STAGER, Kenneth E.

From Islapedia
Kenneth Stager (1915-2009)

STAGER, Kenneth E. (1915-2009) [SS# 559-28-7238], curator of mammals at the Los Angeles County Museum. Stager visited several California Channel Islands, including Santa Rosa Island in 1941 as a participant in the Los Angeles County Museum Biological Survey.

In 1958, Stager visited Clipperton Island with the Los Angeles County Museum. He was so appalled by the depredations by the island’s pigs upon the brown booby and masked booby colonies, he personally shot all 58 pigs, thus allowing the colonies to rebound.

Stager collected on:

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  • 1951. Stager, Kenneth E. & William G. Reeder. Contributions from the Los Angeles Museum Channel Islands Biological Survey. 35. Occurrence of the False Killer Whale, Pseudoca, on the California Coast Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 50:14-19, January-April 1951 (Part 1).
[original in SCIF archives]


Stager's Channel Islands specimens are in:

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County [LACM], Los Angeles, CA
  • Museum of Southwestern Biology [MSB], Albuquerque, NM
  • University of Michigan Museum of Zoology [UMMZ], Ann Arbor, MI



In the News~

Los Angeles County Museum Survey [unattributed]: "The Archaeological section of the Museum Survey consisted of Mr. Arthur Woodward, Miss Marion Hollenback and Miss Barbara Loomis. Mr. Woodward, however, remained only for the first three days. They reached Santa Rosa Island via the Fish & Game Commission boat Yellowtail on November 25th, 1941 after a few days delay in getting away from the mainland due to high winds. Already on the island were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Stager who were studying mammals, and Mr. Bill Fletcher, Mr. Jack Couffer, and Mr. Victor Case, who were concerned with fossil elephants. Mr. and Mrs. Willett of the Zoological division arrived on the 29th via the Scoffield and Mr. Woodward and the Stagers left.

The site chose for a test excavation — designated "5 E" by a previous survey — was on a bluff above the sea about three miles east of the ranch on Beechers Bay. Measurements were taken and work begun on November 26th by Mr. Woodward, Miss Hollenbach and Mr. Fletcher. It proved to consist of loose earth, very black with sifted charcoal, containing burned shells, particularly mussels and barnacles and the bones of sea mammals, fish and birds. Cultural material was not very abundant, but a few items were found, such as a bone barb for a harpoon, bone awls, bone beads, and tarred pebbles for waterproofing baskets. About 4 feet below the surface a whale scapula and big pieces of whale ribs were unearthed. These were probably the remains of a whale bone house.

A number of other sites on the north side of the island were "surfaced." One series of ten sites west and south of Skunk Point yielded large numbers of chipped stone scrapers, choppers, blades, points and drills and also bone awls and barbs for harpoons. In contrast to the other Channel Islands, shell and bone fish hooks do not appear on Santa Rosa. Only one broken bone hook was found. One of these sites ("14E") was covered with innumerable tiny stone drills and olivella shell beads in all stages of manufacture. 230 little stone drills were picked up in a few minutes.

Another site at the mouth of Lobos Canyon west of Carrington Point had been exposed by rains since the previous survey. Burials, some bone implements and many beautiful flint, blades and points were washing down on the beach.

We also explored Old Ranch Canyon and Water Canyon finding two sites near the head of the latter.

On December 7 Pearl Harbor was bombed and shortly afterwards the Fish & Game boats were taken over for patrol duty and the use of the radio telephone forbidden so that there was some uncertainty as to how and when the party would leave, especially as the Santa Rosa Ranch's own boat was out of commission. However arrangements were made for the motor schooner Santa Cruz to arrive and take the remaining members of the museum staff to the mainland.


June 2, 2009 [LAT]: “Kenneth E. Stager emeritus senior curator of ornithology and mammalogy at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, has died. He was 94. Stager, a West Los Angeles resident, died of age-related causes May 13 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said his wife, Erika. "To me, it's like the end of an era in that he really personified the period during which the major collections of birds and mammals were amassed through expeditionary collecting," said Kimball Garrett, the museum's ornithology collections manager.

