01 de junio de 2018

Next Generation of Scientists

Our local Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society has been awarded funding for our #FindinglittleBlue penguin project!

I have been working with children from a local school to develop and implement ways to monitor our Taranaki little blue penguins. My job has been to get them brainstorming about the different ways we can find the burrows and then monitor them.

So far, the kids have been listening closely and are excited to put the monitoring raspberry pis and data catchers together next week. This week I taught them how to sign up and use iNaturalist!

I hope to see them logging wildlife here... I pitched the platform as like a PokemonGo game, I hope that works and that they find joy in the app!

Ingresado el 01 de junio de 2018 por elvisa elvisa | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de diciembre de 2017

Irresponsible dog owners

Yesterday, I was having an awesome time snorkelling around the base of Paritutu rock where it is common to see NZ fur seals resting on the rocks. After joyously observing schools of small fish, massive kelp fish and my first sighting of a common octopus (so cool), I was saddened to return to shore to find a group of young adults (early 30s) hassling a female fur seal with their dog freely approaching and scaring the poor seal. The seal was effectively surrounded by people in each direction but it hurriedly pulled itself in to the water. Once the seal was out and away from the busy beach, two young kids told me it was bleeding and the dog had attacked it... they showed me the little pool of blood it had left on the rocks.

It was disappointing that the dog owners hadn't restrained the dog and resorted to yelling at it to just "get back". Leading the dog away either by its collar or putting it back on a lead when there is a seal or other wild marine mammal around is not only responsible ownership but sets a good example for other observing members of the public. Harming and stressing out this seal not only set a terrible example but it meant that others missed out on (sometimes) the rare opportunity to see a wild seal in its natural environment.

Every year there are a number of dog attacks on seals reported by the media nation wide but there are many more that go unreported, so I hope that somehow, people's attitudes change about the impact their pets can have on wild marine mammal populations. We don't want to drive these beautiful animals away where we won't be able to see them, so we must give them space and respect... and educate others.

Ingresado el 03 de diciembre de 2017 por elvisa elvisa | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario