9 Jun 2008

First quantitative biological survey of Asuncion in CNMI

11:03 am on 9 June 2008

In the CNMI, scientists with the Division of Fish and Wildlife have just completed the first quantitative biological survey ever of Asuncion, one of the region's most remote ecosystems.

Previous studies of Asuncion, an uninhabited island, dominated by a dormant volcano to the north of Saipan, collected only limited data on the health of its wildlife population.

But the new survey will be the first to provide key figures on the environment there that biologists can use to track changes over time.

Division wildlife biologist, Laura Williams, says it's the first survey like it of flora and fauna on Asuncion.

She says the data on the island's fish, birds and animals is still being analysed.

However, she says it appears that some species threatened elsewhere in the CNMI are thriving on Asuncion and the island's ecosystem, despite a relatively low rate of species diversity, is prospering.