Traditionally, the search for information from beneath the modern surface has often disregarded the contemporary eco-system; the Yeronisos Island Expedition seeks to preserve and protect the site' s ecological integrity during the course of excavation. Island ecologist Peter P. Blanchard III, of the Nature Conservancy, Mt. Desert, Maine and the Trust for Public Lands, New York City, has therefore undertaken surveys such as those he has conducted on off-shore islands in the northeastern United States. During two seasons of ecological survey (1990-1992) Mr. Blanchard observed foliage and nesting patterns, undertook bird counts, collected, recorded and photographed plant samples and prepared an ecological map of the site. Plant specimens were taken to the herbaria at the Center for Agricultural Research, Nicosia, as well as to the Kew Gardens, London, for identification.

This work will continue throughout the course of excavation; we are now examining the regeneration of plant life in trenches backfilled after the 1992, 1993 and 1994 dig seasons. Mr. Blanchard has developed a strategy for curtailing disturbance of the wildlife and promoting an atmosphere of "co-habitation" for the archaeological team and the resident bird population. This includes the scheduling of excavation between nesting seasons, the wearing of clothing in earth tones and the camouflaging of the temporary shelter, equipment sheds, and ascent. He will also prepare a plan for the replanting of the site, if necessary, at the end of excavation.

Ecology
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