2014 News and Events

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Awesome New Wildlife Camera Footage!

We are thrilled to share several short, exciting videos of wildlife in the area burned by the Carlton Complex wildfire in Washington State, as well as footage from South America taken with PBI wildlife cameras during our expeditions, or in partnership with ProYungas or the National University of Cordoba. Click here for South American footage, and here for the Washington videos.

gray wolf

south america map

You are invited to the upcoming events and a chance to learn more about PBI’s work to protect the abundant wildlife of South America’s largest wildlands. You can meet our conservation biologist from Argentina, Lucila Castro, who is in Washington for a month and learn about her work with flamingos and wildlife conservation.


Friday, Oct. 24, 12:30pm – “ Wildlands and Wildlife Hotspots of South America” at the University of Washington, Anderson Hall, Forestry Club Room, Seattle, refreshments provided


Friday, Oct. 24, 7pm – “Exploring the Big Wild of South America” at Works Progress, 115 N. 85th St, Seattle - refreshments provided


Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6pm potluck and presentation at 6:30 – “Wildlands and Wildlife Hotspots of South America” at North Cascades Basecamp, 255 Lost River Rd., Mazama


Friday, Nov. 7, 11:00am – 1:00pm - Open House at Pacific Biodiversity Institute, 517 Lufkin Lane, Winthrop


Sunday, Nov. 9, 3:30pm – Exploring South America - "the bird continent" at the Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th St, Anacortes


Monday, Nov. 10, 6pm – “Exploring Wildlands and Wildlife Hotspots of South America” at REI, 400 36th St, Bellingham – register here


Wednesday, Nov. 12, 7pm – Exploring South America - "the bird continent" at Spokane Audubon Society, Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Avenue, Spokane - detailed directions and map here.



tracks in mud
Field Trip to Explore Wildlife Response and Ecosystem Recovery after the Carlton Complex Fires – Saturday, Sept. 13

PBI has launched a field-based study to determine the extent of the impacts of the Carlton Complex wildfires to wildlife and their habitat. The good news is that we are receiving many reports of sightings of wildlife that did survive the fire. And the other good news is that you can help us with this important assessment of impacts, and investigation of how people in the Methow can help our wildlife recover from this devastating wildfire.

On Saturday, September 13, we invite you to join us on a field trip into various parts of the burn area to examine some areas with particularly high concentrations of wildlife. We will be looking at how the birds, mammals and plants responded to the fire. We will explore ponderosa pine forests, riparian areas and shrub-steppe vegetation. For trip details, RSVP at 509-996-2490, or information [at] pacificbio [dot] org.


passenger pigeons

Painting by John James Audubon

September 1: A Very Important Conservation Anniversary

September 1, 2014, marks 100 years since Martha, the last remaining passenger pigeon, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. During the 1700's and 1800's this species was the most numerous bird on earth, with a population of 3 to 5 billion. The forests and skies of the eastern USA were filled with these birds. When they migrated, the sky would be black with birds for hours—so black that you could not see the sun. But we started cutting down the forests where they lived, and we hunted them for meat. By 1890 only small fragments of the population remained in a landscape that was once dominated by this species. Even as the population was crashing, hunting continued unabated. But, everyone thought that the passenger pigeon would share the earth with us forever. PBI Executive Director, Peter Morrison, commemorates this significant anniversary with his personal experience, and challenges all of us to do what we can to protect wildlife. Click here to read the full article.

martha the last passenger pigeon

Image of Martha
by Enno Meyer

fire at night

PBI August News

Click here to read about PBI's response to the largest wildfire in Washington state history, the Carlton Wildfire Complex. We also feature PBI's Argentinian conservation biologist, Lucila Castro (see below), and intern, Gisella Peralta, pictured at right.

PBI also contributed to an article in the Methow Valley News, on the recovery of vegetation following wildfires.

gisella peralta

lucila castro

Lucila Castro Presents in China

Lucila Castro, PBI’s conservation biologist based in Córdoba, Argentina, recently participated in the 12th International Conference on Salt Lake Research in Beijing, China. She gave a presentation about flamingos and Mar Chiquita (Córdoba Province, Argentina), including some of the results obtained in her degree thesis. Lucila was awarded for her excellent presentation with a prize given by the Journal of Biological Research - Thessaloniki. We are very proud of Lucila’s achievements!

lucila castro
katrina fisk

PBI May E-Newsletter

Click here to read more about PBI's Conservation Science Internship Program, and our 2014 interns. Katrina Fisk, a conservation researcher based in our Winthrop office, is the featured intern for this newsletter.

