Antarctic colossal squid examined in New Zealand


This video from New Zealand says about itself:

Scientists latch on to colossal squid

Huge specimen caught in Antarctic waters by New Zealand fishing crew is one of few ever examined

16 September 2014

The live stream begins at 06:57: here.

Te Papa has a new colossal squid!

Watch live online as specialists in squid biology from Te Papa and Auckland University of Technology undertake research on this rare find. This colossal squid and the specimen already on display at Te Papa are the only two of their kind caught intact – ever! Large colossal squid specimens in good condition are rarely available to scientists, so this latest example has caused great excitement.

Ask our squid scientists:

Email sciencelive@tepapa.govt.nz with your questions for our squid scientists, or add them in the comments area below. We’ll answer them during the live show.

For regular updates and the latest on the colossal squid, follow:

Colossal squid blogs: www.blog.tepapa.govt.nz/category/colossa­l-squid

See also here.

Firefighters save wild boar piglets from drowning, then gamekeeper kills them


This is a video from Limburg province in the Netherlands, about wild boar piglets which had landed in a canal.

Firefighters then saved them from drowning.

However, as soon as the animals were back on dry land, a gamekeeper killed them.

Limburg province authorities admit the gamekeeper acted illegally.

People in Limburg have started an Internet petition, demanding that the gamekeeper’s licence to hunt is canceled.

The petition (in English) is here.

Birds counted on Vlieland island


This video says about itself:

15 October 2012

The first Caspian Stonechat for the Netherlands was discovered one week ago on Vlieland. It is a subspecies of the Siberian Stonechat, but is a candidate for reaching full species status. Whatever the status, it is a distinct and beautiful bird. The bird was in no rush to leave. We decided to give it a try and booked a ferry trip to Vlieland before continuing our birding weekend on Texel. Despite rainy conditions, we had perfect views of this nice bird. Especially the display of the raised and fully spread tail was a great sight.

Warden Carl Zuhorn on Vlieland island in the Netherlands reports on counting birds on 13 September 2014.

There were then almost 280,000 birds on Vlieland.

Including 98,000 dunlin, 76,000 bar-tailed godwit, and 24,000 red knot.

Other observations:

Two red-footed falcons, two ospreys, one red-necked phalarope, two little egrets and all over the island hundreds of northern wheatears.

North Sea coral discovery


This video from Britain says about itself:

26 May 2014

Join us on a simulated journey through the undersea landscapes of the south west of England from Ilfracombe to delicate pink sea fans in Lyme Bay via Chesil Beach and Berry Head. Common cuttlefish, hermit crab, bootlace seaweed and long snouted sea horse can be found here. Watch plaice send a hermit crab packing before approaching The Lizard’s thick carpets of jewel anenomes, dead man’s fingers and Devonshire cup coral. As we reach the Atlantic we come across sun fish, lion’s mane jellyfish, basking sharks and bottle-nosed dolphins before surfacing at Ilfracombe in Devon. Grey seals swim along corkwing wrasse, ballan wrasse and swimming crabs all searching for food amongst sponges.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands, 16 September 2014:

During a 10-day diving expedition in the North Sea there were a number of discoveries in ancient sunken ships. The rare polychaete worm Sabellaria [spinulosa] was found for example. But the most remarkable find was a piece of Devonshire cup-coral. Although this species lives occasionally near the English east coast, it was the first time that hard coral was found in the middle of the North Sea.

Good wall lizard news


This video is about counting wall lizards along the railroad to Lanaken in Belgium, near Maastricht in Limburg province in the Netherlands.

Translated from the Dutch RAVON herpetologists:

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

During the renovation of a railway line in Maastricht in 2008 the wall lizard was taken into account. For those lizards, very rare in the Netherlands then there more than 20 drystone walls were built. Since then, the population is closely monitored annually by RAVON. This monitoring showed until recently that there was a slow recovery. However, the reproductive success was lower than people hoped. But the counts of this late summer bring good news. This year, more newborn wall lizards are crawling around than ever before!

Protecting vulnerable populations

The wall lizard lives in the Netherlands originally only in Maastricht. Here live a few hundred to under a thousand animals. That may seem like a lot, but on the northern edge of its range, in an isolated habitat this species in our country is very vulnerable.

Good news for guillemots


This video is called Guillemot (Uria aalge).

The Frisian Front is an area in the North Sea, to the north of the Dutch Frisian islands.

As the waters of the shallow southern North Sea and the deep northern North Sea mingle there, it is a very biodiverse area.

It attracts seabirds, like guillemots.

After their nesting season, from July till November, over 20,000 guillemots stay there.

On 12 September 2014, the Dutch government made the first move to make the Frisian Front a Natura 2000 area, which will mean more conservation measures for the guillemots and other wildlife.

Great Barrier Reef let down by Australian government


This video is called BBC Great Barrier Reef II 2012 HD.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaigners dismiss inadequate Australian Great Barrier Reef protection plan

Tuesday 16th September 2014

Environmental activists lashed out at a new Australian government plan purporting to protect the Great Barrier Reef yesterday.

The plan had been released to allay UN concerns but the activists said that it was inadequate to halt the reef’s decline.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt claimed that the draft “Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan” was an effort to balance important priorities.

“Maintaining and protecting this iconic World Heritage area, while considering the needs for long-term sustainable development, is a critical priority,” Mr Hunt alleged.

But WWF Australia head Dermot O’Gorman said the draft did not set high enough targets for cutting agricultural pollution or provide “the billions of dollars required to restore the health of the reef.”

“At this stage, Reef 2050 lacks the bold new actions needed in order to halt the reef’s decline,” Mr O’Gorman said.

The draft plan bans future port development in the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay and North Curtis Island near Rockhampton in Queensland state — areas of the reef described by environmentalists as key incubators of marine life — but it exempts priority port development areas from the ban.

Australian Marine Conservation Society spokeswoman Felicity Wishart said it should have recommended laws to minimise dredging as well as ban dumping in reef waters.

“From our point of view the reef is in dire straits,” she said, adding that the plan should have been a “lifeline” to turn the reef around over the next 35 years.