Recently, FOMA was awarded a $24,700 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Pulling Together Initiative grant program. These funds will support a collaborative effort between the USFWS, FOMA, Biological Conservation Assistance Program, and volunteers to control the invasive plant Verbesina encelioides
, or golden crownbeard, on Midway Atoll. Golden crownbeard is an annual flowering shrub with yellow flower heads that resemble sunflowers.
The goals of this project are to remove golden crownbeard from areas of critical habitat at Midway Atoll and restore a native ecosystem which will provide immediate benefits for 17 species of nesting seabirds, for the endangered Laysan Duck, and possibly towards the breeding of the endangered Short-tailed albatross. This project will be implemented in areas that have been designated as critical habitat for native wildlife and thus a priority for the removal of golden crownbeard. The removal effort (180 acres, @ ~36 acres/yr) will be conducted in stages that correspond to the cycles of golden crownbeard and bird activity.
Long-term control and prevention is also needed because this plant spreads rapidly and limits seabird nesting and native plant recruitment. Preventing the re- establishment of golden crownbeard and other potentially invasive species must also include the involvement and education of the public; thus, an educational brochure and teaching lesson will be developed for use on the refuge and beyond in educating the public in general about invasive species. Without a control and education program, golden crownbeard and other invasive species may spread and disrupt additional native ecosystems.
Volunteers will be selected based on their ability to contribute to the task, their interest in gaining experience in invasives management, and their interests in sharing their experiences within the communities in which they live. Upon the application to serve as volunteers, potential candidates will be asked how they can share their experiences on Midway in a way that will educate others about Midway and about invasive species in general. Their responses will be a major factor in the selection of volunteers.
Long-term control efforts are necessary to eradicate Verbesina
from Midway Atoll. Would you like to help? If so, please send your tax deductible donation to:
The Verbesina Control Fund
c/o FOMA Treasurer
6506 SE Clackamas Road
Milwaukie, OR 97267-4217
If you would like to submit an application to volunteer in the program described above, please click on the link below:Volunteer Application.pdf
For additional information about Verbesina
on Midway Atoll, please click on the link below:Verbesina on Midway Atoll Brochure.pdf