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Mono Lake brine shrimp, then and now

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician

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.


California Gull nest count on Mono Lake’s islands

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

Kristie Nelson of PRBO Conservation Science taking the crew out to the islands.

This post was written by Russ Taylor, 2011 Canoe Coordinator.

Each spring the Mono Lake Committee assists PRBO Conservation Science in doing a California Gull nest count on Mono Lake’s islands. PRBO, whose mission is to conserve birds and other wildlife, has been monitoring the population size and reproductive success of California Gull (Larus californicus) at Mono Lake since 1983. (more…)

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