Café Scientifique: What do we learn from the extinction of Hawaii’s birds?
|Sponsored by Ballston Science and Technology Alliance|
At this Café Scientifique, Dr. Helen James, Research Zoologist & Curator, Div. of Birds, National Museum of Natural History will discuss what we learn from the extinction of Hawaii’s birds.
The first people to settle in the Hawaiian Islands arrived there in magnificent Polynesian sailing canoes, perhaps only 800 years ago. The early settlers found an astonishing diversity of birdlife, with at least 107 species of birds native only to Hawaii. Today, all but 11 of those species are either extinct or considered threatened with extinction. Most of the extinct species are known only by their bones found in paleontological and archaeological sites. Radiocarbon dating of the bones has confirmed that the birds became extinct after human arrival in the islands. We will discuss how an understanding of this buried history of ecological collapse is important for successful conservation management of Hawaii’s surviving native habitats and biodiversity. We’ll also cover what we can learn about extinctions and species conservation in general from studying the brief, intense “Anthropocene” of islands. Artwork to bring Hawaii’s fossil birds to life for the audience will be featured. The speaker is a paleontologist who excavates island fossil sites to discover past ecologies and understand the history of human interactions with island birds.
The goal of Café Scientifique is to make science more accessible and accountable by featuring speakers whose expertise spans the sciences and who can talk in plain English. Please come early to order table service and socialize. Special half-price burgers start at 5:30 p.m. Presentation begins at 6:15 p.m. followed by Q&A. No science background required! Café Scientifique is free and open to the public but advanced registration is requested.
|Date:||October 2, 2012|
|Time:||5:30 pm - 8:00 pm|
The Front Page Restaurant
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
|Registration:||Registration Now Closed|
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