Teach Me About the Great Lakes

Stuart and Renie discuss the lifes of Monty and Rose, Chicago's piping plover power couple, with Tamima Itani.

Show Notes

Sorry that this one's kind of a downer, but we maybe it's ultimately hopeful?!

TMATGL 39: Cottonballs with Toothpick Legs
TMATGL 40: DNA from the Cheeks
Tamima's Plovermother website & books
Sun-Times article on Imani
Meet Nish and Nellie, Ohio's First Nesting Piping Plovers In 83 Years
Libanais Chicago

Host & Executive Producer: Stuart Carlton
Co-Host: Renie Miles
Producers: Hope Charters, Carolyn Foley, Megan Gunn, & Irene Miles
Associate Producer: Ethan Chitty
Edited by: Quinn Rose
Podcast art by: Joel Davenport
Music by: Stuart Carlton

Creators & Guests

Stuart Carlton
Stuart Carlton is the Assistant Director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program. He manages the day-to-day operation of IISG and works with the IISG Director and staff to coordinate all aspects of the program. He is also a Research Assistant Professor and head of the Coastal and Great Lakes Social Science Lab in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue, where he and his students research the relationship between knowledge, values, trust, and behavior in complex or controversial environmental systems.

What is Teach Me About the Great Lakes?

A monthly podcast in which Stuart Carlton (a native New Orleanian) asks smart people to teach him about the Great Lakes. Co-hosted by the awesome staff at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

Disclaimer: This is an automated transcript, we apologize for any errors. If you notice any problems, please email the show at teachmeaboutthegreatlakes@gmail.com. Thank you.

Stuart Carlton 0:00
teach me about the Great Lakes. Teach me about the Great Lakes. John, welcome back to teach me about the Great Lakes a twice monthly podcast in which I A Great Lakes novice, as people who are smarter and harder working than I am to teach me all about the Great Lakes. My name is Stuart Carlton and I work with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. And I know a lot about how hard it is to assemble an Ikea bunk bed without the instructions because you left the instructions in Texas. But I don't know a lot about the Great Lakes. And that's the point of this podcast. I'm joined today Oh, it's a special day because I'm joined by Renie Miles Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant strategic communicator Renie. How are you?

Renie Miles 0:37
I'm doing pretty well. Stuart, how are you?

Stuart Carlton 0:39
I'm doing well. You're not recovering from the live show, which I hope everybody listened to that we recorded live at the joint aquatic sciences meeting. And that shows a little loose, shall we say? But double recovering.

Renie Miles 0:53
We're back in the studio now. So looseness aside, right?

Stuart Carlton 0:56
Yes, exactly. But it's good to be back in sort of, in my normal routine. I haven't gone to a conference in a couple of years. And you know, traveling is good. But you know what else was good in my bed, and my family. And so I'm glad to be back with them. I hear you. But so actually so as the conference was starting, we got some bad news. And in that is that Monty one of the piping clovers was featured in Teach Me about the Great Lakes. One of our episodes from last year we'll link to it in the in the show notes. Monty died, Monty passed away suddenly. And you know, we thought we would mark that occasion a little bit because we did a couple of different episodes. And it was really an inspiring story. We're sorry to hear that. But we thought we would just try to celebrate Monday's life just a little bit.

Renie Miles 1:43
Yes. And I wanted to join in that conversation because I was a big fan.

Stuart Carlton 1:48
Yeah. I think a lot of people were and so to do that we got a guest actually from Chicago piping plover is going to organization to come on and talk to us and we're just going to bring her straight on.

Our guest today is Tamima Itani. She is the lead volunteer coordinator of Chicago piping clovers, a board member of the Illinois Ornithological Society, and the author of not one but two different books about Monty and rose to Mima. How are you today?

Tamima Itani 2:27
I'm good. How are you?

Stuart Carlton 2:28
I'm doing well. Thanks. And thank you so much for coming on. So let's start actually start with you. And then we'll move into it. You'll have kind of an unusual background, right? How did you end up working in bird conversation or conservation excuse me in in Chicago,

Tamima Itani 2:42
I really have a background that has nothing to do with birding. I'm a biomedical engineer by education and a regulatory professional in the medical devices industry by profession. I retired a few years ago and took up birding. And so I've been birding, you know, for the past five, six years, and I greatly enjoy it.

