Mother Nature Network (blog) 10 gorgeous natural swimming spots around the world Mother Nature Network (blog) Situated in a nature preserve along the Trebižat River, Kravice Falls is one of Europe's hidden treasures.
Australian researchers are strapping satellite tracking technology to little penguins to shed light on their marine environment. A team of scientists from Macquarie University has teamed up with researchers at Sydney's Taronga Zoo to carry out the study.
The researchers are attaching GPS trackers and accelerometers to the penguins to work out where they are searching for food. It is technology commonly found in most smartphones, with the accelerometer monitoring the penguin's orientation and movement. The scientists are studying the zoo's captive colony as well as the wild population found at Montague Island off the far south coast of NSW.
The project is part of a larger multispecies study aiming at identifying important marine hotspots and improving the management and zoning of marine parks. The scientists are looking at how suitable certain breeding sites will be in the future due to food availability.
Macquarie University PhD student Gemma Carroll is leading the research. "If we can understand where they're feeding now and why those areas are important places for penguins to feed we can understand how, if the environment changes, those places that might be important might change as well," Ms Carroll said.
Taronga Zoo's David Slip says the species is extremely vulnerable to habitat change. "Managing the resources are really important to make sure there's enough for seals and penguins but also enough for us," Dr Slip said. "If their food moves off shore then they have to go further and it means it's a lot longer to get back to their chicks."
Macquarie University's Professor Rob Harcourt, who specialises in marine predators, says the research provides a window into an unknown world. "By working out exactly where they're going, what they're feeding upon and what the constraints are of those feeding then we'll be able to provide a lot more information," he said.
The study has already uncovered some interesting findings on the penguins' not so little appetites. One Taronga little penguin ate 22 pilchards in five minutes. The scientists are looking to collect at least another two years of data on the wild animals. Their hope it that the project will eventually be expanded into the long term to help measure oceanographic change in South Eastern Australia.
Tampabay.com Florida wildlife commissioners limit harvest of sea cucumbers Tampabay.com Two months after they postponed a decision on regulating the harvest of one of Florida's ugliest sea creatures, state wildlife commissioners voted Wednesday to...
Daily Mail Shark cull in Western Australia angers environmentalists Daily Mail Conservationists have launched a fresh attack on the killing of sharks cull off Western Australia after a tiger shark was shot three times and took 15 minutes to die.
Monomoy Wildlife Refuge plan seeks 'balanced'approach Wicked Local Orleans Monomoy is due for a new 15-year management plan and yesterday the U.S.
Marian Locksley's insight:
The sands are ever shifting in Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge; connections and disconnections to the mainland, sandbars and cuts, channels and dunes are there then vanish in the mist.
Monomoy was established in 1944 as a refuge for migratory birds. It covers 8,321 acres of open ocean, salt marsh, freshwater swamps and ponds, sand dunes and beach, 3,244 acres of which are officially wilderness. The world’s second largest nesting colony of common terns (8,000 pairs) calls it home.
Mashable, March 16 2014 -▶ NEW STUDY: GREENLAND MELTING IS MORE PERVASIVE THAN THOUGHT, ADDING TO SEA LEVEL FEARS. “Nature is changing faster than expected and seems to respond much stronger than expected to small fluctuations,” he said. “This also means that predictions of future sea level rise need to be revised.” http://mashable.com/2014/03/16/greenland-ice-melt-sea-level-rise/
July 28, 2013 Rolling Stone
-▶ Greenland's ice sheets are melting faster than anyone predicted. Why glaciologist Jason Box's radical theory may not be so radical after all...
August 01, 2013 Mongabay -▶ CLIMATE COULD WARM MORE RAPIDLY THAN ANY TIME IN THE LAST 65 MILLION YEARS According to a new review of 27 climate models, scientists say the global climate is likely to experience a warmth as great as any in the last 65 million years, only much, much faster... http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0801-hance-climate-pace.html
"The world is addicted to hydrocarbons, and it's easy to see why - cheap, plentiful and easy to mine, they represent an abundant energy source to fuel industrial development the world over.
The side-effects, however, are potentially devastating; burning fossil fuels emits the CO2 linked to global warming.
And as reserves of oil, coal and gas are becoming tougher to access, governments are looking ever harder for alternatives, not just to produce energy, but to help achieve the holy grail of all sovereign states - energy independence.
Some have discovered a potential saviour, locked away under deep ocean beds and vast swathes of permafrost. The problem is it's a hydrocarbon, but unlike any other we know."
The project will be carried out using an eco-friendly oceanographic vessel that will cover the whole Mediterranean basin over a period of three months. The ship will also touch keys areas in the Mediterranean basin characterized by different anthropogenic impact.
The scale and destruction of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami were beyond anyone's expectations. Three years on, the disaster is still very much on people's minds with images of the giant wave and destruction still vivid. In the months immediately after the disaster, I began looking online for volunteer work that involved diving or anything marine-related when one day I came across Sanriku Volunteer Divers, a group that's been diving almost everyday since March 2011 to continue restoring the affected regions.
With about 3,000 volunteers, both Japanese and foreign, debris continues to be removed and much of the large items have been successfully cleared away. Because of slightly strict regulations among some fisheries-related groups, it has been harder to access and clean some areas than others but on the whole there is progress.