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Thursday, September 14, 2017

TROPHIC CASCADE: How whales change climate

If you haven't been following any stories on Trophic Cascading then please view these videos. They are amazingly profound. We've long talked about food webs and their importance however these videos provide a depth of understanding that has been missing in the lay person's understanding. It shows us so clearly and makes us more fully aware of what tampering with these chains or webs can mean in a more holistic sense.

The first clip is a MUST SEE about whales and how their lives impact on us.

The second clip is just as amazing and speaks how wolf populations in North America affect water quality and upstream river integrity.

The third is a trophic cascade study of sharks and seagrass that took place in Shark Bay, Western Australia.

From the Catchment to Corner Inlet

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority has put in some great partnership work to help protect the health of a world class wetland at Corner Inlet, Victoria. This video shows water quality improvement from the farms to the coastal segrass through awarness and action.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dive against debris -- app for your phone

The following interesting article from the Project Aware newsletter here tells us about a new innovation for Citizen Science for divers.
The Marine Debris issue is a critical aspect of keeping our oceans clean, free and safe.

After a dive the information about the debris collected is reported through the Dive Against Debris app. The app will even store your information until you are able to get an internet connection.

The information about the collected rubbish becomes part of a global data set that will help drive long term change.

Project Aware have provided the following information links also.

Dive Against Debris app from  Google Playor iTunes.

App Store: Dive Against Debris      Google Play: Dive Against Debris App

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yellow Crazy Ants - sea cargo hitch hikers

The following information comes from the Queensland Government website here 
"Native to Africa, the yellow crazy ant has a long body and very long legs and antennae. Its name comes from its erratic walking style and frantic movements, especially when disturbed. Yellow crazy ants can disrupt natural environments, affect the horticulture industry, and cause skin and eye irritations. They are found throughout the Pacific region and on Christmas Island, and are most commonly transported inside sea cargo."
Native crabs are particularly under threat as well as native birds, other animals and plants. The large aggressive ants husband sap sucking insects and can spray harmful formic acid.
"The yellow crazy ant is listed as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature."
"They have spread extensively in Queensland since they were first discovered in Cairns in 2001. Despite Biosecurity Queensland’s ongoing treatment and surveillance, eradicating yellow crazy ants is no longer considered possible in Queensland. Efforts will now focus on working with councils, industry and landholders to manage yellow crazy ants and their ongoing impacts."

Yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) - Photo courtesy of Invasive Species Council

Seen in many parts of northern Australia possibly the worst affected is Christmas Island and our iconic Christmas Island red crabs. To protect our crabs and other natives be alert and advise the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Poleward Shift; What does it mean in our ocean?

What is  poleward shift? 

Basically it tells us that things will gravitate more towards either the north or the south pole.

Joseph Kidston, Lecturer, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW says in The Conversation"The Earth’s principal climatic zones appear to be shifting poleward. If this continues, as climate models project, the weather patterns that give rise to deserts in the subtropics, and stormy wet weather in the mid-latitudes, will move towards the poles of the Earth."

What does that mean in our coastal areas?

University of Tasmania IMAS Honours student Hannah Fogarty published a report in the journal Global Change Biology that has shown initial reports of fish appearing in waters they are not usually found are a sign of "impending species-wide change, with major implications for local ecology and fishing industries."

Ms Fogarty says, " Climate is leading to global changes in species distribution patters and reshuffling of biodiversity is already well underway."

She also advised in the article that new marine species arriving in an area may become pests and change the local ecosystem. This might also provide new opportunities for fishing or recreation.

How can you help monitor the change?

Image courtesy of What's new at Redmap 
In Australia there are people who are actively looking at what that means in our unique coastal waters. Redmap here introduces some excellent citizen science looking at poleward shift using diving enthusiasts to record data. 

In a recent communication What's new at Redmap? they tell us some of the unusual recent sightings include tropical leather jackets in Tasmania, baby Ocellate Butterflyfish in Perth and that Coral Cod noted in New South Wales.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Open House, SA Marine Discovery Centre

July 2nd, Sunday Open at the Henley Beach SA Marine Discovery Centre

Open afternoon from 2:30pm to 3pm and a Marine Trail from 3pm to 4pm.

The Centre has local marine creatures including seahorses, moon jellies, Port Jackson shark, Blue Devils and much more. 

The Centre provides a wide variety of interactive learning experiences.

The Marine Trail is a guided marine discovery walk along our local beach, it’s amazing what can be discovered!

Cost: $10 per person

Seniors/Concession: $5 per person

Bookings essential:
Click here to book

Where: corner of Seaview Rd & Marlborough St,

Henley Beach