Posted on May 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New study to help inform conservation policy
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — While images of manta rays are ubiquitous on brochures and websites for popular seaside tourist destinations, very little is known about where the ocean giants live and what they need to survive.
But that’s starting to change, thanks to an international study that used satellite tracking technology to study manta rays off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula over a 13-day period. The tracking devices were attached to the backs of six individuals —four females, one male, and one juvenile.
“The satellite tag data revealed that some of the rays traveled more than 1,100 kilometers during the study period,” said Dr. Matthew Witt of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute. “The rays spent most of their time traversing coastal areas plentiful in zooplankton and fish eggs from spawning events.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: biodiversity, Environment, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Gulf of Mexico, manta rays, ocean conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 24, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Bleached fire coral and christmas tree worm on top (Flower Gardens Bank bleaching 2010). PHOTO BY NOAA.
Reefs provide ecoystem services valued at $375 billion per year
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Coral reef bleaching is likely across large parts of the Caribbean this year as ocean temperatures continue to be well above average.
Scientists with a federal reef-watching program say several sites in the region have already reported bleaching. The bleaching episode this could be as bad as 2005, when more than 80 percent of Caribbean corals were bleached and 40 percent died at many sites across the Caribbean.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coral reef watch program shows that the southeastern Caribbean Sea, the western Gulf of Mexico and the southern portion of the Bahamas are experiencing significant bleaching thermal stress. The outlook calls for continued high water temps to continue through mid-October.
Prolonged coral bleaching can lead to coral death and the subsequent loss of coral reef habitats for a range of marine life. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Caribbean Sea, Coral bleaching, coral bleaching 2010, coral reef bleaching, Coral Reef Watch, coral reefs, Environment, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, global warming, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »