Rare vimba breams in the Netherlands


This video is about vimba breams, trying to jump across rapids while swimming upstream in Kuldiga, Latvia, in 2014.

Translated from the Dutch RAVON ichthyologists:

Friday, April 17th, 2015

In South Holland province more than 50 volunteers monitor incoming migration of migratory fish with frame nets. In addition to observations of elvers and three-spined sticklebacks also a lot of valuable information about other fish is collected. In early April the volunteers met several one-year-old vimba breams in their frame nets in the New Waterway near Maassluis. Observations of the vimba bream in the Netherlands are scarce, especially so of young animals.

The vimba bream owes its Dutch name, blauwneus [blue nose] to the blue-gray fleshy nose of adult animals. It was originally a Central European species that by digging the Main-Danube Canal and helped by transfers has expanded into Germany to the Rhine Valley. The first observations of the vimba bream in the Netherlands date back to 1989, when a three-year-old fish was caught in the Lower Rhine.

Hippo dung helps dragonflies, fish


This video is called Inside Nature’s Giants- Hippo.

From New Scientist:

Hippo dung is health food for river animals

18:45 15 April 2015 by Jessica Hamzelou

Don’t just flush it away. Just as one person’s trash is another’s treasure, hippo dung seems to be a valuable source of nutrition for the animals’ aquatic neighbours.

By injecting millions of tons of faeces into African waters every year, hippos may be providing a vital link between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Douglas McCauley of the University of California in Santa Barbara and his colleagues compared fish and dragonfly larvae in two river pools in Kenya‘s Laikipia district, one inhabited by hippos and the other hippo-free.

They found components of hippo dung in the tissues of dragonfly larvae that lived alongside the animals year round. During the dry season, fish absorbed faecal nutrients as well, while levels in dragonfly larvae increased.

The team thinks that during the wet season, high rainfall dilutes the hippos’ waste and faster-flowing rivers also wash away dung before animals can access it.

As climate change and development in east Africa continue to affect local rivers, it will be important to consider how the benefits of hippo excrement can be preserved.

Journal reference: Ecosphere, doi.org/3nv

Kingfisher spits out pellet, video


Kingfishers cannot digest fishes‘ scales and fish bones. So, they spit them out as pellets, as this video shows.

Jeroen Kloppenburg from the Netherlands made the video.

World’s largest marine reserve around Pitcairn islands


This video says about itself:

Edge of the World: Stunning Pitcairn Islands Revealed

18 March 2015

In 2012 National Geographic‘s Pristine Seas project went on an expedition to the Pitcairn Islands—a legendary and remote archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—and returned with footage of incredible natural wonders underwater and on land. The expedition led to the historic announcement that the British government has created the largest contiguous marine reserve in the world, protecting this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Join National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala as he meets with some of Pitcairn’s residents and explores the waters around the islands.

Read more about the announcement and the area around the Pitcairn Islands, one of the most pristine places on Earth: here.

From Wildlife Extra:

The world’s largest marine reserve given green light

The UK government has announced the creation of the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The Pitcairn Islands is one of the remotest places in the world, and protecting its 322,000 sq miles (over 834,000 sq km, or roughly three and a half times the area of Britain) of pristine waters will safeguard countless species of marine animals – mammals, seabirds and fish.

The government’s decision was endorsed by two leading organisations working to preserve the world’s oceans, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Geographic Society, both of which joined the local elected body, the Pitcairn Island Council, in 2013, to submit a proposal calling for the creation of a marine reserve to protect these spectacular waters.

“With this designation, the United Kingdom raises the bar for protection of our ocean and sets a new standard for others to follow,” said Jo Royle, Global Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners that advocates for the establishment of the world’s great marine parks.

“The United Kingdom is the caretaker of more than 6 million sq km of ocean — the fifth-largest marine area of any country. Through this designation, British citizens are playing a vital role in ensuring the health of our seas.

“The Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve will build a refuge of untouched ocean to protect and conserve a wealth of marine life. We celebrate members of Parliament for pressing for this action.”

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Enric Sala, head of the Society’s Pristine Seas project, says: “Our scientific exploration of the area revealed entirely new species as well as an abundance of top predators like sharks. It was like travelling to a new world full of hidden and unknown treasures, a world that will now be preserved for generations to come.”

In a statement, the Pitcairn Isleand Council said: “The people of Pitcairn are extremely excited about designation of the world’s largest marine reserve in our vast and unspoiled waters of the Pitcairn Islands, including Ducie, Oeno, and Henderson Islands. We are proud to have developed and led this effort in partnership with Pew and National Geographic to protect these spectacular waters we call home for generations to come.”

A March 2012 scientific survey of Pitcairn’s marine environment, led by the National Geographic Pristine Seas project in partnership with Pew, revealed a vibrant ecosystem that includes the world’s deepest-known living plant, a species of encrusting coralline algae found 382m (1,253ft) below sea level.

The reserve will also protect one of the two remaining raised coral atolls on the planet as well as 40 Mile Reef, the deepest and most well-developed coral reef known in the world.

In conjunction with the designation, the Bertarelli Foundation announced a five-year commitment to support the monitoring of the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve as part of Pew’s Project Eyes on the Seas, using a technology known as the Virtual Watch Room.

With this satellite monitoring system, developed through a collaboration between Pew and the UK-based company Satellite Applications Catapult, government officials will be able to detect illegal fishing activity in real time.

This is the first time any government has combined creation of a marine reserve with the most up-to-date technology for surveillance and enforcement of a protected area.

Rare Chinese sturgeons released in Yangtze river


This National Geographic video says about itself:

The “Underwater Panda”

23 July 2009

Zeb Hogan traverses Asia in search of the the giant Chinese sturgeon and the world’s largest trout that’s known to eat mice and ducks.

From Wildlife Extra:

Captive bred rare sturgeon released into the wild in China

Researchers in China have released 3,000 captive-bred Chinese sturgeons, a rare fish that dates back to the dinosaurs, into the country’s longest river, the Yangtze, to save the species from extinction reports the Global Times.

Estimates by experts say that due to development in and around rivers, heavy boat traffic and water pollution, the number of wild Chinese sturgeons which migrate to Gezhouba, Hubei Province, to breed has fallen from about 1,000 in 1982 to about 50.

In this latest release, staff at the Chinese Sturgeons Research Institute transferred 500 fish born in 2011 and with a body length of 80cm, and 2,500 fish born in 2013, which had reached about 40cm in length from their holding pens to the river.

According to Gao Yong, the Deputy Head of the Research Institute, they are also employing advanced methods to track the two age groups simultaneously to monitor their progress and see which group fares best.

This was the Institute’s 57th release of the rare fish, which scientists have nicknamed ‘aquatic pandas‘, as they are highly endangered and are listed as a ‘wild creature under State protection’. They have not been detected reproducing naturally in the Yangtze River for more than two years.

Cichlid fishes evolution


This video is called African Cichlid Species List.

From Scientific American:

The Extraordinary Evolution of Cichlid Fishes

Cichlid fishes have undergone a mind-boggling degree of speciation. New research is revealing features of their genomes that primed them to diversify so spectacularly

By Axel Meyer

Africa’s Lake Victoria is home to one of evolution’s greatest experiments. In its waters, what began as a single lineage belonging to the cichlid family of fishes has since given rise to a dazzling array of forms. Like Charles Darwin’s famous finches, which evolved a wide range of beak shapes and sizes to exploit the different foods available in the Galápagos Islands, these cichlids represent a textbook example of what biologists term an adaptive radiation—the phenomenon whereby one lineage spawns numerous species that evolve specializations to an array of ecological roles. But the Lake Victoria cichlids far surpass Darwin’s finches in the astonishing speed with which they diversified: the more than 500 species that live there and only there today all evolved within the past 15,000 to 10,000 years—an eyeblink in geologic terms—compared with the 14 finch species that evolved over several million years.

Lake Victoria is not the only locale cichlids call home. Other tropical freshwater lakes and rivers in Africa, as well as the Americas and the tip of the Indian subcontinent, harbor their own cichlids. All told, the family is estimated to comprise more than 2,500 species. Some, such as the tilapias, are farmed for food and are among the most important aquaculture species in the world. Most, like the oscars and angelfish, are popular with aquarium enthusiasts because they are beautiful and have many interesting courtship and parenting behaviors. Many species have yet to be formally described. The cichlids share their lakes with other families of fishes, but only cichlids have managed to speciate so extensively and so fast. Indeed, no other group of vertebrate animals can rival the cichlids in terms of sheer number of species and variety of body shape, coloration and behavior. At the same time, however, evolution has often repeated itself in these fishes: a number of the same adaptations have evolved in parallel in the separate cichlid lineages—a curious trend.