS IN LOS ANGELES: DOCUMENTING THE FATE OF THE LONE WOMAN'S PEOPLE

Susan L. Morris1*, John R. Johnson2, Steven J. Schwartz3, Rene L. Vellanoweth4, Glenn J. Farris5, and Sara L Schwebel6, 1Susan L. Morris Consulting smorris121@msn.com 2Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 3Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (retired) 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 5Research Associate, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 6Department of English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina

   When the last San Nicolas Island resident, known as the ‘Lone Woman,’ was brought to Santa Barbara in 1853 after 18 years of solitude following the 1835 removal of her people to the mainland, efforts were made to locate speakers who could communicate with her. That search was reported to be unsuccessful, and the Lone Woman died seven weeks later, unable to recount her story. After the Lone Woman’s death, many accounts presumed that everyone from San Nicolas Island had died. Recent research in provincial Mexican papers, Los Angeles documents, American records, and church registers has uncovered original primary source information that details the experience of the Lone Woman’s people in Los Angeles. Five men, women, and children are confirmed or are likely to have come to the Los Angeles area from San Nicolas Island in 1835, and the parents of a newborn girl baptized the following year also may have come from that island.

T.D.A. COCKERELL (1866-1948) OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BIOLOGY AND PALEONTOLOGY OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Daniel R. Muhs, U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 dmuhs@usgs.gov

   Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell was a naturalist at the University of Colorado from 1904-1947 and studied botany, zoology, and paleontology in North and South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. In the latter part of his career, he studied the California islands and published 20 papers on their natural history, 18 of them in four years (1936-1940). He made important contributions to the natural history of the islands in five distinct ways: (1) entomology of the islands, including identification of a number of new species of bees; (2) discovery of abundant land snails, both living and in fossil form, and recognition that the fossils are in close stratigraphic association with mammoth fossils; (3) recognition of island endemics (both plants and animals) and development of hypotheses of their mode of arrival on the islands; (4) discovery of fossil marine invertebrate faunas and recognition that the zoogeography of the taxa reflects the position of the islands relative to converging cool and warm currents; and (5) a pivotal role in the establishment of Channel Islands National Monument. Initial visits to the Channel Islands by National Park Service personnel in the 1930’s elicited little interest. Cockerell’s publications on the Channel Islands were timely, however, and he contacted National Park Service officials about his findings directly. Based on recently uncovered letters to Cockerell in the archives of the University of Colorado, the National Park Service apparently underwent a dramatic change in thinking, likely due to Cockerell’s influence. Shortly thereafter (1938), President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Channel Islands National Monument, less than a year after Cockerell published his 1937 paper on the botany of the Channel Islands. Four decades later, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation establishing Channel Islands National Park. We may owe much to T.D.A. Cockerell for the creation of this marvelous park.

WHEN THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS FIRST BECAME ISLANDS: INITIAL APPROXIMATIONS BASED ON LATE QUATERNARY SEA LEVEL HISTORY AND TECTONIC UPLIFT RATES

Daniel R. Muhs* and Kathleen R. Simmons, U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 dmuhs@usgs.gov

   Knowledge of the ages of the host islands is critical to understanding the evolution of insular terrestrial organisms. On the California Channel Islands, it is now possible to make a first approximation of the times of island emergence. The elevation of the ~120,000-year-old, last interglacial marine terrace has been measured on all islands except for Santa Catalina Island, where it is absent. Assuming a +6 m paleo-sea level (relative to present) 120,000 years ago, terrace elevations yield average tectonic uplift rates ranging from 0.042 m/1000 yr (Santa Barbara Island) to 0.700 m/1000 yr (Palos Verdes Hills). Further assuming a constant uplift rate over time on each island yields the following first times of emergence for each “embryo island,” in millions of years (Ma): Santa Cruz, ~7.5-4.7 Ma (and possibly older); Anacapa, ~6.8 Ma; Santa Barbara, ~5.0 Ma; Santa Rosa, ~3.2 Ma; San Clemente, ~3.1 Ma; San Miguel, ~1.7 Ma; San Nicolas, ~1.0 Ma; Palos Verdes Hills, ~0.64 Ma. Reliability checks supporting these age estimates include: (1) evidence that each island has experienced uplift consistently over time, based on the presence of higher-elevation, pre-last-interglacial marine terraces; (2) evidence that uplift rates on each island have been quasi-constant over time, based on relative ages from amino acid geochronology; and (3) age estimates for time of island emergence that are consistent with the ages of older, pre-Quaternary marine rocks on each island. With variable uplift rates, islands would have grown geographically at different rates. Although Anacapa and Santa Barbara appeared relatively early, low uplift rates resulted in little island expansion over millions of years. San Nicolas and the Palos Verdes Hills emerged much later, but grew relatively quickly with higher uplift rates. Future geochronology of older terrace fossils with strontium isotopes will provide rigorous tests of these hypotheses.

FORAGING PATTERNS OF LAYSAN ALBATROSS FROM GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO AND THEIR RELATION TO OCEANOGRAPHIC VARIABLES FROM THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM

Daniela Y. Munguía-Cajigas*, Julio César Hernández-Montoya, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Federico Méndez-Sánchez, and Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   There are few studies that discuss marine foraging areas of seabirds nesting on Baja California Pacific Islands. Therefore, we identified and classified Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis; LAAL) foraging areas on the Eastern Pacific—California Current region—using Kernel densities from GPS tracks, in combination with different oceanographic variables. GPS devices were attached to 20 LAAL individuals from the Guadalupe Island colony during the January to May 2014 season. Satellite composites of chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperature maps and the Pacific Environmental Fisheries Laboratory upwelling index were retrieved from January to May 2014. We evaluated and mapped Kernel density estimates from 15 LAAL tracks around the Northeast Pacific Ocean. We also overlaid these tracks with mean chlorophyll concentration and mean sea surface temperature maps. Kernel density maps indicate that 50% of the tracks are being recorded around Guadalupe Island. High chlorophyll concentration, low sea surface temperature, upwelling conditions and zig-zag flights were recorded during the first half of March 2014, off the coast of California, USA, from San Francisco Bay to Santa Barbara Basin, and off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, from San Quintín Basin to Punta Eugenia. Our results reveal a wide spatial distribution of LAAL from Guadalupe Island throughout the Northeast Pacific Ocean, as well as the oceanographic features that encourage their foraging within this region, associated to high productivity waters.

Native ants (Family: Formicidae) of the California Channel Islands

Ida Naughton1*, Philip S. Ward2, and David Holway1, 1Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 inaughto@ucsd.edu 2Department of Entomology and Center for Population Biology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

   The California Channel Islands support an impressive array of biological diversity, including numerous endemic species. Although the flora and vertebrate fauna of this archipelago are relatively well studied, information about terrestrial arthropods remains fragmentary, and most islands remain inadequately surveyed for arthropods. Here, we report the results of the first archipelago-wide survey of ants from the Channel Islands. Fifty-one native species and four introduced species occur in the archipelago. As would be expected, native ant richness increases with island area and decreases with distance from the mainland. Species-level endemism is in general low and mostly restricted to the southern islands, which share biogeographical affinities to the ants on Isla Guadalupe. Ongoing studies examine patterns of evolutionary diversification in the carpenter ants (Camponotus) of the California Channel Islands. Represented by as many as 11 different species on the islands, carpenter ants exhibit apparent differentiation within islands, among islands, and between the islands and the mainland. We used DNA barcoding and maximum likelihood-based phylogenies to test a series of hypotheses relating to dispersal and subsequent differentiation of island populations. These ongoing studies represent the first examination of historical diversification for ants on California Channel Islands.

DOES EMF EMITTED FROM IN SITU SUBSEA POWER CABLES AFFECT THE COMPOSITION OF DEEP BENTHIC FISH AND INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES?

Mary M. Nishimoto1*, Milton Love1, Linda Snook1, Ann Scarborough Bull2, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara nishimoto@lifesci.ucsb.edu 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

   A network of power cables is an important component of any offshore renewable energy generation facilities (e.g., wind and wave). The cables laid on the seafloor carry current that produces both electric and magnetic fields; the magnetic field, here called an electromagnetic field (EMF), is what is emitted from shielded cables. The cables, themselves, add hard, low-relief structure to what is typically soft-bottom habitat (mud or sand). Given that laboratory experiments show EMF can affect the behavior of some marine vertebrates and invertebrates, concern is raised over the potential ecological impacts of in situ power cables. Here we report an unusual comparative study of the effect of EMF emitted from in situ power cables on the fish and invertebrate communities of the deep coastal shelf environment. In the Santa Barbara Channel of southern California, subsea power cables, similar to those used in the offshore renewable energy industry, transmit electricity from shore to offshore oil and gas production platforms. A non-energized cable in the vicinity of energized cables afforded us the unusual opportunity to control for the effect of cable as hard, low relief habitat. We conducted three annual submersible surveys in October, 2012- 2014, at depths from 75 m to 210 m. We present results comparing observations along the energized and non-energized cables and on the adjacent natural substrate.

RESTORATION AND MONITORING OF QUEMADA CREEK, SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Linda O'Hirok*, Amber Baglietto, Kyle Burns, Ben Comfort, Kevin Gaston, Nathan Hilpert, and Reily Pratt, Environmental Science and Resource Management, California State University Channel Islands linda.ohirok@csuci.edu

   Santa Rosa Island, California, was the site of intensive ranching throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. After removal of cattle by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1998, a riparian restoration program was implemented in the Quemada Creek Watershed located on the eastern end of the Island. Overgrazing had compacted the soil, decreased water infiltration, increased runoff and stream erosion, impeded floodplain development, diminished dominant riparian species, promoted greater diversity of nonnative plants, degraded water quality, reduced benthic macroinvertebrate abundance, and significantly impaired stream function. NPS conducted a survey in 1999 and 2002 to assess the effectiveness of restoration efforts and in 2014 California State University Channel Islands repeated their study to document the long-term change. CSUCI resurveyed ten stream channel cross-sections, recorded the potential for erosion, mapped the riparian vegetation buffer zones, and conducted photo surveys at each site. Water quality and macroinvertebrate abundance were also assessed. Our results prove that Quemada Creek Watershed is returning to pre-grazing conditions most significantly in the return of native scrubs coinciding with a decrease in ground cover of non-native herbaceous species and a significant increase in phreatophytic forb coverage. Cross-sectional surveys showed that the stream channels are filling with sediment and the floodplains are slowly forming as the channel is narrowing, indicating a positive adjustment in geomorphology. Subsequent reduction in erosion and sediment transport has improved water quality, while recovering riparian vegetation has buffered excess nutrients. Benthic macroinvertebrates, bioindicators of stream recovery, were used to categorize each stream section. Despite limited water availability due to the extensive drought, the Brinkman Index of Biotic Integrity scores indicate stream health has improved. The results of this study suggest that the accelerated growth of native vegetation contributes to the stability of the stream channel and overall improvement in the functionality of the watershed.

CASE STUDY SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND: BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS ON A MILITARY ISLAND

Katrina C. Olthof1*, Morgan L. Ball1, Michael Medina2, Melissa Booker2, and Bryan Munson2, 1ManTech SRS Technologies katrina.olthof@mantech.com 2United States Navy

   Non-native species threaten the biodiversity of unique island ecosystems, and in the case of military islands, can also result in physical encumbrances to military range operations. The development and usage of San Clemente Island presents an inherent biosecurity risk because of the necessity to introduce commodities to support mission operations. Preventative strategies are currently in review to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate biosecurity risks and support the military mission. The creation of a biosecurity manager is imperative for implementing biosecurity strategies, conducting inspections, and coordinating response to incursions that must be coordinated within the chain of command of military structure. Tasks must also be delegated to other key military personnel positions and can highlight the importance of inter-departmental collaboration. For San Clemente Island’s program, biosecurity efforts are coordinated as part of the archipelago-wide biosecurity initiative while being uniquely tailored to the bioinvasion vectors most threatening to San Clemente Island itself. These efforts can provide insight across the California Islands for wider implications to the management of the archipelago-wide program.

DIFFERENT PREDATOR COMMUNITIES DRIVE LARGE-SCALE PATTERNS IN RODENT STRESS ACROSS SIX OF THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

John Orrock1*, Brian Connolly1, and Michael Sheriff2, 1University of Wisconsin jorrock@wisc.edu 2Penn State University

   Predation risk affects prey behavior, growth, and demography. However, it remains unclear whether predation risk leads to large-scale variation in patterns of prey stress, and whether more diverse communities of predators lead to greater stress in prey. Although prey clearly use refuge habitats, it is unclear whether the presence of refuge habitat directly mitigates increases in stress caused by periods of high predation risk. We sampled deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) from 6 of the 8 Channel Islands to evaluate whether stress in rodent prey is a function of 1) the diversity of predator species on an island, and 2) whether variation in stress is a function of the interplay between refuge availability and predator activity within an island. Using Sherman live traps, we captured 151 mice in July and August 2014. Stress levels were determined by quantifying fecal glucocorticoid concentration via EIA. Predator community data were assembled from the primary literature, published reports, and field biologists. We find that rodent stress levels are positively related to the diversity of rodent predators across 6 islands. Other factors, such as precipitation, were not correlated with fecal GC levels. Our results provide evidence that large-scale variation in predator communities may drive large-scale variation in prey physiology, suggesting that changes in predator communities may have unappreciated consequences on prey. Our results also illustrate how refuge habitats may play an important role in mediated risk-generated stress: acute pulses of risk caused by predator activity were linked with significant changes in rodent stress, but only when rodents did not have access to safe refuge habitats. Taken together, our results suggest that understanding the effect of predation risk on prey requires an understanding both the composition of the predator community as well as the presence of habitat features that prey use to mitigate risk.

RECOVERY OF VEGETATION COVER AND NATIVE FAUNA AFTER THE REMOVAL OF INVASIVE MAMMALS ON SOCORRO ISLAND, REVILLAGIGEDO ARCHIPELAGO, MEXICO

Antonio Ortiz-Alcaraz1*, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz1, Federico Méndez-Sánchez1, Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral1, Fernando Solís-Carlos1, David Cosío-Muriel1, Eduardo Iñigo-Elias2, Alfredo Ortega-Rubio3, Scott Hall4, and Hannah Nevins5, 1Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas antonio.ortiz@islas.org.mx 2Cornell Lab of Ornithology 3Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste 4National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 5American Bird Conservancy

   Socorro Island, part of the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve—recently declared as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO—is the Mexican island with the highest level of endemism. It provides habitat for 117 vascular plants (26% endemic). There are eight endemic terrestrial birds, and an endemic blue lizard (Urosaurus auriculatus). However, Socorro’s ecosystem has been heavily degraded by exotic mammals over the last 140 years. Feral sheep (Ovis aries) caused habitat destruction on 30% of the island’s surface. Another serious threat is the feral cat (Felis catus), which severely impacts the island’s avifauna and the Socorro blue lizard. Together, feral sheep and cats are responsible for the extinction in the wild of the Socorro Dove (Zenaida graysoni) and the Socorro Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi graysoni). Particularly, the feral cat is a serious threat to the Townsend’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis). Feral sheep eradication was successfully executed from 2009 to 2012. After a year of the completion of the sheep eradication, clear indications in the recovery of vegetation cover and improvement of soil quality parameters were observed and confirmed, specifically compaction, nitrogen, organic carbon, phosphorus, and calcium. Feral cat eradication has been a difficult challenge due to the island's large size and topographical complexity. In 2011, we started a feral cat control program, which scaled up into an eradication campaign. By July 2015, 413 cats were dispatched using soft leg-hold and lethal traps with a combined effort of 22,000 trap-nights. To date (mid-2016), cat abundance has decreased significantly. The abundance of terrestrial birds and the Socorro blue lizard increases thanks to the eradication's progress. We estimate that the feral cat eradication will be completed by 2017, thus moving towards the absence confirmation phase.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT NETWORK: A RECIPE FOR COLLABORATION, OPPORTUNITY, AND SUCCESS

Ken Owen1*, John Knapp2, Morgan Ball3, Clark Cowan4, Peter Dixon5 , Emma Havstad6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emily Howe3, Bill Hoyer8, Denise Knapp9, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz4, Gerry McChesney10, Bryan Munson8, Julia Parish4, Paula Power5, John Randall2, Jim Roberts4 , Jonathan Shore10, and Kevin Thompson1, 1Channel Islands Restoration ken@cirweb.org 2The Nature Conservancy 3Wildlands Conservation Science 4Channel Islands National Park 5Catalina Island Conservancy 6Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 7Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. 8US Navy 9Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 10US Fish and Wildlife Service

   Invasive plant species, one of the most pressing global threats to biodiversity, compete with native plants, degrade wildlife habitat, and alter ecosystem processes. Their impacts have been most pronounced in island ecosystems. California Islands managers and partners have identified invasive plants as one of the greatest threats to island ecosystem function. With most of the introduced vertebrate species removed from most of the islands, some non-native plants are responding to the lack of herbivory and browsing with expanding populations. Invasive plant control is conducted at each island to varying degrees, but given the present level of support and the enormity of the challenge, current strategies are insufficient to tackle the problem. Vertebrates have been removed from the islands at a relatively slow pace, generally only one taxa at a time from one island at a time. In contrast, a collaborative approach involving four islands led to the rapid recovery and delisting (or in one case, downlisting) of the Island fox. In response to the successes of this inter-island collaborative model, island managers and partners have developed and initiated a program to address invasive plants in a more successful and cost-effective manner. The Islands of the Californias Collaborative or (Islas de las Californias Collaborativa): Invasive Plant Management Network will serve as the programmatic umbrella to share information and pursue joint funding for eradication of incipient invasive plant species throughout the islands. Stakeholders meet quarterly and for an annual workshop to share treatment prescriptions and expertise, prioritize species for management, and leverage fund raising capacity. Although each island is isolated with each island entity having to work within their bureaucratic framework, they are connected in the deep. No longer do island managers have to go it alone or compete for funding against one another. United, focused, and enthusiastic, the Collaborative is underway.

 

 

Native fish conservation in the aquatic archipelagos of Death Valley

Steve Parmenter, California Department of Fish and Wildlife steve.parmenter@wildlife.ca.gov

   Pleistocene and earlier connections among Death Valley, Owens, Amargosa, and Mojave River basins of California and Nevada favored the evolution of 17 fish taxa. Most contemporary forms diverged following hydrologic isolation in the past 20,000 years. Four fishes have become extinct during historic times, eight are federally listed as endangered, and the remainder are without exception state special-status species. Naturally rare spring endemics are most vulnerable to habitat changes such as diversion and groundwater over pumping. Other widespread river basin dwelling species have had their habitat fragmented by predaceous non-native game fish. Approximately 25 artificial or highly modified spring and pond refuge habitats are managed to prevent extinction of 5 native fish species. Artificial habitats are vulnerable to successional conversion from open water to emergent marsh, altering food webs and potentially eliminating fish. The once common Owens pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) illustrates the consequences of habitat fragmentation, extinction pressures, loss of genetic variability, practical management solutions, legal paralysis, and value choices made to balance ecosystem integrity against the potential for species loss. As a counterpoint, successful 96-fold range expansion of endemic Shoshone pupfish (C. nevadensis shoshone) relied upon genetic assessment, habitat construction, cattail eradication, and local partnerships.

COLLECTING AND ANALYZING AT-SEA AND COASTAL AVIAN DATA TO ASSESS POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF OFFSHORE RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

David Pereksta, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management david.pereksta@boem.gov

   The prospect of renewable energy development off the coasts of the United States has led to a scramble for data needs on potentially affected resources, particularly those related to avian species. The potential effects from renewable energy development to avian species are complex and varied including collision, displacement, barrier effects, and attraction. As the lead Federal agency for renewable energy development on the Federal outer continental shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has initiated, in coordination with other agencies and partners, the collection and synthesizing of existing data, identification of data gaps, development and funding of studies to fill those gaps, and creation of products for assessing risk to birds from structures at sea. Through the Environmental Studies Program, BOEM collects a wide range of environmental information to provide an improved understanding of offshore ecosystems, a baseline for assessing cumulative effects, and the scientific basis for development of regulatory measures to mitigate adverse impacts. With broad-scale assessments of suitable areas for wind, wave, and tidal energy production offshore, the challenge has been to collect and compile information quickly and at as large a scale as possible. Assessing what we know, what we can predict, and how can we assess risk has led BOEM to develop and collaborate on a variety of studies including baseline data assessments, at-sea surveys, predictive modeling of seabird distribution and abundance, vulnerability and risk assessments, and technology testing for efficient ways to inventory birds on the OCS. These are being applied in both the Atlantic and Pacific, including the Main Hawaiian Islands, to provide for assessments of potential effects and data needs early in the planning process at regional and local scales with the goal of designing and implementing projects that will minimize effects to avian species to the greatest extent practicable.

 

 

WHAT PREHISTORIC PEOPLE WERE DOING ON SANTA BARBARA ISLAND: A SYNTHESIS OF FAUNAL AND ARTIFACT DATA

Jennifer Perry1* and Terry Joslin2*, 1California State University, Channel Islands jennifer.perry@csuci.edu 2Central Coast Archaeological Research Consultants

   Recent archaeological survey on Santa Barbara Island has increased the tally of prehistoric sites from 19 to 55. Most of these are small shell and lithic scatters, although some are larger shell middens with greater faunal and artifact diversity. Many of the formal artifacts are made of stone materials that are not local to the island, indicating different island and mainland origins. Based on a synthesis of data derived from surface observations and museum collections, we discuss the different roles that Santa Barbara Island potentially played in broader settlement and subsistence systems on the Channel Islands. In particular, we evaluate evidence of the island serving as a 'way-station' in inter-island travel and as having been temporarily occupied to procure marine resources. In contrast to extensive research on island-mainland travel and exchange on the northern Channel Islands, the existing data from Santa Barbara Island reveal aspects of inter-island travel and material conveyance between the southern islands.

