Ph.D. student Else Demeulenaere is completing some more field work this week in the Marianas. She started out with sampling the last remaining Serianthes nelsonii population on Guam last Thursday (one mother tree and a few saplings). Now she is off to the island of Rota, the second southernmost island in the Mariana Archipelago, and then to Saipan, the largest of the Northern Marianas, collecting some more Serianthes. Here is a little field update from her:
I collected from 20 trees on Rota. We took a long hike in the morning to the wild populations. I’m only done now after 1 am with putting all the samples with labels in vials with silica gel. For each tree I collected three samples, so that is 60 samples in total. Tired but very happy. The local people are very helpful, the forester made a device himself to get to the tall canopies of the Serianthes trees, much easier to pick. Tomorrow I’m going with a girl from Saipan, she is the endangered species manager from CNMI, we are going to try to locate some trees that are on an old map. I’ll try to use the slingshot to get leaves down from those populations.