Legacy of Hope: Species Preservation in Action
A partnership event between Cal Academy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
This event features Brenda Melton, Director of Animal Care and Wellbeing for Steinhart Aquarium, and Allen Fish, Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Through programs such as the Academy’s African Penguin Breeding Program and the GGNPC’s Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, we will hear how both organizations are working to preserve vulnerable species locally and around the world.
This event will take place on Friday, December 8th at 8:30-10:15am at the Cal Academy Boardroom & Reception Area. This will be a hybrid event, meaning it will be both in-person and streaming via Zoom.
Brenda Melton has been working in the animal care field for 26 years and started at the Academy in 2008, helping to create and open the new building and aquarium. Brenda has been working with endangered species throughout her career and with penguins and penguin conservation efforts for over 20 years.
As African Penguin populations face a decline, the Academy and 48 other AZA-accredited institutions participate in the African penguin Species Survival Plan and manage around 800 penguins among them. The member institutions regularly “trade” penguins in order to maintain valuable genetic diversity in the captive-bred population.
On a global scale, Academy biologists traveled to South Africa to assist with the hand-rearing of penguin chicks abandoned by their parents and introduced them back into the wild. They worked with SANCCOB, a leading marine conservation organization that works to rescue, rehabilitate, and release populations of abandoned seabirds, especially threatened African penguins.
Allen Fish has been the Parks Conservancy’s director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) since its inception in 1985. As a long-term community science program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the National Park Service, the GGRO provides critically-needed data on raptor population trends, on climate impacts, and on the stressors that undermine the lives of California’s birds of prey.
Hawks, kites, eagles, vultures, osprey, falcons, and harriers – collectively called raptors – are some of the most fascinating birds in the world. Just minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most spectacular places to see raptors anywhere. The Marin Headlands are host to the best window on the Pacific Raptor Flyway, and for 40 years, staff and volunteers of the GGRO have been keeping a pulse on this migration.
Join us for an overview of the creative and far-reaching science of the GGRO, and for a look forward at the questions and innovations for bird migration studies in the future.