I got to watch Olive Ridley Sea Turtles get released on the beach in Puerto Vallarta last week. They keep the nests safe from scavengers and tourists by putting them in this cage and dating them. Then when they start to hatch they take them to the water and release them. These efforts have managed to raise the amount of young turtles that make it to the ocean alive.
Here’s a seriously cute photo for your Wednesday: A monk seal watches a baby turtle crawl on the beach at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Papahānaumokuākea encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean – including the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (usfwspacific). Many of the islands and shallow water environments are important habitats for rare species such as the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
Researcher has confirmed a nesting site of the endangered Bryan’s shearwater, once thought to have gone extinct on Ogasawara island chain. The last it was seen on Midway Atoll in 1991. Scientists conducted DNA testing on seabirds found on the Ogasawara Islands – which have been recognized as a UNESCO world natural heritage site – between 1997 and 2011, as their features matched those of the Bryan’s Shearwater.
Photo: A Bryan’s shearwater found on Higashijima island on the Ogasawara island chain in February 2015 Provided by the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
ANTARCTICA’S BLUE WHALE ARE MADE UP OF THREE POPULATIONS
Antarctica blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) a critically endangered subspecies and the largest extant animal, are made up of three populations, according to a recent study of Australian researches based in a new DNA analysis, the results are published in Scientific Reports.
Researchers suspect that the three populations go their separate ways when they head north to breed – presumably heading into the three major Southern Hemisphere ocean basins: the South Pacific, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Individuals from the three populations occur together throughout the Antarctic, although possibly in different proportions in different areas. This is probably because the blue whales need to rove long distances around Antarctica to find the massive amounts of krill that make up their sole food source.
Scientists urge that future research should invest in locating the breeding grounds and migratory routes of Antarctic blue whales through satellite telemetry to confirm their population structure and allow population-level conservation.
Antarctic blue whales reduced in abundance from 239,000 before hunting commenced in the 1904/05 austral summer season to a low of 360 when they were last hunted in the 1972/73 season. The most recent abundance estimate was 2,280 from surveys conducted between the 1992/93 and 2003/04 austral summer. This is only about 1% of pre-exploitation abundance. The subspecies is classified as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The blowhole of an Antarctic blue whale by Kylie Owen