Extinction is a sensitive word in New Zealand. Around the world, people have an image of New Zealand as a wild, natural landscape with protected oceans, a nuclear free zone in the glorious “land of the hobbit.”
In fact, as relatively unspoilt as the country is and as much as I like New Zealand, it could be called the land of extinctions. The animals that disappeared were land-based, notably 14 species of that large flightless bird the Moa, and 57 total extinct endemic bird species in New Zealand.
Not long ago, I wrote a magazine article about the power of environmental education and how studies have shown that parental attitudes and action towards the natural world are directly influenced by engaging children in environmental and conservation issues.
To put it another way, children have power over us! They are not just the conservationists of tomorrow, but are capable of great things today.
I had the pleasure last week of visiting a number of the UK’s leading universities. I have been looking at the courses that deliver modules covering animal law and conservation teaching and meeting students just beginning their careers in animal protection.
In delivering a lecture at John Moores University Liverpool, I was questioned on the issue of the relationship of science, policy development, law and public opinion and which did I think was the most important.
We learned last week that beluga whales are the true white whales, except when they’re babies, but they also aren’t always white as adults! In spring and summer, when belugas start gathering in estuaries and shallow-water areas, they actually have a yellowish tint to their skin. Belugas undergo a seasonal molt, meaning that one layer of skin is shed while a new one grows in its place. To help with the removal of old skin (and its yellow shade), belugas will use the rocky beds of their shallow summer homes as a nice exfoliating mas
Posted on behalf of Samanunu Simpson
What’s next?! Were the thoughts lingering in my head when I had finished my Bachelor of Marine Science degree in the year 2010. It’s quite difficult getting your dream job when you’re in a place where work opportunities are limited and you don’t have much experience to get you started. Inspite of the challenges faced I still had hope and believed that something greater was coming my way.
A highlight of this week’s Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, in Dunedin, New Zealand, was the panel discussion on killer whales in captivity. This was a unique event for the Society. In the wake of the film “Blackfish”, the book Death at Sea World, and the recent live captures of 7 killer whales in Russia, the events of the day seemed to be calling out for a response.
WDC present our work on non-lethal vessel strikes on humpback whales in the southern Gulf of Maine ~ Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13 December
The "biennial," held every two years, is a gathering of marine mammal scientists from around the world. The theme for this year "Marine Mammal Conservation: Science Making a Difference", has shown through in the lectures, panel discussions, poster presentations, workshops and short talks over coffee breaks.
Wind, Whales, and Dolphins - the conservation impacts of marine renewables
The 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals is taking place this week in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is the largest international conference focused on marine mammals and WDC is there to present our conservation work to the world.
Reports of dead dolphins washing ashore with gun-shot wounds in the Gulf region were scattered throughout the media in 2012, suggesting that a more recent and disturbing trend of targeted vandalism might be surfacing. Compounding these concerns was the fear that these carcasses, washing ashore in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, might just represent only a fraction of the many possible incidences of such lethal interactions documented by investigators when bodies can be retrieved and necropsied.