Modeling the role of corvid-mediated seed dispersal in oak habitat restoration scenarios for California’s largest islands

Mario B. Pesendorfer1*, Christopher Baker2, Michael Bode3, Eve Madden-McDonald4, Scott A. Morrison5, Katherine McEachern6, and T. Scott Sillett7, 1Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14850 mario.pesendorfer@yahoo.com  2School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia 3ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia 4School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia 5The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, CA 94105 6U.S. Geological Survey 7Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, D.C.

   Island scrub-oaks (Quercus pacifica) are a keystone species of oak chaparral - the dominant woody vegetation across California's Channel Islands. After 150 years of adverse impacts of agricultural use, island scrub-oaks are now the focus of extensive restoration efforts on Santa Catalina and Santa Rosa Islands. In contrast, the Santa Cruz Island population, which is dispersed by the endemic island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), has experienced tremendous passive recovery since the removal of non-native ungulates, with as much as 50% increase in cover. To accelerate oak recovery on neighboring Santa Rosa Island, managers have thus discussed the re-introduction of the island scrub-jay. Here, we use a spatially-explicit simulation model of tree demography and seed dispersal to investigate the potential effect of island scrub-jay scatter-hoarding on the distribution of island scrub-oaks on Santa Rosa Island. The model, parametrized with parameters from the scientific literature, includes variable seed production, seed predation, growth rates, context-dependent dispersal by scatter-hoarding corvids, as well as gravity- and rodent-driven dispersal. In a first step, we applied the model to the 1985 vegetation map of Santa Cruz Island and were able to broadly recreate the passive recovery of oak chaparral until 2007. Subsequently, we applied the model to the current extent of oak chaparral on Santa Rosa Island, and modeled two scenarios: i) current conditions of gravity and rodent dispersal of acorns, and ii) with seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding island scrub-jays. Model results illustrate that the pace and extent of scrub-oak expansion would rapidly increase in the latter scenario. After 100 years of simulation, for example, Santa Rosa Island would experience more than a threefold increase in oak cover, while the extent would stagnate under current conditions. We discuss the broader impacts of this potential management action and oak expansion on ecosystem dynamics and other species of conservation concern.

ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OUTER BANKS OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT

Daniel J. Pondella, II*, Matthew Robart, Jeremy T. Claisse, Jonathan P. Williams, Chelsea M. Williams, Amanda J. Zellmer, and Susan Piacenza, Vantuna Research Group, Moore Laboratory of Zoology, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041 pondella@oxy.edu

   We analyzed and inventoried the biological resources on and around Gareth Ridge, Cherry Bank, Tanner Bank and Cortes Bank contained within a 6,639 km2 area of the outer continental borderlands of the Southern California Bight. These offshore banks lie at the divergence of the California Current and the Southern California Counter Current, major sources of production in the bight. Based upon this unique geology and physical oceanography, it is not surprising that the outer banks of the Southern California Bight have long been acknowledged as distinctive and productive habitats. As an example, they maintain populations of endangered and protected species such as white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), Cowcod (Sebastes levis), and purple hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus), and a variety of marine mammals, birds and turtles. This production also supports extensive commercial and recreational fishing activities. We analyzed fishing block data for these fisheries from 1980-2009. Commercial fishers reported 22,841 metric tons representing 124 identified taxa during this period. Recreational Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels reported 222,915 fishes and invertebrates caught representing 61 taxonomic categories. All ecological information from this region supports the viewpoint that these offshore banks constitute a significant amount of production in the bight and important habitats. We hypothesize that due to their unique location and size this region is a significant contributor to the overall Southern California Bight ecosystem.

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND GERMINATION OF THE BISHOP PINES ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Brice Prichard1*, Zack Buckley1*, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands brice.pritchard645@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   To examine the current status and structure of the Santa Rosa Island (SRI) bishop pine (Pinus muricata) population we conducted an island-wide census. We collected the following data from each tree: height, health, diameter at breast height (DBH), and reproductive status. The census revealed that there are approximately 2,200 trees on the island with a majority of them being seedlings and saplings. We quantified the age structure of the SRI population by counting and measuring the rings of 25 cored trees. A significant relationship between DBH and age enabled us to examine the impact of past climatic events and management efforts (i.e. the removal of introduced ungulates) on the SRI bishop pine population structure. To compare the effect of fire and precipitation on the germination rates of island and mainland population we performed a common garden experiment. We used ash to simulate post fire conditions and created two precipitation regimes to simulate wet and dry years. We found that both the presence of ash and level of precipitation had a significant effect on germination and growth of bishop pines. Data collected from our study will help to inform the future management of the bishop pine populations and active restoration projects on SRI.

Reassessing the ethnohistory and archaeology of Pimu (Catalina Island)

Hugh Radde1*, Wendy Teeter2, and Desiree Martinez3, 1University of California Santa Barbara hradde@umail.ucsb.edu 2Fowler Museum 3Cogstone Resource Management

   Historic documents testify to expeditions that landed on Santa Catalina Island (Pimu) and encountered many Natives and many settlements. However, by the time John P. Harrington consulted elders during his research among the Tongva in the 20th century, only one ethnographically known village, Nájquqar, could be traced back to the diaries of early explorers. This study presents preliminary evidence of European glass beads found in existing collections that were recovered on Catalina, perhaps representing the additional habitation sites that were first documented by members of voyages in the 16th through 19th century.

Lessons Learned and Problems Not Yet Solved in the “Rescue” of the Rarest Plants of the Islands of the Californias

John Randall1*, Kathryn McEachern2, Denise Knapp3, Matt Guilliams3, Heather Schneider3, John Knapp1, Lyndal Laughrin4, Morgan Ball5, Peter Dixon6, Emma Havstad7, Emily Howe5, Bill Hoyer8, Steve Junak3, Luciana Luna9, David Mazurkiewicz10, Julio Montoya9, Bryan Munson8, Ken Niessen10, Sarah Ratay5, and Dirk Rodriguez10, 1The Nature Conservancy jrandall@tnc.org 2U.S. Geological Survey 3Santa Barbara Botanical Garden 4University of California Santa Cruz Island field station 5Wildlands Conservation Science 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7San Diego State University-SERG 8U.S. Navy 9Grupo Ecologico de Conservacion des Islas 10Channel Islands National Park

   Rare Plant Taxa are remarkably common among the Islands of the Californias. Most of these islands are home to taxa with fewer than fifty individuals or five populations known to remain in the wild. On the positive side, many taxa rare a decade or so ago have increased rapidly on the islands, particularly where introduced grazing and browsing animals were eradicated. More systematic surveys have also revealed the presence of new populations, and in a few cases located taxa on islands where they were previously believed to be extirpated. Some rare taxa have been propagated in botanic gardens and other greenhouses or nurseries, raising hopes that outplantings could help increase their abundance in the wild. Other rare plant taxa show little or no recovery, and several continue to decline. For example, Island Barberry (Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis) is believed to have been extirpated from Anacapa and Santa Rosa Islands, and has been reduced to just five individuals on Santa Cruz Island, down from at least eight less than a decade ago. A different example is California juniper (Juniperus californica) which was once abundant on Isla Guadalupe but may be down to just four individuals there today, although it is common and widely distributed on the mainland. We remain unable to propagate many of these taxa from wild collected seed, cuttings or tissue. And for some we have a poor or incomplete understanding of threats they face, their habitat preferences, pollination, reproduction and genetic relationships to other wild populations and to plants in botanical gardens and the horticultural trade. Some taxa may be poorly adapted to current conditions, persisting in isolated sites where temperatures are moderated and soil moistures relatively high, sites which may themselves become hotter and drier as climate change proceeds. These are among the most important problems now facing researchers and land managers who launched a bi-national Islands of the Californias Rare Plant Program in 2016 to help find solutions and direct attention and funding towards implementing them.

INFLUENCE OF WITHIN- AND BETWEEN-SITE HABITAT VARIATION ON 35 YEARS OF SUBTIDAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Zachary Randell1*, Mike Kenner2, Tim Tinker2, and Mark Novak1, 1Oregon State University randellz@oregonstate.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   In 1980, the US Fish and Wildlife Service installed six permanent monitoring stations in the nearshore subtidal surrounding San Nicolas Island. Ongoing biannual surveys, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1995, have produced a spatially explicit 35-year time series that encompasses the only experimental translocation of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) into southern California. The benthic substrate comprising these sites varies considerably (e.g., flat sandstone, high-relief pinnacles, sites that are a mixture of both). To characterize the relative influence of habitat variation on subtidal community structure and trajectory, I used a distance-wheel roller to quantify scale-dependent distances along all of the 30 10x2m transects. These measures of habitat complexity (i.e., surface rugosity, or relief) were included as environmental predictor variables in nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses. Used to analyze and visualize variation in community composition over time, a two-dimensional ordination of transects in species space accounted for 80% of species abundance and distribution variation (axis 1: r2 = 0.52, axis 2: r2 = 0.28). Axis 1 depicted an abundance gradient, as certain transects shifted between urchin and kelp dominated states over time. Relief was not correlated with axis 1 (r2 = 0.007), but was strongly associated with axis 2 (r2 = 0.467), accounting for 46.7% of within-ordination transect variation. In addition to providing insight into the recent history at San Nicolas Island, these results will help frame ongoing work into how habitat, physical perturbations, and community structure mediate the strength of interactions in southern California kelp forests.

USING DNA METABARCODING TO LINK HUMMINGBIRD DIETS WITH POLLINATION ECOLOGY ON CALIFORNIA’S CHANNEL ISLANDS

Erin E. Wilson Rankin*, David T. Rankin, and Christopher J. Clark, University of California, Riverside erin.rankin@ucr.edu

   Pollination is a key ecosystem service vital for the survival and stability of our natural and agricultural ecosystems. Nearly 87% of flowering plants require pollinators for their reproduction. Hummingbirds are important avian pollinators, relying on blooming flowers for food, and synchronize high-energy activities, such as breeding, to peak flower activity. Mainland hummingbirds face a food shortage from mid-summer until the winter rains, which they escape through migration. In contrast, one subspecies of Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin sedentarius) evolved a non-migratory strategy on the Channel Islands despite fierce competition for nectar during these times and often limited water. We investigated what underlying ecological factors promote residence of S. s. sedentarius on the Channel Islands year round and during times of resource dearth. DNA metabarcoding provides unprecedented access and identification of plant-pollinator and predator-prey interactions, which have been historically difficult to quantify due to the challenges of directly observing species interactions. By coupling molecular fecal analyses with vegetation surveys and foraging observations, we examine how native hummingbirds influence local patterns of pollen flow and determine how their diets shift seasonally on the Channel Islands. DNA metabarcoding analysis of fecal material from both migratory and non-migratory species provides insights into avian resource use across the landscape and allows comparison of diet profiles across islands and species.

SHORELINE CHANGE, ECOSYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, AND HUMAN SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLANDS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA

Leslie Reeder-Myers, Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution reeder-myersl@si.edu

   The islands of Baja California hold considerable interest to archaeologists because of their unique histories of human occupation and their potential to produce evidence for a coastal migration route into the Americas. Similarly, they are home to distinctive, fragile ecosystems and provide important examples of island endemism. The development of these natural and cultural systems, however, is closely linked to changing island geomorphology through time. High resolution reconstructions of shoreline development since the last glacial maximum, based on relative sea level curves adjusted for isostatic and tectonic processes, provide the most accurate available dates for the separation of islands from the Baja California mainland. Here, I present the results of post-glacial shoreline models for the Islas Coronado, the Islas de Todos Santos, and Isla Cedros. I consider the implications of changing island geomorphology and Holocene climate on terrestrial and intertidal organisms. The results provide insight into the relationship between the timing of island separation, ecosystem development, and human settlement of the islands. They also develop hypotheses for future geological and archaeological research.

Using GIS to Identify Prehistoric Pathways

Karimah Kennedy Richardson1*, Wendy Teeter2, and Desiree Martinez3, 1Autry Museum of the American West and UC Riverside Kokennedy.richardson@gmail.com 2UCLA Fowler Museum 3Cogstone Resource Management

   The current spatial data for Catalina Island consists of hundreds of cultural sites that have been collected over several decades. It is currently being synthesized into a comprehensive map of cultural resources by the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeological Project. Catalina Island is the only Southern Channel Island open to the public and has much tourist activity. The major land manager of the island is the Catalina Island Conservancy and it maintains many roads, and hiking trails, that could have one time been the major trails for the Tongva/Gabrielino people on the Island. For the purpose of conserving and identifying the numerous archaeological sites on the island, this study intends to investigate the travel to a large work production area of soapstone, which is located on the interior part of the island. Given the terrain of the island, many archaeologists assume that the easier pathways were along the coast and streams, however recent archaeological fieldwork suggests that the Gabrielino's were traveling along the ridge-lines as well. Using the spatial data already available the goal is to use the least cost path analysis tool and other tools in GIS to see based on the landscape what are the proposed pathways between each large site and the major productions area in the interior and between each other. The results of this study will inform conservation efforts to preserve cultural sites and artifacts during future land use and development projects.

LIMITED GENETIC VARIABILITY IN NATIVE BUCKWHEATS ON SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Lynn Riley1*, Mitchell E. McGlaughlin2, and Kaius Helenurm1, 1Department of Biology, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069 lynn.riley01@usd.edu 2School of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639

   The California Channel Island perennial buckwheats, Eriogonum giganteum and E. grande, are important components of the Channel Islands’ scrub communities. A long history of overgrazing by introduced herbivores on San Clemente Island has contributed to a loss of scrub vegetation and population declines in both taxa. Since herbivore removal, Eriogonum, which are early colonizers of disturbed habitats, have been increasing across the island. These increases are thought to facilitate further recovery of the native flora, as the shrubs act as nurse plants and improve the soil profile for other native species. We sampled each taxon at 10 locations across San Clemente Island using six (E. grande) or nine (E. giganteum) polymorphic microsatellite loci to determine the genetic impact of the demographic bottleneck and subsequent early recovery. Both taxa were characterized by low diversity across the island. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.021– 0.337 (mean = 0.188) and most populations were fixed for a single allele at several loci. Additionally, Bayesian estimates of inbreeding are high (0.107 – 0.477; mean = 0.295) in most populations. Overall, there was less evidence of genetic structure among E. grande, which maintains larger population sizes, than E. giganteum sampling locations. Within E. grande, ObStruct analysis recovered three genetic clusters (R2 = 0.60) with substantial admixture while EdenNetwork and PopTree did not identify any genetic breaks. Within E. giganteum, ObStruct recovered three genetic clusters (R2 = 0.93) with less admixture, and both PopTree and EdenNetwork identified similar genetic breaks. Both E. giganteum and E. grande on San Clemente Island have low neutral genetic diversity compared to other island endemics, suggesting that the genetic effect of the introduced herbivores has been severe and the long-term viability of the taxa may be compromised by low genetic diversity.

“Think of Me”: an Unexpected Message from Santa Catalina Island's Past

Austin Ringelstein, Department of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge austin.ringelstein@gmail.com

   California is well known for its mission history, but tales of American sailors in the Channel Islands during the first quarter of the 19th Century are rarely told. The year that Lewis and Clark were midway on their famous expedition westward (1805), Boston sea otter hunter and ship captain William Shaler was already on the west coast on a month long visit to Pimu Santa Catalina Island. Many other sailors followed in Shaler’s wake, using Two Harbors on the island’s isthmus as a safe haven for making repairs and restoring supplies. Two Harbors was also the location of the principal Native American village on the Island. This presentation provides new information about artifacts found on Santa Catalina, which represent this transformational period in California history.

CROSSING THE CHANNEL: AN INQUIRY BASED EXPEDITION

Chris Rini* and Cause Hanna, California State University Channel Islands chris1poem@gmail.com

   The ultimate goal of Crossing the Channel (CTC) is to cultivate a new community of environmental stewards and transform the learning experiences of local students by building a collaborative professional network (i.e., federal agencies, local school district, non-profits, and universities) that supports local environmental research opportunities for underserved students across academic levels. The five CTC units were designed to collectively provide an education program that is intended to be a transformative experience and is founded on the presentation of environmental topics and concepts through the lens of local research and hands-on experiences for students. In designing the CTC programmatic units, a progression of learning was intentionally designed to move student learning through the scientific process (i.e. exploration and discovery, gathering and interpreting data, identifying the benefits and outcomes, etc.). Students are provided with the opportunity to work with research tools, experience life as an environmental researcher, and to understand how science attempts to inform the changing human and natural landscapes. The CTC program support for each unit included the recruitment of CSU Channel Islands undergraduates, local environmental professionals, and educators to provide opportunities for students. These support mechanisms served as an organizational tool to develop the following programmatic evaluation themes: (1) participation within a hierarchical mentorship model, (2) connection with nature, (3) knowledge of the local environment, and (4) interest in science as a career or college focus. We analyzed the change in student responses relating to these four survey themes before and after the program. The CTC program resulted in significant and desired change in the student attitudes towards the four themes. As a result, the CTC program has cultivated a more inclusive and diverse community of local environmental stewards.

CAN NEARSHORE FORAGING SEABIRDS DETECT VARIABILITY IN JUVENILE FISH DISTRIBUTION INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS?

Dan P. Robinette1*, Julie Howar1, Jennifer E. Casselle2, and Jeremy T. Claisse3, 1Point Blue Conservation Science drobinette@pointblue.org 2Marine Science Institute 3Vantuna Research Group

   Juvenile recruitment is an important determinant of change within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Understanding spatio-temporal variability in recruitment rates will help managers set realistic expectations for rates of population and community level change within individual MPAs. Here we ask whether seabird foraging distributions can be used as a proxy for juvenile fish recruitment inside and outside of MPAs in southern California. We investigated the foraging rates of six piscivorous seabirds inside and outside of three island and four mainland MPAs in southern California and compared these data to estimates of juvenile fish abundance from kelp forest surveys conducted at the same sites during the same two years (2012 and 2013). Juvenile fish communities at island and mainland sites were dominated by three families: Embiotocidae, Labridae, and Pomacentridae in both years. Additionally, there was an influx of young-of-the-year rockfish (Family Sebastidae) at most sites in 2013. Seabird and fish distributions were similar at the regional (island versus mainland) and geographic area (approximately 15-30 km) scales, but less similar at the site-specific (reserve versus control) scale. Site-specific differences reflected differences in the diet and foraging habits of individual seabird species. While fish surveys were specific to the kelp forest habitat, seabirds were sampling multiple habitats within a given site. Our results suggest that integrating seabird data with data on juvenile fish abundance can produce a more holistic index to proxy spatio-temporal variability in juvenile fish recruitment. In other words, seabird studies can provide additional information not captured by fish surveys and help resource managers better understand local patterns of fish recruitment at the community level. This will help resource managers establish realistic expectations for how quickly fish populations should change within individual MPAs.

NEW VEGETATION CLASSIFICATIONS AND MAPS FOR SANTA ROSA, SAN MIGUEL, AND ANACAPA ISLANDS

Dirk Rodriguez, National Park Service dirk_rodriguez@nps.gov

   Accurate vegetation maps are essential for land management purposes, providing information on park terrestrial resources, have served and can serve as the basis for a number of research projects and questions. Since, and even prior, to the creation of Channel Islands National Park, vegetation maps for the islands have been created. However, the methods and protocols used were often not well preserved, and were seldom used across multiple islands. In addition, plant community naming conventions have changed and it was recognized that a multi-island vegetation classification and mapping effort was needed. In this talk, I will present the current status of a multi-year effort to update the vegetation maps and vegetation classifications for 3 of the 5 islands within Channel Islands National Park.

LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY MASS SPECTROMETRY DETERMINES THE PRESENCE OF TOBACCO ALKALOIDS IN BOTANICAL REMAINS FROM THE REDWOOD BOX CACHE, SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jessica Rodriguez1*, Hans Barnard2, Kym F. Faull3,4, Amira F. Ainis5, René L. Vellanoweth1, Jon M. Erlandson5,6, and Lisa Thomas7, 1Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles zeugirdor.jessica@gmail.com 2Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles 3David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 4Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles 5Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 6Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon 7NAVAIR Range Sustainability Office

   We present the results of a Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis on a botanical wad found within the Redwood Box Cache Feature (CA-SNI-14). The feature was discovered eroding out of a cliff face on the northwest coast of San Nicolas Island. It consisted of two expediently crafted redwood boxes containing over 200 artifacts of Nicoleño, Native Alaskan, and European design along with additional raw materials. The cache has been assigned a relative date range of AD 1814-1853 based on Aleutian styled and historic era artifacts crafted from metal and glass. The encrusted, charred botanical material was nestled in a carved red stone pipe containing a bird bone stem insert that was glued into place with asphaltum. Pipes of similar design and material type have been recovered on neighboring Channel Islands and the adjacent mainland. Cross-hatching is a common Nicoleño stylistic design, also found on a stone effigy from this feature. The LC-MS analysis determined the presence of nicotine and cotinine, tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) alkaloids, in the archaeological sample indicating that the botanical material is indeed tobacco. Ethnographic and ethnohistoric accounts demonstrate that tobacco plants and other smoke plants (i.e., Artesimia douglasiana, Salvia sonomensis, and Datura wrightii) were an integral part of Native American ceremonial and medicinal practices. Given the variation in types of artifacts and raw materials combined in this cache, the circumstances under which this tobacco wad was smoked remains uncertain. However, the likely connection of the Redwood Box Cache Feature with the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island suggests that this pipe may have been utilized by her.

