2016 Easter Island Endemic Insect Expedition
What’s left on Rapa Nui? The Search for Native Insects
Due to a fragile ecosystem and an extended drought (timed with the arrival of humans), Rapa Nui underwent a catastrophic ecological shift. This shift and associated human pressures resulted in all native vertebrates and most native plants going extinct. Today, a handful of endemic insect and plant species are all that remain. Our goal is to discover what’s left on Rapa Nui – specifically native insects. Information gathered will be used to help conserve and manage the island’s natural resources.
We will survey the environments likely to have been minimally impacted by humans: caves, cliff faces, rocky coastal shorelines, and volcanic craters. Our objectives are to: (1) better define the distributional ranges of the recently discovered endemic species; (2) search for new species of endemic animals by sampling additional caves and resampling select caves; and, (3) sample other extreme environments where endemic insects may occur.
Sessions II and III are devoted to cave sampling. We will inventory 10 caves during each session for endemic and cave-adapted arthropods.
Four three-week field session options
• I. Craters, Coastlines & Caves: 12 - 30 June 2016
• II. Caves & Craters: 04 – 22 July 2016
• III. Caves: 26 July – 13 Aug. 2016
• IV. Cliffs: 16 Aug. – 03 Sept. 2016
Volunteers responsible for all expenses
• Airfare: ~$2,000.00
• *Lodging, meals & ground transport: $2,000.00
• Global Rescue Travel Insurance (required): $229.00
*Costs are for dual occupancy room. Private lodging is more expensive.
Requirements: Excellent physical condition; team-player; ability to map caves; willingness to work long days in the field and conduct some fieldwork at night; sort insects, enter data and perform other project- related tasks in the evenings; have experience in caving and/or rock climbing; desire to learn about sampling insects; American Red Cross First Aid/ CPR certified.
Contact Jut Wynne (email@example.com) for more information. Be prepared to send current resume and contact information for three professional references.
Video: New Discoveries from Easter Island, The Explorers Club Headquarters, New York, NY (MAR 2015)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS2TCX9bUmU