April Talks at The Rooms


Twice a year Nature NL collaborates with The Rooms to present talks on aspects of Natural History.  These talks replace our regular third Thursday society talks.  These talks will take place in The Rooms Lecture Theatre on the second floor.


WEDNESDAY April 17 at 7 p.m.


A fitful slumber: The decline of hibernating bats
by Bruce Rodrigues (Department of Environment and Conservation)


Bat populations in North America are experiencing unprecedented declines. Bruce will tell us why bats are in trouble, highlight current research, and explain what can be done to protect their populations in the province.


THURSDAY April 18 at 2:30 p.m.


An extreme event in changing ocean climate: Warm water disrupts the feeding and reproductive behavior of Northern Gannets
by Chantelle Burke and Paul Regular (Memorial University)


On the morning of 8 August 2012, naturalists at Cape St. Mary’s were shocked to find that nearly all the adult gannets had abandoned the nesting colony on Bird Island and the mainland cliffs.  In over 40 years of continuous observations at the Cape this extreme behavior had never been seen.  Further observations of underweight and starving adults, unusual feeding behavior and sightings of gannets far outside their normal range pointed to a severe food shortage around the colony.  We suggest that anomalously warm surface waters in 2012, one of the warmest on record, resulted in a distributional shift of fish outside the normal feeding range of gannets.  Consequently, breeding adults abandoned their offspring in order to ensure their own survival. Seabirds are more easily observed than other marine animals and consequently often provide the first warning signals of climate-driven changes in our oceans.  Learn more about the fate of the gannets in 2012 and how MUN’s research on seabirds is helping to provide insights about our rapidly changing ocean environment.