The Mexican Hub of the Local Environmental Observer Network

Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. evaristo.rojas@islas.org.mx

   The Local Environmental Observer (LEO) is a network of local observers and experts who share knowledge about unusual animals, environments, and weather events. LEO was originally envisioned by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to improve the public health of rural communities. Considering its potential to act as a valuable tool for applied conservation, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), “a trinational organization through which the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States collaborate, with input from civil society, on the protection, conservation, and enhancement of North America’s environment”, is expanding LEO to the west coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Backed by CONABIO, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI) has been selected by the CEC to host LEO’s hub in Mexico, using the Baja California Pacific Islands as the first sites in which to implement the project. The Mexican hub of LEO is composed of observers from local communities and the Mexican Navy, together with expert biologists and oceanographers with experience in local environmental and weather conditions. Environmental education, island biosecurity and climate change awareness are all improved by the incorporation of LEO into conservation initiatives. Environmental education efforts benefit from the use of LEO by engaging island and coastal populations to learn about their environments and to share their knowledge with local communities and scientists. LEO promotes island biosecurity by allowing local observers to report invasive species easily. Coupling LEO observations with systematic monitoring techniques facilitates conservation efforts and leads to informed management decisions to help mitigate the effects of climate change. As a valuable conservation tool, LEO promotes the protection of natural resources and facilitates conservation efforts.

BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION GENOMICS OF ISLAND NIGHT LIZARDS AND PACIFIC TREEFROGS ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Patricia Salerno1*, Rob Lovich2, Paul Hohenlohe3, T. Scott Sillett4, Cameron Ghalambor1, Scott Morrison5, Jeanne Robertson6, Gregory Pauly7, Charles Drost8, Helen Fitting9, Alison Davis Rabosky10, and W. Chris Funk1, 1Colorado State University patriciasalerno@gmail.com 2Naval Facilities Engineering Command 3University of Idaho 4Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center 5The Nature Conservancy 6California State University Northridge 7Natural History Museum of Los Angeles 8USGS Southwest Biological Science Center 9Channel Islands National Park 10University of Michigan

   The Channel Islands host a number of endemic species, but little is known about their population dynamics both within and among islands. Next-generation sequencing technologies can inform conservation by providing estimates of effective population sizes and connectivity (gene flow) among populations and also inform the biographic history of island inhabitants. Here, we use next-generation sequencing to estimate population parameters within and among islands for the endemic Island Night Lizard, Xantusia riversiana, and the widespread Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla, throughout their distribution on the islands, as well as for their mainland counterparts. Using Restriction-Associated Digests (RADseq) and Illumina sequencing, we obtained an average of 1,099,762 reads (sequences) per individual for 132 individuals of P. regilla and an average of 1,094,247 million reads for 142 individuals of X. riversiana. We cleaned and mapped reads with widely used population genomic pipelines (STACKS and pyRAD) in order to obtain Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) matrices as well as full sequence alignments. We find much higher among-island population divergence than expected and that the divergence broadly corresponds to island proximity. We also find that effective population sizes of both species are high on all islands and on the mainland, particularly when compared to previous studies done on island foxes. We also examine potential dispersal routes and the colonization histories of both species and make suggestions on conservation strategies.

REDUCED DEFENSES AND INCREASED HERBIVORE PREFERENCE OF ISLAND CHAPARRAL SHRUBS COMPARED TO MAINLAND RELATIVES

Ryan Salladay1* and Aaron Ramirez2, 1University of California, Berkeley rsalladay23@gmail.com 2National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UC Santa Barbara

   The absence of large native herbivores on islands is thought to select for plants that are less defended and more palatable than comparable mainland relatives. Loss of defenses becomes especially important when exotic herbivores are introduced to island systems—potentially exacerbating the negative effects on native plant communities. To test the hypothesis that island plants have reduced defensive traits, we measured structural differences and palatability of 10 island-mainland pairs from contrasting island-mainland environments. Our study was conducted on Santa Catalina Island—which has a long history without large native herbivores followed by more recent human-caused introductions—and the adjacent southern California mainland. We found that island plants have reduced structural defenses and are more preferred by herbivores compared to mainland congeners. These patterns are likely driven by selection on plant traits that are unique to the insular environment. Reduced defenses and increased palatability of island plant species should be taken into consideration by managers of Santa Catalina Island and other oceanic islands.

PRODUCTIVITY OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Donna M. Schroeder*, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management donna.schroeder@boem.gov

   The Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) is the most important commercial fishing region in the State of California. During the last decade, landings at SBC ports recorded the highest diversity of species (a minimum of 130 taxa) and captured about a quarter of mean annual weight (26%) and value (23%) of the entire state’s harvest. The SBC region benefits from both high-volume (coastal pelagic fishes, market squid and sea urchin) and high-priced (California spiny lobster, sablefish and spot prawn) fisheries, and landings monopolize several mid-range fisheries, including bigeye tuna, California sea cucumber, ridgeback shrimp, rock crab, warty sea cucumber, and white seabass. What makes the SBC port complex so productive? For benthic fisheries, nearby access to the four northern California Channel Islands greatly extends potential fishing grounds. Compared to the mainland coast, the islands possess a greater proportion of rocky/kelp forest habitat instead of soft bottom habitat. The high primary production of kelp forests in turn provides trophic support for many fished species in the nearshore food web. For example, take of red sea urchin, an herbivore, is 17 times greater at the islands than the mainland. Enhanced island catches of other reef-associated species include California spiny lobster, nearshore finfish, red rock crab, and warty sea cucumber where yields are 2, 6, 7, and 10 times greater, respectively, than the mainland. Fished populations of benthic species clearly respond to marine protected areas (MPAs), and therefore the benefits of the current MPA network should be incorporated directly into fishery management plans, including monitoring to detect effectiveness of harvest control rules and estimating regional stock abundance. The large portfolio of species and habitats available to SBC fishers suggests that the local commercial fishing industry may be more resilient to changing ocean conditions compared to ports that rely on relatively fewer species.

ORIGIN, AGE, AND HISTORY OF ALLUVIAL SEDIMENTS IN THE VALLEYS OF SANTA ROSA ISLAND: A TREASURE TROVE FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS, PALEONTOLOGISTS, AND GEOLOGISTS

R. Randall Schumann1*, Jeffrey S. Pigati1, and John P. McGeehin2, 1U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, MS 980, Denver Federal Center, Denver CO, 80225-0046 rschumann@usgs.gov 2MS 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192

   Most of the streams on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12-14 m above the present channel. These thick alluvial sequences host some of the most significant archaeological and paleontological resources discovered on the island, and, indeed, on the North American continent, including Arlington Man and fossil remains of Columbian and pygmy mammoths. Understanding the age and depositional history of these alluvial deposits can benefit future NPS management strategies and assist in directing paleontologists and archaeologists toward likely sites of undiscovered fossils and artifacts. Equally important to geologists, these deposits describe the natural response of the landscape to climate and sea-level changes. As sea level fell following the last interglacial (after ~80 ka), streams eroded the valleys, clearing them of sediment. Following the last glacial period (~25-20 ka), rising sea level caused the streams to progressively lose power and alluvium began to accumulate on the valley floors, progressing from the mouths of valleys upstream toward the headwaters. Influences of local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic processes are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation slowed as sea level approached its present level, followed by intensive arroyo cutting that abandoned the relict floodplains, forming alluvial terraces. Sedimentary evidence points to overgrazing and drought, followed by catastrophic flooding around 1850-1880, as factors that may have accelerated and enhanced arroyo formation. However, incision would have occurred eventually as a natural response of the river systems to the halting of sea-level rise, even in the absence of the untimely combination of intense livestock stress and unusual weather events in the latter half of the 19th century.

WHEN A PICTURE IS WORTH AS MUCH OR MORE THAN WORDS OR NUMBERS: USING A LONG TERM PHOTO MONITORING SERIES TO DOCUMENT, SUPPORT AND DIRECT CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Peter Schuyler, peterschuyler@aya.yale.edu

   Documenting and evaluating results of conservation activities on natural landscapes for long periods of times is problematic. Field staff come and go, organization priorities change, institutional memory is often lacking, and monitoring project budgets frequently shrink. Photographs can quickly convey qualitative landscape level information and when coupled with other monitoring approaches can validate and present quantitative changes, often at relatively minimal cost. Regular systematic replication through time increases the photographs’ value to managers who can document results of past restoration projects, support or modify current activities by showing success or setbacks at similar sites, or help direct future activities by highlighting areas of continued concern. A major limitation to this approach is that the type of obtainable information is often not apparent until several decades have passed. On Santa Cruz Island, the largest of California’s Channel Islands, a series of photopoints was established in 1981 prior to the removal of over 36,000 feral sheep (Ovis aries). Photos were taken 3-4 times/year at up to 24 locations until 1989 and subsequently one time/year in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2015 and 2016. Following the sheep removal, the removal of nearly 2,000 head of cattle (Bos taurus) and 5,036 feral pigs (Sus scrofa) continued the opportunity for major ecosystem recovery. Upon review of the photos series, the following was revealed: 1) changes in the extent and structure of vegetation communities, including type conversion, recovery of dominant native species, and invasion by non-native plant species (determined in conjunction with existing vegetation maps, data sets, google earth images), 2) changes in species composition (coupled with field verification) 3) decreases in potential erosion sites through quantifying percent change of bare ground, 4) longterm growth/dieback cycles (e.g. Pinus muricata forests), and 5) future research needs to determine factors causing varying rates of landscape recovery in different areas.

SEVEN SHORT WEEKS: THE LONE WOMAN'S TIME IN SANTA BARBARA

Steven Schwartz, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (retired) minardude@aol.com

   After 18 years of solitude, the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island was taken to Santa Barbara in September of 1853. There she lived for just seven short weeks. On-going historical research is starting to reveal particulars of her time in Santa Barbara. This preliminary look will detail what is known of her first sights, celebrity, where she lived, food preferences, her demeanor, activities, and the illness which lead to her untimely death. These glimpses of her life on the mainland help to paint the poignant final chapter of her heroic life.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF NARRATIVE: TELLING THE LONE WOMAN'S STORY

Sara L. Schwebel, schwebel@mailbox.sc.edu

   Thanks to Scott O’Dell’s 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, children across the United States know the story of the Lone Woman, the Island Gabrielino who lived alone for eighteen years on her natal San Nicolas Island. But when Scott O’Dell penned his tale, the story of the Lone Woman’s remarkable, tragic life had already been told for more than one hundred years. In fact, it is likely a resurgence of interest in the Lone Woman’s life as the hundredth anniversary of her death approached in 1953 that led O’Dell to his topic. Mid-twentieth century tellings of the Lone Woman’s story, including Island of the Blue Dolphins, borrow heavily from nineteenth century accounts both in their factual (and in some cases, inaccurate) details of her stranding and “rescue,” and in their interpretative assumptions about the meaning of these events. O’Dell’s depiction of Karana as a “girl Crusoe,” for example, can be traced back to 1847, when the first newspaper account of the Lone Woman—titled “A Female Crusoe”—appeared; similarly, O’Dell’s suggestion that Karana was the last of her tribe, a woman whose people couldn’t be found and who was too old to bear children herself, echoes nineteenth century accounts that in their telling mourn the passing of a “vanished race.” Island of the Blue Dolphins, then, shares with its sources a colonial worldview that feels out of step with our own cultural moment. This paper employs data visualization and an archive of more than 400 digitized accounts of the Lone Woman’s story to trace the more than 100-year circulation of the tale; in doing so, it also maps details from Island of the Blue Dolphins to their most likely source, in part by examining the subset of the archive that overlapped with O’Dell’s documented research.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND IDENTIFICATION OF USS CONESTOGA (AT 54) OFF SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND IN GREATER FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Robert V. Schwemmer, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries - West Coast Region Robert.Schwemmer@noaa.gov

   During a September 2014 maritime heritage survey mission in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary aboard the R/V Fulmar, a previously undocumented multibeam sonar target thought to be a shipwreck was investigated. The target was the wreck of an unknown vessel of late 19th or early 20th century vintage in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Utilizing a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), three survey dives were conducted to characterize the target, which proved to be a steel-hulled, steam-powered oceangoing fleet tug. Subsequent historical research found no documented tug losses for this time period, either through accident or deliberate scuttling, in the sanctuary. After assessing historical accounts of tugs that departed the Golden Gate and were never again seen, and a detailed analysis of the “mystery” tug's features, the wreck was identified as USS Conestoga (AT 54). This U.S. Navy fleet tug went missing with all hands after departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard on March 25, 1921 for Pearl Harbor Naval Station and thence Tutuila, American Samoa, its new assigned duty station. The search for the Conestoga covered over 400,000 square miles off the Hawaiian Islands and Baja California, the largest sea and air search in the 19th century up until the search for Amelia Earhart. A subsequent mission to the wreck with the U.S. Navy in October 2015 provided additional information on the site with selective ROV penetration of the hull and careful examination of diagnostic features that included a 3-inch/50 caliber gun. In 2016, a plaque was dedicated to the lost crew of the USS Conestoga at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. and the navy vessel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

DEMONSTRATING THE HISTORICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE OF SHIPWRECKS ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Victoria Scotti, CSU Channel Islands victoriascotti195@gmail.com

   With dozens of wrecks ranging from Gold Rush era lumber schooners, like the Winfield Scott, to World War II military aircrafts like the Grumman Avenger, Channel Islands National Park is rich with underwater resources holding the history of the West Coast in well preserved time capsules. The historical significance of these wrecks is remarkable, yet there is still much opportunity to be had in terms of research and public outreach. The ecotourism industry is rapidly growing, and the National Park system as a whole is working to enrich peoples’ lives and give them a deeper understanding of the natural world and our country’s history. By demonstrating the shipwrecks’ historical value and their current role as artificial reefs, this project highlights ways the National Park Service could initiate programs that benefit the public and these submerged assets.

Informing Kelp Forest Restoration With The Spiny Lobster (Panulirus interruptus)

Alexander Seymour, alexander.c.seymour@duke.edu

   Kelp forest communities in Southern California provide ecosystem services that support biodiversity, tourism, recreation, and fisheries, yet their extent has declined by up to 90% over the last century. Contributing to the decline is the extraction of predators controlling sea urchin populations, which are kelp herbivores. This can result in the formation of persistent “urchin barrens” that may become the subject of kelp forest restoration efforts. This project models and predicts preferable habitat for the California Spiny Lobster (an urchin predator) as a means of improving the efficiency of kelp forest restoration projects. To this end, a GIS tool was developed to analyze lobster abundances recorded as part of the Channel Islands National Park Service’s (CINPS) long-term Kelp Forest Monitoring dataset. Habitat predictions suggest that urchin barrens around the northern-most Palos Verdes peninsula may have the most preferential lobster habitat, thereby enhancing restoration longevity through normal lobster foraging behavior. This project demonstrates how long term survey data in the Channel Islands can be applied to solve conservation problems, and highlights the value of CNIPS’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program.

SUCCESSFUL BALD EAGLE RESTORATION ON THE CALIFORNIA CHANNEL ISLANDS

Peter Sharpe* and David Garcelon, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Arcata, CA 95518 sharpe@iws.org

   Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were extirpated from the California Channel Islands by the early 1960s, most likely as a result of DDT contamination in the Southern California Bight. We began restoring Bald Eagles to Santa Catalina Island in 1980 and the northern Channel Islands (NCI) in 2002. Eggs on Santa Catalina Island failed to hatch in 1987 and 1988 and exhibited high levels of DDE contamination, a metabolite of DDT. For the next 19 years we maintained the population through artificial incubation and hacking of birds, whereas nests on the NCI were not manipulated. The first confirmed natural hatching of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands since 1950 occurred on Santa Cruz Island in 2006, followed by nests on Santa Catalina Island in 2007. All nest manipulations stopped after 2008 and the breeding population has now grown to 19 breeding pair on five islands. Average productivity from 2009-2016 was 0.95 fledgling/breeding attempt with 63% of breeding attempts resulting in the fledging of at least one chick. There were 113 breeding attempts (55 on the southern Channel Islands (SCI), 58 on the NCI) over the 8-year period, but productivity and success rates were generally higher on the SCI (1.13 chicks/attempt, 68% success) than on the NCI (0.75 chicks/attempt, 56% success). Although DDE contamination appears to have declined to a level that allows successful breeding by Bald Eagles on the California Channel Islands, we are continuing to monitor the population to determine whether DDE contamination could cause decreased productivity as the breeding population ages and potentially accumulates higher contaminant loads.

ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION, AND PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE ISLAND SCRUB-JAY, NORTH AMERICA’S MOST RANGE-RESTRICTED BIRD SPECIES

T. Scott Sillett1*, Mario B. Pesendorfer2, Cameron K. Ghalambor3, and Scott A. Morrison4, 1Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013 silletts@si.edu 2Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14850 3Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 4The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, CA 94105

   The Island Scrub-Jay (ISSJ; Aphelocoma insularis) currently exists only on Santa Cruz Island, CA. Surveys conducted in 2008-09 indicated a total population size < 3000, making the ISSJ one of the rarest bird species in North America. This rarity, along with emerging disease threats, underscored the need for an intensive research program. Here, we summarize our work on ISSJ, including updating our estimate of total population size with a model incorporating vegetation height, quantifying habitat-specific demography, vaccination against West Nile Virus, and studies of the jay’s role as a seed disperser and ecosystem engineer. We also describe the potential reestablishment of ISSJ to nearby Santa Rosa Island, and present a predictive model for current jay habitat on this island. We discuss the challenges of proactively managing this species in the face of rapid climate change.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KELP IN HISTORICAL CHANNEL ISLAND ECOSYSTEMS: EMPLOYING δ13C ANALYSIS OF ANCIENT TOP CONSUMERS TO QUANTIFY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Emma A. Elliott Smith1*, Todd J. Braje2, Torben C. Rick3, Paul Szpak4, and Seth D. Newsome1, 1Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 871312 USA eaelliot@unm.edu 2Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182 USA 3Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 20013 USA 4Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

   Kelp forests are among the most productive yet vulnerable marine ecosystems on earth. These regions serve as biodiversity hotspots and CO2 sinks, but are highly sensitive to human impacts. Understanding their dynamics is crucial for effective conservation. Here, we employ δ13C analysis of individual amino acids from two top marine consumers, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) and sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) to evaluate the importance of kelp forests in the late Holocene (~3500 ybp – present). Since only primary producers and microbes synthesize essential amino acids (AAESS), consumers typically directly route them into tissues and they are minimally altered through food chains. Moreover, different producers (e.g., phytoplankton and macroalgae) in nearshore marine ecosystems have highly distinct δ13C values and so the δ13C AAESS in top consumers can provide a ‘fingerprint’ of the dominant producers in the local foodweb. We analyzed bone collagen from late Holocene sea otters and sheephead from two islands (San Nicolas and San Miguel) off the coast of southern California. We also characterized the baseline amino acid δ13C profiles for modern producer groups: kelp (Laminaria and Nereocystis), green algae (Ulva) and red algae (Neorhodomela). We used isotope mixing models to quantify the contribution of each algal group to ancient sea otter and sheephead AAESS δ13C values. We found remarkable consistency between ancient sea otters and sheephead, both between individuals and among sites. Both top consumers were predominantly feeding in ecosystems driven by kelp production; in all instances, greater than 65% of consumer essential amino acids were derived from kelp. These findings suggest that at these sites kelp forests may have been more extensive in the late Holocene than they are today. Our study demonstrates the utility of amino acid δ13C analysis in investigating historical ecological problems that hold relevance for modern conservation biology.

EXAMINING THE DIETARY ECOLOGY OF ANCIENT CHANNEL ISLAND DOGS (CANIS LUPUS FAMILIARIS) AND ISLAND FOXES (UROCYON LITTORALIS) THROUGH COMPOUND SPECIFIC ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF 13C AND 15N FROM BONE COLLAGEN

Chelsea M. Smith* and Chris Yarnes, University of California, Davis cmksmith@ucdavis.edu

   Radiocarbon dating suggests that the occupation of dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and foxes (Urocyon littoralis) on the California Channel Islands extends back approximately 6,000 years ago. Like many islands, the Channel Islands are marked by relatively low terrestrial biodiversity and as a result have delicately balanced ecosystems that can be easily disrupted. Under such conditions, interspecific canid competition may be expected to preclude coexistence and have broad deleterious ecological effects. However, an extended history of canid coexistence on the Channel Islands runs counter to this expectation. To study the cohabitation of Channel Island canids, we sampled fourteen dogs and eight foxes excavated from San Nicolas Island and have radiocarbon dates that place them between 1520-300 cal BP. In order to study the dietary ecology of each species, Amino Acid Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (AA-CSIA) of 13C and 15N derived from bone collagen was applied to estimate trophic position (TP) and the contribution of marine dietary sources. An advantage of using AA-CSIA is its potential to overcome certain limitations associated with bulk tissue (e.g., bone collagen) isotopic analysis. Additionally, CSIA allows information about ecosystem interactions to be gathered from discrete samples without the need to collect secondary data on consumer diet. The results of this study 1) indicate that these species developed different feeding ecologies as evidenced by their isotopic values and 2) suggest which AA pairings provide the most accurate estimates of TP and contributions of dietary sources. Overall, the application of AA-CSIA can provide archaeologists with an effective method for eliciting information about paleodietary structures and ancient energy flow pathways.

