Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

From 2016 to 2017, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge conducted a phenology monitoring project using the USA-NPN’s plant and animal observation program, Nature’s Notebook to document the timing between leaf out and seed development of invasive Verbesina encelioides, or golden crownbeard. Verbesina is fast-growing and forms dense, monotypic stands that disrupts and degrades surface-nesting seabird habitat, and is linked to lower reproductive success and survival of albatross.

Verbesina used to cover 70% of the land surface across both Eastern and Sand Islands at Midway before large scale control efforts eliminated 99% of this invasive by 2015. Phenology monitoring efforts aid a focused, surgical approach to eliminate the remaining individuals, informing the Refuge staff when to visit and treat all of the sectors of the Park to work toward total eradication. 

Read the results of this project published in Ecological Solutions and Evidence »

Download a one-page Refuge Highlight about phenology monitoring at Midway Atoll NWR »