On the coast of Ecuador, along the Pacific Ocean, on the western side of the Andes Mountains, lies the Choco rain forest. Here, Jordan Karubian, his students and local residents, whom he’s enlisted as “environmental ambassadors,” study an endangered species of bird — the long-wattled umbrellabird.
Karubian, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Tulane University, is looking at how the long-wattled umbrellabird eats the fruits of rain forest trees and disperses their seeds. “The trees depend upon that dispersal in order to propagate and replace themselves,” says Karubian.
He is researching the mating habits, seed-dispersal activities and migratory patterns of birds in Ecuador, Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Gulf South of the United States.
The birds that Karubian studies dwell in fragile ecosystems that are in peril. And he has discovered that to have a lasting impact on protecting the birds and their habitats from disappearance, he must do more than function as a traditional researcher.
As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.