DISSOLVING HISTORY - DISSOLVING ECOSYSTEMS: THE LOSS OF SHIPWRECKS IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Patrick Smith, Coastal Maritime Archeology Resources subarch77@gmail.com

   The term “less is more” comes from an 1855 Robert Browning poem and in some cases it is actually true. But with regard to the submerged cultural resources – specifically shipwrecks – within the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, sadly, this is not the case. There was awareness at the creation of the Park and Sanctuary in 1980 of a number of ships and aircraft on and around the islands. These submerged “natural” losses, that is vessels lost through storm, fog, mishap or bad luck, have accumulated on the intertidal and offshore edges of these islands for years. It’s believed that vessel losses range from the prehistoric period through present day, though the earliest site discovered and documented is a Gold Rush era steamer from the mid-19th Century. However, the majority of vessels representing the submerged cultural resources within the Park/Sanctuary, whether sail or motor powered are of the 20th-Century. Typically, these vessels are esteemed either as time capsules or at least the historic bookmarks of a given trade or period. It is only over the years that we have come to see and appreciate the environmental benefits of these ship and aircraft losses. This presentation will look at current images of three submerged cultural resource sites and show how their serendipitous placement and structure have enhanced the environment through greater biodiversity and increased biomass. Images showing current deterioration of these sites and the educational, economic and ecological cost at the loss of these sites will be presented. With the foreseeable decline of these resources, less is less and bodes a notable loss to Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary.

VEGETATION AND LAND COVER MAPPING OF SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA: A SEMI-AUTOMATED AND OBJECT-BASED APPROACH

Rachel A. Snavely1*, Kellie A. Uyeda1, John O’Leary1, Douglas A. Stow1, Julie Lambert2, Leslie Bolick3, Kimberly O’Connor4, Bryan Munson5, and Tom Zink2, 1Department of Geography, San Diego State University rasnavely@me.com 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University 3SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific 4US Pacific Fleet Natural and Cultural Resources Program 5US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest.

   In an effort to support both conservation and management decisions on Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) San Clemente Island, a vegetation and land cover map is being developed by researchers at San Diego State University’s Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) and Soil Ecology and Restoration Group (SERG). A vegetation classification and mapping procedures incorporating previously defined alliances from maps, reports, and vegetation surveys has been developed. Vegetation types in this classification scheme attempt to follow protocols recommended by the Manual of California Vegetation (MCV) as closely as possible, but membership rules for some alliances have been adjusted to be specific for San Clemente Island. The San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR), through the imaging company NEOS, conducted aerial image acquisition and began digital image processing of San Clemente Island in fall of 2015. The SDSU-CESAR color infrared digital imaging system was used to capture digital CIR imagery with sufficient overlap to generate high precision digital surface models (DSMs). An object-based classification of georeferenced and orthorectified imagery and canopy height information from an associated DSM has been developed using Trimble’s eCognition Developer software. This image classification method provides users with a powerful alternative to traditional classification and mapping by generating objects (groups of contiguous pixels) of different shape and size that can be meaningfully categorized based on their texture, context, and geometry and spectral properties. In addition, we are conducting extensive field-based vegetation surveys as a complementary part of the overall mapping effort. Preliminary results indicate that the object-based classification is an efficient method for mapping vegetation types at the alliance level.

Physiological and behavioral correlates of dwarfism in Channel Island reptiles

Amanda Sparkman1* and Tonia Schwartz2, 1Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA sparkman@westmont.edu 2Auburn University, Auburn, AL

   Convergent evolution of dwarfism or gigantism in island habitats has occurred repeatedly worldwide, in response to the novel ecological challenges in island environments. The California Channel Islands host three species of reptile that exhibit evidence of dwarfism: the gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), the western yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor), and the alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata). We are currently testing for genetic, physiological, demographic, and behavioral differentiation in these species relative to their mainland counterparts. Here we report preliminary data on metabolic and immunological differentiation, as well as differentiation in exploratory behavior in these species that sheds light on both the potential mechanisms and consequences of dwarfism on islands.

ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MARINE PROTECTED AREAS USING LONG-TERM SUBTIDAL MONITORING DATA

Joshua Sprague* and David Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 joshua_sprague@nps.gov

   In 2003, 20% of the waters within Channel Islands National Park were designated no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Shortly after, the Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program, which was implemented in 1982 to collect long-term population data, increased the number of sites sampled annually to better assess the effectiveness of the new MPAs. In addition, a fish sizing protocol was added to the monitoring program. Results indicate that most commercially- and recreationally-targeted fish species have become larger and more abundant inside MPAs, though responses differ across the five park islands. Spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) also have become more abundant at sites inside MPAs; from 2012-2015 the density ratio was seven times greater inside MPAs relative to adjacent reference sites. Both red urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) and purple urchin (S. purpuratus) populations have shifted toward larger individuals inside MPAs. Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) stipe densities have increased at sites inside MPAs at Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands but have remained constant at sites within MPAs at Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands. Prior to 2003, the only no-take area within Channel Islands National Park was a small, 37-acre reserve established in 1978 on the north side of east Anacapa Island. Multi-dimensional analyses indicate that community structure at sites within the new MPAs continue to become more similar to sites within the old Anacapa MPA. This information may serve as a proxy for recovery times of kelp forest populations following the establishment of MPAs.

 

 

RESILIENCE: SEALS AND SEA LIONS OF THE WESTERN COAST OF NORTH AMERICA

Brent S. Stewart* and Pamela K. Yochem, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, California 92109 bstewart@hswri.org

   Populations of elephant seals, California sea lions, harbor seals, Guadalupe fur seals, and northern fur seals were extinguished, or reduced to near extinction, on the California Channel Islands and mainland California and Baja California during several thousand years of subsistence harvests by native Americans. The few animals that remained when Europeans arrived in the area in the 18th and 19th centuries were quickly eliminated and subsequent hunting in the early 20th Century reduced relict populations even further to a few dozen to perhaps a few thousand. Indeed, northern elephant seals and Guadalupe fur seals were claimed to be extinct by the end of the 19th Century. Nonetheless, those two species emerged from extinction in the early and mid-20th Century and have been increasing steadily since. California sea lions, uncommon in California waters as late as the 1960s, have increased at high rates for the past six decades with only occasional and temporary exception. These highly mobile, apex predators have demonstrated remarkable resilience and sustained population increase during the past century despite periodic, sometimes severe, disruptions to biotic and abiotic elements of local and regional marine ecosystems.

PALEO-ECOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS FROM MICROVERTEBRATE REMAINS AT CAVE OF THE CHIMNEYS (CA-SMI-603), SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jennie A. Stott1*, Emily L. Whistler2, René L. Vellanoweth3, and Amira F. Ainis4, 1John Minch and Associates jennie.a.allen@me.com 2Department of Anthropology, Washington State University 3Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 4Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon

   Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603) is a multi-component rockshelter site located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island. The site contains at least seven distinct strata dated to between ~ 8600 and 1000 cal BP and the preservation of faunal remains is exceptional. Previous archaeological studies found abundant evidence of human subsistence remains, bone and shell tools, seagrass cordage, and shell beads. Radiocarbon chronologies support intermittent human use of the rockshelter for thousands of years. The presence of raptor bones and high densities of microvertebrate remains not normally associated with cultural deposits suggest that birds of prey and terrestrial microfauna occupied the shelter when people were absent. Although microvertebrate remains compose less than 1% of the faunal assemblage by weight, high MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals >1500) of rodents and reptiles were identified throughout the sequence. Species infrequently seen in the archaeological record of San Miguel Island including gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), ornate shrew (Sorex ornatus), and the extinct giant island deer mouse (Peromyscus nesodytes) were uncovered throughout the excavated sample. Detailed femoral measurements indicate possible prey targeting of juvenile rodents by raptors. Linear regression analysis using mandibular tooth row measurements address the possibility of shifts in mean rodent size through time for the two species of mice. This study contributes to our understanding of past terrestrial environments, shifting ecological baselines, and predator/prey species dynamics on San Miguel Island throughout most of the Holocene.

 

 

 

TOURING EAGLES NEST HUNTING LODGE THROUGH TIME

Wendy Teeter1 and Lynn Dodd2*, 1Fowler Museum at UCLA 2University of Southern California swartz@usc.edu

   Archaeological best practices and ethical principles foreground the need for practitioners to invest in education and public outreach. The results of our work usually involve multi-layered intersections in time, space, and histories that are often complex to bring to a public audience. New opportunities have arisen with technological innovations including immersive virtual reality and web-accessible content that allow not only the results to be presented, but different voices heard. Eagles Nest Hunting Lodge on Pimu/Santa Catalina Island provides a model to showcase how these opportunities broaden access to source information, deepen engagement with history, and highlight new avenues for public learning.

REVIEWING SETTLEMENT ANALYSIS FROM PIMU/CATALINA ISLAND

Wendy Teeter1*, Desiree Martinez2, and Karimah Kennedy Richardson3, 1Fowler Museum at UCLA wteeter@arts.ucla.edu 2Cogstone Inc. 3Southwest Museum of the American Indian

   Research for southern California settlement has focused on the northern Channel Islands with the southern Channel Islands being viewed as the periphery, for a variety of reasons. However, new data from multiple Catalina Island sites show that villages were not just located in the coves or on the coast, but throughout the island perhaps differently than other islands. This presentation will discuss new AMS dates from these sites and put forth a tentative analysis of the settlement of Catalina with comparison to the rest of the southern Channel Islands and beyond.

ADVANCES IN THE RESTORATION OF ESPÍRITU SANTO ISLAND, GULF OF CALIFORNIA, MEXICO

Flor Torres-García*, Antonio Ortiz-Alcaraz, Fernando Pérez-Castro, Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, and Federico Méndez-Sánchez, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. Av. Moctezuma 836, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, México 22800 flor.torres@islas.org.mx

   Espíritu Santo Island, located 30 km off La Paz, Baja California Sur, at the mouth of the Gulf of California is an important island ecosystem, rich in endemic species protected by Mexican Norms. The island, part of a federal natural protected area, host numerous vertebrate species, including 24 reptiles, 68 birds and six terrestrial mammals. As many other islands, Espíritu Santo is also threatened by alien invasive species—feral cats (Felis catus) and goats (Capra hircus)—introduced a long time ago. We eradicated the feral cats between 2012 and 2014, and currently we are monitoring their absence. Likewise, goats have severely impacted the ecosystem, competing directly with the endemic Black Jackrabbit (Lepus insularis), feeding on the same plants, particularly cacti and legumes. In 2014, we began the goat eradication, backed by CONANP and with support from Alianza WWF México-Fundación Carlos Slim, the Packard Foundation and Marisla Foundation. With a social orientation, we implemented a participative strategy, partnering with the most diverse local stakeholders, authorities and academic institutions. Currently, we are in the first stage: live extraction of goats by ranchers and fishermen from Baja California Sur. We have installed pens and enclosures on the island, and use food attractants and dogs to lure in animals. Up to June 2016, we have extracted 155 goats, which have been delivered to the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), for research purposes, and to local goat breeders that actively participate in the project. At the same time, we conduct a specific environmental education and outreach program with the local population and the island’s users, making emphasis on biosecurity and in order to create awareness of the threat invasive species pose and the unique natural value of Espíritu Santo Island.

Monitoring and Research Plan for Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Areas

John Ugoretz1*, Lilian Carswell2, and Tim Tinker3, 1U.S. Navy, Bldg.53A, Code 52F00ME, 575 I Avenue, Suite 1, Point Mugu, CA 93042 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 3U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060

   The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (NDAA) includes provisions directing the Secretary of the Navy to establish Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Areas (Areas) at San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island. Military readiness activities conducted within these Areas are subject to specified exemptions from the incidental take prohibitions and consultation requirements of the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The NDAA also specifies monitoring requirements for these Areas, including that the Navy conduct monitoring and research to determine the effects of military readiness activities on the growth or decline of the southern sea otter population and on the nearshore ecosystem. The NDAA requires that monitoring and research parameters and methods be determined in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Navy, USFWS, and U.S. Geological Survey collaborated to develop a sea otter monitoring plan that builds on existing abundance surveys to add protocols for measuring diet, behavior and habitat use, with the potential for more intensive monitoring depending on the level and type of military readiness activities being conducted. This plan uses a tiered approach to ensure that military readiness activities continue to have no measurable effect on recovery of the sea otter population at San Nicolas Island. The plan, when approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and USFWS, will provide new opportunities to gather key information about the San Nicolas Island sea otter population and its effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

MIDDLE HOLOCENE ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORICAL ECOLOGY ON THE WEST END OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

René L. Vellanoweth1*, Jessica Morales1, Queeny G. Lapeña2, Emily L. Whistler3, Amira F. Ainis4, Emma A. Elliot Smith5, and Seth D. Newsome5, 1Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles rvellan@calstatela.edu 2Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles 3Department of Anthropology, Washington State University 4Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 5Department of Biology, University of New Mexico

   San Nicolas Island is surrounded by some of the richest and most diverse marine ecosystems with the highest amounts of kelp forest biomass in Southern California. We present archaeological data from five Middle Holocene sites (~5,400-2,800 cal BP.) located on the West End of the island. Detailed faunal analysis of molluscan, crustacean, echinoderm, and vertebrate remains infer extensive human harvesting in local kelp bed and nearshore ecosystems. Our study includes quantitative zooarchaeological analysis, morphometric measurements of key shellfish taxa (i.e., Haliotis rufescens, H. cracherodii, Mytilus californianus, and Lottia gigantea), and preliminary stable isotope analysis of marine mammal and bird remains. Over 88 shellfish taxa were identified, roughly 20 of which were of dietary value. The remaining shellfish included over 60 types of small seaweed and seagrass associates and other epifauna. Morphometric measurements (n > 4000) of dietary shellfish reveal declining mean sizes through time. California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) and seven taxa of crab were identified and measurements of kelp crab (Pugettia producta) dactyls indicate the presence of all age classes. As a primary predator of seaweeds and kelp, sea urchin densities speak to the health of local kelp beds and urchin “pavements” demonstrate extensive harvesting of this keystone species, possibly indicating ecosystem management in the past. Unusually high densities of marine bird remains including Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Short-tailed (Phoebastria albatrus), Laysan (P. immutabilis), and Blackfooted albatross (P. nigripes) suggest climatic anomalies, or shifts in migratory patterns, as these species are infrequently seen on the island today. Our results suggest that during this time period marine ecosystems on the West End of San Nicolas Island were highly productive and diverse and ecological baselines shifted at various scales. Dynamic human foraging patterns during the Middle Holocene seem to be consistent across the Channel Islands, suggesting a broad and diverse marine adaptation.

THE ROLE OF DISTURBANCE, LARVAL SUPPLY, AND NATIVE COMMUNITY ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NON-NATIVE SPECIES ON OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORMS IN THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL

Sloane Viola1*, Mark Page1, Robert Miller1, Susan Zaleski2, Brandon Doheny1, Jenifer Dugan1, and Donna Schroeder2, 1Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara sloaneviola@gmail.com 2Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior

   In marine ecosystems, offshore structures, such as oil and gas platforms, provide novel hard substrate habitat for epibenthic invertebrates in areas dominated by soft sea floor. A non-native crustose bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (=W. subatra?), has colonized a number of oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, and reached high (>50%) cover on portions of some platforms. The establishment of non-native invertebrate species on offshore platforms may be promoted by disturbances such as periodic platform cleaning and storm events that remove the attached epifaunal community. To evaluate the role of disturbance and water depth on the establishment of Watersipora, we quantified Watersipora cover and colony density and size in cleared and undisturbed (control) experimental plots on an offshore oil platform. We also explored the relationship between Watersipora establishment and variation in larval availability with depth and over time using settlement plates. Our results indicate that disturbance greatly enhanced the establishment of Watersipora on platforms, but that this effect varied with depth and associated larval availability. We also found that the established native community inhibited both the recruitment and growth of Watersipora, while colonies in disturbed plots reached higher densities and attained larger sizes than in control plots, suggesting an important role of biotic interactions in affecting Watersipora establishment. Larger colonies in disturbed plots pre-empted space otherwise available to native species, thus affecting epifaunal community structure of the oil platform. Our findings on the processes influencing colonization success of Watersipora will inform options to manage the establishment of non-native species on offshore platforms and thereby the potential spread of these species to natural habitat.

GENETIC AND PHENOTYPIC DIVERGENCE OF THE SPOTTED TOWHEE (PIPILO MACULATUS) ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Shannon E. Walsh1, Kevin J. Burns1*, and Carla Cicero2, 1Department of Biology, San Diego State University kburns@mail.sdsu.edu 2Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California Berkeley

   The Channel Islands represent a relatively simple platform that can be used to study evolution and adaptive divergence. About one-third of avian species on the Channel Islands have evolved endemic forms. One of these species, the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), currently occurs on three of these islands (Santa Catalina, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz) and recently went extinct on San Clemente. Most classifications recognized a unique island subspecies (P. m. clementae) for San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and Santa Rosa and consider the populations on Santa Cruz part of the mainland southern California subspecies (P. m. megalonyx). With single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from across the genome, we show that the current taxonomy for Spotted Towhees on the islands based on morphology does not accurately represent the evolutionary history of this group. The populations on the islands form a genetically unique group relative to the mainland. In addition, we found that each extant island population comprises a unique evolutionarily distinct unit worthy of taxonomic recognition. In addition to genetics, we examined phenotypic divergence of Spotted Towhees in morphology and coloration to assess the features that have historically been used to define the island endemic subspecies. The most prominent patterns found were that Spotted Towhees on the Channel Islands have longer bills and lighter plumage, features that have been linked to adaptation to island environments. We compared phenotypic divergence to genetic divergence to examine the potential effects of selection versus drift on trait evolution. We find evidence of selection for longer bills on the islands, wider bills for females on Santa Catalina, shorter wings for males on Santa Cruz, and lighter/grayer plumage on the northern islands. These phenotypic data, in combination with the genetic evidence, indicate that each extant island population comprises a distinct taxon should be considered in conservation and management decisions.

Ongoing Quaternary Paleontology on Santa Rosa Island - The Larramendy Mammoth Locality

Wm. Justin Wilkins1*, Donald P. Morris1, Monica M. Bugbee1, Jim I. Mead1, R. Randall Schumann2, and Jeffrey S. Pigati2, 1The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, SD, Inc. justinw@mammothsite.org 2United States Geological Survey

   The northern Channel Islands of southern California have a long history of fossil excavation, particularly with regards to species endemic to these islands since the Pleistocene. The records for Columbian and Pygmy mammoths (Mammuthus columbi and M. exilis) are especially extensive. However, with two notable exceptions, many of these records are isolated post-cranial bones and major questions remain regarding arrival and speciation of these taxa: 1) at what rate does mammoth dwarfism occur? 2) what mechanism is causing this phenomenon? 3) how frequently have these events occurred? In 2014, Channel Islands natural resource interns mapping water resources on Santa Rosa Island reported two exposed tusks. One of these specimens has led to a mammoth skull in remarkable condition which can help to answer these questions. Field work is ongoing in order to stabilize and remove this specimen. Field recovery methodology and results of preliminary morphometric and radiometric analyses are reported herein, as well as associated fauna with this specimen. These data suggest either that the specimen is a young Columbian mammoth or an as-of-yet undescribed taxon intermediate between mainland and Pygmy mammoths, that died near the arrival date for humans on the island.

DETERMINING NATURAL VS. CULTURAL DEPOSITION: EXAMINING ~7,600 YEARS OF HUMAN AND BARN OWL (TYTO ALBA) ACCUMULATED FAUNAL DEPOSITS FROM CAVE OF THE CHIMNEYS (CA-SMI-603), SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Emily L. Whistler1*, Amira F. Ainis2, Jennie A. Allen3, René L. Vellanoweth4, and Paul W. Collins5, 1Department of Anthropology, Washington State University emily.whistler@wsu.edu 2Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon 3John Minch and Associates, Inc. 4Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles 5Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

   We examine microfaunal and avian remains from Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603), a multi-component rockshelter site located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island that contains evidence of intermittent human occupation spanning most of the Holocene, from ~8,600 to 1,000 cal BP. Due to the exceptional preservation afforded by this rockshelter, well stratified cultural assemblages are interspersed with natural deposits that were accumulated by raptors who also occupied the site intermittently. Of the 4,517 Aves bones found at the site, 1,240 were identified to at least the genus level. Specimens from over 70 species were recovered belonging to 27 families, which represent numerous island microhabitats. Microfauna such as mice, shrews, lizards, snakes, and songbirds occur in high densities throughout all stratigraphic layers. Both humans and raptors prey upon many of the same smaller bird species, especially seabirds. This commonality in prey can obscure the distinction between cultural and natural/paleontological deposits. We identify correlations between groups of avian taxa and microfauna that are associated with raptors to qualify the nature of deposition. Through analysis of species behaviors, habitat requirements, predator-prey dynamics, bone characteristics and density, we decipher which avian remains were deposited as prey items of the human or raptor occupants of this site. Furthermore, we examine oscillating densities of the extinct giant island deer mouse (Peromyscus nesodytes) and the extant island deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) throughout this sequence, demonstrating the likelihood that the giant island deer mouse persisted past 1,000 cal BP and likely faced extinction as a consequence of the drastic habitat destruction brought about by the historic ranching era. This data set holds significant information regarding terrestrial habitats and environment on San Miguel Island throughout most of the Holocene.

