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The Mono Lake shrimp are back!

Sunday, April 17th, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Brine shrimp (Artemia monica) have emerged from the bottom of Mono Lake and they’re already growing fast! Come check them out along the shores of Mono Lake or in our aquarium at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore (open seven days a week). Enjoy the algae while you can little guys, humans aren’t the only migratory species that’s excited about your arrival….

Artemia monica swirling around bubbling tufa in the MLC's aquarium. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Artemia monica swirling around bubbling tufa in the Mono Lake Committee’s aquarium. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Mono Lake brine shrimp, then and now

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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Artemia monica is the unique species of brine shrimp found only in Mono Lake. During the summer months, trillions of shrimp inhabit Mono Lake’s waters—enough to be a critical food source for millions of birds. Once winter begins to set in the shrimp die off, and the birds migrate on. A new generation of shrimp hatches in the spring, food for next year’s birds in the following summer. This process has repeated itself enough times and with enough consistency that all our favorite Mono Lake birds have figured it out and rely on the food supply.

Figure 14 (below) of the annual Mono Lake Limnology Monitoring Report shows the lake’s average abundance of adult Artemia per square meter water column for each month starting in 1982 and ending in 2013. You can see that Mono Lake’s adult brine shrimp are most abundant in summer, and if you’ve visited Mono Lake during the summer, you probably know some of the bird species that show up for the feast.

1982-2013 Shrimp

Figure 14: The average abundance of brine shrimp (per square meter of the water column) every month from 1982-2013. Note that adult brine shrimp are most abundant in summer. Click on the image to enlarge.

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