Octopus camouflage on coral reef, video


This video says about itself:

Amazing moment marine creature camouflages itself against a reef is captured on video

4 February 2015

Octopus shocks diver with its amazing camouflage skills

A diver was shocked to see an octopus emerge from the rocks during a dive in the Caribbean. Its amazing camouflage abilities meant it was barely visible before revealing itself.

Spot the octopus!

Cayman islands coral reef news


This video says about itself:

13 December 2012

Central Caribbean Marine Institute Research Divers on a scientific dive during a rainstorm; on this dive we were lucky enough to spot some juvenile squid under out boat when we returned to it. Divers are surveying Elkhorn Corals in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies. We are between 50′ and 60′. The dive site is called Bus Stop and we are underneath a live-aboard boat of the Aggressor Fleet in Jackson’s Bay inside the world famous Bloody Bay Marine Park. This is what we do everyday on Little Cayman.

Little Cayman is considered one of the best dive destinations in the world. We have the most pristine Coral Reef Ecosystems in the Caribbean and one of the best in the World. Researchers and scientists come from all over the world to Little Cayman to get a base reading to compare the health of their reefs back home to. This is what we do everyday on Little Cayman.

Please Visit our website at www.reefresearch.org to learn more about us.

From the Cayman Compass:

Scientists explore secret of Little Cayman’s coral reef success

By: James Whittaker

30 December, 2014

What is so special about Little Cayman’s reefs? That’s the question a new $140,000 scientific study at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute will seek to answer.

Scientists want to determine why reefs around the remote island are thriving and whether there are lessons that can be adapted to help protect and maintain vital coral reef systems around the world.

The new study will look specifically at rare and endangered coral species around Little Cayman and attempt to determine why they are bucking a trend of widespread decline in coral reefs across the Caribbean.

An earlier study by CCMI showed that coral cover had been increasing around Little Cayman over the past five years.

The new project will focus specifically on evolutionary distinct and globally endangered species known as edge corals.

Dr. Kristi Foster, CCMI’s assistant director of research, said the aim is to determine the specific conditions present in Little Cayman that allow such corals to be more resilient to the threats facing reefs around the region.

“While elsewhere in the Caribbean reefs are in a state of decline, we are actually seeing an increase in coral cover. There is something special about our system here in Little Cayman,” she said.

“We are going to try to look at where we have hot spots of these edge corals and try to determine the environmental conditions that might explain why they are thriving.”

The study is partly funded through a $70,000 grant awarded by the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with the money coming from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Researchers will conduct snorkel studies around Little Cayman’s reefs, and scientists will combine the results of those surveys with temperature and atmospheric data.

The researchers will also consider Little Cayman’s relative isolation and how its small population and relative protection from overfishing and coastal pollution have affected its corals.

“The idea is that this project will help us develop a ranking system to identify which areas need higher protection, for example through Marine Protected Areas.”

She said the research could be adapted to help put protection plans in place for vulnerable reef systems in other parts of the world.

She said scientists working on the study, titled “Enhancing Capacity for Coral Reef Resilience Management in the Cayman Islands,” have already located several previously unrecorded pillar coral colonies and more than 50 colonies of staghorn and elkhorn corals.

She added, “This grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation enables us to compare the abundance and health of at-risk coral species to the habitats and environmental conditions where they thrive.

“As we learn more about the resilience of Cayman corals to bleaching, disease outbreaks, and other climate-related disturbances, we can improve ecosystem-based management and conservation.”

A deadly combination of changing ocean conditions are threatening the survival of coral reefs, new research from scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the USA, shows: here.

Scientists reveal which coral reefs can survive global warming: here.

Giving dead reefs new life with fast-growing corals: here.

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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