WIDESPREAD DECLINES IN ABUNDANCES OF THE INTERTIDAL ROCKWEED SILVETIA COMPRESSA

Stephen G. Whitaker¹*, Geoff F. Dilly², Richard F. Ambrose³, Tiffany Yap4, and Dan V. Richards¹, 1Channel Islands National Park, National Park Service stephen_whitaker@nps.gov ²California State University, Channel Islands ³University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Environmental Health Sciences 4University of California, Los Angeles, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

   Rockweeds are ecosystem engineers that modify the physical environment and provide canopy-cover for a suite of rocky intertidal algal and motile invertebrate taxa during emersion. Monitoring of 17 sites on the northern Channel Islands between 1982 and 2016 by the National Park Service documented significant declines in abundances of these habitat modifiers. Historically, the rockweed Silvetia compressa has undergone large population decreases temporally followed by periods of slow recovery. However, larger than average declines in S. compressa occurred beginning around 2000 at many sites, as documented by repeated estimates in fixed plots and analysis of site-wide photographs. By 2014, below average rockweed cover was measured at all but one site, with the alga nearly absent from approximately half the sites. We examined multiple covariates to ascertain factors associated with rockweed decline. Preliminary results suggest prolonged emersion due to changes in the moon-tidal cycle may have contributed to the observed declines. Shifts in the declination of the moon which occur over a temporal scale of 18.6 years affect the duration and intensity of tidal cycles. At the Channel Islands, the lowest fixed plots targeting S. compressa experienced a much longer period of emersion in 2007 (1,614 hours) compared to 1997 (1,090 hours) and 2015 (947 hours). Thus, in 2007, S. compressa was exposed to air 48% and 70% longer than in 1997 and 2015, respectively. We hypothesize that rockweed cover was negatively affected by increased emersion, and speculate that it has been unable to recover at many sites following a reduction in exposure time since the population may have dropped below a critical threshold to remain sustainable. The relatively long-period temporal scale of the lunar declination underscores the need for ecological monitoring programs to span multiple decades to detect changes to intertidal communities resulting from climate change and other long-term cycle.

 

 

 

INITIATION OF A LONG-TERM MONITORING PROGRAM FOR SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS MURRELETS AT SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1, Harry R. Carter1, Michael W. Parker1*, Franklin Gress1, and Melissa Booker2, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 mparker1500@gmail.com 2Department of the Navy, Environmental Division, N-45, Naval Base Coronado PWO Bldg. #3, P.O. Box 357088, San Diego, CA, 92135

   San Clemente Island (SCI) supports one of the smallest Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi; SCMU) colonies in the world, and perhaps the only colony of Guadalupe Murrelets (S. hypoleucus; GUMU) in California, although sympatric breeding by this species has not been confirmed. Murrelet populations at SCI were not documented until 1977, mainly due to the murrelets’ secretive breeding habitats, minimal survey efforts, and a lack of effective survey techniques. Surveys of murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to nesting areas improved knowledge of their status and distribution in 1994-1996 (vocalization surveys) and 2008 (spotlight surveys). In 2012-2016, the U.S. Navy sponsored development of a long-term murrelet monitoring program using spotlight surveys, at-sea captures, and nest searches. Mean spotlight survey counts on standard transects were 29 ± 15 murrelets at Seal Cove, and 21 ± 10 at Southeast SCI (SESCI). We banded a total of 158 SCMU and 21 GUMU at Seal Cove, and 43 SCMU at SESCI. Recaptures comprised 10% to 29% of the annual SCMU samples captured at Seal Cove, but no GUMU were recaptured. Brood patches were present on 35% of SCMU and 14% of GUMU. Using round-island spotlight survey data, we estimated 50-75 SCMU pairs and 0-10 GUMU pairs breeding at SCI. We found 5 SCMU nests and 6 unidentified murrelet nests in isolated breeding refuges at Seal Cove and SESCI. Annual hatching success ranged from 0% to 22%. Low hatching success resulted from depredation by rats (Rattus spp.) at SESCI, and intra-specific competition for limited nest sites at Seal Cove. Continued monitoring will permit statistical assessments of SCMU population trends. Additional efforts are needed to: (1) resolve the breeding status of GUMU; (2) reduce rat depredation, which may increase hatching success; and (3) enhance existing breeding habitats to increase the number of suitable nest sites.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF SAN MIGUEL ISLAND

Ian Williams1*, Mike Hill2, Reed McCluskey2, Rob Danno1, Mike Maki1, Bill Ehorn2, and Ann Huston2, 1National Park Service 2National Park Service (retired)

   This paper traces the history of the National Park Service on San Miguel Island. A written agreement with the Navy in 1963 initiated NPS involvement in research and management on the island. That opened the way for a further agreement in 1976 which placed park rangers on the island and opened the island to the public. Park facilities, visitor services and resource management activities expanded over the following years. Visitor use came to an abrupt halt in 2014 when the Navy closed the island due to concerns over unexploded ordnance. In 2016 the island re-opened. This paper draws upon the ranger station logbooks and on oral history interviews with former rangers to illuminate the events of the past 40 years.

Native shrub re-establishment after grazer removal on Santa Cruz Island

Stephanie Yelenik, U. S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Hawaii National Park, HI, 96718 syelenik@usgs.gov

   Although non-native herbivores are well known to increase the prevalence of exotic species in plant communities, herbivore removal is only sometimes sufficient for native plant recovery. Incumbent exotic plants may stall the ability of native species to recruit and survive, even if there is ample native seed rain. Exotic grasses are a particular problem for native woody plants as they are often dominant, and increase in live and dead biomass after grazers are removed, making it difficult for native seed to find germination microsites. Santa Cruz Island was grazed by feral sheep for over a century, converting coastal sage scrub habitat into exotic grassland. After sheep removal in the mid-1980’s, it was noted that some species of native shrubs started to recover on south-facing slopes, although which species were able to come in, and at what rates, is less well understood. Such information would be informative for managers wishing to predict future plant community trajectories, and plan restoration needs. Percent cover transects were established on south-facing slopes in 2004. These started in 100% cover of native shrubs (mainly Eriogonum arborescens and Artemisia californica) and moved through an ecotonal region into areas that were 100% exotic grass cover. On average, Eriogonum and Artemisia made up 19.19% and 11.65% of the total transect cover, respectively, while exotic grasses accounted for 56.68%. Seedlings of Eriogonum and Artemisia were also counted, marked and measured each year between 2004 and 2008, and showed that Eriogonum seedling emergence increased exponentially in El Nino high rainfall years. No Artemisia seedlings were found in these ecotonal areas where exotic grasses were present. It was predicted that Eriogonum would reestablish on south-facing slopes more quickly than Artemisia, and observational data from reserve personnel suggests that this is the case.

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF THE NON-NATIVE BRYOZOAN WATERSIPORA ON OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORMS AND NATURAL REEFS

Susan S. Zaleski1*, Mark Page2, Robert Miller2, Brandon Doheny2, Jenifer E. Dugan2, Donna. M. Schroeder1, and Jeff Goddard2, 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management susan.zaleski@boem.gov 2Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

   The invasion and spread of exotic species is considered one of the greatest threats to biological diversity and the functioning of aquatic ecosystems today. The non-native foliose bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (=W. subatra?), commonly reported from harbors and embayments, also occurs on offshore oil platforms in the Southern California Bight. To better understand and manage the spread of Watersipora among platforms and other artificial and natural reef habitats, we are assessing the current distribution of this bryozoan. We surveyed 23 oil and gas platforms offshore of California from San Pedro Bay in the south to Pt. Conception in the north and 27 natural reefs bordering the mainland coast and northern Channel Islands using photographic methods and diver searches. Watersipora occurred on approximately half (13) of the platforms, with most of those (11) located in the south (San Pedro Bay) or southeastern portion of the Santa Barbara Channel. Where present, Watersipora cover varied widely among platforms. Watersipora occurred on 6 of the 12 mainland natural subtidal reefs surveyed within the Santa Barbara Channel, but only 1 of 15 reefs on the northern Channel Islands. However, Watersipora was found on two island piers. Where present on reefs, Watersipora cover was generally low and patchy. This study will inform the modeling of potential connectivity of Watersipora among platforms and natural reefs, and mitigation measures to manage the spread of Watersipora among offshore structures, including future renewable energy installations, and to natural reefs, as well as future Rigs-to-Reefs decisions in California.

 

 

 

POSTER ABSTRACTS

Examining the effects of the warm blob on harmful algal blooms in the Santa Barbara Channel

Sarah Amiri* and Carrie Culver*; University of California Santa Barbara Sarah.amiri@noaa.gov

   Harmful algal blooms (HAB's) have increased in both frequency and intensity in the last ten years within the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC). Overall chlorophyll in the SBC has a downward trend in lieu of the Warm Blob, but this isn't necessarily the case for toxigenic phytoplankton species. Shortly after the peak of the Warm Blob event in 2015, there was a coast wide Pseudo-nitzschia bloom spanning from the Gulf of Alaska to the SBC with the highest toxin levels concentrated near the Channel Islands. Therefore, this project aims to identify the interactive effects of the SST anomaly or Warm Blob event with other oceanographic parameters and that influence bloom events and toxin production of HAB's in the SBC. By utilizing CalCOFI, Plumes and Blooms, NOAA, satellite imagery and other data sets, we will be able to compare the HAB's sampling data across the SBC and the Santa Barbara coast with oceanographic parameters known to drive phytoplankton bloom dynamics.

PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF OUR COASTAL RESOURCES OVER 11 YEARS

Sean Anderson*, Karina Barron, Elliot Bender, Brandon Blair, Daniella Caccavalla, Molly Cook, Andrew Damron, Noreen Ednave, Joanna Fogarty, Angela Garelick, Corey Greenfield, Emily Hidalgo, Christopher Homokay, Brent Jensen, Summer Lee, Dulce Lopez, Casey Lysdale, Shannon Morris, Madeline Pascal, Karen Ramirez, Devyn Roadhouse, Amanda Shepherd, Andrew Spyrka, Gregory Vance, Lauren Wilson, and Lauren Zahn, Environmental Science and Resource Management Program, California State University Channel Islands, 1 University Drive, Camarillo, CA, 93012 sean.anderson@csuci.edu

  Understanding the public’s perceptions and valuation of various resources is key to shaping effective policy, conducting truly community-based conservation efforts, and effectively targeting scarce public dollars. The California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) Survey of Public Opinion of Coastal Resources has sampled such public perceptions annually for the past 11 years (700 – 1,500 polls conducted each September) to better understand where the public currently stands on various issues and to provide a long-term baseline with which to compare the efficacy of various future management efforts. As with most such efforts to take the pulse of the general population, this ongoing effort shows a multifaceted populace. We enjoy our coastal resources, engaging in both consumptive and non-consumptive uses of them, but rarely venture forth to the Channel Islands; people are equally likely to have been to an island within the past year, more than a year ago, or never. Island visits correlate with distance from mainland. Most attitudes have remained consistent across the years, however some have shown marked changes recently. These include a marked decrease in support for offshore oil drilling post-2015 Refugio Oil Spill and a general lessening of concern about Climate Change since 2008. The public is aware of many high profile or contentious management efforts, but generally not the main entities or agencies engaged in that management. A robust and holistic understanding of the state of those resources being managed is lacking. Our coastal resources are understood to have degraded over time and most are dissatisfied with the current trajectory of our stewardship.

 

 

HISTORIC PHOTO-POINT ANALYSIS OF VEGETATION COVER ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Matt Arbogast, Alex Ceja, Corey Greenefield, Shelby Palasik, Finnian Swann, Kiki Patsch*, and Cause Hanna, Environmental Science & Resource Management Program, California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu

   The Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) historical photo-point analysis project was created to monitor and evaluate the recovery of plant communities on Santa Rosa Island in the absence of human habitation and ranching operations, which decimated the native plant communities. Monitoring recovery is a critical part of determining the success of restoration efforts and the implementation of future management decisions. This study will compare historic imagery with new photos taken bi-annually by students in ESRM 328: Introduction to GIS to monitor the change in ground cover and vegetation over time. Using handheld GPS units, students record the coordinates of historic and new sites of interest for monitoring recovery. At each coordinate point, a reference photo is taken and date, time, coordinates, and declination of a nearby landmark are recorded. Subsequent photos taken at these sites will be compared to the reference photos to assess changes in vegetation and land cover. GPS points and images are added to a GIS database of Santa Rosa Island for future students, faculty, and Channel Islands National Parks research. Thanks to its simple set of methods, this project serves as an exceptional first-hand introduction to conservation, field methods, research, and the scientific method for students of any age or skill-level. It also serves as a strong bonding experience for classmates who work together in teams to gather data; setting the foundation for future island research projects on Santa Rosa. Students are given a rare chance to see how their contribution affects the project, and can take pride in being an integral part of something far larger than themselves.

Methods of Analyzing Biodiversity on Santa Rosa Island

Sarah Assar*, Angelea Gephart, and Geoff Dilly, California State University Channel Islands sarah.assar924@myci.csuci.edu

   The impact of human life and the health of marine ecosystems are intrinsically linked.
The human population has grown exponentially since the industrial revolution. This growth has
contributed to a 35% rise in CO2 and 30% decrease in ocean pH (dropped from 8.3 to 8.1; termed
ocean acidification). Marine species in rocky intertidal zones have spent millions of years
adapting to particular niches and these changes in environmental factors may push species
beyond their limits to adapt. Biodiversity on rocky intertidal sites, Skunk Point and Bechers Bay
of Santa Rosa Island, is an indicator of environmental health of these ecosystems and shows the
impact through the documentation of subsequent biotic change using methods including vertical
and photo transects. The vertical transects utilized multiple parallel lines on a site with a single
measurement taken every 25cm along the length to produced discrete data. The photo transects
implemented inexpensive camera equipment, a 1m2 PVC rig, and photo mosaic software to
provide visual historical data along the corresponding vertical transects which in turn expanded
the volume of data points acquired. Rasterization of images for pixel isolation and training Arc
GIS to classify them based on specific attributes granted photo data collection a broader
spectrum to more accurately record biodiversity.

 

 

ANALYZING SANTA ROSA ISLANDS SHORELINE CHANGE WITH USGS DIGITAL SHORELINE ANALYSIS SYSTEM

Stephen Bednar1*, Rockne Rudolph2, Sean Anderson1, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands stbednar@gmail.com 2Channel Islands National Park

   Current climate change models predict an accelerated rate of sea-level rise over the next century. The effects of sea-level rise on barrier beaches and estuary systems may have devastating effects on the biodiversity of these rare systems. It is important that informed management decisions are made to protect island biodiversity. Using a combination of historical aerial imagery (1929-Present), and current seasonal shorelines using high accuracy GPS it is possible to track trends in historical, and seasonal shoreline changes on Santa Rosa Island beaches. Data were analyzed using USGS Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). Weighted Linear Regressions showed a trend of -0.16 ± 0.53 (99.9% CI) meters of barrier beach erosion per year on beaches between Skunk Point and East Point on Santa Rosa Island since 1929. The exception to this trend occurred on a stretch of west facing beach on Skunk Pt. in which Weighted Linear Regressions showed a trend of 0.44 ± 1.16 (99.9% CI) meters of beach accretion per year.

IT TAKES COLLABORATION TO RESTORE A CLOUD FOREST

Susan Bloom1*, Jesse Groves1, Dominic Crowley1, Jessica Gallagher1, and Kathryn McEachern2, 1Brooks Institute of Photojournalism sbloom@brooks.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   Out on Santa Rosa Island a cast of hundreds is working to restore a cloud forest that harvests fog and slows erosion on the high Soledad Ridge. The project requires expertise from various scientists, surveyors and civil engineers, organizers and project managers, wattle-rollers and rappellers, park rangers, students and interns, teachers and professors. It also involves those willing to do a lot of general grunt work: installing wattles, putting up check dams, assembling irrigation, collecting seeds, growing and planting plants, hauling things up and down slopes. Most are volunteers, all united by a single vision of a revegetated landscape which will capture the daily fog rolling across the currently barren fields. This will only come to pass, however, long after they have departed this world. It Takes Collaboration is a look at the process of restoration, a vision of the future, and those who make it happen.

BRANDT’S CORMORANT (PHALACROCORAX PENICILLATUS) BREEDING POPULATION TRENDS AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 1991-2014

Phillip J. Capitolo1*, Harry R. Carter2, Gerard J. McChesney3, William R. McIver4, Allison R. Fuller5, W. Breck Tyler1, Martin Ruane6, Grace Smith6, and Thomas W. Keeney7, 1Institute of Marine Sciences, Univ. of California, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, California 95060 USA 2Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA (Current Address: Carter Biological Consulting, 1015 Hampshire Rd., Victoria, British Columbia V8S4S8 Canada) 3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 1 Marshlands Rd., Fremont, California 94555 USA (Formerly: Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA 4Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA (Current address: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Rd., Arcata, California 95521 USA) 5Dept. of Wildlife, Humboldt State Univ., 1 Harpst St., Arcata, California 95521 USA 6USN, Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, CA USA 7USACE, Env. Res. Branch, Los Angeles, CA USA

   Nest counts of all Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) breeding colonies at San Nicolas Island (SNI), the outermost of the southern California Channel Islands, have been determined from aerial photographs annually since 1991. We examined trends in total numbers of nests at SNI during 1991-2014 and during two shorter periods when trends appeared to differ. During 1991-2003, population size declined by 6% per annum, with the highest count in 1993 (2,422 nests). Colony abandonments and colony shifting occurred during 1992-1993 due to human disturbance and predation of eggs by Island Foxes (Urocyon littoralis dickeyi), leading to greater efforts by US Navy to protect breeding colonies. Nest numbers were reduced due to strong El Niño conditions in 1992, and even more so in 1998, when very few birds attempted to breed. During 2003-2014, population size increased by 12% per annum to 7,358 nests in 2014, the largest population size ever recorded at SNI. Road closures by 1996 eventually led to a widely expanded nesting distribution at Vizcaino Point, where about 70% of nests now occur. Human access to the south side of SNI was no longer permitted, allowing a major colony to form at Dutch Harbor Area, beginning in 2000. Nest numbers were reduced during 2008-2009, similar to patterns in other regions of California, but rebounded in 2010. Recent dramatic population increase at SNI likely reflected: 1) reduced human disturbance; 2) high recruitment following the 1999-2000 La Niña; and 3) possible immigration of birds from other islands or regions. Some level of egg predation by Island Foxes still occurs, but feral cats (Felis catus) were eradicated during 2009-2010.

STATUS OF ASHY STORM-PETREL BREEDING COLONIES AT SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, 1912-1998

Harry Carter1,2*, William McIver1,3, Gerard McChesney1,4, Darrell Whitworth1,5, John Gilardi1, and Leigh Ochikubo Chan1, 1Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Drive, Arcata CA 95521 USA 2Present Address: Carter Biological Consulting, Victoria, BC V8S4S8 Canada carterhr@shaw.ca 3Present Address: USFWS-AFWO, Arcata, CA 95521 USA 4Present Address: USFWS-SFBNWRC, Fremont, CA 94536 5CIES, Davis, CA 95616 USA

   Historical knowledge of 12 breeding colonies of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) at Santa Cruz Island (SCZ), California, was summarized to examine colony discoveries, detect possible changes in numbers of nests, and assist long-term monitoring, surveys and restoration. Breeding was first reported by naturalists and egg collectors at Painted Cave (1912), followed by Scorpion Rocks (1928), Cavern Point Cove Caves (1936), and Orizaba Rock (1937). Breeding at Diablo Rocks (1976) and Gull Island (1977) was noted during the first seabird colony survey of the Channel Islands by the University of California Irvine. In 1991-98, Humboldt State University conducted more extensive surveys of nearly all sea caves and offshore rocks, with breeding discovered at Cave of the Birds’ Eggs (1991), Del Mar Rock (1991), Willows Anchorage Rocks (1991), Bat Cave (1994), Dry Sandy Beach Cave (1994) and Shipwreck Cave (1997). Standardized monthly nest monitoring to measure reproductive success, population size and late-summer index counts at 5 colonies, creating a baseline for long-term monitoring. Mist-net captures at 4 colonies were conducted to estimate population sizes and investigate potential for trend monitoring. Compared to 1995-97, relatively large numbers of eggs collected at 2 colonies in the 1930s suggested larger population sizes prior to organochlorine pollution, although loss of some nesting habitat also may have occurred at 1 colony. Estimated population size for SCZ in 1991-98 was 335-340 pairs, greater than reported in 1976-77 (45-55 pairs), reflecting more colonies surveyed in 1991-98 (including 3 of the 4 largest colonies), different methods of estimation, and possibly reduced impacts from organochlorine pollution. However, nests were not found at Scorpion Rocks, Painted Cave, or Gull Island. More work is needed to ensure that all colonies have been discovered and can be monitored, especially by examining steep cliffs on the north side using mist-net captures or radar surveys.