Stuart Carlton 3:05
And so then did you start birding in where you were in Chicago itself? Or did you come to Chicago later? How did you get involved like with that? Yeah,

Tamima Itani 3:13
I've been birding. I'm sorry. I've been living in Chicago for the past 35, 38 years on and off. I've had stents in Minneapolis and Cincinnati and Boston, but Evanston and Chicago is where I've spent most of my adult life.

Stuart Carlton 3:30
And so that brings us on to Monty and Rose first of all for those. So I recommend again to all listeners go back and we'll have links in the shownotes and listen to those two episodes. I don't remember the episode numbers off the top of my head, but on Monteros but for those who are not super familiar, tell me who are what do you say who anyway who are what are Monty and Rose,

Tamima Itani 3:50
Monty and Rose are the two most adorable and I'm not biased at all. piping plovers. They're great lake piping plovers, which makes them part of an endangered species. And in 2019, they showed up at Montrose beach and Chicago. That's one of the busiest beaches in Chicago. And they decided that it was a suitable place for them to nest and we fell in love with them. And we've had a love story with them ever since.

Stuart Carlton 4:23
And so with. So I mean, they're adorable in general, right? So people go no, no clovers, because I did not honestly until I started working on the story. So they're like these tiny little shorebirds, right? And I think the end of the episode title was cotton balls with toothpick legs, at least when they're babies. Is that Is that right?

Tamima Itani 4:43
That's absolutely correct. Yes, yes. One Berto wants to describe them as diagnostically adorable. That's how people usually describe them.

Renie Miles 4:52
And can you briefly mention the how the endangered factor with them and with regards to Great Lakes

Tamima Itani 5:01
in the Great Lakes, you know, before the 1800s. There used to be, we estimate about 400 to 800, breeding pairs of piping plovers, but with the loss of habitat and you know the conversion of beaches into residential areas, etc. The number of piping plovers dropped to a low of 12 pairs in the early 1980s. And all of these pairs were in Michigan only. So the Fish and Wildlife Service stepped in and declared them and endangered species instead of goal for recovery of the piping plovers. And the goal is to go back to at least 150 pairs of piping plovers in the Great Lakes in order for them to be self sustainable.

Stuart Carlton 5:51
And so what are we at now that 150 is the goal? We're pretty south of that currently, right?

Tamima Itani 5:57
Last year, we had 74 breeding pairs and last year was a good year. So we're still far in air almost. Yes.

Stuart Carlton 6:07
Halfway there. But this also last year was a good year. Does it vary year by year it was last year? Or is it kind of is it a constant? What you want to see is a constant curve up right? Yeah. Is that how it is? Or is it a little more variable?

Tamima Itani 6:18
It varies the year before the Great Lakes where the water levels were very high. And the beach space was low. And so the number was lower than that. It is an upward curve in general, but there is variation year to year.

Stuart Carlton 6:34
Oh, I didn't even think about this being a lake level story again, huh?

Tamima Itani 6:37
Absolutely. Yes. So this is shaping up to potentially be a good year because the beach space this year is really good.

Stuart Carlton 6:45
So maybe you don't know this. This can be a question for Francie Cuthbert, if you don't, um, who's a biologist working on this we interviewed last year? If if the lake levels are high, what happens to these other birds that get crowded out? Do they find a different place to breed? Or is it or is it you know, do they litter? What's the deal?

Tamima Itani 7:07
It's a good question. But there would be fewer nests or I think what also happens is birds will nest and then the water there'll be a storm and the water will wash up there now. That's that's pretty tough. Yeah. So

Stuart Carlton 7:20
with Monty and Rose, so they became Chicago. Everybody fell in love. It became a love story both between them and with Chicago. Why is it do you think and so you have this big volunteer program. Right? And I guess two questions. You can take them however you want. First of all, what is it that the volunteers do exactly? But to what is it about is it Monty and Ross specifically are about clovers, you think that make people fall in love with them?

Tamima Itani 7:41
You know, I believe that people fall in love with piping plovers. They're charming. And you know, think of your most charming Disney character and they're right there with them. They're cute. They scurry on the beach, they have personality, their piping is cute. So um, you know, they fit in the size of your hand, their nest is the size of your palm. Everything above them is diminutive, yet they're commanding this beach, they need the space. Their chicks are amazingly cute. You know, I mean, it's really hard to describe how adorable they are. And if there was a really large group of volunteers, mostly people who are conservation minded, who wanted to contribute to watching over Monty and Rose, many people understood that what was happening at Montrose was a very rare event. piping plovers had not nested at Montrose in 71 years or in Cook County for that matter. So everyone understood that it was a very rare event. And everybody was everybody was rooting for them. And so we asked for people to volunteer, and that entails being at Montrose in two hours shift in two hour shifts. And the shift started at 6am and didn't end till 8pm every day of the week.

