Alaska SeaLife Center news

Posted: Monday, July 31, 2000

Murre chick still thriving

The first diving bird hatched in the center's habitat, a baby murre, is doing well and continuing to grow. The bird is much more active and visible on the live camera feed outside the habitat.

Unfortunately, the three puffin chicks that hatched out last week did not survive, but they provided the center with valuable information and hopefully next year more chicks will thrive.

Common Murre project update

On July 25, all 28 common murres in the Telemetry Research Project, located in the north end of the research overlook, were captured from their area and moved into the surgery room for physical examinations. This marks the end of year one of the study. Blood samples were collected from each bird and they were remarked for observational studies. The marking techniques included coloring the beaks and breasts of the birds so that an individual animal can be identified from remote cameras. The markings wear off naturally in a week or two and are not harmful to the birds.

Part two of the murre study will start in August. This component of the study will investigate foraging behavior on birds with radio and satellite attachments and implants. A new satellite attachment technique will also be investigated before use in field study.

The Common Murre Telemetry Project is a two year project designed to evaluate the physical and behavioral effects of tow types of telemetry devices, one implanted in the bird's abdomen and the other attached externally.

At the conclusion of the project, researchers hope to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type of telemetry device. Telemetry devices enable researchers to collect data on free-ranging murres to facilitate better management and conservation of the species.

Crafty kids wanted

The center's children's craft activity time in the research alcove is held daily at 1 p.m. During that time, education department staff and interns are on hand to help the kids create a colorful variety of sea life crafts. The research alcove is located on the second floor of the Alaska SeaLife center, across from the Discovery Touch Pool.

Invitational held in August

The second annual Alaska SeaLife Center Invitational will be held Aug. 10-12 at the center. Due to the special event, the center will at 4 p.m. Aug. 11 and open for regular hours on Aug. 12 at 8 a.m.

The event is a fund raiser to help support the center's mission of understanding and maintaining the integrity of the marine ecosystem in Alaska through research, rehabilitation and public education.

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