As a continuation of two years of research on the elusive, critically endangered oceanic whitetip, we made the crossing to the southern tip of Cat Island on Tuesday, May 7th with the goal of learning more about this understudied, and historically abundant, pelagic shark. We have been at Cat Island for less than a week and have been extremely successful. With 17 satellite tags on oceanic whitetips and countless in-water experiences, the first leg of the trip has gone smoothly. We have over a week left here and less than ten tags to deploy, making our main purpose to put out sat tags on males and recaptures, as well as conduct ultrasounds on all females to determine reproductive state. We have also caught, tagged, and taken biometrics on a blue shark and a small but curious tiger shark while out in the blue water. To learn more, check out the link to our collaborator’s blog at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Science :http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/research/highlights/Chapman/index.html
Attention! Deadline for registration for CEI’s Eleutheran Explorer’s Camp, Shark Week, Flats Week, and the new Turtle Week has been extended to JUNE 15. Please see the links below for informational flyers about the camps!
Flats Week 2013_web
Shark Week 2013_web
This past week, the SP13 Island School students presented Project Introduction presentations to their peers, staff, faculty, and the many visitors on campus. These presentations gave the students a chance to stand up in front of a crowd, and display their knowledge of the background, purpose, and methodology of their specific research projects.
Research projects this year include 1) lionfish and lobster competition, 2) shark physiology after longline capture, 3) effects of climate change on bonefish swimming capacity, 4) effects of decreasing pH on mangrove fish, 5) identifying juvenile queen conch nurseries, 6) green sea turtle habitat use, 7) the settlement of juvenile lionfish, and 8) coral vs. algae cover on patch reefs. These projects are led by CEI researchers, and the students have the chance to work closely with with researchers for the duration of their Island School research class. The class culminates with a Research Symposium, where the students present a scientific poster on the findings of their projects. Continue reading
On Tuesday, March 5th, 4 scientists from the Cape Eleuthera Institute made the trip to Nassau for the first Bahamas National Natural History Conference, co-hosted by the Bahamas National Trust and the College of Bahamas. On this first day of the conference, the audience got to hear from Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick, manager of the Lionfish Research and Education Program, discussing the positive impact of removing lionfish from Bahamian reefs. Presenting data collected by Dr. Stephanie Green from Simon Fraser University, Dr. Curtis-Quick showed the audience a model for determining the effects of lionfish on native fish production, and posed the idea that although total eradication of lionfish is unlikey, partial removals (from targeted removals and derbies) can be an effective management strategy.
Later in the day, Dr. Edd Brooks, manager of the Shark Ecology and Conservation Program, spoke about his six years of research on the Caribbean Reef shark in the Bahamas, an ecologically important apex predator. Dr. Brooks showed interesting sex differences in depth that the sharks inhabit, based on data he obtained from satellite tags that tracked the shark’s movements over a period of 8 months.Both talks were well attended, and were a great way to start off the conference. Aaron Shultz, Director of CEI, and Claire Thomas, who studies queen conch ecology, will present later in the week. Thanks for representing CEI!