Stuart Carlton 9:07
Wow. And so were they just guarding? Is that what it was? They were protecting the nests or

Tamima Itani 9:11
so? Yes. The first nest was literally in smack in the middle of the public beach. We had to put psychological fencing around the nest to let people know that there was a nest there and that they shouldn't step on it. Someone could step on the nest and never know they had done that because the nest is very small. So really making sure that people were respecting the ropes we had put up. People also unfortunately that let their dogs loose on a public beach dogs can be very harmful to shorebirds and to nest. We also watch for the general welfare of the piping plovers that they're doing okay. And so on.

Renie Miles 9:53
Are the volunteers mostly? Birders are there other folks who are then sort of getting pulled in To the Birding world as a result of

Tamima Itani 10:02
it. There were birders who signed up to be volunteers. I would say that the majority of the volunteers were not birders and that was a bit of a puzzle for me early on. But a lot of the people who signed up, you know, again, were more conservation minded people from the Lincoln Park Zoo as an example people from the Sierra Club, people who are just avid nature, folks, those are those are the folks that primarily signed up to monitor the piping plovers and a lot of them were not birders.

Stuart Carlton 10:35
You know what this reminds me a lot of rainy Have you ever been to Florida during sea turtle birding seas or birding, the sea turtle nesting season. That's what this reminds me of like the sea turtles, which most of which are endangered, all of which many of which, to different podcasts about the Gulf Coast, but anyway, and they'll lay their eggs and people they'll put little fences around them and people will guard the eggs and you have to put in you can't have normal lights out and stuff like that interesting. And so people really want to feel like they're part of something I think right to.

Renie Miles 11:03
Yeah. And I was thinking actually that, you know, Monty and Rose being such celebrities about town that that probably added to people's like enjoyment is being a part of something that was like much bigger than Montrose beach. It was, you know, city wide.

Unknown Speaker 11:21
Yes. Except that when, when we asked for volunteers, initially, Monty and Rosa are not known. They became known. Yes. So it was novel to all of us. And they really became celebrities later in the season. But early on, people were really just attracted to the conservation story. A lot of people doubted that Monty and Ruth rose could make it that Montrose. It's such a public busy beach, the first night of them scratching enough there was a women's Ultimate Frisbee league that was supposed to play exactly where they put their nests. into their credit. The players were so gracious and said, hey, just tell us what we need to do. And we'll do it. And that's what we did. The next night, it was the men's Ultimate Frisbee league. And again, they were super gracious. They said, We really need a visual for the delineation. And so we pulled every trashcan off the beach and created a parameter. And so yeah, people were very collaborative, but we had Ultimate Frisbee, we had, you know, in their subsequent nests location, we had volleyball. And the one of the things the volunteers had to do was just stand there and catch any stray volleyball that was, you know, going into their protected area.

Stuart Carlton 12:38
So that was my Southern Miss would move over here. So how would people find Monty and rose like, like so so they go away they go, I can't remember somewhere south, right? For the winter. And so they will come back, or people just like walking the beach during the, you know, center the right time, you're looking for him trying to spot them.

Unknown Speaker 12:56
So yes, Monty goes to Texas in the winter, and rose goes to Florida, and then they come back. And I'll just give you an example. For this year. A local TV station WGN was doing an interview on the beach in anticipation of Monty coming back. And as they were doing the interview, the cameraman spotted Monty who. I mean, that was such a great, such great timing, you know, fantastic pictures of Monty. So yeah, I mean, it, we literally go and wait for him on the beach. And you know, and unfortunately, we waited this year for rows and rows that and come back this year.

Stuart Carlton 13:34
Yeah. And so that sort of turns us to this is kind of a rough, rough year with that. And so rose didn't come back. Is there a theory? Does that mean that rose probably died as well? Or does that mean that? Who knows?

Unknown Speaker 13:45
We are afraid that Rose is lost as well. I talked to Dr. Cuthbert, it's not unheard of that a piping plover takes one season off, but it's extremely rare. And I personally want to include key were rose winters in March. I didn't see her. She has not she had not been seen there since February, despite about like a handful of attempts to find her. So unfortunately, it's it's likely that she's gone as well. We probably will not be able to say that with certainty till next year.

Renie Miles 14:17
In some ways that adds to the drama of the love story.

Tamima Itani 14:21
Yes, yes.

Stuart Carlton 14:23
Yeah, no, I feel almost guilty about anthropomorphizing to this extent. But it really I mean, it's just so poignant. Right, and that the rose doesn't calm and then and then, Monty. I mean,

Tamima Itani 14:33
I mean, you're not the first one people think Monty died of a broken heart.

Stuart Carlton 14:38
Yeah. And I know that that's almost definitely not true, but it sure feels that way. But really, weren't they I mean, so they appeared in 2019. What is it now we're in about the eighth year of 2020 right now, but I guess the technically on the calendar is 2022. So I mean, chances are they were what, four or five, six years old, something like that.

Unknown Speaker 14:57
Yeah, so actually, we know a lot about Montenegro. As And what surprised me immensely is that after the first nesting season of 2019 I was just curious to find out when had I seen my first piping clovers and I went back to my Ebert checklists and I nearly fell off my chair when I found out that had actually seen Monte and rose in their hatch here at Waukegan and Northern Illinois in August of 2017. I had received a call from a birding buddy and he said you should go to Waukegan there are piping clovers and walking in and I didn't tell him I didn't know what piping plovers were. That was my first fear of birding, but I quickly looked it up and I realized they're endangered and I drove to Waukegan took pictures and looking at my pictures back in 2019. I realized oh my goodness, this is Rose. This is Monty. And, you know they're bandits so we can tell. And that was before they were rose and Monty. So they so 2017 hatch here, they stopped by Waukegan for about 10 days. 2018 they come back to Waukegan, they nest there and the nest fails. So they spent a little bit of time at Montrose and 2018 in the next year 2019 They come back two monitors. They were both in June, they would both be five years old.

Stuart Carlton 16:22
So that's that's kind of within the range of what you would expect for a lifespan potentially right.

Tamima Itani 16:28
That is correct. They can live up to 16 years. I mean, there have been clovers with nested, you know when they were 15 and 16 year old. The average life expectancy is five years old because of predation.

Stuart Carlton 16:40
Oh I see. Yes. So this this was a fairly for birds who make it to this this age. This was a fairly young Tondo have been lost than yes,

Renie Miles 16:51
yeah. I find it fascinating that they switched beaches midstream, and then they both knew where to come the next year.

Tamima Itani 17:00
Yes. And I think the fact that they after, after their nest failed in Waukegan, the fact that they came south to Montrose beach and spent some time there. The following year, they remembered, in my opinion, they remember that beach and that's where they nested.

Stuart Carlton 17:19
So then there was a this week you held a kind of a commemoration ceremony or something like that. Take us in that room. Who was there? I guess it was outside, probably. But who was there? And what was that? What was that like?

Tamima Itani 17:31
The event was scheduled for 6pm. On Wednesday at 5pm. There were tornado warnings in North in northeastern Illinois, and there were Beach has a warning. And so I you know, I was reconciling myself with the fact that we might have like a handful of people coming to the event. Well, despite the weather, we had somewhere between 150 and 170 people come to the event. A lot of the volunteers who monitored them for three years in a row. We had representatives from the Fish and Wildlife Service. We had the longtime Montrose beach toward Montrose beach volunteers. And then people who really just knew Monty and rose from reading about them in the local media and wanted to come and commemorate with us.

Renie Miles 18:26
I would imagine that was a kind of important for the volunteers to kind of say goodbye, officially.

Tamima Itani 18:32
Yeah, yes, it was very important for the volunteers. We had already geared up for a nesting season. We have done the training, ordered the parking permits, the badges and so on. So we were really it. And with Monte returning we thought okay, it's matter of time for us to come back. And we're just in this mode of, we're ready for another year. So so so Monty is passing was crushing to all of us. And it was important for us to get together as a group and celebrate their lives and celebrate what they have meant to us and the time we had spent with them. The volunteers will tell you about all the tough weather and you know, the the toughs shifts that they had on the beach, but every single volunteer or most of the volunteers came back year after year because they love Monty and Rosen their chicks so much. How many volunteers were there? The first year we had 190 volunteers. The second year in the third year, we organized things in a way that people had to do a recurring shift every year so we only needed about 100 110 volunteers, but an aggregate over three years I would say well over 200 volunteers.

Stuart Carlton 19:49
So big chunk of those showed up like So do people where they talk like they've taught like not only eulogies whatever like you're reading

Tamima Itani 19:57
correctly. So so what we did I mean we had like really a really nice display, representing Monty and Rose and every chick that hatched, you know, throughout their lives. And you know, we had bouquets of flowers with ribbons that represented the color of their bands. You know, each one has a unique combination of bands. So we put ribbons that represented the color of their bands. And then we had people representing the Birding societies and the monitors, as well as the Montrose beach dune. Stewart, talk about their experience of being involved with Montana rose, we had a lot of local media as well.

Stuart Carlton 21:01
So we're now in the post Monte and seemingly post rose era. So does that mean tomato species itself? Are there other breeding pairs there or not at this time?

Tamima Itani 21:12
So currently, we have a very, very special plover at Montrose. It's Imani. His name is Imani. He was he hatched at Montrose last year to Monty and Rose and I'm sorry, I'm getting emotional. So this is the first time that in Montrose hatch chick has come back to Montrose and Imani first showed up in Duluth, Minnesota. On May 15, and 16th. We had not heard of him on the wintering grounds. So it was a total surprise when he showed up in Duluth, Minnesota, and we thought he'd find a place in Minnesota or Wisconsin to announce and what do you know, a few days later, he's at Montrose. He spotted at Montrose. And he was there for for his for the commemoration. So that was very special. He's still there. Unfortunately, unfortunately, right now, there's not a female at Montrose. So if a female comes, that would be great. If a female doesn't come, what may happen is that Imani will decide to keep roaming along the Great Lakes until he finds a territory and a female time will tell.

Renie Miles 22:31
And where are where are the rest of the the offspring? Are they scattered around the Great Lakes?

Tamima Itani 22:37
Well, unfortunately, we have not heard back from any of them this year. IMANI is the only one that we've heard off so far this year.

Stuart Carlton 22:48
That's the hard thing about species conservation. Right. Is that it's it's a numbers game and when the numbers are low, it's just yeah, it's yeah.

Tamima Itani 22:58
So one of the 2020 hatches, his name is Nish, you may have heard the story of Nish returning to Ohio and pairing with Nellie inish and Nellie with a were the first nesting pair in Ohio and 83 years. So that was a very special story as well. They hatch for chicks, only three fledged and one of them her name is eerie, fell ill so she had to be taken to the Detroit zoo and she will spend the rest of her life at the Detroit zoo for home. But

Stuart Carlton 23:31
so to listeners who are out there listening to this and thinking of this as like a local story, which it is it's a shock. I mean, part of the beauty of this story is that it is very local, and you see how a community can come together around two birds. Right? And that can really bring people together and that's that's special and that is local to some extent. But why are Monty and Rose important.

Tamima Itani 23:56
Monty and Rose have opened the eyes of many people to the need for conservation. So conservation was happening. But it was you know, I would say it may not have not been as public as it relates to piping plovers and shorebirds and beach habitat. It may not have been as, as public or as understood with the general public, as you know, with Monty and Rose. You know, thanks to this, the sphere. The natural areas at Montrose were expanded by 3.1 acres because Monty and Rose constantly took their chicks to a feeding area. That was where the volleyball courts were. And eventually, you know, the Chicago Park District was petition to add that area to the natural areas and the volleyball courts were moved to a different place on the beach. And that area is not fair. Mostly referred to and unofficially referred to as the Monty and Rose habitat expansion. So, you know, they they basically opened the eyes of people to the fact that there are endangered species, there is a need for conservation.

Renie Miles 25:17
And so going forward for you and for the volunteers. Is everyone just kind of going to disperse or is there? Is there some organized work going forward?

Tamima Itani 25:29
We certainly hope that piping plovers will return to Montrose or walking in our Rainbow Beach. Those are all suitable beaches in Illinois for piping plover stung us. And we will be ready to support them and monitor them anywhere they show up. But we also will look for opportunities to help promote conservation in other ways, as an example, to Chicago is right on the on a very important migratory pipe pathway. And there are a lot of bird collisions in Chicago. And we have to see if there's something we can do as a group to help educate for the need of turning lights off and reducing the glass surfaces that birds hit.

