VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Category archives for Oceania
I’m on a clifftop in the dark, on a remote island in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. An inky sea lies below, unfamiliar constellations glitter above, and a bird has just flown straight into my hand. Other pale squeaking shapes are brushing by me and bumping into me. A few minutes ago one smacked me in…
Rakiura / Stewart Island is the southern-most inhabited point of New Zealand. Here, islanders carve out an existence for themselves among the harsh but beautiful environment.
Reconstructing schizomid history in Micronesia led us to tackle the most fundamental questions about these animals, namely, what are they, where did they come from, and when did they arise?
By Melissa Sagen “Like a hungry small boy sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, an astronomer at a total eclipse of the sun is there to get all he can while he has the chance. The boy is determined to stuff himself with as much turkey as possible while it lasts, and the astronomer is eager…
Last summer after visiting Great Mercury Island I had the brief opportunity to visit nearby Slipper Island off the coast of the Coromandel. With only a weekend on the island, I set out to perform a ‘bioblitz’ terrestrial fauna survey.
While sharks have the reputation of being indestructible, their populations are actually decreasing and some species are endangered or vulnerable to extinction. As apex predators, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining populations of lower trophic levels and serving as an indicator for ocean health. For Shark Week, Shedd Aquarium is raising…
Imagine a booming underwater powerhouse, overflowing with vibrant biodiversity; a vast, dynamic wonderland of adaptation in aquatic form. Primordial soup? Not quite–though coral reefs are themselves an irreplaceable vessel of life. From fish nurseries to coastline protection and pharmaceutical breakthroughs to diving meccas, coral reefs provide a multitude of ecological services and economic contributions. Awed by the endless infinity of life living upon life to degrees unimaginable to the naked eye, I count myself lucky to have spent time in these enchanting habitats in many parts of the world.
Invasive alien species are the major threat to islands by most metrics, and two open access papers published this week highlight this threat in different ways.
The humble mangrove forest is one of the most biologically important ecosystems that border our oceans. They act as the skin of our coastlines, managing the energy exchange between land and sea; and provide vital ecosystem services such as waste treatment, habitat, food resource, and recreation.
I have been on many research expeditions throughout the Gulf of California, Mexico, where I study these ecosystems and photograph them in action: acting as a nursery for yellow snappers, hosting migratory birds after their long flight, and buffering coastlines against storms.
Tiny rock stacks around the world have critical value for conservation but are often neglected. Yesterday I visited a number of such small rock stacks in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf to check on their status.
Started in 2014, my long-term documentary project “Baby Giants” focuses on the conservation work of the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley and other endangered sea turtles. Help is already underway to bring these sea turtle populations back from the brink, and I get to share this story of hope and invite you to join the efforts for sea turtles.
Easter provided an opportunity to hike in the mountainous Southern Alps of New Zealand and to seek out some of the less common birds of New Zealand. We were not disappointed with sightings of some of the endemic residents of the mountains such as rock wren and kea.
Leptospirosis is an infectious bacterial disease found in mammals, particularly associated with rodents. Common in the third world and tropical areas, of high rodent density, it may come as a surprise that New Zealand has one of the highest leptospirosis rates in the world.
Hello, and welcome to the 80th edition of “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week”! Since reviving the blog earlier this year we have been overwhelmed by the influx of incredible photo entries we are receiving on the Facebook page. We are thrilled to see that many of the entries are coming from photographers…