Shark feeding frenzy in North Carolina


This video says about itself:

Rare Shark Feeding Frenzy in North Carolina

On Thursday, October 9 [2014] at around noon, while at a retreat at Cape Lookout National Seashore off the coast of North Carolina, the leaders of One Harbor Church witnessed a shark feeding frenzy. The men were out fishing for the evening’s dinner when they stumbled across more than 100 sharks attacking a school of bluefish. As seagulls and pelicans joined in on the meal, the men began to cast into the surf, catching fish without the use of bait. For more than five minutes, the sharks were observed swimming in and out of the surf, some of which became beached in the fury.

eNature Blog in the USA writes about this:

Amazing Video Shows Shark Feeding Frenzy In The Surf Off North Carolina Beach

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by eNature

Several species of shark, including the popular blacktip that frequents the coastal waters of Virginia and the Carolinas during the summer, can be clearly seen literally on the beach in a feeding frenzy video posted to YouTube last week.

The video, posted by user Brian Recker, shows sharks feasting on a school of smaller fish, most likely bluefish, in shallow water at North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore.

While it’s not uncommon on East Coast beaches to find schools of small fish in the surf when they are chased up on the beach by predators, most observers encounter bluefish chasing smaller fish such as herring or mullet. It IS uncommon to see bluefish as the prey being chased—and sharks so exposed on the beach.

Here is another video on this.

Brook lamprey returns to Dutch stream


This is a brook lamprey video.

The Dutch ichthyologists of RAVON report about the brook lamprey today.

This species needs clean streams. Pollution killed many brook lampreys during the twentieth century in the Dutch province Noord-Brabant.

Recently, water quality improved in many places. This autumn, brook lampreys were reintroduced to the Reusel brook.

New conservation Internet site


This video from Jamaica says about itself:

Protecting Pedro – Building Conservation Capacity

24 July 2012

Starting in 2005, The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, has been working on the Pedro Bank to develop conservation solutions; including thorough environmental and social assessments, a management plan and the establishment of a fish sanctuary surrounding Southwest Cay (Bird Cay).

From BirdLife:

New online resource to help meet global conservation challenges

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 30/09/2014 – 20:45

A new online resource, capacityforconservation.org has been launched that aims to support and strengthen conservation organisations and help them to achieve – and sustain – their conservation and organisational development goals.

The free online tool, created collaboratively by BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Tropical Biology Association and the University of Cambridge, will help conservation organisations to build and expand on existing knowledge and skills, ultimately helping them to better accomplish their conservation goals.

Capacityforconservation.org already contains tools, resources and case studies gathered by the world’s leading conservation NGOs from around the world. It encourages users to upload their own practical tools, resources and case studies covering various aspects of strategic conservation planning, from finance management, fundraising and communications to organisational governance and project development. These tools allow users to learn from best practice, while sharing their own examples so conservationists around the world can learn from each other, ultimately helping to address the complex conservation challenges faced today.

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, BirdLife International’s Interim Chief Executive said, “many organisations within the BirdLife Partnership are seeking to become an even stronger force for nature conservation, both nationally and internationally. I believe that capacityforconservation.org is a fantastic platform to help BirdLife Partners to continue to develop and grow, and achieve their organisational goals.”

Two hundred and forty people have already registered on the website, logging on from 103 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe. Resources are available in 18 languages, with more being added by users, and work is underway to translate the site into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Capacityforconservation.org was created by with support from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.

Good British rare freshwater fish news


This video from England says about itself:

12 April 2011

A rare species of fish has been moved to higher ground to try to protect it from rising water temperatures.

Llamas were used to transport the endangered vendace 500m up mountain paths to a tarn in the Lake District.

From Wildlife Extra:

Britain’s rarest freshwater fish could be making a comeback

Two adult vendace, a fish that is a relic from the last ice age, have been found in Bassenthwaite Lake in northwest England after more than a decade of being declared ‘locally extinct’.

The finding was the result of an annual fish survey of the Bassenthwaite Lake led by Dr Ian Winfield from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which has been monitoring the fish community in the lake since 1995, first in collaboration with Environment Agency and now with United Utilities.

