The everyday work of María Félix Lizarraga with Conservación de Islas (Ensenada, México) is about restoration ecology and conservation. As Project Coordinator, María has worked during the last three years in the Gulf of California islands and the Baja California Pacific Islands. At Espíritu Santo Island her work is related to eradication of introduced species as well as vegetation and wildlife studies. On San Pedro Mártir and Farallón de San Ignacio Islands, she collaborates with preparations for black rat eradications to restore important seabird populations, including boobies and tropic-birds. María, a native of Sonora, Mexico, is a biologist (UABC-Ensenada) with a Masters in Science in Ecology (CIBNOR-La Paz). She has also taken courses in wildlife management concerning terrestrial birds and seabirds. She has worked with the Guadalupe Island Junco and Finch and the Laysan Albatross colony on Guadalupe Island.
Because seabirds are a very important part of the Mexican island fauna, Conservación de Islas and Island Conservation (Santa Cruz, USA) are partnering to develop a strong regional and bi-national program on seabird conservation. The program includes two basic activities: eradication of introduced species (especially rats and feral cats) and active seabird restoration of extirpated or decimated populations. Social attraction and habitat improvement, techniques successfully developed by the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program, will play a major role in future restoration plans for the region’s islands. María is already involved full time in such activities. As the 2007 Josephine Daneman Herz Seabird Fellow, she looks forward to applying her energy, experience, and commitment to participate this summer in the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program’s Maine coast program.