We also highlight PBI's work to help protect the Sierra de Famatina, part of one of the largest remaining roadless areas in the world.

may enews

Peter Morrison

South American Expeditions in Focus

Sarah Field, part of the "Tres Chicas Locas" adventure research team, is featured in a new podcast by The Budget-Minded Traveler. She talks about getting sponsors for travel, and giving back through science. Sarah, Shelley Brook and Trinity Ludwig gathered data for PBI while trekking the length of South America in 2012.


Also recently released is a video produced by students at Universidad Nacional de Chilecito, highlighting the GLORIA project (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments). PBI staff Peter Morrison and Lucila Castro participated in this research, monitoring alpine plants at risk from climate change, in the Sierra de Famatina range in La Rioja province, Argentina.

tres chicas

A Biodiversity Expedition at the PhinneyWood Artwalk!

Stop by the Works Progress event space between 6-9 PM on Friday, May 9, 2014, to learn about PBI's most recent biodiversity expedition in South America. You can view many colorful photos and short videos portraying the vastness and beauty of the wildlands and their immense biodiversity. These are just a small part of the photos and videos that PBI is developing on the plants, animals, ecosystems, human uses and threats to these wildlands.

two vicunas

Exploring bird and biodiversity hotspots in South America

PBI Executive Director, Peter Morrison, will give a presentation to the Kitsap Audubon Society on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at 7:00 PM at the Poulsbo Library. All are welcome. Through short videos, maps and photos he will provide a glimpse of the incredible bird life and the tremendous biodiversity of some relatively unknown parts of South America. He will also introduce some of the scientists and conservationists working there and share about opportunities to help them study and protect the birds and biodiversity of some remarkable places.

eagle on cardon
dr. craig olson




PBI April E-Newsletter

Click here to read about the expansion of PBI's Harbor Porpoise Monitoring Network as well as our Conservation Science Internship Program. We also say farewell to PBI board member Dr. Craig Olson, now serving with the Peace Corps in Mexico.


april e-news
harbor porpoise article

Harbor Porpoise Project photo identification work featured

Dr. Cindy Elliser's work to identify harbor porpoise individuals in Burrows Pass, near Anacortes, WA, has been getting some attention lately! Firstly, we are honored to have this element of the harbor porpoise project included in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. In addition, a recent Skagit Valley Herald article, reprinted in the Seattle Times, describes how this project element will complement the visual observation and acoustic data gathered over the past five years, and take the project to the next level.

harbor porpoises


western gray squirrel

WDFW asks for input on status of Western Gray Squirrels

Please comment on the listing decision that Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is now undertaking related to the western gray squirrel. Here is an article in the Methow Valley News that discusses PBI's research work with the squirrel, ponderosa pine forests and the listing decision. Written information may be submitted through March 28, 2015 at WDFW's website, via email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to: Penny Becker, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,
600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

methow valley news

Trinity Ludwig

Have you explored the wild heart of the planet?

Learn about PBI's 2014 biodiversity expeditions in South America. This is your chance to experience nature's abundance and biodiversity where they flourish like nowhere else on Earth. You can become a part of a great team of international adventures, birders, scientists and conservationists. Our leaders are immensely qualified and people who you will treasure for a long time. Learn more here.

Lucila Castro
bottlenose dolphin


Dolphins of the Bahamas:  "In their world - on their terms"
Dr. Cindy Elliser, marine biologist with PBI, will depict the lives of spotted and bottlenose dolphins in the Bahamas, at 7:00 PM, Friday, March 7, 2014, at the Anacortes Library. Dr. Elliser spent over 10 years studying a population of wild dolphins and is now a marine biologist working on the Harbor Porpoise Project with PBI.


Dr. Elliser will also give a presentation at the Guemes Island Community Church Soup Supper, at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 11. At both events, she will talk about the new work she is beginning with PBI’s harbor porpoise project in the Salish Sea.



dr cindy elliser

two porpoises

PBI's Harbor Porpoise Monitoring Network Expands
PBI has partnered with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to deploy a C-POD acoustic monitoring device in the off-shore vicinity of Fort Warden. PBI now has three C-POD devices recording harbor porpoise sonar signals in Puget Sound, complementing visual observation data compiled by volunteer observers. You can read more about this recent project expansion in the Peninsula Daily News and at ptleader.com.




South America biodiversity expeditions in northern Argentina, a celebration of marine biodiversity, our new marine biologist - Dr. Cindy Elliser and "Knowledge Changes the Game" by Dr. David Stokes, and more. Read the January 2014 Enews from Pacific Biodiversity Institute. To subscribe to PBI's enews, send an email to enews@pacificbio.org.





Read PBI's interesting and revealing 2013 Annual Report (PDF format)




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Winthrop, WA 98862 509-996-2490