 

 

Native revegetation following eucalyptus removal and pile burning on Santa Cruz Island, California – Channel Islands National Park

Sean Casey1* and Paula Power2, 1California State University Channel Islands seanecasey@gmail.com 2National Park Service - Channel Islands National Park

   The National Park Service is currently restoring 21-hectares of wetland and oak-woodland riparian habitat on Santa Cruz Island (34 00’ 00” N, 119 43’ 00” W) in Channel Islands National Park. In 2010, the National Park Service restored a functioning, self-sustaining coastal wetland ecosystem and is currently restoring over 16 hectares of oak-woodland habitat in the lower Cañada del Puerto Creek. This area was altered over the last century by the introduction of ungulates and non-native vegetation, and the construction of buildings, roads, and other infrastructure in the area. Our study looks at native vegetation recovery after the removal of non-native Red Gum Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) from the project area. This project examines the effect of burning eucalyptus debris piles on native seed germination and establishment in burned and unburned areas. By comparing restoration efforts, we found the greatest number of seedlings in unseeded/unburned plots. Giant coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantia), California brome (Bromus carinatus), and mugwort (Artemisia douglasii) were the most successful species to germinate in our study plots. Giant coreopsis and mugwort showed the greatest success in germination in unburned plots, suggesting they are an appropriate species to use in future restoration practices in the lower Cañada del Puerto Creek.

SHIFTS IN SUBTIDAL ALGAL ASSEMBLAGES AND THE IMPACTS OF THE INVASIVE ALGA, SARGASSUM HORNERI, AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Kenan M. Chan*, Christen A. Santschi, Parker H. House, Katherine Grady, and David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 kenan_chan@nps.gov

   Since 1982 the Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has collected long-term data on subtidal algal assemblages at permanent sites across the Park’s five islands. Shifts in the community structure of subtidal algal assemblages are influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. Variation in abiotic factors (i.e., water temperature, Pacific Decadal Oscillation) may have an important influence on the composition of algal assemblages. However, the effect of biotic factors on composition of algal assemblages may vary in intensity depending on the severity of the impact. For example, the recent introduction of the invasive algae, Sargassum horneri, may have significant impacts on these algal assemblages. We compared percent cover data with benthic temperature data to assess long-term changes in the community structure of algal assemblages. We expect to see shifts in the community structure of algal assemblages over time and space with changing oceanographic conditions (water temperature, PDO). Since 2015, the invasive S. horneri has seen significant increases in its abundance at several of the Park’s islands and this year, Undaria pinnatifida, another invasive algae, was documented for the first time on Anacapa. With the spread of invasive algae, continued monitoring is critical in understanding natural changes in the community’s make up in order to better our understanding of future differences between natural changes in algal assemblages and those caused by the presence of invasive algae.

INVENTORY AND MAPPING NON-NATIVE PLANT SPECIES ON SOUTH FARALLON ISLANDS

Quentin Clark1*, Barbara Holzman1, and Gerry McChesney2, 1San Francisco State University quentin.j.clark@gmail.com 2U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

   This project surveyed, mapped and analyzed the spatial distribution of targeted non-native plant species on the South Farallon Islands of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge. Non-native plants displace native flora and disrupt the nesting habitats of seabirds on the islands. In particular, New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is believed to have a negative impact on the breeding success of western gull, rhinoceros auklet, and Cassin’s auklet. This project was carried out in conjunction with the USFWS in order to assist in the continued implementation of the Refuge’s non-native plant management program. Data for this work were collected via two on-site surveys in March and July of 2016. Detailed maps of targeted species in six inventory areas were created. Preliminary analysis reveals an extensive distribution of the targeted non-native plant species throughout the study area, especially New Zealand spinach and annual grasses such as ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) and hare barley (Hordeum murinum). In total, 11.2 hectares (29%) of the South Farallon Islands are infested by non-native flora. New Zealand spinach and annual grasses comprise over 60% (6.9 hectares) of the total area invaded. The distribution of non-natives is concentrated across the western and southern extent of the study area and throughout locations where anthropogenic disturbance and/or activity is present. This research provides a baseline for future vegetation management and monitoring.

Santa Rosa Island Research Station: A Real-Time Sustainability Platform

Kyle Clarke*, Greg Wood, and Cause Hanna, California State University Channel Islands kyle.clarke453@myci.csuci.edu

   An objective of the Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) is to successfully promote and demonstrate the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency. The SRIRS is an ideal location to promote and demonstrate the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency because living on an island limits resource availability and makes resource consumption and the generation of waste more apparent. To encourage the development of sustainable behaviors and actions the SRIRS created methods for low cost remote monitoring of power, water, and propane. Instant feedback to visitors at the SRIRS is provided by a website hosted locally which has a real-time graph of water and power use, a summary of propane use every 6 hours, and the per person generation of waste (trash, recyclable, and compost). This participatory approach motivates SRIRS visitors to adopt new energy reduction behaviors and foster a sweeping new dialogue about personal and island sustainability. Specifically, the SRIRS sustainability platform enables the SRIRS to conduct sustainability competitions, showcase real-time user performance, and empower users to become active participants in energy reduction and resource management.

ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF SOIL SEED BANKS IN COASTAL SAGE SCRUB RESTORATION ON SANTA CATALINA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Peter J. Dixon, Catalina Island Conservancy pdixon@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Catalina Island Conservancy manages over 22,000 acres of coastal (California) sage scrub (CSS) habitat off the coast of Southern California, including much of the infrastructure, road and recreational uses associated with habitat disturbance. Restoration trials were initiated to establish best management practices for roadside and disturbed site revegetation under local site conditions. Site treatments compared urban fill, conventional native topsoil, and surface soil (0-20 cm) re-application practices with and without seed augmentation. Evaluation of native and non-native germinants indicate that salvaged surface soil alone may not be sufficient to restore native cover. Seeding improved native cover and reduced establishment of non-native species on all un-irrigated sites. Most compelling for land managers is the indication that even high quality CSS habitats may contain a significant non-native seed bank, such that even minor disturbance may facilitate habitat-type conversion without seed augmentation or weed control.

DISTRIBUTION AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET WITHIN STANDARD SURVEY AREAS AT SANTA CATALINA ISLAND FROM 2014 – 2016

Tyler M. Dvorak1* and Darrell L. Whitworth2, 1Catalina Island Conservancy, PO Box 2739, Avalon, CA 90704 USA tdvorak@catalinaconservancy.org 2California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Ave., Davis, CA 95616 USA

   In 2014-2016, we continued monitoring the Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) population at Santa Catalina Island to update previous surveys conducted in 2004, 2012, and 2013. We used nocturnal spotlight surveys and night-lighting captures to examine the number and breeding status of murrelets attending at-sea congregations adjacent to isolated nesting habitats in coastal cliff and shoreline areas. Counts for spotlight surveys conducted along a standard transect between Isthmus Cove and Twin Rocks ranged from 71-96 murrelets (mean = 82; n = 3) in mid-April 2014, 23-60 murrelets (mean = 47; n = 6) in mid-April and mid-May 2015, and 93 murrelets (n = 1) in early March 2016. A supplementary survey from Isthmus Cove to Catalina Harbor yielded 119 murrelets, compared to 86 over the same transect in 2012. Murrelet congregations were consistently found in waters off apparently suitable breeding habitats near North Empire Quarry, Lava Wall, Little Gibraltar, Kelp Point, Lobster Bay, and the cliffs southeast of Pin Rock. Six nest sites found between Isthmus Cove and Twin Rocks were monitored in 2014, 7 in 2015, and 8 in 2016. Hatching success (% of total eggs laid that hatched) in monitored sites was 57% (n = 7) in 2014, 50% (n = 4) in 2015 and 100% (n = 6) in 2016. We banded 22 murrelets (50% with brood patches [bp] indicative of breeding) in 2014, 45 murrelets (27% bp) in 2015, and 20 murrelets (15% bp) in 2016. Despite banding a total of 136 murrelets at Catalina since 2012, no recaptures have been recorded. Annual differences in spotlight counts and the percentage of brood patches in captured samples were likely due to differences in the timing of surveys each year. We recommend continued annual monitoring to provide data for statistical analyses of major murrelet population trends.

SANTA ROSA ISLAND TORREY PINE HISTORICAL POPULATION EXPANSION AND GERMINATION TRIAL

Evangeline Forster1*, Brandon Blair1, Brett Hartman1, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands evangeline.forster958@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is the rarest pine species in North America with two recognized allopathic sub-species. The P. torreyana ssp. torreyana exists in and around the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve located in San Diego, California. The P. torreyana ssp. insularis occurs on Santa Rosa Island within the Channel Islands National Park. The greater than 150 years of ranching on Santa Rosa Island led to a decrease in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine population. To examine the change in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pine population through time we: 1) georeferenced historic aerial photos and created polygons around the Torrey pines to quantify the expansion of the population from 1929 to the present, and 2) established and collected two years of data from 45 demography plots. Within the demography plots we collected the following data from each individual: diameter at breast height (DBH), height, reproductive status, growth rate, and health. These data enabled us to quantify the survival rate of seedling and saplings during the current drought. Lastly, we performed a common garden experiment to examine the impact of precipitation and leaf-litter on the germination of the two sub-species of Torrey pines. We found that the mainland pines have a higher germination success and both the mainland and island pines germinated best in high leaf-litter and high water treatments. The results of this research quantify the long-term change in the Santa Rosa Island Torrey pines population and will help inform future Torrey pines management strategies.

GATHERING NEW EVIDENCE FOR AN OLD PROBLEM: THE CASE OF THE ISLAND ENDEMIC, HETEROMELES ARBUTIFOLIA VAR. MACROCARPA

Christopher Garoutte and C. Matt Guilliams*, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden mguilliams@sbbg

   In 1932, Munz described Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindl.) M.Roem. var. macrocarpa (Munz) Munz (originally as Photinia arbutifolia Lindl. var. macrocarpa Munz) as a new variety of toyon endemic to Santa Catalina (SCa) and San Clemente (SCl) islands. Consistent with the common pattern of gigantism on islands, variety macrocarpa was reported to have larger fruits (8-10 mm long) relative to conspecifics from the mainland and the other California Channel Islands (ca. 6 mm long). Since its description, however, variety macrocarpa has not been widely accepted by taxonomists; most floristic treatments recognize no infraspecific taxa in Heteromeles arbutifolia. Using specimens from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Rancho Santa Ana herbaria, we conducted a preliminary investigation to determine if Heteromeles arbutifolia from SCa and SCl have significantly larger fruits than other island and mainland conspecifics. The length and width of fruits from specimens collected on SCa and SCl were significantly greater than those from specimens collected on the mainland, and were also greater than fruits from the mainland and all other islands treated as a single group. Fruit size was not significantly different, however, between plants from SCa and SCl and plants from the other Channel Islands. While these differences in fruit size are sufficient to demonstrate the need for further study of this taxonomic problem, these data must be interpreted with caution. Measurements obtained from herbarium specimens may be unreliable, as degree of fruit ripeness is sometimes difficult to assess and the fleshy pomes of Heteromeles undoubtedly shrink while drying. More importantly, despite significant differences, the measurements by group are broadly overlapping and without discontinuities. Therefore, future work will focus on obtaining field measurements of living plants and will span the geographic range of the species. Genetic data would also be helpful in assessing the degree to which the plants of Heteromeles differ among islands and between the islands and the mainland.

SITE STRUCTURE, ACTIVITY AREAS, AND CEREMONIAL FEASTING AT THE TULE CREEK SITE (CA-SNI-25), SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Richard B. Guttenberg1, Johanna V. Marty1*, and René L. Vellanoweth2, 1John Minch and Associates, Mission Viejo johannamarty@roadrunner.com 2Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles

   The Tule Creek site (CA-SNI-25), located on the northwest coast of San Nicolas Island, is the largest known village site. Radiocarbon dates suggest extensive occupation leading up to the time of European contact, implying that it may have been the home of Juana Maria, the famed Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. Archaeological investigations at East Locus uncovered over 60 features, approximately 40 of which were recorded as pits or circular depressions. Roughly half of the pit features contained faunal remains in addition to broken artifacts and lithic debitage. The contents of many of these pits were subjected to burning, and may be the remains of feasting events. This study investigates stratigraphically discrete pit features utilizing quantitative zooarchaeological methods, intrasite GIS, and spatial analysis to explore questions about site use, feasting, and ceremonial activity at the site. Faunal analysis focused on three of the largest pit features indicates that the feasting menu consisted primarily of fish and sea mammal, with smaller contributions from shellfish species. We identified 28 shellfish taxa, 18 types of fish, and five sea mammal species, including taxa that live in kelp beds and rocky intertidal habitats. Shellfish assemblages are similar, with ~70% overlap between features. Lithic materials include steatite, and Cico, island, and Monterey-banded cherts, which are not locally available on San Nicolas, suggesting regional trade between the occupants of CA-SNI-25, other islands, and the mainland. Our spatial analysis of these pits and other associated features suggests that the site was used for a variety of ritualized and daily activities, including feasting events, ceremonial offerings, and tool production. This study offers a glimpse into islander lifeways during the dynamic period preceding and during initial European contact.

SEA OTTERS BEGINNING TO THRIVE AT SAN NICOLAS ISLAND

Brian Hatfield1*, M. Tim Tinker1, and Mike Kenner1,2, 1USGS WERC, Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, CA 2UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA

   Southern sea otters, Enhydra lutris nereis, were re-introduced to the waters around San Nicolas Island (SNI), California, in 1987-1990; however, the majority of the 140 translocated animals dispersed from the island within weeks of their release. Approximately a dozen sea otters persisted and became the “founders” of a small, isolated population. Allee effects (and possibly anthropogenic factors) appeared to depress growth in the mid 1990s, but by the late 1990s the population began to increase, and at present the geometric mean rate of increase is 13%/yr. This exponential growth rate greatly exceeds that of the mainland population, which is believed to be at/near carrying capacity throughout much of central California, and is restricted from range expansion by elevated white shark-caused mortality. A minimum of 233 pups have been born at SNI since the beginning of the sea otter re-introduction, and over 100 individuals were counted during the most recent survey. Although otters are commonly seen in or near kelp beds around half of the island, they are rarely seen in the other half. Presence/absence of a surface kelp (Macrocystis) canopy, persistent prey resources in occupied areas and the social nature of sea otters are all likely important in explaining habitat use patterns, but commercial fishing activity (including trap fishing) also appears to play a role in limiting sea otter distribution. When compared to other successful sea otter translocations, the SNI population experienced a more prolonged delay before exponential growth ensued, but it now appears to be a conservation success story for the Channel Islands.

CLASSIFICATION, VEGETATION-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIPS, AND DISTRIBUTION OF PLANT ASSEMBLAGES ON SOUTHEAST FARALLON ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Jamie Hawk1*, Barbara Holzman1, Ellen Hines1, and Jaime Jahnke2, 1San Francisco State University jamie.lee.hawk@gmail.com 2Point Blue Conservation Science

   Southeast Farallon Island is the largest seabird breeding colony south of Alaska and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is planning for intensive habitat restoration, therefore, a clear understanding of native and invaded plant assemblages and vegetation-environment relationships is required. We present research on the plant assemblages of Southeast Farallon Island and describe their relationships to environmental variables and disturbance factors. We sampled a total of 42 vegetation plots containing 26 taxa with a stratified design across the 29-hectare (72-acre) island. To classify the herbaceous assemblages, we applied agglomerative hierarchical clustering, while the influence of site parameters was obtained using Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) ordination. A total of five plant assemblages were classified, including two native plant assemblages (Spergularia macrotheca type and Lasthenia maritima type) and three invaded assemblages: (Tetragonia tetragonioides type, Plantago coronopus type, and Mixed vegetation type). The strongest gradients in vegetation composition can be explained by solar heat load, dominance of substrate type, and edaphic factors (soil pH, salinity, depth). Physical disturbance and proximity to anthropogenic land use also influence composition of plant associations. A map of the classified vegetation types and additional mapping units were created to better understand current patterns in vegetation and assist in long-term management of the island’s resources.

 

 

WILDERNESS COMES TO CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Sterling Holdorf, Laura Kirn*, Derek Lohuis, David Mazurkiewicz, Yvonne Menard, Paula Power, Rockne Rudolph*, Cynthia Stirner, and Ian Williams, Channel Islands National Park laura_kirn@nps.gov

   With completion of the park’s General Management Plan, Channel Islands National Park has officially become managed as a Wilderness park. This fulfills the intent of Channel Islands National Park enabling legislation, the 1964 Wilderness Act, and National Park Service Management Policies, all of which require that lands within the park be studied for Wilderness designation. Much of four of the five islands (exclusive of San Miguel and East Anacapa) are now designated as either proposed Wilderness or proposed potential Wilderness. While only Congress can officially designate Wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act, agency management policies require the National Park Service to now manage these lands to preserve their wilderness character. Wilderness character is generally understood as the combination of biophysical, experiential, and symbolic ideals that distinguishes wilderness from other lands. It is represented by a combination of five qualities: 1) naturalness; 2) possessing outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; 3) being largely undeveloped; 4) having an untrammeled nature (essentially free from the actions of modern human control or manipulation); and 5) containing ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. Wilderness designation brings a profound shift in how the National Park Service manages and provides for use on these lands. This poster will highlight some of these changes, including emphasizing the “minimum tool” approach to all activities in Wilderness, and addressing the statutory prohibitions of the Wilderness Act.

FOLIAR WATER UPTAKE IN FERNS ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND VERSUS THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

Helen I. Holmlund1*, Victoria M. Lekson1, Amanda M. Burns2, Gabriella Palmeri1, Shaquetta Reese1, and Stephen D. Davis1, 1Pepperdine University helen.holmlund@eagles.oc.edu 2Berea College

   Between 2012-2016, the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California experienced unprecedented drought. In multiple stands, hardy evergreen species of chaparral shrubs developed shoot dieback and whole plant mortality. In this context, we examined the effects of severe drought on the tissue-water relations of eight fern species. Five species grew in the chaparral understory (Adiantum jordanii, Dryopteris arguta, Pellaea andromedifolia, Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis, Polypodium californicum), and three species grew in a nearby riparian habitat (Adiantum capillus-veneris, Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens, Woodwardia fimbriata). We suspected that summer fog in the Santa Monica Mountains, known as “June gloom," played a significant role in maintaining the water balance of ferns during critical summer-dry periods and that this response would differ among species. We measured foliar water uptake gravimetrically and found a correlation between foliar water uptake, minimum seasonal water potential, and species type. Furthermore, five of our eight fern species in the Santa Monica Mountains grow on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz Island experiences comparable rainfall to the Santa Monica Mountains but approximately 3-fold greater incidence of fog. We hypothesized that island ferns may have adapted to take advantage of this extra fog water resource. A comparison of gravimetric foliar water uptake between island and mainland ferns showed 2-4 fold higher foliar water uptake in island ferns. These data support our hypothesis and beg further inquiry into the role of fog in the survival of island ferns.

 

 

NATURALIST TRAINING: PROMOTING ECO-LITERACY IN THE AVALON COMMUNITY

Hillary Holt and Kristin Howland*, The Catalina Island Conservancy khowland@catalinaconservancy.org

   The Naturalist Training Program is built upon the vision of Catalina as a premier ecotourism destination where the needs of the human community blend with the needs of the ecological community. The program is part of a major education initiative by the Catalina Island Conservancy to enrich the visitor and resident experience by ensuring that Catalina’s businesses have access to accurate and compelling nature-based information and to highlight the work of the Conservancy. The Naturalist Training Program is a unique project in that unlike most conservancies the mission of the Catalina Island Conservancy is three-fold, encapsulating the objective of conservation as well as education and recreation. The Naturalist Training Program provides conservation and natural history education to island residents who interact with visitors. This “train-the-trainer” approach provides information and updates through lectures, field trips, and regular publications. The program is highly flexible, and we customize trainings for audiences based on specific needs. Additionally, we strive to keep the programming updated with ongoing research, which promotes cross-departmental communication, and a sense of community island-wide. The demand for higher levels of training has resulted in topic specific modules which explore Geology, Ecology and Marine Environments surrounding Catalina Island. As a result of the Naturalist Training Program, many of the rumors and myths have been dispelled. The Catalina Island Conservancy has experienced increased support of its efforts by community members. The Naturalist Training program has reached over 2,000 individuals representing 56 unique businesses to date.

TROPHIC STRUCTURE BIOMASS OF KELP FOREST FISHES IN AND AJACENT TO FOUR MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Parker H. House*, Joshua Sprague, and David J. Kushner, National Park Service parker_house@nps.gov

   Trophic biomass pyramids give insight into the structure, energy flow, and health of an ecological community. Recent studies have shown that the majority of biomass in pristine marine fish communities is held in large-bodied predators, portraying an inverted or top-heavy pyramid. Our objective is to provide trophic level biomass estimates of kelp forest fish communities inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Channel Islands National Park as a proxy of community health. From 2007-2015, fish size and abundance data were collected annually at 25 sites across the Park islands, with 13 sites located inside and 12 outside of four targeted MPAs. Upper trophic level fishes (i.e., carnivores and piscivores) are expected to show a more top-heavy pyramid with higher biomass inside the reserves, as a number of these species are highly targeted in commercial and recreational fisheries. Continued long term monitoring can further our understanding of how kelp forests respond to protection and elucidate the resilience and health of the reefs off the Channel Islands.

