Research

A paper published in 2013, based on research part-funded by Bermuda Audubon Society, suggests that our local population of bluebirds (which are sufficiently different in colour from mainland birds to be considered a distinct sub-species) likely resulted from a single colonization event that occurred in the 1600s.

Research was carried out in Bermuda from 2007 to 2009 by Julian Avery of Rutgers University in New Jersey, following a request for proposals put out by Bermuda Audubon Society and the Department of Conservation Services. The proposal, by Julie Lockwood and Julian Avery, was to study the demography, provenance and genetic divergence of the local population of bluebirds from those on the North American mainland.

Download Bluebird Research Paper 

Bermuda Audubon Society contributed financially to the Bermuda Amphibian Project (1995-present) and research for the project was conducted in several of our nature reserve ponds, including Seymour's Pond, Somerset Long Bay East and West and David's Pond at Paget Marsh.

The project was initiated in 1995 by Dr. Jamie Bacon in response to local concerns that the populations of Bermuda's amphibians were declining. Prior to 1994, three species of amphibians, introduced in the late 1880s were known to inhabit Bermuda: the cane toad Bufo marinus, and two species of whistling frog Eleutherodactylus gossei and E. johnstonei. The last siting of E. gossei was in 1994 and it appears to have become locally extinct.

The project discovered that Bermuda's amphibians face a variety of threats including exposure to a number of environmental contaminants. Research revealed alarmingly high incidence of deformities in Bermuda's toad populations, and that other wildlife species including the endemic killifish and native diamondback terrapins were also being affected.

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Acknowledgements:

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dobson, Paul Watson, Chris Burville, Ras Mykkal, Jennifer Gray, Rosalind Wingate, Rick Slaughter and others.

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The Bermuda Audubon Society
P.O. Box HM 1328
Hamilton HM FX
Bermuda