KENYON, Karl Walton

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Karl Kenyon
Bill Everett and Karl Kenyon on Coronados Island, 1992

KENYON, Karl Walton (1918-2007) was born on February 23, 1918, in La Jolla, California. He attended Pomona College from 1936 to 1940 and received his master's from Cornell in 1941. His academic studies ended when he was drafted into the military service during World War II. He served as a naval aviator in the Pacific. He was shot down in the Philippines and rescued at sea. After he was discharged he purchased a 25-sloop and spent two months exploring the coast of Baja California. Kenyon became an instructor of zoology at Mills College between 1947 and 1949. He then joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Seattle as a wildlife biologist. His first task was a census of the fur seals on the Pribilof Islands. In 1955, he started an intensive research project on sea otters in the Aleutian Islands. His work to develop proper handling techniques made it possible to re-establish the sea otter community in places where they were being extirpated. He also coauthored seminal works on breeding, distribution, and life history of Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, and the Hawaiian Monk Seal. He was one of the first to document the ingestion of plastic by seabirds. Kenyon retired from federal service in 1973; a year after the Marine Mammal Protection Act went into effect. He was an accomplished wildlife photographer, water colorist, oil painter, and he wrote for popular magazines. His worked in conservation well after his retirement, focusing on the protection of sea mammals. He died on March 27, 2007.


Kenyon collected on:

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Island Collections~

ISLAS CORONADOS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon UMMZ April 4, 1927 UMMZ-125215 Synthliboramphus scrippsi Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM 1935 USNM-B41956 Phalacrocorax penicillatus Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM May 30, 1935 USNM-528965 Oceanodroma melania Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM May 30, 1935 USNM-528966 Oceanodroma melania Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM May 30, 1935 USNM-528967 Oceanodroma melania Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM July 22, 1946 USNM-528968 Oceanodroma melania Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM July 22, 1946 USNM-528969 Oceanodroma melania Birds
Islas Coronados K. W. Kenyon USNM 1956 USNM-B41956 Phalacrocorax penicillatus Birds


ISLA SAN MARTIN
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla San Martin K. W. Kenyon USNM April 16, 1946 USNM Birds 528976 Nycticorax violaceus Birds



In the News~

April 8, 2007 [Seattle Times]: “ Karl Walton Kenyon passed away at his home in Hilo, HI, March 27th. Born and raised in LaJolla, CA. He attended Pomona College and Cornell University. Served in WWII as a naval aviator aboard the USS Sangamon escort carrier. Discharged with Honors as a Lt. Commander. Taught at Mills College and then joined the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1947. Here his work involved Northern Fur Seal and Sea Otter research in Alaska, and was largely responsible for the reintroduction of the Sea Otter on the Washington coast. He also participated in conservation on the Laysan Albatross on Midway Is. and the Hawaii Monk Seal in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Both his professional and private life were distinguished by his continual work on environmental causes and wildlife protection. Survived by his companion of 39 yrs., Clarence Larson, his brother, Frederick (Mel) Kenyon and two nieces and two nephews. ”