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Gat R Done
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Micro*nesian Kingfisher

A cache by MNWild11 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/16/2009
1.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This cache is just north of Kingfisher Lane. It is just feet off of a city bike/walking path.

The Micronesian Kingfisher has a big name for a small bird. It’s named after a tiny group of islands called Micronesia, which are in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines and north of the equator. Once, the island of Guam was the only home to wild Micronesian kingfishers. But now these birds are found only in zoos and are extinct in the wild. It took forty years to find out how that happened. Slowly, zoos are helping these endangered birds back from the brink of extinction.

Sometime in the late 1940s, just after World War II had ended, the brown tree snake began to be seen in small numbers in forests on the southern end of Guam. No one had ever seen such a snake on the island before. Experts assume that the snakes had arrived as stowaways on military cargo shipments from other islands. Guam had no big native snakes, so this sudden appearance was a surprise. Initially, however, there seemed nothing to worry about. In fact, the brown tree snake was welcomed by some people because it ate rats and mice. Unfortunately, brown tree snakes multiplied in huge numbers because they had no natural predators on the island.

Eventually, people noticed That there weren’t as many Micronesian kingfishers around as before. Other kinds of birds were disappearing too. No one knew why, and for almost forty years, no one made the connection between fewer birds and more snakes.

Finally, in 1983, a scientist realized that the appearance of brown tree snakes on the island happened just before birds started becoming scarce. It seemed hard to believe that just one kind of animal could have an effect on so many birds. But it was true. Brown tree snakes, following their natural instincts, were eating the food that was available to them—kingfishers and kingfisher eggs.

By the time scientists knew the cause, it was too late to save Micronesian kingfishers from extinction in the wild. In the mid-1980s, scientists captured 29 of the remaining kingfishers and put them in zoos. This last-ditch effort came just in time, because by 1988 there were no more wild kingfishers.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Nobhg 5'6" uvtu.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



183 Logged Visits

Found it 161     Didn't find it 7     Write note 4     Archive 1     Temporarily Disable Listing 2     Enable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 4     Owner Maintenance 1     Post Reviewer Note 1     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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