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You are here: /main/research/NOWRAMP 2002/journals/FWS Tern Is./


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U. S. Fish and Wildlife Field Station on Tern Island (9/12/02)
by Scott Kikiloi
Photos by Andy Collins

Tern Island, Sooty Tern in flight.Tern Island is just one of many low sandy islands that make up French Frigate Shoals and is the home for the only permanent U. S. Fish and Wildlife field station in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Why is it important to have a field station in this remote region of our homeland? Well the people stationed here are tasked with protecting the fragile ecosystems in this National Wildlife Refuge. Once a U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station, the dormitory style building on Tern Island is now used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a field station. There are two permanent employees that are stationed here, who are supported by two to three volunteers at any time.

Tern Island Frigate and Booby colony.This island is a beautiful place to be stationed at. The ocean water is clean, the air is fresh, and the sunsets are spectacular. This exciting job allows the residents to work with sea birds, sea turtles, and monk seals daily. Also, they help to control alien species of plants and animals that might threaten and hurt these populations. In the ocean, they help to clear away marine debris, which damages the coral reefs that are like underwater gardens in this region. It's important for them to protect the ocean and reefs because it is the home for thousands of living things such as sponges, snails, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, clams, oysters, sea urchins, sea stars, and fish.

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