Stager obituary: The obituary of Kenneth E. Stager in Wednesday's Section A said he organized or participated in numerous expeditions, including to the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. Stager, who served as a curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, made an expedition to Cocos Island in the Pacific Ocean off Costa Rica. — A World War II Army veteran whose association with the Natural History Museum began in the late 1930s as a UCLA zoology student worker, Stager was appointed curator of ornithology and mammalogy in 1946. He was promoted to senior curator of ornithology in 1961 and also served as curator in charge of the habitats division and as coordinator of the life sciences field programs. Stager's greatest and most enduring contribution to the museum and to the fields of ornithology and mammalogy, according to the museum, "was the substantial acceleration of expeditionary collecting work under his curatorial supervision." He organized or participated in numerous major, privately sponsored expeditions, including trips to Barranca del Cobre and Islas Tres Marias, in Mexico; Queensland, Australia; Brazil; India; east Africa; Clipperton Island and the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific; and the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. During his 1958 trip to Clipperton Island, 800 miles southwest of Acapulco, Stager succeeded in eliminating the feral pigs that had devastated the tiny atoll and collected a specimen of the South American cuckoo bird Coccyzus melacoryphus, which was the first to be taken in North America. The specimens Stager collected during his heyday from the 1940s through the '70s have been invaluable to researchers, Garrett said. "Many of the collections he made are in areas that have seen large-scale deforestation or other habitat change, and therefore, he's left us with a really irreplaceable record of how things used to be," Garrett said. Stager retired from the Natural History Museum in 1976 but remained active in the fields of ornithology and mammalogy and was instrumental in securing an endowment -- the William Cheney Jr. Memorial Fund -- in support of the museum's mammalogy programs. Garrett recalled Stager coming in two days a week in the late '80s and '90s to help out with the collections. "And selfishly for us, that was a time to listen to his stories," Garrett said. "The stories were always wonderful. He knew people that are just sort of historical figures to us. When somebody lives to be 94, I think it's a very important role they play: They link us to our past." Stager continued to work in the museum's collections until suffering a stroke in 2001 that limited his mobility.

Born Jan. 28, 1915, in Uniontown, Pa., Stager spent his childhood in Glenwood Springs, Colo., Gardena and Los Angeles, where he graduated from Manual Arts High School. He received a bachelor's degree in zoology from UCLA in 1940 and was hired as a full-time assistant under curator George Willett in late 1941. During World War II, Stager was a U.S. Army liaison officer with the Chinese Army in Burma, commanding officer of Headquarters Company of the Northern Combat Area Command, and commanding officer of a heavy weapons company. Stager, who received a Bronze Star for his service as part of the infantry unit known as Merrill's Marauders, also was awarded the United States of America Typhus Commission Medal for "meritorious service in the investigation and control of scrub typhus fever in Assam and Burma" in 1945 while in charge of the ornithology and mammal laboratory of the U.S.A. Typhus Commission Burma-India Field Party. While in Asia, he collected 139 bird skins, including a prized silver pheasant that was part of the museum's recent "Treasures from the Vault" exhibit. Discharged from the Army as a captain in 1946, Stager received a master's degree in zoology from USC in 1953 and a doctorate from USC in 1962. Over the years, Stager was elected a Fellow of the American Ornithologists Union and an honorary life member of the Cooper Ornithological Society; he also served a term as president of the Southern California Academy of Sciences.

In addition to his wife, whom he met on an expedition in Brazil and married in 1948, Stager is survived by his son, John. No funeral service will be held.”


