This spring when Gulls return to their island nesting ground at Mono Lake they will be in danger of being raided by coyotes. During the drought dropped 7 vertical feet, exposing a landbridge to the colony. It's hard to believe that all of this snow and rain we're getting won't fix the problem naturally. The lake is rising, but the snow won't melt to raise the lake enough in time to protect the gulls when they lay their eggs in April. Help us put up a fence to save the gulls!
Why are gulls so important?
Since 1983 scientists have monitored Mono Lake’s California Gull (Larus californicus) breeding colony annually in order to measure the year-to-year variation in population size and reproductive success. The objectives of the study are to measure these parameters as they relate to changing lake and other environmental conditions. Three standardized procedures are conducted each year: in late May every nest is counted within the breeding colony to ascertain the population size; in early July all chicks within 10 study plots are banded, and in fall a mortality assessment of banded chicks is made. The Gull population is an effective measurement of Mono Lake’s health. It has been found to be very strongly tied to certain lake conditions, and monitoring the gulls each year is an effective way to keep a vigilant eye on the lake environment. After 34 years of study, the information gained is not only valuable for the gulls, but also because 34 years of data makes for uniquely long data set for any avian population.