Save Antillean iguanas


This video is about the Petite-Terre islands near Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The lesser Antillean iguana, Iguana delicatissima, a threatened lizard species, lives there.

This is another video about that iguana species.

Lesser Antillean iguanas live on St. Eustatius island as well. However, they are threatened there.

The SOS iguana website started today to help save them.

Parrotfish help coral reefs survice


This video says about itself:

The parrotfish is an interesting specimen. Not only do they change sex from female to male as they get older but parrotfish like blowing spit bubbles to sleep in.

A giant spit bubble sleeping bag.

In the morning the parrotfish goes about living its life on the reef, spending its day happily munching coral with its huge buck teeth. The fish grinds the coral down to extract the algae. Like all animals – what goes in must come out and the fish poops out the undigested rock as sand. A single fish can produce 200 lbs of sand a year.

From Wildlife Extra:

Corals need more parrotfish to survive

A decline in parrotfish and sea urchin numbers is a bigger cause of Caribbean coral loss than global warming, a new report suggests, and by increasing these populations the reefs have a chance of recovery.

The corals have declined by more than 50 per cent since the 1970s and only about one-sixth of their original coral cover remain.

These species are the area’s two main grazers and the loss of them breaks the delicate eco-balance of corals and allows algae, on which they feed, to smother the reefs.

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme.

“But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”

“Even if we could somehow make climate change disappear tomorrow, these reefs would continue their decline,” says Jeremy Jackson, lead author of the report and IUCN’s senior advisor on coral reefs.

“We must immediately address the grazing problem for the reefs to stand any chance of surviving future climate shifts.”

The research was carried out by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Good least tern news from Bonaire


This video is called Nesting Least Terns.

Translated from IMARES research institute in the Netherlands, on 30 May 2014:

Near Bonaire, an artificial island has been constructed where terns can breed without predators or disturbances. With the help of wooden terns decoys, after two weeks over ninety least tern couples are breeding on the island.

There are two common tern nests as well.

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Wildlife recovering on Caribbean Dog Island


This video is called Connecting the Caribbean with Seabird Conservaton.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife recovering on rat-free Caribbean island

Bird numbers and other wildlife populations are starting to recover on Dog Island in Anguilla in the Caribbean, following an intensive five-month programme to eradicate black rats and two years of careful monitoring.

Covering 207 hectares, the island is the largest Caribbean island to be successfully cleared of non-native rats to protect the island’s threatened wildlife.

Dog Island is an internationally-recognised Important Bird Area, with over 100,000 pairs of nesting seabirds. It also supports lizards found nowhere else on earth and endangered sea turtles, which nest on the island’s white sandy beaches.

However prior to November 2011 the island was also infested with thousands of invasive, non-native black rats, which caused severe damage by suppressing native flora and preying on eggs, chicks, and other animals.

The eradication took place between November 2011 and March 2012 and was a collaborative initiative among the Anguilla National Trust, the Government of Anguilla (Department of Environment), Fauna & Flora International, the RSPB, and the island’s owner– the Anguilla Development Company.

“The volunteer team and I spent eleven weeks camping on Dog Island to complete the black rat eradication, working long hours in hot and difficult conditions. As I am sure all of the volunteers will agree, one of the worst parts of the project was having to cut tracks through nearly 30 hectares of manchineel,” said Elizabeth (Biz) Bell, Senior Ecologist from Wildlife Management International Ltd. “Despite this, it was fantastic to live and work amongst the native species such as ground and tree lizards, frigatebirds, boobies and tropicbirds that the project was working to protect. It was a real pleasure to return to the island this February to confirm that the project was a success and see species beginning to recover already.”

The last rat was removed on 18th March 2012. However it is international practice only to declare an island rat-free after two years have elapsed since the last rat was detected.

See also here.

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New marine species discoveries in Bonaire sea


This video says about itself:

Lionfish spotted in Bonaire

21 June 2013

Lionfish spotted with the submarine spotted at depths of approximately 300feet deep. These were spotted on a sunken boat where many of them created their habitat.

From IMARES research institute in Wageningen, the Netherlands, last year:

The marine biologists Erik Meesters and Lisa Becking of IMARES Wageningen UR have explored Bonaire‘s deep reef using a submarine. They found unusual animals, fossil reefs, and even archaeological artefacts.

The goal of the Bonaire Deep Reef Expedition is to take an initial inventory of the habitat and biodiversity of the deep reef.

On the morning of 18 May 2014, Lisa Becking was interviewed by Vroege Vpgels radio in the Netherlands about the results of the expedition. Photos are here.

Ms Becking said the discoveries included 13 sponge species, new for science; and two sponge species already known from elsewhere, but not from Bonaire waters yet. They found 30 sponge species, so half was new, either for Bonaire, or for science.

They also found one new shrimp species and two new fish species.

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