Exploring the past on the East End and Isthmus of Santa Cruz Island, CA

Jeff Howarth, Department of Geography, Middlebury College, VT jhowarth@middlebury.edu

   This map serves as a guide to exploring the National Park Service lands on Santa Cruz Island and aims to help connect visible patterns of the natural landscape to ranching and agricultural activities between 1851-1987. The map consists of a detailed shaded relief map derived from lidar data that shows fine-scale erosion features. Color tints distinguish bare ground, annual grass, and woodlands based on NDVI classification of aerial photography. The line work shows all historical roads and fences for livestock, cultivated lands, water features, and check dams. The lettering includes pasture and field names along with names for canyons and harbors. To help visitors interpret relationships between land use activities and vegetation change, a series of inset maps depict changes to fences and woodland habitat over time. The map intends to serve as both a practical aid for navigating the island, while also helping public visitors, researchers and managers interpret relationships between people and their environments over time.

MONITORING OCEAN ACIDIFICATION IN THE ROCKY INTERTIDAL OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Jonathan Jones*, Keith Lombardo, and Alexandra Warneke, Cabrillo National Monument, National Park Service, San Diego, CA jonathan_jones@nps.gov

   A major effect of climate change in the marine environment is ocean acidification (OA), the reduction of seawater pH due to the burning of fossil fuels. OA negatively impacts many marine organisms, especially those that form body parts from calcium carbonate (e.g. mussels and barnacles). Cabrillo National Monument, Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) and the US Navy-operated San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands contain exceptionally diverse intertidal species that are susceptible to OA, including the federally-listed black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii). OA affects the entire Pacific Ocean and addressing the impacts of this issue requires cooperative seascape-scale characterization and mitigation with adaptation strategies that extend across management boundaries. Working in partnership, the National Park Service (NPS) and the US Navy are actively implementing a novel ocean acidification monitoring program within intertidal habitats across the southern California region. This summer the NPS will convene on Santa Cruz Island to deploy an OA sensor following an established NPS protocol. Intertidal pH values can differ substantially from those observed in near shore habitats and are dynamic over various temporal scales. Unlike previous OA monitoring efforts at CHIS, which focus on subtidal habitat, this sensor will be directly centered on the rocky intertidal zone. The resulting data will complement existing near shore sensors to create a more comprehensive mosaic of OA monitoring at CHIS. Particular emphasis will be placed on co-locating the OA sensor with fixed plots used to assess and detect changes in focal rocky intertidal species and assemblages, which have been monitored at CHIS since 1982. Results from this OA characterization program will be highly useful for managers looking to evaluate direct OA impacts upon the intertidal community and for interpreting long-term monitoring trends in organism abundance, diversity, and community composition at local and regional spatial scales.

ISLANDS OF THE CALIFORNIAS COLLABORATIVE: INFORMATION SHARING TO TAKE ISLAND CONSERVATION FARTHER, FASTER

Denise Knapp1*, Sarah Ratay2, Matt Guilliams1, John Knapp3, Kathryn McEachern4, Morgan Ball2, Christie Boser3, Clark Cowan5, Peter Dixon6, Julio C. Hernández-Montoya7, Emma Havstad8, Emily Howe2, Bill Hoyer9, Steve Junak1, Lyndal Laughrin10, Luciana Luna-Mendoza7, David Mazurkiewicz5, Lynn McLaren-Dewey8, Bryan Munson11, Ken Niessen12, Ken Owen13, Julia Parish6, Paula Power5, John Randall3, Dirk Rodriguez5, and Heather Schneider1, 1Santa Barbara Botanic Garden dknapp@sbbg.org 2Wildlands Conservation Science 3The Nature Conservancy 4USGS Biological Resources Division 5Channel Islands National Park 6Catalina Island Conservancy 7Conservatión de Islas 8SDSU Soil Ecology and Restoration Group 9U.S. Navy, San Nicolas Island 10UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve 11U.S. Navy, San Clemente Island 12Mountains Restoration Trust 13Channel Islands Restoration

   The eighteen California Islands (including the 8 California Channel Islands, 8 Baja California Mexico islands within the California floristic province, the Farallon islands, and Año Nuevo Island) share plant and animal communities as well as a common land use history that resulted in conversion of native plant communities to eroded barrens and largely non-native vegetation. Management goals for these islands emphasize ecosystem recovery and conservation of native flora and fauna. Although each land owner/manager must address common threats, there has until recently been no consistent means of information exchange within the archipelago to share observations, scientific discoveries, conservation strategies and methodologies, successes, and failures. As a result, science and management have been less efficient and effective than they would have been with better connectivity among island and mainland collaborators. To address this issue, and develop common goals and priorities, representatives from the islands as well as mainland collaborators have attended quarterly meetings since ca. 2004 and an annual botanical workshop has been held on one of the islands since 2014. At the first annual workshop, threats and priorities were evaluated, and the lack of a system for information exchange emerged as the top concern. Since then, the group has initiated such collaborative projects as a Northern Channel Islands biosecurity plan, prioritized rare plant program, Invasive Plant Management Network, and an Integrated Biodiversity Information System. The information system stems from a geo-referenced all taxa database, and will enhance each of the other projects. This type of collaboration has fostered a positive sense of community and enabled us to leverage our collective knowledge, fundraising opportunities, equipment, and labor, in order to achieve more conservation gains with fewer resources.

CALIFORNIA BROWN PELICAN MONITORING ON ANACAPA AND SANTA BARBARA ISLANDS, CALIFORNIA, 2009-2015

Peter Larramendy1*, Amelia DuVall, Jim Howard1, A. Laurie Harvey2, David Mazurkiewicz3, Catherine Carter1, and Frank Gress1, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies peter_larramendy@ciesresearch.org 2Sutil Conservation Ecology 3National Park Service

   The only active breeding colonies of California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) in the United States are located on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands within Channel Islands National Park. Reproductive failures caused by eggshell thinning associated with DDT in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s caused a severe decline in the breeding population. This resulted in the population being protected under Federal and state endangered species regulations. Subsequent Federal and state protection as well as conservation efforts led to the recovery of the population to levels that reached federal delisting requirements. Long-term reproductive monitoring at Anacapa Island (since 1979), and more recently Santa Barbara Island (since 1980), has been undertaken to track the success or failure of these nesting areas. Through the years reproductive success has fluctuated. Since 2009, when the California Brown Pelican was federally delisted, numbers of nest attempts and reproductive success have declined at these locations. We present the population counts and reproductive success seen at these two islands from 2009 through 2015.

A CULTURAL OVERVIEW OF THE BLM'S, CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT (CCNM)

Christopher Lloyd1*, Erick Zaborsky2, Tammy Whitley3, Sharyl Kinnear-Ferris4, and George Kline5, 1BLM crlloyd@blm.gov 2BLM - Marina, CA 3BLM, Bakersfield, CA 4BLM - Arcata, CA 5BLM - Palm Springs, CA

   The California Coastal National Monument is more than just a bunch of rocks sitting off the California Coast. These features have played important roles in providing sustenance to Native cultures from the Tolowa to the Chumash. Additionally, the rocks have been the scene of some of the worst nautical disasters in California History, and have played an important part in shaping California’s economy. 
Together, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties have the largest concentration of off-shore rocks and islands in California. These prominent features played (and continue to play) important roles in the stories and lifeways of Native cultures. Coastal tribes used the rocky headlands and offshore islets to collect rock-clinging shellfish including mussels (Mytilus californianus), barnacles (Balanus nubilus), limpets (Lottia gigantea), abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Pinnipeds provided food and fat resources, and seabirds with their eggs were also available. The intertidal zone in-between the rocks had food in the form of small invertebrates and bivalves. These offshore rocks also played a large part in shaping historic maritime history. The list of associated shipwrecks is huge but includes wrecks such as the S.S. Northerner, the Brother Jonathan, and the Frolic, to name a few. This poster weaves together several unknown uses, histories, and the importance of these enigmatic off-shore rocks and islands.

HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELLING FOR SIBARA FILIFOLIA – A RARE CHANNEL ISLANDS PLANT

Travis Longcore1, Nina Noujdina1*, Peter Dixon2, Emma Havstad3, and Bryan Munson4, 1University of Southern California, School of Architecture and Spatial Sciences Institute nnoujdina@gmail.com 2Catalina Island Conservancy 3San Diego State University, Soil Ecology and Restoration Group 4US Navy

   Sibara filifolia (Santa Cruz Island winged rockcress) is a federally endangered annual herb endemic to the Channel Islands. The species was believed extinct from the 1930s until it was found in 1986 on San Clemente Island and then in 2001 on Santa Catalina Island. Surveys for additional populations within its range face the question of where to concentrate survey effort across difficult terrain. Models that probabilistically identify potential habitat can be used as guidelines to support species surveying efforts. We used maximum entropy modelling to predict potential range for Sibara filifolia across its historic range on Santa Cruz Island, San Clemente Island, and Santa Catalina Island. Maxent is an ecological modelling algorithm that computes species habitat suitability by evaluating a set of environmental layers coupled with the locations of the species occurrences. The advantage of this tool over others is that it relies on presence-only locations of the target species, which is suited to the data available for Sibara filifolia. We obtained point locations for confirmed observations of the species and acquired a high resolution digital elevation model for all three islands (NOAA Data Access Viewer). We decided to use a small number of environmental layers (altitude, slope, aspect, northeastness and terrain wetness index) because they could all be derived for all three islands at the same resolution. The resulting three-island model had a high Area Under Curve (AUC = 0.908) with the greatest contributions to the model from altitude, aspect, and topographic wetness. The approach developed for Sibara filifolia can be further exploited to estimate habitat suitability for other rare plants of the Channel Islands, such as Cercocarpus traskiae and Lithophragma maximum. Habitat suitability indices may ultimately be used to guide population augmentation or reintroduction efforts where species are presumed extirpated from their native range.

CHANGING LANDSCAPES OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Kathryn McEachern1 and Trey Demmond2*, 1U.S. Geological Survey 2TreyD Music & Media ecdemmond3@gmail.com

   In 2012, we began a project to locate and re-photograph historic images from the Channel Islands National Park islands, to tell the story of landscape change over the decades. We began with Santa Rosa Island, and expanded the project this year to include eastern Santa Cruz Island. The historic photographs presented here come from Channel Islands National Park archives, including collections from families living on the east end as well as visiting photographers and scientists. Additionally, some of the photographs were taken as part of broader NPS studies, such as the long-term Vegetation Inventory and Monitoring Program photos from the 1980s to the present and the Historic Architecture and Building Survey of the early 2000s. These photographs show that vegetation change is rapid in some sites, especially in canyons and on north-facing slopes. The more exposed and drier grassy hilltops, however, appear to change more slowly; an observation reflected in the long-term vegetation monitoring and mapping done by the Park. Photograph locations have been assigned unique photo-point numbers in a database, with accompanying information such as photographer and locality names, geographic coordinates, photograph dates and copyright information. These repeated photos provide a basis for us, and for future generations, to see just how dynamic island landscapes can be. We welcome contributions of historic images to the project.

RECOVERING SUSTAINABLE POPULATIONS OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND BUSH-MALLOW (Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nesioticus)

Kathryn McEachern1*, Karen Flagg2, Don Hartley2, Lyndal Laughrin3, Dieter Wilken4, Denise Knapp4, Dave Mazurkiewcz5, 1U.S. Geological Survey kathryn_mceachern@usgs.gov 2Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute 3UC Santa Barbara Santa Cruz Island Reserve 4Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 5Channel Islands National Park

   Santa Cruz Island bush mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nesioticus) is a single-island endemic shrub, found only on Santa Cruz Island, California. It was federally listed as endangered in 1997 because of habitat alteration, low numbers of individuals and population isolation. At the time of listing it was known from two sites. Now, we know of five small and widely dispersed occurrences on the island, with only a few individual clones each. Recovery goals call for establishment of at least five new sustainable populations. Seed set is low and sporadic in the wild, but studies in the nursery indicate that seed set is increased dramatically when flowers from different genetic individuals are out-crossed by hand. Santa Cruz Island bush mallow is strongly clonal, establishing readily from stem cuttings in the nursery. We began an out-planting experiment in 1995, testing techniques for establishment of new field populations, using a mix of plants grown from cuttings of the populations known at that time. Survival was good, and since that time we have planted 14 new populations in the wild. Our goals have been to plant a genetically diverse mix that can survive after hand-watering through the establishment phase in the first year. We track survival and recruitment in the plantings, and we have begun pollinator observations to see if the populations are functioning to attract insect visitors and set seed. The recovery populations are between 1 and 20 years old. So far, the plantings persist as robust collections of individuals spreading clonally, but we see few plants recruiting from seed; conditions also seen in the native populations. Are these sustainable populations? Perhaps; but are they meeting their potential in ecosystem networks: supplying pollinators and increasing biodiversity? When can USFWS say recovery goals are met?

MAMMALIAN AND AVIAN PREDATION OF ASHY STORM-PETRELS AT SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

William R. McIver1,6, Harry R. Carter2,6*, A. Laurie Harvey3,7, David M. Mazurkiewicz3, Jim A. Howard4, Paige L. Martin3,8, and John W. Mason5, 1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA 2Carter Biological Consulting, 1015 Hampshire Road, Victoria, British Columbia V8S 4S8 Canada carterhr@shaw.ca 3National Park Service, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California 93001 USA 4California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, California 95616 USA 5Environment International, Ltd., 233 NE 60th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97213 USA 6Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, California 95521 USA 7Current address: Sutil Conservation, 1622 P Street, Eureka, California 94930 USA 8Current address: 14511 Knoll Ridge Drive, Tampa, Florida 33625 USA

   Mammalian and avian predation of Ashy Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) was documented at Santa Cruz Island during regular nest monitoring in 1995-97 and 2005-15, and during intermittent monitoring in 1999-2004. Two sea cave colonies experienced major adult mortalities due to unusual predation events by island spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis amphiala) at Santa Cruz Island, California, in 2005 and 2008, where skunks previously had not been detected. At Bat Cave in 2005, 2 skunks were trapped after killing at least 76 adults. This colony contained 64-97 nests per year in 1995-97, with low breeding success (49-59%). Nests increased from 19 in 2006 to 100 in 2015, and breeding success was variable (49-90%). At Cavern Point Cove Caves in 2008, 2 skunks were trapped after killing at least 32 adults. This colony contained 11-17 nests per year in 1995-97, with lower breeding success (20-47%) than Bat Cave. Nests increased from 2 in 2009 to 10 in 2015, and breeding success was variable (50-80%). Recovery at both colonies required about a decade, with earlier growth at Bat Cave apparently reflecting both escape from predation of a greater proportion of adults and higher recruitment due to greater colony size. Skunk predation events may have been related to temporary higher skunk population levels. Throughout the study period, predation by Barn Owls (Tyto alba) was documented at the sea cave colonies, and at Orizaba Rock, an offshore rock colony, and likely contributed to reduced breeding success at Bat Cave in 1995-97. Since 2012, predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) likely caused reduced breeding success at Orizaba Rock (35-48%, years 2012-15) and Bat Cave (49-52%, years 2013 and 2015), and appears to be a developing long-term problem that may require management actions, including but not limited to deployment of artificial nest sites at Bat Cave.

A FAULT RUNS THROUGH IT: INFLUENCE OF FAULT ARCHITECTURE AND SLIP ON FLUVIAL AND LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Scott A. Minor1*, Kevin M. Schmidt2, and David R. Bedford3, 1U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO sminor@usgs.gov 2U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 3Deceased

   A series of aligned linear, WNW-trending valleys spanning Santa Cruz Island referred to as the “Central Valley” are related to the Santa Cruz Island fault system (SCIF). As part of our Quaternary geologic mapping on Santa Cruz, we made detailed observations and sampled materials along the SCIF to elucidate linkages between tectonic and geomorphic processes. The SCIF mainstrand consistently dips steeply (66-86 deg) north and exhibits predominantly sinistral strike slip with minor reverse slip components and local overprinted reverse dip slip. The strike slip is consistent with sinistral defections of many tributary drainages crossing the fault. The main fault strand cuts or truncates cemented beds of early-middle Pleistocene? alluvium and it both cuts and is draped by middle-late Pleistocene? eolian deposits. Several fault splays displace older alluvium, including one projecting obliquely across the valley floor, forming a sag pond. A relatively short, elevated “Portezuela” valley segment is separated from a longer, lower valley segment to the east by a shutter ridge displaced to its present position by the SCIF at its south edge. Emplacement of the shutter ridge, underlain by resistant volcanic and intrusive rocks, temporarily dammed the axial stream. The drainage diverted to the north around the shutter ridge to re-establish a connection with the mainstem channel. A knickpoint along this diversion separating a higher-gradient bedrock stream channel below from a low-gradient alluvial channel above has not yet migrated upstream to the Portezuela valley. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal from the base and top of a fine-grained, thin (0.7 m) fluvial or lacustrine section directly underlying the incipiently dissected Portezuela valley floor yielded ages of 1110 +/- 30 and 290 +/-25 C14 yrs, respectively. These dates indicate that shutter-ridge damming occurred in the late Holocene and subsequent headward fluvial incision in the Portezuela valley began less than ~300 years ago.

VEGETATION DISTRIBUTION COMPARISON OF WATER CANYON AND QUEMADA WATERSHEDS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Aimee Newell* and Linda O’Hirok, California State University Channel Islands aimee.newell963@myci.csuci.edu

   The native vegetation and stream geomorphology on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, is degraded due to heavy grazing pressure by non-native ungulates for over 150 years. The removal of non-native grazers on Santa Rosa Island over the past few decades has enabled vegetation in and outside of stream channels to recover. This study examined and compared the vegetation composition and distribution within Quemada and Water Canyon watersheds on Santa Rosa Island. The Water Canyon watershed was subdivided into four regions and the middle section was directly compared to the Quemada watershed, due to its similar proximity, topography, and geomorphology. To evaluate vegetation recovery within watersheds and compare recovery between watersheds we quantified the species diversity, evenness, and heterogeneity of transects spanning multiple stream cross sections and extending to the adjacent terraces. No significant difference was found in the overall diversity between the Water Canyon and Quemada watersheds, but the specific categorical vegetation distributions varied among these two watersheds. The percent of bare ground was not significantly different between the watersheds; but the low percentage of bare ground within the watersheds, 2% in Quemada and 5% in Water Canyon, coupled with increases in overall vegetation cover and species richness demonstrate the recovery of Santa Rosa Island’s riparian vegetation. This has led to increased stability of the stream channel and overall improvement in the functionality of the watershed.

FEDERALLY ENDANGERED BOECHERA HOFFMANNII (BRASSICACEAE) ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

Ken Niessen1*, Sean Clark2, and Kathryn McEachern3, 1Mountains Restoration Trust kgniessen@gmail.com 2California State University Channel Islands 3USGS

   Boechera hoffmannii (Brassicaceae) is a federally endangered herbaceous biennial plant restricted to Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, Channel Islands National Park. It is known from four locations on Santa Rosa Island, but only two of those locations- the Sierra Pablo chaparral and the South Point chaparral- are currently known to have living plants. These two areas have recently been carefully surveyed for occurrences of Boechera. We describe the results of those surveys. High resolution aerial photographs and topographical maps were uploaded to GPS units to guide the search for Boechera. When Boechera were encountered, details of plant condition, habitat, and microhabitat were recorded, and the plants were mapped and photographed. When appropriate, seed was collected for seed banking and future propagation. In 2014, 64 live Boechera (34 vegetative and 30 reproductive) were found at Sierra Pablo, while in 2015, 450 (385 vegetative and 65 reproductive) were found at South Point. Plants were clustered, particularly at South Point. In general, the slopes on which plants were found about 30 degrees and NNW facing. Boechera were generally within the canopy of short (<1 m tall) Quercus pacifica, on soil in leaf litter <2 cm deep. Generally, plants were rooted on level or evenly sloping ground. At Sierra Pablo total number of fruits was not recorded, but several were collected. At South Point there were 445 fruits on the reproductive plants, and 35 were collected. Seed from the fruits will be planted in the greenhouse to generate more seed for future outplanting, and the outplanting will be guided by the microhabitat data collected in this study.

 

 

DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS, CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS, AND PACIFIC HARBOR SEALS AT CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Stacey Ostermann-Kelm1* and Mark Lowry2, 1National Park Service, Inventory & Monitoring Division 2National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

   The Channel Islands host the most diverse pinniped population in the world. Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) provides breeding habitat for Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), the northernmost populations of Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendii) and the southernmost populations of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Pinnipeds are top level carnivores and are sensitive to changes in prey populations, severe weather, pollution, and disturbance. Most species were severely depleted by hunting, but their populations have generally increased during the past two decades. Pinnipeds at CHIS are experiencing increased intra- and inter-specific competition for space, concurrent with increased human visitation of the park. The effects of climate change, which may include reduced habitat for pupping due to sea level rise coupled with storm surge and changes to food resources due to ocean warming, are other potential stressors to these populations. We used aerial censuses of northern elephant seals (NES), California sea lions (CSL) and Pacific harbor seals (PHS) between 1987-2012 to document their expanding distribution at CHIS. We found NES expanded eastward along the southern shore of Santa Rosa Island during winter breeding season; CSL pupping areas at San Miguel Island expanded away from Pt. Bennett during the summer breeding season and the PHS distribution at San Miguel Island shifted due to NES and CSL population expansion. Park managers are in need of information on the distribution of pinnipeds to ensure that pupping and breeding habitats are sufficiently protected.