Stuart Carlton 26:16
So the collisions are like with with Windows, is that kind of what that is.

Tamima Itani 26:19
Yes, we have one of the highest numbers of bird collisions here in Chicago.

Stuart Carlton 26:25
Boy, you know, I was talking about in Florida, and they get these towns filled with wealthy people who are not necessarily conservation oriented, right? Without getting into too much, but on these wealthy resort towns, and you know, they've got it so that at night, during turtle nesting season, the lights are red, because turtles, for those who don't know, when the baby sea turtles hatch, they align themselves I don't know all the details, but like with the moon or the stars or something. And so if you have your porch light or your whatever light on it can sort of screw up that that system. And so they've got them all covered in red, and it makes it hard to see. But it concerns the turtles. And so I'm hopeful that you know if they can do that in in Florida, you know, maybe maybe we can do that in the Chicagoland area too. Sure, Tommy, my this is really interesting. And we thank you for sharing the story of Monty and enrolls and sort of your relationship with them and everybody's relationship with them with us. And it is, I mean, I I'm conflicted because I too, I like I feel emotional about it. And, and, but I also, you know, I think there's some hope, hopefully, and this is a story that will hopefully continue. Yeah. Yeah, but that's actually not why we invited you here on teach me about the Great Lakes this week. The reason that we invite you invited me on teach me about the Great Lakes is to ask you two questions. And the first one is this. If you could choose to have a great donut for breakfast or a great sandwich for lunch, which one would you choose?

Tamima Itani 27:53
That question is really easy for me. I'm, I'm a I'm a Lebanese background. And we have what's called the Eesh which is a wonderful pita bread and time and olive oil sandwich that we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I don't have to choose I can have a sandwich and eat it for breakfast or wait a

Stuart Carlton 28:19
minute. Wait a minute. I think you That's good. of Kerala. We're here. I would say that I think you Kobayashi Maru this thing, which is the Star Trek reference that I only vaguely get, but Carolyn, we get it. All right. So when I'm in I you live somewhere in the Chicagoland area. Right. Alright, so when I go to Chicago, I'm gonna visit reenie. And we're gonna volunteer, hopefully to watch Imani and his breeding mate, I suppose when there is one. Yeah. And so before we go out there, we're gonna want to get ourselves some some Maisha is nice. Yes. Okay, where should Where should we go to get it?

Tamima Itani 28:54
My favorite place and actually, it's my treat on my way back from Montrose back to my house. My treat is to stop at a restaurant called libre knee, which is Lebanese and French Lee B'nai. It's on to a and to we and McCormick and I stopped by preorder them that yeesh and I pick it up and I you know, I eat it on my way home.

Stuart Carlton 29:16
That is done. Yep. All right. I'm gonna be my treat when you Oh, perfect. Well, we'll have to make it happen. Yeah,

Renie Miles 29:25
deal. So tell me about what is a special place in the Great Lakes that you'd like to share with our audience. What makes him special?

Tamima Itani 29:33
Last year, I went on a visit of roses hatching place first and then Monty's hatching place and Monty hatch at Silver Lake State Park in Michigan. That's where I got married. Oh, wow. So you know how special the place is?

Renie Miles 29:51
Yeah, but it was November so it wasn't, you know, time but still,

Tamima Itani 29:56
it was it was my first time seeing great Les dunes and they are huge. They are so big. And there was a big expanse of Sam. The sky looked beautiful. We got to meet Montes, Dad Yogi who's actually still breathing. And we got to meet Monty's half sister who was really scraping behind her dad, he kept her moving. And But the place was so beautiful. I had never seen these kinds of views before they are very special and I would highly recommend for people to experience them.

Stuart Carlton 30:34
Well that sounds awesome. Now before we before we let you go, though, so if people want to find out more about Monty and Rose Well, the best place to place to start I think your your toolbox not one but two books tell us about these books and where can people find them?

Tamima Itani 30:48
So there are two children's book you know, they're mostly suitable for ages two to 99, but really two to six, six or eight, and one is called Monte and Rose nest at Montrose. And the second one is Monte and Rose returned to Montrose. And they are available on my website, which is named plover mother.com. All the proceeds Prospal the net proceeds from these books, go to Great Lakes piping plover research with Dr. Francie Cuthbert,

Stuart Carlton 31:26
okay that I'm looking at these now I'm going to order these for I happen have a kid who has a daughter who is in that that neighborhood of age, so I'm going to order this for her when I get a minute. And if you want to find go to plover mother.com or, or if you want to you can look at your little podcasting right now look down in the show notes. And you'll see you'll see a link to that and many other things we talked about. Right there.

