Friday, October 27, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Posted by Blue Ventures at 12:36 pm
Monday, October 23, 2006
I was recently swept off on a spontaneous bird watching adventure with members of the Malagasy bird conservation group ASITY. They were showing some of the best bird watching areas in the region to two tour operators for a local eco-tourism organization in Tana. The group was passing through Andavadoaka on their way to Morombe and asked if I would like to join them for two days of birding.
I met the group in Morombe and we drove to our first destination - Satramalandy (four hours drive east of Morombe). We arrived in the evening and headed out on a night walk to look for nocturnal animals. We had a local guide from the village and all the ASITY members had great knowledge of the local wildlife so it was a great experience for me. We saw iguanas, spiders, geckos and near the end of the walk we saw three Microcebus mettermieri – a very rare mouse-sized species of lemur which was only discovered a year ago. My first wild lemur sighting!
We camped out in tents and awoke very early the next morning to look for birds on a beautiful lake beside the village. Within five minutes I spotted 10 species that I had never seen before including jacanas, herons, terns, coots, and a few duck species. We found the Hottentot Teal, but none of the highly endangered Madagascar Teal.
Later in the morning we drove to
We headed back to Morombe after lunch and again I was lucky to have the experts identify every species along the way. A long section of the route has rice fields on either side of the road where we saw many egrets, storks, and raptors. In total over the two days I saw 21 new species, several snakes and reptiles plus my first lemurs! Incredible!
We spent the night in Morombe before heading back to Andavadoaka the following morning. Once we arrived I was happy to show the group around
Despite a few language difficulties, it was a great way to get to know some
Ashley (field scientist)
Posted by Blue Ventures at 11:14 am
Friday, October 13, 2006
News services publishing details of the report included Fox News, CBS News, The Washington Post, LA Times, Forbes and The New Hope Courier, Oklahoma.
Click here to see search results via Google News UK
Our Press Release
Posted by Blue Ventures at 10:07 am
Thursday, October 05, 2006
A recent BV Press Release has caught the eye of the editor over at Wildlife Extra--
"Research has revealed that the coral reefs off Madagascar’s south west coast have suffered massive damage from coral bleaching, including a number of reefs that lost up to 99% of their coral cover.
The research team, led by the conservation organisations Blue Ventures and the Wildlife Conservation Society and funded by Conservation International, also discovered a few hopeful signs. The researchers also found a few small reefs with corals that seemed to be resilient to the rising sea temperatures, so it may ultimately be possible to reseed the damaged reefs. These reefs might provide valuable information about how to save corals from future damage.
Read the article at Wildlife Extra
Download our Press Release
Posted by Blue Ventures at 5:28 pm
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
But before you start picturing new shoots, daffodils and lambs gambolling playfully in fields, I should make clear that I'm sitting here in thirty degree heat and sweating as I type. There are some baby goats around, but the only gambolling they do is in the cool of the early morning, on my balcony (thanks guys - those little hooves at 5 am are a real treat). Spring here is pretty much like winter - dry and sunny every day. It's just you start to get more days like this one, when a stroll to the village means a change of T-shirt and you realise it won't be long before you're sleeping under the stars and diving in swimming trunks instead of wetsuits.
We've been back on site now for a full diving week, and the new team are mostly dive trained and semi-benthic enabled. Besides involving a full programme of coral reef monitoring, this expedition will also see us exploring some of the new MPA sites, and if possible sending out manta-tow teams to find new patch reefs to monitor. We also plan to head north at some point to Belo-sur-Mer, a small village and regional shipbuilding centre just south of Morondava. An exploratory mission there by Stephanie, our field scientist, last month has highlighted a number of new possibilities there, from mapping of uncharted reefs to shark and turtle monitoring. A French conservation-minded entrepreneur has set up an eco-lodge there and so another possibility is that we work with him and others on setting up a satellite BV operation there, both to increase the geographical scope of our reef survey work and to start implementing a marine protected area around some of the off-shore coral islands.
OK well that's enough from me for now, but there'll be contributions from some of the new volunteers shortly and also some research updates from our field scientists Lea, Ashley and Stephanie. Veloma iaby. Alex
Posted by Blue Ventures at 3:12 pm