ESTABLISHING SEA CLIFF EROSION RATES AND IDENTIFYING EROSIONAL HOTSPOTS FOR BECHERS BAY, SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Kiki Patsch, ESRM Program, California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu

   Bechers Bay littoral cell extends 12 km on the northeastern side of Santa Rosa Island from Carrington Point to Skunk Point. Approximately 83% of this cell, or 10 km, is backed by actively eroding bluffs and steep, rocky cliffs punctuated by sand and cobble beaches. Using georectified and georeferenced historic imagery from 1929, 1940, 1964, 1977, and 1998 as well as satellite imagery from 2012 and 2015, long-term sea cliff erosion rates were established and erosional hotspots identified. In addition, structure-from-motion photogrammetric techniques and surveyed ground control points were utilized to develop topographic point-clouds of the sea cliffs in the study area to establish a baseline from which to observe storm-scale erosion that is difficult to identify and quantify from nadir aerial photographs as the erosion often takes place at the base or underneath overhanging portions of the sea cliff.

DETECTING CHANGE IN SEEPS, SPRINGS, PONDS, AND STREAMS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CA

Paula Power* and Rocky Rudolph*, Channel Islands National Park paula_power@nps.gov

   In September 2014, during the driest period of the year, park staff and volunteers mapped surface water on Santa Rosa Island by physically walking all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order streams. Mappers hiked more than 325 kilometers in 19 major basins and 7 lesser basins and mapped 1,117 water features. Watersheds with the greatest stream length to watershed ratio were re-surveyed in August 2016 and compared to 2014 data. Changes in location and length of surface water provide insight into the hydrology of the island and the impacts of prolonged drought. These data have broad application across many disciplines and will provide a baseline for long-term trends in surface water (Turner and Richter, 2011), a better understanding of geologic/hydrologic/biologic interactions (Schmidt et al 2015, Minor et al 2013), and characterize areas for ecological research (Turner and List, 2007).

VEGETATION TRENDS IN A RESTORED COASTAL WETLAND AT PRISONERS HARBOR, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Paula Power1*, Joel Wagner2, Mike Martin2, and Marie Denn3, 1Channel Islands National Park paula_power@nps.gov 2NPS Water Resources Division 3Point Reyes National Seashore

   Prisoners Harbor of Santa Cruz Island, California was historically the site of a 4.86 ha coastal wetland and riparian system, the largest on the California Channel Islands. The site was occupied by native people for 3,000 years until the 1830s. During the late 1800s ranchers filled about half of the wetland area to build livestock corrals and other facilities. They also rerouted the main stream channel, Cañada del Puerto, and built a stone wall and earthen berm along its west bank. This disconnected the stream from its floodplain and inadvertently caused erosion of a Native American archeological site. The National Park Service developed a wetland and riparian restoration design for Prisoners Harbor based on topographic and hydrologic analyses and on vegetation community–depth to water table relationships developed from neighboring reference wetlands. In 2011, Channel Islands National Park and The Nature Conservancy restored 1.25 ha of coastal wetlands and reconnected the stream to its floodplain by removing the earthen berm. Post-project vegetation monitoring during 2012 - 2016 showed increasing abundance of three of the eight planted wetland species and trends in target invasive species. Vegetation abundance was likely influenced by severe drought conditions that began soon after project implementation. However, hydrologic monitoring after restoration showed that the restored marshes met federal wetland hydrology criteria during the first year only, just before the historic drought began. Exceptionally large swell and high tide during winter 2015-2016 resulted in seawater flooding the wetland. Regular salinity monitoring of ground water test wells and open water ponds showed that salinity levels were slow to return to pre-storm levels. Expansion of wetland species during the historic drought and seawater flooding provides promising evidence that our approach to restoration will convert the filled corral area at Prisoners Harbor to functional coastal wetland habitat as more typical (wetter) precipitation levels return.

CULTIVATING ENVIRONMETAL STEWARDS THROUGH A STANDARDS-BASED EXPERIENCIAL SCIENCE PROGRAM

Willie Richerson* and Elizabeth Bailey, Catalina Island Conservancy wricherson@catalinaconservancy.org

   Our poster introduces elementary and middle school curriculum strands in our NatureWorks units, highlighting a “standards based” approach to Environmental Education being utilized by the Catalina Island Conservancy grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards and STEM. Stewardship of the island’s natural resources by residents is a key element of the Catalina Island Conservancy’s mission. Connecting Avalon students, Kindergarten through High School, with the ecology of their island home is a critical part of understanding the value of Conservation and Stewardship. The Conservancy, through a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, has initiated a broad reaching curriculum overhaul combining environmental and conservation sciences through experiential learning in the islands interior. Lessons begin in the classroom followed by field trips to the island’s interior to develop scientific thinking in the field. These in-class and field-based units, called NatureWorks, link STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning with the Next Generation Science Standards to impart fundamental ecological principals throughout students’ academic careers. High School units bring real scientific research to life in the classroom, linking researchers with student driven inquiry. NatureWorks culminates in job-shadow opportunities with local business leaders in Conservation, Engineering, Eco-tourism, and Hospitality, along with the opportunity to participate in the Rose Ellen Gardener Summer Internship Program. To evaluate success, the Conservancy is using pre and post unit testing, state standardized test scores, and college/university entrance and major choices.

PREDICTING TIME LAGS BETWEEN RECRUITMENT OF CRYPTIC SUBTIDAL MARINE INVERTEBRATES AND THEIR EMERGENCE INTO EXISTING POPULATIONS AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Christen A. Santschi*, Joshua Sprague, Parker H. House, and David J. Kushner, Channel Islands National Park christen_santschi@nps.gov

   The majority of marine populations depend on recruitment events to replenish the extant population. Several studies have investigated recruitment in subtidal marine invertebrate populations; however, there have been no long-term monitoring studies determining time lags between recruitment of cryptic juveniles and their emergence into the existing population. Although benthic subtidal surveys can be effective for determining population dynamics of emergent invertebrates, small juveniles are often not detected by these surveys due to their cryptic nature and behavior. To determine time lags between cryptic juveniles and their emergence into existing populations, we compared density and size data of selected invertebrates within Artificial Recruitment Modules (ARMs) to data collected from the population outside of the ARMs. We also compared between sites inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Data were collected annually at 11 permanent sites from 1998-2015 by the Channel Islands National Park’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program. We expect to predict time lags for emergent invertebrates that occur on the scale of one year or greater based on our sampling methodology. The ability to determine time lags may be useful for generating models to predict population size, or recovery after a disturbance or disease event. These results could inform management strategies and develop more efficient monitoring protocol and at the Channel Islands National Park.

QUATERNARY SURFICIAL GEOLOGIC MAPS OF SANTA ROSA AND SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS, CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Kevin M. Schmidt1*, Scott A. Minor2, and David R. Bedford3, 1U. S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd, MS 973, Menlo Park, CA 94025 kschmidt@usgs.gov 2U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, DFC, MS 980, Denver, CO 80225 3Deceased

   We mapped the Quaternary surficial geology of Santa Rosa (SRI) and Santa Cruz Islands (SCI) comprising Channel Islands National Park through an agreement between the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. These detailed (1:12,000 scale) maps are intended to aid natural resource assessments, including post-grazing disturbance recovery and identification of erosion and landslide hazards. The map units express a combined depositional mode-age classification scheme including alluvial, fluvial, eolian, mixed eolian and alluvial, beach, marine terrace, hillslope, landslide, and anthropogenic transport processes. We obtained numerous detailed geologic field observations throughout the islands, fossils for faunal identification as age control, and materials for numeric dating. This GPS-located field information provides ground truth for GIS-based map unit delineations using a variety of high-resolution (sub-meter) aerial imagery and LiDAR-based DEMs and derivative raster products. Quaternary faults were mapped to constrain deformation kinematics and rates. Significant findings include: (1) Flights of older Pleistocene (>120 ka) and possibly Pliocene marine terraces were identified beneath younger alluvial and eolian deposits at elevations as much as 275m above modern sea level. Such elevated terraces suggest that SRI was a smaller, more submerged island in the late Neogene and (or) early Pleistocene prior to tectonic uplift. (2) Structural and geomorphic observations made along the potentially seismogenic SRI fault indicate a protracted slip history during the late Neogene and Quaternary involving early normal slip, later strike slip, and recent reverse slip. These changes in slip mode explain a marked contrast in island physiography across the fault. (3) Many of the steeper slopes are dramatically stripped of their regolith, with exposed bedrock, presumably due to the effects of past grazing practices. (4) Some large, deep-seated landslides deposited upon marine terrace deposits and caused nearby upstream valley aggradation. Associated topical studies examined connections between geology, surface water, and vegetation.

Modeling the Control of Invasive Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) on San Clemente Island

Sarah Sheldon1 and Emma Havstad2*, 1California State University San Marcos 2Soil Ecology and Restoration Group ehavstad@mail.sdsu.edu

   The control of invasive fennel populations is a vital component of native vegetation restoration on San Clemente Island, CA and includes annual removal and herbicide application within the population boundaries. By creating a stage-structured population growth model, the life history traits of fennel and the treatment strategies can both be taken into account to determine the efficacy of control. Such a model, based on data gathered during previous control efforts, was then applied to seventeen of the fennel populations on-island and forecasted for five years to determine their fates under current management practices. Within this management time period, ten populations should decline, six should grow, and one should remain the same size, but by modifying the parameters to typify alternative control efforts, the probability of eradication in the populations changes, indicating a need for dynamic management efforts as part of the habitat restoration program.

Bee nesting habitat on San Clemente Island

C. Sheena Sidhu1,2* and Erin E. Wilson-Rankin2, 1present address: University of California Cooperative Extension, San Mateo & San Francisco Counties, Half Moon Bay, CA cssidhu@alumni.ucsd.edu 2University of California- Riverside, Riverside, CA

   Wild bees need both abundant floral and nesting habitat in order to persist. There has been extensive research on the floral requirements and plant-pollinator interactions, but far fewer studies have focused on examining nesting habitat of wild bees, even though understanding nesting habitat is critical to developing conservation strategies to support bees and the pollination services they provide to native plants. In 2015, we discovered 50 nesting sites throughout San Clemente Island. Bees were collected directly from nest sites when possible, and most were Diadasia spp (cactus bees), which included three unique species. There was a significant effect of soil type on the number of nests located. Thirty-eight percent of bee nests were found in thirst stony fine loam with SHOBA loam and Eelpoint clay each hosting 14% of nests located. Most of the remaining nests were found in Eelcove fine sandy loam (12%), west shore silt loam (10%), cobbly silt loam (8%). Many of these sites were found on disturbed areas, such as trails, and bare ground in the SHOBA area of the island, which suggests the bees may be able to persist in areas of human activity. These findings may contribute to habitat conservation strategies on the Channel Islands and elsewhere.

 

 

THE EFFECT OF REMOVING NON-NATIVE GRAZERS FROM SANTA ROSA ISLAND: 25 YEARS OF VEGETATION CHANGE

Ryan Summers* and Brett Hartman, California State University Channel Islands r.summers421@yahoo.com

   Human use of Santa Rosa Island (SRI) dates back 13,000 years, starting with the island Chumash before ranching was introduced in 1843. Intensive grazing by non-native ungulates impacted native woodland, chaparral, and scrub vegetation, introduced European annual grassland species, and triggered large-scale erosion. Following creation of Channel Islands National Park in 1986, non-native grazers were removed to restore native vegetation. Sheep had been removed from SRI by the early 1900s, and feral pigs were removed by 1992, cattle by 1998, and introduced deer and elk by 2010. We evaluated the long-term vegetation change following grazing cessation through analysis of a time series (1991 - 2015) of Landsat TM5 and Landsat 7 satellite images. The images were processed with a maximum likelihood classification using regions of interest (ROIs) delineated from current and historical photographs, Channel Island National Park inventory and monitoring records, and ground truthing. We also conducted a terrain analysis using a 1-m resolution Digital Elevation Model from the National Park Service, using slope steepness, curvature, and aspect to evaluate the influence of grazer accessibility. Scrub, island chaparral, and woodland cover has significantly increased, and valley and foothill grassland and bare ground cover has significantly decreased. There was a significantly higher percent change on gentle slopes (<10%) and moderate slopes (10-30%) compared to steep slopes (>30%). Results indicate that passive restoration has occurred on extensive areas of SRI, with the highest percent change in areas previously accessible to non-native grazers. However, there may be limits to natural restoration, with 7.9 km2 of bare and eroded areas on highland ridges that are not undergoing succession. Future studies will analyze the environmental conditions that make bare and eroded areas resistant to vegetation change, including potential synergistic effects of slope steepness, curvature (convex vs. concave slopes), solar isolation, and wind exposure.

GEORECTIFICATION OF HISTORIC AERIAL IMAGERY OF CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Ryan Summers1, Dorothy Horn1, Christine Apperson-Chavez1, Rocky Rudolph2, Cause Hanna1, and Kiki Patsch1*, 1California State University Channel Islands kiki.patsch@csuci.edu 2Channel Islands National Park

   California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) and Channel Islands National Park (CINP) partnered to georectify over 300 historic images purchased from the University of California Santa Barbara Map & Imagery Laboratory (MIL). Historic georeferenced and georecitfied aerial photographs of the Channel Islands are critical geospatial data for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for student and faculty research as well as for projects supporting course learning outcomes and high impact practices. In addition, CINP uses the digital, historic aerial photographs to aid in scientific research and management decisions regarding the parklands. The ability to compare modern imagery to historic imagery provides insight into land use, vegetation, and shoreline changes to name a few, and provides insight into how the terrain has been used, modified, and managed over time. In this project, we georectified scanned, historic aerial photographs from San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara islands for the years 1929, 1940, 1964, 1977, and 1998 by creating tie points on each image to link them to georeferenced 2012 satellite images of each island. Using these corrected, digital aerial images in GIS, research is currently underway to understand the dynamic shorelines of all the Channel Islands. On Santa Rosa Island, for example, you can see distinct change on Skunk Point, while on San Miguel, the growth and erosion of a sand spit on Cardwell Point is evident.

EVALUATING SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PATTERNS OF BISHOP PINE (PINUS MURICATA) MORTALITY ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Annalise Taylor, Middlebury College annalise.r.taylor@gmail.com

   Throughout western North America, bark beetle outbreaks have decimated tens of millions of hectares of pine forest in the past 20 years. The large spatial extent and severity of these outbreaks is rooted in a severe drought and fluctuations in previously limiting climatic factors. As outbreaks continue, new research has led to the development of various strategies for the detection and mapping of bark beetle outbreaks with remotely sensed data. With varying degrees of accuracy, satellite and aerial imagery can efficiently quantify both the spatial and temporal extent of these die-offs. On Santa Cruz Island in the California Channel Islands, the widespread die-off of the threatened Bishop pine (Pinus muricata) sparked ecological concerns. As a result of prolonged drought and bark beetle infestation, Bishop pine mortality reached up to 80% in some regions of the island. Using high resolution aerial imagery, I classified the spatial distribution of pine death across the pine’s full distribution on Santa Cruz Island. Data collected in the field served to validate this classification and to capture detailed information about the Bishop pine population, including stand-scale variation in estimated age, which ranged from 1 to 70 years old, mean seedling density – which ranged from 0.47 to 4.67 seedlings/900m2 – and mean proportion of pines colonized by bark beetles – which ranged from 0.38 to 0.78. I investigated the relationship of elevation, precipitation, summertime fog, topography, and soil texture with pine death. These findings suggest that, during periods of prolonged drought, the distribution of Bishop pines likely contracts into protected ravines as they die on exposed ridges that are generally subject to greater drought stress. As droughts and pest infestations in this region become more severe and frequent under the projected future changes in climate, these spatial patterns of mortality may change the future distribution of this species.

MEASURING ISLAND RESTORATION PROGRESS THROUGH ARTHROPOD AND BEE DIVERSITY ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Reilly Walker1*, Ruben Alarcon1, Kathryn McEachern2, Denise Knapp3, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands reilly.walker299@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey 3Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

   Santa Rosa Island, the second largest California Channel Island, came under the ownership of the National Park Service in 1986, ending an era of ranching and private hunting that spanned more than 150 years. As of 2012, all hoofed mammals were removed from the island, giving its natural ecosystems the chance to recover from the damage caused by introduced ungulates. The goal of this study was to examine changes in arthropod communities across a swath of sites representing both intact systems and those which have been completely denuded by overgrazing. Pan traps were employed during the spring and summer of 2015 to sample bee and arthropod diversity and to establish baseline data for sites undergoing both passive and active restoration. Arthropod abundance and diversity did not differ between the sampling dates, however bee abundance was significantly higher in the summer. Bee abundance was also positively correlated between sampling dates across sites, suggesting spatial variation in bee populations or habitat preferences. Further examination of the microhabitats and floral interaction is necessary to better understand these patterns.

 

 

POPULATION SIZE AND STATUS OF SCRIPPS’S MURRELET AT SAN MIGUEL ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1 and Harry R. Carter1,2*, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, 3408 Whaler Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 carterhr@shaw.ca 2Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA

   San Miguel Island (SMI) and the adjacent islets Prince Island (PI) and Castle Rock (CR), support a small population of Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) at the northwest extreme of their breeding range. After breeding was first reported at PI in 1968, only limited surveys were conducted until 1994, when we began to examine murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to nesting areas to determine their breeding distribution and estimate population size. Vocal surveys in 1994–1996 detected calls at 4 stations around PI (43–167 detections), 2 stations off CR (6 and 80 detections), and 4 stations off northeast SMI (5–123 detections), but none at 8 stations off south and northwest SMI. At-sea spotlight surveys in 2004, 2007 and 2015 confirmed murrelet congregations off PI and northeast SMI. Mean spotlight counts were 9 ± 0 in 2004 (n = 2), 19 ± 4 in 2007 (n = 3), and 91 ± 15 in 2015 (n = 2). In 2007, the first murrelet nests on SMI were found at Harris Point, Bay Point, and Hoffman Point. Using spotlight survey data, we estimated 80–120 breeding murrelets at the SMI group (90% at PI) in 2015, which was similar to rough estimates for PI in 1968 (45 ± 5 murrelets) and 1975–1977 (150 murrelets). Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis) and Black Rats (Rattus rattus) appear to confine breeding murrelets mainly to PI and CR, as well as coastal cliffs and caves on northeast SMI. Introduction or invasion of rats from SMI is the most serious threat to the murrelet population on PI. Given the remoteness of SMI, limited monitoring should be conducted every 3–4 years to confirm murrelet presence and detect major changes in population size.

TWELVE YEARS OF POPULATION INCREASE FOR SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS (SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS SCRIPPSI) AFTER ERADICATION OF BLACK RATS (RATTUS RATTUS) FROM ANACAPA ISLAND

Darrell L. Whitworth1 and Harry R. Carter1,2*, 1California Institute of Environmental Studies, Davis, California, 95616 USA carterhr@shaw.ca 2Humboldt State University, Dept. of Wildlife, 1 Harpst Road, Arcata, California 95521 USA

   A breeding colony of Scripps’s Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) at Anacapa Island, California suffered severe impacts from Black Rats (Rattus rattus), probably introduced by shipwreck in 1853. Rats were eradicated in 2001-2002 with funding from the American Trader oil spill settlement. Pre-eradication (2001-2002) nest monitoring in plots and spotlight surveys of murrelets attending nocturnal at-sea congregations adjacent to breeding areas served as baseline data for measuring post-eradication (2003-2010 and 2014) responses of the murrelet population. Marked increases in murrelet hatching success (30% pre-eradication vs. 85% post-eradication) and the number of occupied nests (+14% per annum [pa]) occurred in monitored plots. Estimates of breeding population size from round-island spotlight counts more than doubled from 225-300 pairs pre-eradication to 550-725 pairs in 2014, making Anacapa Island one of the largest Scripps’s Murrelet colonies in the world. However, round-island spotlight counts indicated slower colony growth (+8% pa) compared to the number of occupied nests (+14% pa). Continued monitoring is needed to determine long-term rates of population growth, measure time to complete recovery, and assess the overall benefits of eradication for murrelets in terms of population size. Baseline and long-term post-eradication monitoring should be essential components of future eradication programs.

 

EXPANSION OF BLACK MOUNTAIN QUERCUS TOMENTELLA POPULATIONS ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND

Jay Woosley1*, Brett Hartman1, Sean Anderson1, Kathryn McEachern2, and Cause Hanna1, 1California State University Channel Islands jay.woolsey313@myci.csuci.edu 2U.S. Geological Survey

   In this study, we explored tree regeneration and the potential for expansion of island oak (Quercus tomentella) groves on Santa Rosa Island (SRI). The island oak is a keystone species that provides soil stabilization and shelter, forage, and water for island flora and fauna. The National Park Service (NPS) began restoring SRI after its inclusion in Channel Islands National Park in 1986. We quantified current and historic island oak groves on Black Mountain by comparing aerial photographs from1989, 1994 and 2016. We examined island oak stand structure by recording oak height, health, diameter at breast height (DBH) and other characteristics of areas surrounding the stand. We also created a baseline of Black Mountain’s island oak population, including polygons delineating the 14 groves on Black Mountain and the location of all outlier trees and regenerating seedlings. The island oak groves on Black Mou