Giant Pacific octopus video


This video from the USA says about itself:

6 January 2017

In this epic adventure taking place on two coasts, Jonathan investigates the world’s largest octopus, the Giant Pacific Octopus! He begins by meeting Sy, one of the octopuses at the New England Aquarium in Boston with cold water aquarist Bill Murphy.

Then Jonathan and Bill travel to the Seattle Aquarium to two of their octopuses Lucy and Odie with Seattle Aquarium aquarist Kathryn Kegel. Bill and Jonathan join Kathryn and her team on some dives in Puget Sound to survey wild octopus populations. Along the way, Jonathan witnesses an incredible octopus fight and gets a small glimpse into the social lives of the Giant Pacific Octopus!

Spawning mandarinfish video


This video says about itself:

16 December 2016

Even experienced divers rarely get to see the Mandarinfish, a colorful reef fish that is so shy, it only comes out of hiding for a half-hour a day. Jonathan travels to the south Pacific to film spawning Mandarinfish and witnesses an incredible secret ritual.

Clownfish on video


This video says about itself:

18 November 2016

Thanks to the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo, virtually everyone has heard of the clownfish. Jonathan travels the Pacific to investigate the behavior of real clownfish. Even though they don’t actually talk in real life, they are beautiful and fascinating fish to observe.

JONATHAN BIRD‘S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure program that airs on public television in the United States.

Marine animals helping each other, video


This video says about itself:

Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Cleaning Stations (HD)

22 April 2016

Jonathan explores cleaning stations on the reef, where animals get cleaned of parasites and infection by other animals. Some examples shown are anemones and anemonefish (clownfish), wrasses, shrimp, manta rays, moray eels, Goliath groupers, sea turtles and barracuda. This episode was filmed in many locations such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Yap, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Caribbean.

Will endangered Pacific petrels’ nesting sites be found in 2016?


This video is called Beck’s Petrel, 19th April 2008, off NW Bougainville.

From BirdLife:

Will 2016 be the year the nesting sites of the enigmatic Fiji and Beck’s petrels are found?

By Mike Britton, Wed, 30/12/2015 – 23:34

Lost then found species capture the imagination of people everywhere. They make the news and their discovery is celebrated. There is every expectation that once `found’ the lost species will now join the list of living species, rather than the ghosts of species lost.

But that is not a certainty as most `lost’ species are extremely rare and endangered. And unless conservation action can be taken to secure them for habitat threats and predators that are responsible for their `loss’ in the first place, these new sightings may only be a glimpse before they are gone once again, this time for forever. The biggest danger for most sea bird species is the time they spend ashore nesting and to their eggs and fledglings. Knowing exactly where these `lost’ birds nest is essential to ensuring they have a future.

Beck’s petrel is one of the `lost’ seabirds of the Pacific. Lost for 75 years after its initial discovery and recording, it was only spotted again in 2007 offshore of the Papua New Guinean islands of New Britain and New Ireland. Despite increased reporting of Beck’s Petrel sightings for southern New Ireland there is no knowledge of precisely where they breed and the search area remain vast. It is rated as Critically Endangered.

Fiji Petrel is another `lost but found’ bird that is also Critically Endangered. Lost for over 100 years apart from a few tantalising glimpses, it was rediscovered when one was captured in in 1984. It is currently believed that fewer than 50 pairs survive, breeding in 52 square kilometres in rugged forest on the island of Gau, Fiji, but its nesting grounds have yet to be located. It has to be assumed that the existing meagre population of Fiji Petrel is declining. We know that cats are on the high ridgelines as are Pacific Rats. Brown and Black rats are also on the island but their distribution is not known. Feral pigs are also a major treat. But until the location of the nests is known no practical conservation measures to secure the remaining nests and start the recovery can happen. Finding where they nest is the single most urgent and important conservation action required now to save the species from extinction. BirdLife wants to make 2016 the year we gave both these birds a secure future.

Thanks to a grant from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) we are planning an expedition to find the Beck’s Petrel nesting sites. In narrowing the geographical area down the project will aim to capture birds, probably off the coast, using techniques recently developed in locating the nesting sites of other Oceania sea birds. The objective is to put tiny satellite transmitters on these birds and follow them back to their breeding colonies. This will enable subsequent fine-scale land-based searches to occur (with the likely assistance of VHF transmitters) and in ultimately pin-pointing the colony and then enable land-based conservation efforts. A pretty ambitious project and we are urgently seeking more sponsors and supporters.

The initial need is contributions to pay for more satellite transmitters and for the hire of boats.

The search for Fiji Petrel is even more urgent. This may be their last chance. There have been other searches and it is ongoing. Two (New Zealand-trained) petrel detector dogs are deployed on the island and the presence of Collared Petrel on Gau allows the search teams to gain experience without impacting on the rare Fijian Petrels. But finding Fiji Petrel is a complex challenge and needs the further support of experienced seabird biologists and the application of a range of technologies to support the petrel dogs and increase the chances of finding these nesting sites. Recently experience has been gained in locating the nests of other petrels including other `lost birds’ such as the New Zealand Storm Petrel and the Chatham Island Taiko. Fiji Petrel are too small to use satellite technology but if some can be captured at sea of on land then radio transmitters can be used with telemetry to help pin point their location. But is not easy and will require a long time, over several months, at sea around Gau where the birds congregate at dusk or on land with spotlighting.

Bringing together a team of the people will be the key and is a really exciting challenge. These is no guarantee but if we don’t succeed this iconic bird will be lost.

This attempt will not be cheap and we need to raise US$200,000. A donation of boat time would be another way someone who loves the Petrels of the Pacific could make a huge contribution.

The loss of a tireless worker for petrels – Bob the petrel detector dog. By Mike Britton, 1 Dec 2016: here.

Ninja lanternshark discovered in Pacific ocean


This video says about itself:

23 December 2015

In the Pacific Ocean, near the coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, scientists discovered a new species of shark: Ninja Lanternshark. The species was named Etmopterus benchley, in honor of Peter Benchley, author of Jaws. Etmopterus benchley is a small shark, growing up to 50 cm, and lives at depths ranging between 836 and 1443 meters. In the darks of the ocean, Etmopterus benchleyi emits a faint glow.

By Miriam Kramer, 23 December 2015:

‘Ninja lanternshark’ found lurking in the Pacific Ocean

A newly-discovered species of shark with jet black skin and a faint glow is a master of stealth.

The shark, appropriately given the common name “Ninja Lanternshark,” lives in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Central America in waters from
2,742 feet to 4,734 feet, or 836 to 1443 meters, deep.

The animal owes its unique name to the young cousins of Vicky Vásquez, one of the scientists on the team that detailed the new shark finding in a study published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

See also: 5 ways you can track sharks live from your computer

“The common name we have suggested, Ninja Lanternshark, refers to the shark’s color which is a uniform sleek black as well as the fact that it has fewer photophores [organs that emit light] than other species of lanternsharks,” Vásquez told Mashable via email.

“Based on that, we felt those unique characteristics would make this species stealthy like a ninja. The common name was actually proposed by my little cousins (ages 8 to 14 yrs. old).”

While glowing in the ocean may not sound like a great way to keep yourself hidden, scientists think it works well for lanternsharks like the Ninja.

According to Vásquez, lanternsharks glow enough to hide their shadows, likely as a form of camouflage.

Scientists are still trying to learn more about Ninja Lanternsharks. So far, researchers have found about eight specimens of the new shark, with the first discovered in 2010.

If researchers are able to study more of these sharks up-close they might be able to answer some basic questions about their biology.

“If more were found, we could really start to explore biology details of this shark like, ‘What is the maximum size?’ Our biggest specimen is only 515 millimeters long, but since it had eggs we know that this was an adult size,” Vásquez said.

“However, we did not find an adult male. If anyone is working off the coast of Central America (on the Pacific Ocean side), they could certainly help by letting us know if they find another one.”

The shark’s scientific name — Etmoterus benchleyi — also has a fun origin story.

It was named for Peter Benchley, the writer of Jaws.

“Although a lot of people are aware of the negative backlash that the movie created for sharks, most are not aware that Mr. Benchley took positive action by creating the Benchley Awards, which seeks to recognize people that have made lasting contributions to ocean conservation,” Vásquez said.

Vásquez refers to the Ninja Lanternshark as a “lost shark,” which are species of shark that get “overshadowed” by other, more charismatic sharks like the Great White.

From 2000 to 2009 scientists “were discovering about 18 new species of Chondrichthyans (sharks and their relatives like stingrays, skates and ghost sharks) every year,” Vásquez said.

Save Pacific petrels


This video says about itself:

Murphy’s Petrel (chick), 7th September 2013, Henderson Island, SE Pacific

There were many chicks on Henderson and Oeno.

From BirdLife:

Pacific’s Petrels in Peril: a new initiative to save these iconic birds

By Mike Britton, Wed, 07/10/2015 – 02:24

For generations of sailors and those who love the sea, seabirds have been their companion, entertainment and shared the times when the seas turn angry. They can be majestic, funny, noisy, mysterious and spectacular. Sprinkled across the tropical Pacific, the innumerable islands of Oceania are home to some of the most unusual bird communities on the planet. The Pacific is the sea-bird capital of the world.

But these companions of travellers, fishers and visitors to the coast are in trouble, especially in the Pacific. They are more threatened than any other comparable group of birds. And their status has deteriorated faster over recent decades. Many of the birds that live in this region are endangered. Many more have become extinct as a result of human activity, in both recent and prehistoric times. And some really special sea birds are right on the brink of joining the legions of ghosts of past birds.

Over the years BirdLife and its partners have taken actions to protect (and find) different species but the problem is so big we want a Pacific wide strategy for the conservation of this critically endangered group of seabirds. We are calling it ‘Pacific Petrels in Peril’.

The petrels, which conventionally include the petrels, shearwaters and storm-petrels belonging to the families Procellariidae, Oceanitidae and Hydrobatidae, have lost far more populations in Oceania than any other bird family. That is why this new programme gives emphasis to this group – the ‘Petrels’. Specific projects that are being developed as part of the strategy for different flagship petrel species will also help other seabird species.

Priority actions will be to find the breeding sites of Fiji Petrel, Beck’s Petrel and Heinroth’s Shearwater. Overall there are more than 18 species for whch action is needed including Vanuatu Petrel, Collared Petrel, Polynesian Storm-petrel, Tahiti Petrel, Phoenix Petrel and Tropical shearwaters. And probably more.

Most islands in Oceania have not had systematic surveys of breeding seabirds. While there are some threats at sea for seabirds breeding in the region, the primary threats are on land. Until we can eliminate predation pressure and the degradation of nesting/roosting colonies and establish these as secure sites there will be no improvement in their conservation status.

The help of sea bird lovers the world over is needed to develop the first coherent and comprehensive plan for the conservation of Pacific seabirds. With your support we will find the breeding sites to allow conservation action to make them safe, confirm the population status of species and develop conservation plans for each of them. We will also improve the current conservation work, and where we need to start new actions. This intiative is bigger than BirdLife and we will work with other organisations, develop networks for improved communication, resource sharing, capacity building and further project development.</blockquoteBirdLife steps up conservation work in Vanuatu: here.

Mongoose on the loose in Tonga: here.