Young Laysan albatross growing up, video


This video says about itself:

Laysan Albatross Cam Highlights 2014

20 August 2014

For 150 days viewers watched the lives of some very special Laysan Albatross on Kauai, Hawaii. From hatch to fledge we were amazed by the growth of young Kaloakulua and witnessed the vast variety of visitors she received including teenage Albatross practicing courtship dancing, George the Rooster, Mango her Albatross neighbor, a flock of Nenes and more!

Viewers were proud the day she stood for the first time, laughed the day a teenage Albatross tumbled into shot with an amusing landing and stunned when Kaloakulua cast a bolus containing plastics. Tears were shed with an emotional farewell when the juvenile finally fledged.

Thanks to the viewers and cam operators for making this season so memorable.

A special thanks to the Kauai Albatross Network, to the landowners and to donors for making this season possible.

Good green turtle news from Ascension island


This video is called Hawaii Green Sea Turtle Eating.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife reaps huge benefits from Ascension Island’s new conservation legislation

The remote UK overseas territory of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, has achieved remarkable results in conserving its green turtle populations.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and the Ascension Island Government Conservation Department report that the number of green turtles nesting has increased by more than 500 per cent since records began in the 1970s.

As many as 24,000 nests are now estimated to be laid on the island’s main beaches every year, making it the second largest nesting colony for this species in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a paper in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

Lead author Dr Sam Weber said: “The increase has been dramatic. Whereas in the 1970s and 80s you would have been lucky to find 30 turtles on the island’s main nesting beach on any night, in 2013 we had more than 400 females nesting in a single evening.”

The Ascension Island’s government has announced that it is committing a fifth of the territory’s land area to biodiversity conservation.

New legislation enacted by the island’s governor, Mark Capes, has created seven new nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries that include the island’s three main turtle nesting beaches, along with globally important seabird colonies that are home to more than 800,000 nesting seabirds.

The legislation was developed as a result of a two-year project run by the Ascension Island Government and the University of Exeter to develop a national biodiversity action plan for the territory.

Dr Nicola Weber, Ascension Island Government’s Head of Conservation, said: “The decision to give legal protection to our most iconic wildlife sites follows extensive public consultation and has received a high level of support from across of the community.

“It speaks volumes as to how seriously environmental stewardship is currently taken on the Island”.

Dr Annette Broderick, who is leading the project for the University of Exeter and who has been researching sea turtles on Ascension Island for the past 15 years, said: “Green turtles were an important source of food for those on the island and passing ships would take live turtles onboard to ensure fresh meat for their voyage.

“Ships returning to the UK would stock up with turtles for the Lords of the Admiralty, who had a penchant for turtle soup.

“Records show a dramatic decline in the number of turtles harvested each year as fewer and fewer came to nest and since the 1950s no turtles have been harvested.

“We are now seeing the population bounce back, although our models suggest we have not yet reached pre-harvest levels.”

Turtles were legally protected on Ascension Island in 1944 and the population began its slow climb back.

“Because sea turtles take so long to reach breeding age, we are only now beginning to see the results of conservation measures introduced decades ago,” said Dr Weber.

“It just goes to show how populations of large, marine animals can recover from human exploitation if we protect them over long enough periods.”

See also here. And here.

This video is called Conservation on Ascension.

Young Laysan albatross webcam update


This video from Hawaii is called Laysan Albatross, Eye Of An Albatross & Kaloakulua Struts Her Stuff, 5/5/14.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA, about Kauai island in Hawaii:

The young Laysan Albatross Kaloakulua has now entered a transitional stage where much of her down has been replaced by shiny new adult feathers. Her remaining downy fluff will disappear over the coming weeks as she nears her first flight. During her daily explorations she has discovered the other albatross chick in the yard and has even begun running and flapping her wings! Tune in and enjoy the world through albatross eyes. Watch the webcam here.

They survived tremendous losses from feather hunting in the 1910s. Despite dangers from industrial fishing and plastic pollution, Laysan Albatrosses are today the second most abundant albatross in the world. But virtually all of them nest on tiny, flat coral atolls, where rising sea levels caused by climate change pose a real danger. The main Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu may represent the brightest hope for the species—but only if they can survive alongside humans. Read the article and find out what you can do to help.

Watch an Albatross Grow Up in this highlight video of Kaloakulua, the chick from our 2014 Laysan Albatross camera. Browse the full timeline here.

Thousands of dolphins, video


This video says about itself:

Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui

25 February 2014

Captain Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, California, at great personal risk, has recently filmed and edited a 5-minute video that contains some of the most beautiful, jaw-dropping, footage ever taken with a drone from the air of a huge mega-pod of thousands of common dolphins stampeding off Dana Point, California, three gray whales migrating together down the coast off San Clemente, California, and heartwarming close-ups hovering over a newborn Humpback whale calf snuggling and playing with its mom as an escort whale stands guard nearby, filmed recently in Maui.

According to N.O.A.A. Southern California has the greatest density of dolphins in the world. We have pods up to 10,000 strong stretched out for miles like the wildebeests of Africa. Over 400,000 common dolphin alone. We also have the largest concentration of blue whales on earth.

Capt. Dave explains, “This is the most beautiful and compelling five minute video I have ever put together. I learned so much about these whales and dolphins from this drone footage that it feels like I have entered a new dimension! I have not been this excited about a new technology since we built our underwater viewing pods on our whale watching boat. Drones are going to change how we view the animal world. Wow!”

Capt. Dave had to film this off a small inflatable boat, launching and catching the quadcopter drone by hand where a miss could mean injury to him from the four propeller blades or loss of the drone. He actually lost one drone on takeoff when it nicked his small VHF radio antenna on the 14 foot rigid inflatable he was filming from and it went into the water. Alone six miles offshore Capt. Dave , without thinking , dove into the cold, late-January waters off Dana Point to retrieve the valuable footage taken on a flight a half hour earlier that morning. “I had my hat and glasses on, I was fully clothed with long-johns on to keep warm and my cell phone and wallet in my pocket,” Captain Dave explained. “It was a stupid move, but the copter started sinking so fast it was my only hope to get the amazing footage I had just shot”. Since then he has attached flotation to the skids, which would save the footage, but every flight over the water still risks the DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter with a small GoPro HERO3 Black camera on it, as the $1,700 rig is not waterproof and the skids will not keep it upright on the ocean.

“I get so nervous every flight over the water now, after the accident, my hands start shaking,” explains Capt. Dave. “My wife says no more drones if I lose this one. But she said that before I lost the other one. Now that she’s seen what it can do, I think she’s just as hooked as I am”.

“This technology, that offers such steady footage from the air for such a low price and is so easy to fly, is new. This was a ten or twenty thousand dollar copter a few years ago and flying those took a great deal of skill. I can’t wait to see what footage this year will bring with this drone, getting a different perspective on the amazing sightings we already have off Dana Point. There is debate in many states right now about making use of these drones illegal. People are justifiably concerned about invasion of privacy. But it would be a shame to have this new window into a whale’s world taken away.”

Entanglement in fishing gear takes the lives of nearly 1,000 dolphins and whales ever day around the world. Captain Dave formed Orange County’s first whale disentanglement group in 2008 and has been involved in disentangling several whales, including a gray whale named Lily, whose disentanglement in Dana Point Harbor made national headlines. He authored the award-winning book, “Lily, A Gray Whale‘s Odyssey”, which won eight awards in 2013 including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for Best New Voice from the Independent Book Publishers Association.

A Special Note From Captain Dave:

Attention any would be whale videographers: please only attempt this if you are extremely familiar with whale behavior as it is illegal to do anything that causes the whales to change their normal behavior with big fines- and the authorities do watch YouTube. Different areas have different laws on approaching whales. I am a whale watch captain with nearly 20 years of experience. All laws were obeyed by us during filming. In Maui we sat watching whales from a distance for hours before they moved closer to us. You can never approach them there closer than 100 yards. The Mom and calf as you can see in the film were completely undisturbed by the small drone. NOAA is currently reviewing drones and may create laws or guidelines for using them around whales.

Fully licensed music by David Hollandsworth, themusicase.com.

Video footage is copyright David Anderson/DolphinSafari.com and may not be used without permission.

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Young Laysan albatross practice courtship


This video from Kauai island in Hawaii says about itself:

28 Feb 2014

The afternoon for our Laysan albatross nestling started with a quick feed from the male parent Kaluakane. What happened afterwards was a surprise; two banded non-breeding albatross (K405 and K256) were caught on the cam practicing courtship in front of our nestling. An un-banded non-breeder also joins in the dance. This clip shows highlights from the courtship, the entire event continued for almost 30 minutes.

To watch the Laysan Albatross cam live visit here.

For regular updates see our Twitter feed.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes about this video:

The young birds are between about 3 and 7 years old. They have no nests of their own and are just starting to learn their elaborate courtship dance—and this afternoon they decided to practice on camera. It’s a bewildering, sometimes ear-splitting set of head-bobbing, bill-clacking, whinnying, moaning, preening, and nuzzling.

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World’s oldest bird has baby


Albatross Wisdom and her baby, photo by Ann Bell/USFWS

From Business Insider:

At 63, The World’s Oldest Wild Bird Just Had A Baby

Jennifer Welsh

Feb. 7, 2014, 2:37 PM

At 63 years young, the oldest wild bird that we know of, Wisdom the Laysan albatross, has had another baby!

Almost exactly a year after her last chick was born, the new baby started cracking out of its shell. Refuge workers first spotted the baby bird on Feb. 4, according to the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The birds live on the on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, in the Hawaiian archipelago. They arrive every year to mate, build a nest, lay an egg and incubate it, then hatch and brood their chick. The birds mate for life and take turns sitting on the egg.

It takes 365 days to lay and incubate the egg, then raise the chick. The albatross only lays one egg a year and then usually takes a breeding year off. But Wisdom amazingly, usually has a new chick each year.

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