Presented by RON LARSON, PhD
Salty-alkaline lakes are not the kind of place you would want to call home. After all, salt is used to preserve food, and with a pH of 10, the water is like diluted bleach. Yet, Lake Abert, located in arid south-central Oregon, is a waterbird Mecca, with over 80 species being reported and abundances of several hundred thousand birds noted on daily mid-summer counts. Just what brings these birds to the lake is an amazing set of conditions that were created over several million years and are subject to the whims of climate and the actions of man. Ron Larson’s presentation will provide an introduction to this amazing yet vulnerable waterbird oasis.
Ron Larson is a retired aquatic biologist from Klamath Falls with a special interest in lake ecosystems and the species that live in them, from microbes to birds. He has traveled widely to study freshwater and marine organisms, including the Arctic and Antarctic—and down 3,000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean using a submersible to collect deep-water jellyfish—but Lake Abert and its birds keep him returning to this fascinating area. Ron and his wife Kathy have lived in the Klamath Basin for 20 years and love the diversity of wildlife and natural areas the region provides.