"Without Birds To Disperse Seeds, Guam's Forest Is Changing"

"The forest on Guam is silent.

Sometime after World War II the brown tree snake arrived as a stowaway on this U.S. Pacific island territory 6,100 kilometers west of Hawaii. It has since extirpated 10 of the island's 12 native forest bird species. The remaining forest birds have been relegated to small populations on military bases, where the snakes are kept in check. In the first study of its kind, a rugby-playing researcher named Haldre Rogers is documenting how the forest itself is changing.

'There's nothing in the forest on Guam,' Rogers says, 'and when you hear anything you have to stop and say, 'What was that?'"

Brendan Borrell Reports For Scientific American August 8, 2009.
 

Monday, August 10, 2009