Tamima Itani 31:49
And if people want to learn more about Monty and Rose and their time at Montrose, the website Chicago piping plovers.org is a great resource

Stuart Carlton 31:58
there to go Chicago piping plovers.org Well, tell me about a tawny, thank you so much are the lead volunteer coordinator, Chicago piping plover as a board member of the Illinois Ornithological Society and about to be the seller of one or two more books to me and hopefully to many other people. Thank you so much for coming on and teaching us all about the Great Lakes Thank you very much.

You, nobody wants to hear this as the end of the Monty unrolls story. You know, there's some hope, but it's, it's it's Well, it's good to hear how touched so many people were I think, by by these two words.

Renie Miles 32:56
Yes. And their, their young son coming forward and, you know, coming to Montrose beach. That's, that's a nice Coda on the story.

Stuart Carlton 33:07
It is it is. And we hope that, yeah, we hope that it leads to Book Two, I guess, to continue the story metaphor. Um, but we'll see. And that's, you know, it's just a challenge with this stuff is symbols are really important. And they are and even just being that is good. But you hope that there's, I hope that in a few years, we're interviewing Clover people again.

Renie Miles 33:28
Yeah, I mean, I think Monty, and rose, because of their celebrity status really raised the level of the importance of conservation. And when you go to the beach, you know, seeing these areas that are no longer, you know, a place to lay your blanket, but they're, you know, planted with grasses and whatnot, I think. I think it really all connects for people a little more now.

Stuart Carlton 33:49
Yeah, I think it has to, and I think even that is a success. I remember. So I am when I was getting my master's degree, I was looking at an imperiled species of sucker, which would make Tideswell home or Dr. Fish happy, I think. And I remember talking with someone and they were like, well, Stuart, you know, why does it really matter? Right, you know, some species go extinct all the time. And, you know, that's true, right? That's, that's part of the deal. And some species should go extinct. I'm not saying, you know, naturally, but of course, the rates of extinction are way higher than they have been, thanks to human intervention. But I think some of these bigger picture things are a big chunk of it, right? When you look at like the additional awareness, that's good when you look at like the land that is conserved for endangered species, you know, that's a critical part of it, is that it's not about just this one species, but it's the environments they live in. And so I think that when you tie it to that bigger conservation, that's that's really important.

Renie Miles 34:40
Yeah. And this story brought it all real to people.

Stuart Carlton 34:43
So Martine rose, to soon have an ending, it seems like but I'm glad that they did what they did in terms of raising awareness, helping with a conservation cause and bringing people together. teach me about the Great Lakes is brought to you by the fine people at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and we encourage you to check out the great work that we do at I see grant.org and at i l i NC rant on Facebook, Twitter and other social media teach me about the Great Lakes is produced by hope charters Carolyn Foley Megalodon and really miles Ethan Chitty is our associate producer and our fixer. A lot of fixing lately with these live shows are super fun podcast artwork is by Joel Davenport. And the show is edited by the awesome Quinn Rose and I encourage you to check out her work and aspiring robot.com If you have a question or a comment about show, please email it to teach me about the great lakes@gmail.com Send us your money in rose stories if you have them. Or leave a message on our hotline at 765496 I SG can also if you want to follow the show on Twitter at Teach Great Lakes. For me, miles. I'm super Carlton. Thank you everybody for listening and keep breeding those legs

thanks Renie

Renie Miles 36:06
Oh, well. Thank you, Stuart. It was nice to be a part of it because I actually happen to be on the beach, Montrose beach because it sits right down the street for me. The day that Monty came back, I knew he was on his way, but I didn't think he was going to be back at that point. But there are TV cameras and stuff. So just like oh, my Auntie's back and then the day that Monty died. I was also on the beach unknowingly. And I was going to ask someone about rose because that was like what I was wrong. And then yeah, it turned out to be a different story.

Stuart Carlton 36:42
If life has taught us nothing in the last couple of years, not that we needed the reminder. But it's not always a fairy tale ending as I know. Anyway,