Showing posts tagged as "conservation"
Think you travel a lot? The diminutive red knot probably has you beat, traveling from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego—a distance of 9,300 miles each way—each year. And it does it all under its own steam.
We just added two of these long distance flyers to our Aviary exhibit. You can also view them on our live web cam.
While red knots could put most business travelers to shame, ours have been forced to stick closer to home, due to permanent wing injuries. The pair (a male and female) flew here—in a plane—from the Florida Aquarium, which has hosted them for more than a decade.
Reading up on Red Knots
Red knots (Calidris canutus) are one of the larger sandpipers, and can live to a ripe age. Scientists recently discovered a 21-year-old.
The birds, which grow to 10 inches, can occasionally be seen in local estuaries such as Elkhorn Slough. But these sightings are rare. These mileage champs breed in some of the coldest places in the world, and winter in some of the hottest. While they travel vast distances, red knots depend on certain stops along the way to fuel up, such as in Hudson Bay and Brazil. This can create challenges for the birds if food sources—particularly horseshoe crab eggs—are in short supply due to overharvesting.
“We’re really excited to have them,” says aviculturist Eric Miller. “Though they’re not technically endangered, red knots in some parts of the world are declining, and this is a great chance for people to see them.”
Girls rock science! In June, a group of bright middle school girls, mostly from Watsonville and Salinas, spent an afternoon untying themselves from a human knot and learning secret handshakes as part of a team building exercise. Later, the girls created their own blogs to document their experiences during a week-long summer camp.
The girls are participants in the Aquarium’s Young Women in Science program, which seeks to inspire interest in science and conservation among young women by introducing them to the marine life in and around Monterey Bay. The camp is presented in both English and Spanish, creating an inclusive setting for the girls to learn how they can help save the world’s oceans.
The program is part of a long-term effort by the Aquarium to help young women aspire to careers in the sciences and math, and fight the notion that there’s no place for them in those fields. As part of this girl power groove, participants also get to meet women currently working in the sciences.
Ooey gooey! Pacific Grove teacher’s “icky” approach to marine science may earn a national teaching award, $10,000 and an opportunity to meet President Obama. We’re proud to have Stefanie Pechan on our education staff this summer!
Help us create ocean stewards
(David Royal — Monterey Herald)
Did you know that we rescue and release endangered (and cute) snowy plovers? So far this year we’ve successfully released 16 birds on area beaches—with more to come!
Good news! NOAA Fisheries just gave scalloped hammerhead sharks protection under the Endangered Species Act! Sharks worldwide are in danger because of “finning” for shark fin soup, and accidental bycatch. We’re glad to have played a lead role in passage of the shark fin ban in California, a movement that’s spreading to many other states – and even to China!
Watch them live on exhibit
Have you seen it? The full version of the award-winning PBS Nature film “Saving Otter 501” is back online! You’ll be spellbound by the story of the Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save an orphaned sea otter.
Learn more about our sea otter program
(Photo: Sea Studios Foundation)
WATCH is a winner! Our “Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats” program just won a Noyce Foundation “Bright Lights” award—a national competition that recognizes select museums and science centers doing an outstanding job engaging with their local communities.
The decade-long science education collaboration between the Aquarium, Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the Watsonville community is one of only seven winners nationwide. How well does it work? One clue: Aquarium visitation by Latinos is up 70 percent since 2009 due in part to WATCH and other education initiatives.
Did you enjoy “Saving Otter 501” on PBS Nature last night? You can help our efforts to save the threatened southern sea otter and other ocean animals!
Learn more about all our conservation efforts