FARALLON ISLANDS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Farallon IslandS Kenneth E. Stager LACM August 17, 1961 LACM-66166 Oceanodroma homochroa Birds
Farallon IslandS Kenneth E. Stager LACM August 17, 1961 LACM-66167 Oceanodroma homochroa Birds
Farallon IslandS Kenneth E. Stager LACM August 17, 1961 LACM-66168 Oceanodroma homochroa Birds
Farallon IslandS Kenneth E. Stager LACM August 17, 1961 LACM-66169 Oceanodroma homochroa Birds


SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-171410 Pipilo erythrophalmus clementae Birds
San Clemente Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-171411 Pipilo erythrophalmus clementae Birds
San Clemente Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-171412 Pipilo erythrophalmus clementae Birds
San Clemente Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-171409 Pipilo erythrophalmus clementae Birds
San Clemente Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-171413 Pipilo erythrophalmus clementae Birds


SANTA BARBARA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 2, 1940 UMMZ-124520 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 2, 1940 UMMZ-166695 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 2, 1940 UMMZ-170775 Passerculus sandwichensis anthinus Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 2, 1940 UMMZ-170849 Passerculus sandwichensis brooksi Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-120392 Phalacrocorax pelagicus resplendens Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-120393 Phalacrocorax pelagicus resplendens Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-124711 Larus occidentalis wymani Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-124712 Larus occidentalis wymani Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166696 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166697 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166698 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166699 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166700 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166701 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166702 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166703 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-166704 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-167485 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 16, 1940 UMMZ-167828 Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-125724 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-125725 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-125726 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-125727 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-125728 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-166705 Melopsiza melodia graminea Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ March 17, 1940 UMMZ-167781 Zonotrichia atriplicata Birds
Santa Barbara Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ n.d. UMMZ-175233 Vermivora celata sordida Birds


SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-122690 Lophortyx californica catalinensis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-122691 Lophortyx californica catalinensis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-126321 Calypte anna Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-128511 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-160981 Thyromanes bewickii catalinae Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-161346 Mimus polyglottos leucopterus Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-165719 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-165720 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-167248 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 21, 1938 UMMZ-167249 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167334 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-122692 Lophortyx californica catalinensis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-122693 Lophortyx californica catalinensis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-161736 Catharus guttatus guttatus Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-162546 Anthus spinoletta pacificus Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-162960 Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-165721 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-165722 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-165723 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167250 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167251 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167252 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167346 Passerella iliaca stephensi Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167785 Zonotrichia atricapilla Birds
Santa Catalina Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ December 22, 1938 UMMZ-167785 Zonotrichia leucophrys pugetensis Birds


SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

1935 LACM birds



SANTA ROSA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-120456 Ardea herodias hyperonca Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-126428 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-126429 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-126430 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-126460 Megaceryle alcyon caurina Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-160970 Thyranes bewickii nesophilus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-160971 Thyranes bewickii nesophilus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-161284 Salpinctes obsoletus obsoletus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-161726 Catharus guttatus guttatus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-161727 Catharus guttatus guttatus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-162958 Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-162959 Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166706 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166707 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166708 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166709 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166710 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166711 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-166712 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-175232 Vermivora celata sordida Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 24, 1939 UMMZ-194336 Geothlypis trichas scirpicola Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-128519 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-127460 Sayonaris saya saya Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-126431 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-126432 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-126433 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-126434 Selasphorus sasin sedentarius Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-127442 Sayonaris nigricans semiatra Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-128518 Eremophila alpestris insularis Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-160802 Troglodytes aedon parkmanii Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-161728 Catharus guttatus guttatus Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-162957 Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-166713 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-166714 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-171430 Pipilo erythrophthalmus megalonyx Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-171431 Pipilo erythrophthalmus megalonyx Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-171432 Pipilo erythrophthalmus megalonyx Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-173989 Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-173990 Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-174286 Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis Birds
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager UMMZ November 25, 1939 UMMZ-174458 Agelaius tricolor Birds
~ trip ~
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager LACM November 12, 1941 LACM-007897 Myotis californicus californicus Mammals
Santa Rosa Island Kenneth E. Stager MSB November 12, 1941 MSB-160207 Urocyon littoralis santarosae Mammals
Santa Rosa Island K. E. Stager LACM November 14, 1941 LACM-20092 Callipepla californica catalinensis Birds


ISLA NATIVIDAD
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120163 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120164 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120165 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120166 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120167 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Natividad K. E. Stager UMMZ April 24, 1940 UMMZ-120168 Puffinus opisthomelas Birds