Project Schedule

Assuming funds can be made available by May 1995, a series of five annual expeditions will take place in August and September of each year of funding. In 1995, we will collect on Urup, Simushir, Ketoi, and Rasshua (a total of seven transects); 1996, Matua, Shiashkotan, Ekarma, Kharimkotan, and Onekotan (seven transects); and 1997, Makanrushi, Paramushir, Shumshu, and Alaid (six transects). In 1998, we will collect on the southern tip of Kamchatka; although not part of the Kuril Archipelago, comparative information from this region, an important source biota for the islands, is crucial to our study (seven transects). In 1999, we will return to the southern group of islands: Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan, and Zelionyi (seven transects). Although we made large collections on all four southern islands in 1994, only 31 actual field days were available to us, many of the numerous available habitats were inadequately surveyed, and major taxa were not collected (e.g., plants); it is thus crucial that we go back to these islands, the most biologically diverse of the chain.

The Obzhitaya River at its mouth in Natalii Bay, Urup Island.

Following each annual expedition, all members of the international team will spend an additional week (or however long it takes) at the Usujiri Biological Station, Hokkaido, sorting, identifying, curating, and preparing specimens for shipment to the appropriate institution; during this time, we will also complete the task of entering all field data into the locality database. The intervening fall, winter, and spring of each project year will be devoted to additional curation and identification, assembling the taxonomic database, making the database and specimens widely available, preparing checklists and keys, and planning for the next field season. Following the fifth and final expedition, every effort will be made to complete the production of keys, guides, and annotated checklists prior to the termination of the grant in May 2000.

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