During the 2013 fish survey, a single young vendace was recorded. Dr Winfield says this is good news for wildlife in the lake: “Finding adult vendace in 2014 following the recording of a young fish in 2013 is excellent news giving great encouragement to everyone involved in the restoration of Bassenthwaite Lake and its fantastic wildlife.”

Prior to 2013, the last vendace recorded in the lake was in 2001, and the fish remains rare. Only four native populations have been found in the UK, including two lochs in southwest Scotland, and Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water in northwest England.

There are some theories about where the fish came from and how they returned. One theory is that they survived in the lake below the limit of detection for past decade and could be on the increase. The second is that they might recently have arrived there by travelling down River Derwent from the population in Derwent Water.

“The news for Bassenthwaite Lake is about as big as it gets for rare fish,” explains Dr Winfield. “I am certain that other adults remain in the lake. I also think that such fish will spawn this winter, but I’m unsure of how egg incubation will go given persistent sediment problems at the lake.”

Eurasian ruffe swimming at night, video


This is a video about an Eurasian ruffe swimming at night.

Diver Jos van Zijl from the Netherlands made the video.

Sharks have individual personalities, new study


This video is called Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Shark Biology.

From the BBC:

2 October 2014 Last updated at 03:17 GMT

Sharks can be ‘social or solitary’

By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News

The most feared predators in the sea have individual personalities that affect how readily they socialise, according to a study by UK scientists.

Individual sharks, studied in groups of ten, showed consistent social habits – either forming groups with other sharks or finding camouflage on their own.

When a group was shifted into a new environment, individual sharks showed the same patterns of behaviour.

This is the first study to show that sharks have their own personalities.

The research was done in large tanks at the Marine Biological Association of the UK, in Plymouth, in collaboration with the University of Exeter. The findings appear in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.

Strategies for safety

Ten different groups, each containing ten small spotted catsharks, were each studied in three different situations. Some were complex environments with lots of rocks and other features, and some were simple tanks with gravel on the bottom.

Even though the overall number and size of sub-groups among the ten sharks often changed between environments, the individual sharks that tended to form big groups continued to do so, no matter what the situation.

Similarly, the more antisocial specimens remained on their own, or in much smaller groups.

“The results were driven by different social preferences, that appeared to reflect different strategies for staying safe,” said lead author Dr David Jacoby, a behavioural ecologist now working at the Institute of Zoology in London.

“Well-connected individuals formed conspicuous groups, while less social individuals tended to camouflage alone, matching their skin colour with the colour of the gravel in the bottom of the tank,” Dr Jacoby said.

Prof William Hughes, an animal behaviour expert at the University of Sussex, said he was impressed by the level of detail in the results.

“They recorded which shark was hanging around with which other sharks, on a number of occasions across two days – so they got a very, very detailed picture of the social relationships,” he told BBC News.

Prof Hughes said the experiments could be compared to watching a group of people: “Imagine if we took ten work colleagues and plonked them in a bar, and observed which individuals sat with which other individuals over the course of an evening.”

Then imagine repeating the experiments in a nightclub, rather than a bar. And then perhaps back at work – and then, repeating the whole exercise with nine other groups of ten colleagues.

Individual people would tend to form bigger or smaller groups no matter what the situation, much like the sharks.

“It’s a very nice piece of work. It provides some pretty reasonable evidence that sharks show a form of social personality,” Prof Hughes said.

Comparing notes

The result is not altogether surprising, he added. Over the last decade or more, a minor revolution in animal behaviour research has amassed similar evidence for consistent, individual behaviour differences within a large number of species.

“Probably all animals show it, to some extent,” Prof Hughes explained.

Jean-Sebastien Finger is a PhD student at the Humboldt University in Germany, investigating the existence of personalities in another species, the lemon shark. His work is based at the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas.

Mr Finger agrees that the result was not unexpected. “Personality has been seen everywhere – in almost every taxon of animals,” he told the BBC.

“Sharks haven’t really been tested before.”

Mr Finger said his own research had found “strong preliminary evidence” for consistent differences in lemon sharks.

“I think it will be quite good to compare the two species,” he said.

Dr Jacoby is also looking forward to comparing notes. “I’d expect there to be similar sorts of traits in other species,” he said, adding that the Bahamas project looks at sharks in the wild, which is important.

“Ours was captive study – but it gave us an opportunity to manipulate and control these experiments, which is unusual in shark studies.”