Scientists to Present New Findings on Presidio's Plants, Animals, and Archaeology

Friday, May 04, 2007
Presidio of San Francisco (May 4, 2007) -- The Presidio Trust will host a symposium on Friday, May 11 bringing together scientists who have recently studied the Presidio's plants, animals, insects and archaeology. This is an opportunity to hear about the findings of a variety of studies at the Presidio and learn about biodiversity in the park. "We have always known that the Presidio is a unique environment. These important studies reveal that it is also home to great biological diversity and rich archaeological heritage", said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. More than 400 species of animals can be seen at the Presidio. Many, like the numerous bird species, make the park their seasonal home, while others live here year-round. The park is permanent home to 21 raptor pairs, made up of great horned owls and three different species of hawks. They build nests and teach their young to fly in the Presidio's forests. "Sixteen of the nests produced at least one young," said Allen Fish, Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, "We watched many of the young take their first flights in the park." Mr. Fish led a project to inventory the Presidio's raptors in 2005 and will speak about his research on May 11. A San Francisco State study of bee diversity at the Presidio revealed a booming community of 60 species. Bees are declining in most of the Bay Area. "Despite its long history of habitat disturbance as an Army base, the Presidio is still home to an impressive number of native bees," said John Hafernik, Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, who oversaw the bee diversity study. "This is important because there is a worldwide concern about declining populations of bees and other pollinators." Mr. Hafernik will give a presentation entitled: Bees, Butterflies Dragonflies of the Presidio. The Presidio also has a rich history that archaeologists have been working to reveal. A presentation by Eric Blind, Presidio Trust archaeologist, will focus on the discovery and study of the remnants of one of the first buildings in San Francisco. Over the years, additions were made to the original adobe, resulting in what is now the Presidio Officers' Club building, "Our assessment is that the adobe walls within the Officers' Club remain solid despite being concealed for over 125 years," explained Blind. To examine the walls' interior Blind used a fiber optic scope inserted into a half-inch diameter hole drilled into the adobe. He also laser scanned a room to create a 3-Dimensional model of the building's many layers. The Presidio Science Symposium will take place on Friday, May 11 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Golden Gate Club at 135 Fisher Loop. "