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Suzanne Tomassi | Out here in the field

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Provided photo Green Broadbill

Roughly one month into the first field season, work proceeds on such an intense schedule that I haven’t had time to update the blog. We have settled on a design of six plots: three treatment (twice-logged forest) and three control (primary forest), each with two transects of 15 nets each and within that, five zones of three nets each, all to be sampled for two days each and repeated three times over the season. Suffice to say, it adds up to a large sample.

In addition to age, sex, movement and dispersal, parasite load and metric data, I am collecting blood for DNA analysis. These data are intended to aid our pursuit of a number of hypotheses addressing genetic diversity, morphological variation and behavioral adaptations, as well as providing insights into broader evolutionary questions.

We have nearly 1,000 new captures on our first rotation through the plots. Thankfully, our research assistants have arrived from Norway, Australia and the United Kingdom. Each day has been productive and exciting (and exhausting). Nearly every piece of information we collect from these beautiful and varied species is new. Our study will shed light on their status and physiological needs, paving the way for effective conservation efforts.

Part-time Wenatchee resident Suzanne Tomassi manages an avian studies program in Borneo. The group is studying the impact of logging on reproduction.