March 2011 Archives

Seacology Executive Director Duane Silverstein recently joined Seacology supporters on a dive trip in the Philippines. In addition to exploring the Philippines' vibrant coral reefs, they visited a Seacology project on Palawan Island, where Seacology worked with the El Nido Foundation, a local NGO, to set aside 1,317 acres of coral reef and 2,580 acres of mangrove forest. Seacology provided funds for guardhouses, patrol boats, marker buoys, and signs for the new reserve, as well as new equipment for their cashew processing industry, a sustainable alternative livelihood to fishing in the protected area. Learn more about our project on Palawan and recent Philippines expedition in our new video: 


Update on Japan Disaster

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As the people of Japan continue to struggle in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear threat, we are relieved to report that all our colleagues in Japan, including Seacology Japan Board Members and our 2007 Seacology Prize Winner, survived the disaster.

With our affiliate office in Japan, Seacology has created a Japanese Disaster Relief Fund to support relief efforts in the country. In the spirit of Seacology, we are working to identify a project where our funds will have the biggest possible impact. We will continue to update you on these efforts as we continue to keep our Japanese partners and the entire island in our thoughts.

Below is a letter from Seacology's Chairman and Founder, Dr. Paul Cox, about this great tragedy. If you would like to support the Seacology Japanese Disaster Relief Fund, you may donate online or by check, with a note indicating that you would like to support the fund for Japan. All donations will be directed entirely towards relief efforts. 

DSCF8732.jpgFrom left to right: Seacology Executive Director Duane Silverstein, founding Seacology Japan board member Akemi Yoshida, 2007 Seacology Prize Recipient Kokichi Kariya, Seacology Development Director Susan Racanelli, and founding Seacology Japan board member Akemi Chiba. Photo taken en route to visit Kariya san's project in Fuzawa Village, Japan.

Old Mother Albatross

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Many animal species are known for the intense labors they undergo for the sake of their offspring. Sea turtles travel for thousands miles to lay their eggs on the same beaches where they hatched. Male Emperor Penguins spend two months without food while incubating their eggs in the frigid Antarctic winter.  A recent discovery adds another bird--the albatross--to the ranks of these determined parents. 

The oldest known bird in the Northern Hemisphere is an albatross--a large seabird known for their massive wingspan (some can be up to 11 feet wide!). Recently, scientists made a surprising discovery about this ancient bird, appropriately named Wisdom: At the age of 60, rather than considering retirement, she is the proud mother of a new baby albatross!

Albatross lay only one egg a year, but scientists estimate that Wisdom has already raised at least 30 chicks in her lifetime. Many take a year off between parenting, and most albatross mate for life. Below, Wisdom is pictured with her newest baby. 

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Islands cover a tiny fraction of the planet's surface, but are home to over half of all extinctions. In this series, we'll introduce you to some of the rare and fascinating animals found on islands.

Unless you are an ornithologist, the word "megapode" might conjure images of a transformer-like creature in your mind. In reality, megapodes, or "incubator birds," are chicken-like birds who are the only type of birds to use something other than their body heat to incubate their eggs. Instead, they bury their eggs under large mounds of sand or decaying vegetation, using geothermal or volcanic heat to warm the eggs. The picture below shows a megapode standing atop his huge incubator mound. Imagine starting your life under a pile of volcanic-heated compost!

800px-Brushturkeykansaszoo.jpgRead on for more information about these unique birds.