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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pink dolphin appears in US lake

The world's only pink Bottlenose dolphin which was discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA, has become such an attraction that conservationists have warned tourists to leave it alone.
Charter boat captain Erik Rue, 42, photographed the animal, which is actually an albino, when he began studying it after the mammal first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern USA.

Capt Rue originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.

He said: "I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter.

"It was absolutely stunningly pink.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Protect this jewel in the Indian Ocean's crown

Frank Pope

Coral reefs, the colourful rainforests of the ocean and home to a quarter of fish in the sea, seem doomed. Yet in the remote heart of the Indian Ocean lies a tiny group of islands that chance and biology have conspired to preserve in pristine, primal condition. They are as biologically significant as the Galápagos Islands or the Great Barrier Reef, bathed in seawater thought to be purer than any on the planet. The Chagos Islands offer a glimmer of hope for an ocean choking from man's impact. Best of all, they are administered by Britain. We have the golden opportunity to protect them.

The environmental elixir of the islands - otherwise known as the British Indian Ocean Territories - is lack of humans. A controversial resettlement 40 years ago to make way for a military base has spared them the tightening catastrophe that threatens life in the oceans. Absence of entrenched economic interests makes them relatively easy to protect.

In one of his last acts as President, George W. Bush used the US Antiquities Act to set aside 195,000 square miles of the Pacific as marine monuments, winning surprised gratitude from conservationists. In 2006 he did the same with 140,000 square miles around the northwest Hawaiian islands. His turnaround is largely thanks to a new scientific consensus that marine protected areas have near-miraculous powers for restoring the health of the seas.

more on this story

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coral Reefs in Crisis

Reporting by Roddy Scheer

A new report issued last week by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network found that if current trends regarding emissions of carbon dioxide continue, a majority of the world’s remaining coral reefs could be lost within just four decades. So far, some 19 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been “bleached out” as a result of global warming and related environmental maladies. Still, the group believes that 45 percent of the world’s reefs remain healthy. Also, research has shown that some reefs are able to recover after major bleaching events and even adapt to climate change threats. But if emissions continue unabated, the world’s reefs may not get the chance to recover, affecting more than 500 million people—not to mention countless marine organisms—who depend on them for their livelihoods.

“The report details the strong scientific consensus that climate change must be limited to the absolute minimum,” said Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network Coordinator Clive Wilkinson. “If nothing is done to substantially cut emissions, we could effectively lose coral reefs as we know them, with major coral extinctions.”


Monday, May 12, 2008

Scales of justice for smaller fish

BRISBANE - Fish diet to avoid being attacked and shunned by their own species and eaten by predators, research has found.

The study by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University found the subordinate coral reef gobie fish deliberately diet to avoid posing a treat to their larger rivals.

Dr Philip Munday said the research, published in the journal Current Biology, found that in gobies, where only the largest male and female had mating rights within the group, all subordinate fish were 5 to 10 per cent smaller than its next largest rival.

The researchers tried to fatten up the subordinate gobies but the fish refused to eat the extra food.



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Filipino scientist monitors coral reef restoration, remediation project at Luke’s Reef

By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.
Horizon news staff

The head of a working group that is studying ways on the restoration of impacted coral reefs and how to come up with cost effective measures has just completed a five-day monitoring assignment here in Palau, where one of the two sites of an experimental project is located.

Marine Biologist Iris Bollozos released on Tuesday Jan. 29 the progress report of the first year (Sept. 2006-August 2007) of the three-year project located in two sites, one in Bolinao town, Province of Pangasinan in Northern Philippines and another at the Luke’s Reef here in Palau.

Luke’s Reef, where 24 pallet balls were deployed by Surangel and Sons in January last year, is located somewhere between Short Drop Off and Ngel Channel. The site is outside the Rock Islands but not on the outer reef.

The pallet balls (limestone and cement) are artificial materials used for experimenting the growth of coals which scientists call as substreet component.

Bollozos said these had been proven to be efficient for restoration of coral reefs.

It was the second time that Bollozos visited the project site in Luke’s Reef since she headed the project titled " How efficacious and cost-effective are restoration interventions on reefs subject to a range of anthropogenic pressures? (Standardized Module Intervention and Monitoring Program - SMIMP): Palau/Bolinao.

The Project is under "Long-term efficacy and cost-effectiveness of restoration interventions of the Restoration and Remediation Working Group -- Coral Reef Targeted Research (CRTR) & Capacity Building for Management.

Dr. Alasdair Edwards (project chair) and Dr. Ronald Villanueva started this program last year in Palau.

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